What to look for in a mortgage lender

If you are thinking about purchasing a new home or perhaps refinancing your current home, then you should also be thinking about which lender to choose. Since no individual's financial situation is exactly the same, the key is to find someone you are comfortable working with.

So where do you start? If you have gone through the home purchasing process before, then you already have some experience dealing with lenders and likely feel more at ease about approaching them again. If you are a first-time homebuyer and this is a new experience for you, then consider the following tips about finding a lender that is right for you.

"Mortgage options don't come in a one-size-fits-all format."

Know that all lenders are not the same
When it comes to differentiating between a small or large lender, it comes down to your preference. Many consumers want personal service and feel that a small lender is the only way to achieve that. While small lenders that are community based might have an understanding of the area, you can still get that personal service from a large lender as well as they typically have local offices or loan officers in the area. 

According to Realtor.com, national lenders are also usually in a position to offer more payment options than a local lender, as they deal with a wider base of customers and need to be able to service all of them. If efficiency is what you are looking for, then a national lender might be the better option.

Track records and customer service are often the most important factors homebuyers look for. We have seen this time and time again, as we have been doing what we do for over 15 years. We were in this business before the recession began, and while many lenders closed down during the tough economic downturn, we stayed strong. This was due to our competitive offerings and exceptional customer service, which kept customers coming back and also referring us to their friends. So when you are comparing lenders, keep history in mind, as this can be a deciding factor and work out for you in the long run.

Finding the right mortgage lender is worth the time.It is important to feel comfortable with your lender.

Get referrals
You certainly know people, either friends or loved ones, who have gone through the mortgage process. What were their experiences like? Getting recommendations is a great way to gain some insight into both the lending process and the lenders themselves. According to NerdWallet, referrals are helpful because you can identify with the people you are asking.

While many lender websites may post promising reviews, referrals from people you know who have gone through the process can be beneficial in weeding some lenders out of the mix.

Ask questions
This is an important tip that many homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, might not consider. Just because a lender provides you with a loan that will work, don't be afraid to ask questions.

Determine the most important factor for you and select a mortgage lender that can best meet your goals. Is it interest rates, monthly payments, loan programs, lender fees or customer service?. Mortgage lending is not a one-size-fits-all type of exchange, and the more honest questions you ask the better off your experience will be in finding the right lender.  

When starting your lender search, take into consideration history and referrals. Not all lenders are the same, and much of it comes down to personal preference. Be open with the lenders you speak to and make sure to find someone you are comfortable with. Make sure that both you and the lender you choose are on the same page with similar expectations in meeting your mortgage needs.

Like what you read?

If so, subscribe now to have tips on money, home improvement, travel and lifestyle all delivered straight to your inbox.