Trying to choose the right mortgage lender for your home purchase or refinance? Here’s how to find your perfect match.
Securing or refinancing a mortgage is a major milestone and should be exciting, but it can present a huge headache if you inadvertently select a lender that’s not a good fit, or that treats you like just a number. You’re likely already focused on interest rates and loan terms, but what else should you be on the lookout for when sizing up the potential options? We’ve created this quick guide to help you evaluate what might make an ideal lender for you:
As with many professional relationships, service is integral to a good relationship with your lender. Knowing that they are reliable, will meet their obligations, and are committed to ensuring a smooth process from pre-approval through closing will help you build trust toward a positive working relationship.
Check out online reviews and testimonials to get a sense for how your lender treats their clients. Of course, you might get the odd disgruntled customer, but if there’s a pattern of subpar service, then you might want to steer clear! You should also pay attention to how your lender responds to your initial inquiry and preliminary questions: it can serve as an early indicator of the type of service you can expect throughout the remainder of your experience. Service is at the heart of every stage of the process, from the first outreach through to the closing table, so make sure you feel good about it.
A good lender should not only be willing to communicate with you, but enthusiastic about doing so. If your lender limits avenues of communication or makes excuses for poor response times, that should set off alarm bells. Look for a lender that uses a variety of communication channels to ensure that you can always get in touch when you need to. This can include phone, emails, and social media. You should also make sure you know who your main contacts are from early on in the process. After all, if you have questions, do you really want to wait days to get an answer?
Let’s face it, many financial transactions these days can feel a little impersonal. Every prospective borrower has different financial needs and every transaction is unique. It's important that your lender gets to know you and doesn’t pigeonhole you into a product that’s simply not a good fit. Be wary of a one-size-fits-all approach and look for a lender who helps you find solutions customized to your particular needs.
Particularly if you are a first-time homebuyer, your lender should break down jargon and provide you with the information you need throughout the process. Remember, there are no silly questions when you are dealing with one of the most important investments you’ll ever make! Why work with a lender that makes you feel that you are wasting his or her time by asking for insight or clarification?
Experience and Expertise
It's best if your prospective lender has experience and expertise when it comes to helping borrowers similar to you. Many lenders offer government-backed, conventional loans—but if you’re buying an investment property, or have a unique income situation, you might discover they’re not well equipped to serve your needs. Be upfront about what you’re looking for and take the time to find out how experienced the lender is in underwriting that type of loan. By asking questions now, you might save yourself the time and frustration of submitting an application only to find it’s not a fit.
Traditionally, the mortgage origination process has involved a lot of manual effort and inefficiency. This has started to shift as more lenders develop their digital capabilities. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more important than ever to work with a lender that has a robust technological framework. As many offices shift to remote operations and social distancing becomes more commonplace, lenders that offer a seamless, digitally-focused experience are well positioned to help borrowers get in the home of their dreams. The more tech savvy the lender, the quicker and smoother things tend to move to the closing table.
With more things digital comes the need for enhanced online security. You provide reams of personal and financial data to your mortgage lender when applying for a home loan or refinance, so you’ll want to ensure this information is kept secure throughout the transaction, the transfer of funds is protected against fraud and the lender won’t farm out your data.
Want to grill us about all of the above? We’d love to chat! Working with Simplist not only helps you get low rates, but also that you are partnered with the best lender for you. Our technology sorts through more than 50,000 loan options from top US lenders, and we’ll help make sure you find the perfect fit at Simplist. We do the legwork for you and can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of our various lender partners. No matter the lender on the other end, we focus on improving the borrower experience, allowing you to quickly and securely upload key documents, easily understand next steps, and communicate with your dedicated loan team. Plus, we handle the communication with the lender.