How do you choose a mortgage lender? by Alan Rosenbaum, CEO
Researching and identifying the finest loan officer is the surest way to find the best lender. The name of the bank or mortgage company is irrelevant when you will be working with the loan originator for 60 days or more. The typical first question that many borrowers ask is, “What is your rate?” That is actually the last question that should be asked. Remember that a rate quote is just simply a quote! Qualifying the borrower and the building (condo or co-op) are the true first objectives.
I would always recommend asking trusted friends and respected colleagues for their opinions on who they have been pleased with in the past. Make sure that the people recommending a loan officer have your best interests at heart. Then, interview three of those loan officers to assess who calls you back the quickest, who sounds the most professional, and of utmost importance, who has the most experience and how much can they actually control the mortgage approval and rate.
Here is a list of questions you should ask:
#1: How long have you been originating loans? You need an experienced loan officer who can advise you on your specific needs rather than sell you a mortgage.
#2: How long have you been working for your existing company? The majority of the most successful loan officers stay with a high quality lender for a significant time rather than jumping around.
#3: Do you have direct access to your underwriter? A loan officer who can speak directly to an underwriter has a better chance to get your loan approved quickly.
#4: How many options from how many different sources can you provide? Many loan officers will try to sell you their bank’s best product, rather than the most appropriate and competitive product for you.
#5: When did you take the most recent educational course, and did you pass that course? This is a very important issue, because the mortgage process can be complicated, and the most knowledgeable loan officer can advise you properly throughout the process.
You should also visit the NMLS (National Mortgage Licensing System) data base and search for all of the loan officers you’ve interviewed to confirm their employment history, licensing status, and view any complaints that may have been filed against them. The NMLS System can be accessed using the following link http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/
Alan Rosenbaum, CEO