How to Choose a Mortgage Lender: Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Mortgage

September 15, 2021 | 3 min read | The mortgage process
how to choose a mortgage company, mortgage questions to ask

A significant question people face during the mortgage process is determining which mortgage company to choose. Just remember, choosing the right lender is not always about getting the lowest rate. Many prospective borrowers spend countless hours comparing rate quotes from different mortgage companies but often overlook other critical factors that may determine a positive mortgage experience.  

Follow our guide on questions to ask when choosing a mortgage lender to ensure a smooth and efficient homebuying or refinancing process.

What Type of Lender is the Company?

In our opinion, this is one of the most important questions to ask and consider. GuardHill has a banking and brokering platform that allows our team to match your financial profile with the best possible loan program. 

You may want to inquire if the company is a mortgage banker, mortgage broker, wholesale lender, or retail bank to understand better the types of rates, products, and services they offer. 

What Types of Mortgage Loans & Programs does the Company Offer?

Each mortgage company may offer different programs and guidelines depending on which type of lender they are. Some retail banks may not offer loan programs that a mortgage banker or broker offers, such as Foreign National programs or Non-QM loans. GuardHill works with numerous investors and lending institutions, which gives clients access to various loan programs with differing guidelines and rates.

What are the Current Mortgage Rates, and How Will they Change?

It is always best to contact the mortgage company directly to learn more about today’s current mortgage rates. Just remember, the quoted rate you receive may be subject to change upon a full review of your income, assets, and debt, along with the mortgage program you select. Thus, it’s not always the best option to work with a mortgage company based solely on the lowest quoted rate, as the quoted rate may change.

Will the Mortgage Company Lower my Rate if Rates Drop?

Some mortgage companies will not lower the client’s rate if rates have gone down. GuardHill’s goal as a mortgage advisor is to do what is best for our client’s financial needs. If rates drop and your credit profile and market conditions permit, we will lower your rate throughout the mortgage process.

How is the Mortgage Company’s Customer Service and Industry Experience?

We cannot emphasize enough that a mortgage is more than just an interest rate. Buying a home is often one’s most significant lifetime investment, so you want to work with a mortgage company that will make you their number one priority. Since the mortgage process may range anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, make sure you choose a company you can rely on and trust.

You may also check out the company’s online reviews to learn more about clients’ past experiences. Click here to read GuardHill’s reviews!

Does the Loan Originator Work Closely with the Company’s Key Decision-Makers?

Your mortgage advisor should have the authority to make swift and timely decisions. As rates and market conditions change every day, your mortgage advisor must always be ready to act.

GuardHill’s sales force works alongside the in-house operational teams and key decision-makers. Working together as a cohesive team allows our loan originators to offer clients the highest level of customer service.

How Quickly Can They Close my Loan?

This is an excellent question to ask mortgage companies when having initial conversations to understand the overall process and timeline better before you begin. It is always important to do your best and prepare for the process to help avoid any potential delays, like going back and forth on required paperwork or recent large deposits.

Does the Mortgage Company Offer an Online Application?

Ask the mortgage company if they offer an online or digital application and if you can securely upload your paperwork online. Additionally, you can ask if you can close your loan virtually or in a socially distanced manner.

Click here to get started with GuardHill’s online application!

While following these questions when deciding how to choose a mortgage lender, remember to consult your trusted friends, family members, and referral professionals. Speaking with someone who has recently obtained mortgage financing may help provide you with additional information on factors such as the quality of service, available loan programs, associated fees, and much more.