A mortgage definitely does not fall into the “small” or “short term” category. Whether you have a 10, 15, or 30 year mortgage- you have signed yourself up for the full marathon. Yes, you are in it for the long haul.
Since you will be working directly with your mortgage lender throughout this entire period of time, it is smart to shop around and educate yourself on the best lenders available.
Not all lenders are made equally
Some lenders are known for their work with borrowers with low credit scores. Others are known for their low rates. Others are just well-known because they are one of those larger institutions. That being said, it is essential to shop around- double dip- to take a look at all of the options available to you before selecting your lender.
And it is never a bad idea to find a lender you feel comfortable with, whether is is with the rate they can offer or their focus on excellent service.
The “how to”
We have a few recommendations when it comes to selecting your mortgage lender. First and foremost, take a look at all of your options. Because there are quite a few options when it comes to mortgage lenders. There are credit unions, mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders, savings & loans, and mutual savings banks.
Credit unions are member-owned institutions that will generally offer favorable interest rates to shareholders. And many have more relaxed membership restrictions, so more people are eligible to join.
Mortgage bankers are actually bankers who work for a larger financial institution and are responsible for packaging mortgages for consideration.
Correspondent lenders typically are local mortgage companies. They have the resources to offer loans, but they do rely on larger lenders (these are companies you will most likely recognize from mainstream advertising).
Now, Savings and Loans are the foundation upon which the entire mortgage industry has been built. While they are few and far between, they are typically much smaller than your typical mortgage lender and are very involved in the surrounding community.
Finally, mutual savings banks are similar to Savings and Loans. They are community oriented, but much more competitive.
While it may be frowned upon with the salsa dish at parties, there is nothing wrong with looking at a few different lenders to compare rates.
Based upon your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and a few other qualifications, different lenders will, generally speaking, offer different rates. By looking at all of your options, you will be able to effectively and efficiently decide which lender is best suited for your needs.
Our final word of advice?
Talk to actual people. Ask questions. And don’t settle. Because you are going to be working with them for the entire duration of your mortgage.