Getting any loan closed these days is hard all by itself. If you should happen to choose a mortgage company or a loan officer that does not know what they are doing, closing your loan just got ten times harder. So here are a few tricks and tips that can help you pick the right one for your loan.
- Make a list of 5-7 loan officers from several different mortgage companies. You might want to ask your friends and family members who they have used and ask if they would recommend them to you. You can also ask your real estate agent or your title company who they would recommend. Remember, you only need one mortgage company at the end of the day.
- Call all the names on your list. If the loan officer answers their phone when you call, put a star by their name. If they get back to you within the hour, you can give them a star also. If they do not call you back or answer the phone, cross them off your list and move on. You do not need to enter a working relationship with someone that you can not get a hold of. Also, professionals value their phone calls. You can be sure that if they do not pick up the phone now, they will not answer the phone later either when you are under contract and have an important question.
- Ask the lender how many loans they have closed in the last month. Also, ask for the phone numbers of the last 5 loans that they have closed. You can then interview other customers that have actually worked with your potential lender. If they can not or are not willing to offer you references in the form of happy customers, you should move on to the next name on your list. Good loan officer take pride in happy customers, if they can offer you other happy campers, that is a good sign that you'll be happy with your loan, too.
As you talk to your potential lender, ask them what loan programs they would recommend. If you do a little homework, you can learn about state funded programs and ask your lender what they can tell you about the specific loan program. There are lots of states with state funded options and it makes sense to find a lender that knows about the local programs and even grant programs that might be an option for you.
Just as a side note, if a any point you end up crossing off all of the names on your list, start all over again with new names and a new list.
Last but not least, schedule an interview with your potential lender. Make a list of questions to ask about the loan process, the closing process and your loan options. Pick one the mortgage company that is able to explain things the easiest to you.