Home mortgage lenders are, for the most part, the ordinary American’s stepping stone towards realizing the American dream. To many, buying and owning a home is the American dream. Because of the prohibitive costs of houses, however, very few have the resources to pay for the house of their dreams right there and then.
Still, buying a house remains a much wiser option than renting an apartment. When you rent, you are paying off someone else’s mortgage and are helping them acquire equity. When you buy a house, however, you not only acquire equity on your own, you will eventually own the home.
While on the lookout for home mortgage lenders, do not get blinded and sidetracked by fabulous offers of immediate assistance. You must remember that the home mortgage industry is an industry that rakes in billions of dollars per annum. It is, literally, a mother lode that attracts all sorts of miners and gold diggers.
To protect yourself and your hard-earned money, be cautious of the following:
1. Unheard of home mortgage lenders
Before dealing with specific home mortgage lenders, be sure you know everything there is to know about them. Ask for identification cards. Ask for licenses. Better yet, direct inquiries to the Better Business Bureau or the office of the State Attorney General. Another option is your town or city’s local association of home mortgage lenders. Should such a group exist in your neighborhood, it will be easy for you to ask them for a list of their members in good standing.
2. Astonishingly high or low rates and fees
Always shop for home mortgage lenders before focusing on one. This way, you can compare different loan providers and then pick the one offering the best deal. In your dealings with home mortgage lenders, however, be sure to watch for abnormally high mortgage rates and charges. Have them explain the credits calculation. Your many talks with different lenders will help you anticipate the average rates that different home mortgage lenders are willing to give you. Also, be sure to inquire about hidden charges. Unscrupulous lenders gloss over this in their presentation and hide this in small print in your contract.
3. Abetting of unscrupulous practice
If your lender asks you to provide false data on your application form, be very wary. If there’s one thing legitimate home mortgage lenders advise you to do, it is to be painfully honest in filling out your application form. A predatory lender, on the other hand, will request that you state down a higher income than is factual, or overstate the span of your employment. He will try to convince you that everyone does this. Do not believe him. People may be sent to prison for falsification of documents.
4. Insistent requests for signatures on blank documents
Signing blank documents is a sure recipe for disaster. You don’t have to be a lawyer to figure this out. Should your lender shove a blank document in your face and ask you to sign, firmly and politely refuse to do so. This is not industry practice. It never will be. After all, with a blank document, you will never know what you are signing away.
Vigilance is the key to protecting yourself and your future home from embezzlers. Never do anything rash where taking out a mortgage is concerned. Remember what an old proverb says about doing things without taking the time to examine them first. What you do in haste, you will eventually repent in leisure.