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Top Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender

January 12th, 2018 6:59 AM by Jackie A. Graves

When buying a home, selecting a mortgage lender is a big decision. Many home shoppers opt to use a lender that’s recommended by their real estate agent, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the best rate, or that the lender will have experience in loans for your unique scenario. If you want to find the best loan for you, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recommends talking to at least three different lenders when shopping for a mortgage to compare loan options.

Of course you’ll want to compare official Loan Estimates to see which loan makes most sense for you and your family, but you’ll also want to interview your contending lenders to see if you’re comfortable working with them. Not sure exactly what to ask? We’ve compiled this list of questions to help you in your interview process.  

About the Lender:

  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • Whom do you represent (e.g., a bank, broker, finance company)?
  • What are your loan programs? Do you offer VA loans (for example)?
  • What is the par rate (the actual rate for a particular loan) for a 30-year fixed loan?
  • Can you estimate and explain your fees?
  • Are you going to hold this loan or sell it?
  • How long have you been working as a mortgage professional?
  • Do you have experience with borrowers in a similar situation to me?

Additional Questions for Lenders:

  • Is there someone I can talk to whenever I need to?
  • How are you keeping my personal information secure?
  • Do you sell my information?

Additional Questions for Mortgage Brokers:

  • How do you get paid?
  • How much will you make on this loan?
  • Who are some of your top lenders (lenders who purchase the loan applications from the broker)?

About the Loan:

  • What is the interest rate you are offering, and how did you arrive at it?
  • How do I know this is the best rate?
  • How will the rate change over the life of the loan?
  • If an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), what is the worst-case scenario I could face when the rate resets?
  • Are you locking in my rate? For how long? What does the lock cost me?
  • Could you estimate closing costs for my loan?
  • Can you explain an annual percentage rates (APR), and what is it for this loan?
  • What am I paying in points?
  • What are my monthly payments?
  • Do I need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI?)
  • Are there any prepayment penalties on this loan?
  • For a reverse mortgage, who will I be working with after closing?
  • Here’s my timeline. Are you certain you can get this done in time for closing?

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Posted by Jackie A. Graves on January 12th, 2018 6:59 AM


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