While buying your first home or your next home can be an exciting prospect, securing financing can often be stressful. There are many documents to fill out, forms to sign, many of which can be confusing. You will need past tax filings, bank account and asset lists and more. At a time when it is most important to pay your bills on time, the worries of making the right financing decisions can cause even the most diligent to forget. How do you know who will best help you through this process with honesty and integrity? If you are purchasing or refinancing a property, there are several things to look for in a mortgage broker.
1. Local bank, national lender, or mortgage broker? The first thing to consider is the mortgage offers that banks make available directly. Often people are turned away by their banks because of insufficient cash or credit scores. Lenders are often less stringent, but have a limited offering of loan products. If you do not feel that you can find the best deal on your own, you may want to hire a mortgage broker who will do the leg work and find a lender with the best terms to accommodate your specific set of circumstances and needs.
2. Search by reputation. Friends, co-workers and relatives who have recently gone through a home purchase are a positive source of information for choosing a mortgage broker. If they have had a positive experience working with a particular broker, you may be able to relax a little and work more comfortably with that broker. Check to see if the broker is a member of the Better Business Bureau, and whether there exist testimonials from prior customers.
3. Keep options open. People rarely purchase the first home they see, and there is likewise no reason to accept the first mortgage you are offered. A good broker will not pressure you into a particular loan program. While they may recommend a particular mortgage product, your mortgage broker should present you with a variety of products from which you can choose. Make sure you understand the benefits of each before making your own informed decision. If you don’t feel your broker is answering your questions so that you fully understand within your first or second meeting, find another broker to work with who will.
4. Drivers license, marriage license, broker license. Make sure the broker you are considering is licensed in the state where you are purchasing or refinancing. For example, a mortgage broker in New Hampshire may not necessarily be licensed to broker loans in other states. Also, New Hampshire mortgage brokers, like those in any state, have to go through an application process themselves. Mortgage broker applications in New Hampshire are supervised by the Banking Department Of The State Of New Hampshire. In addition, mortgage brokers doing business in New Hampshire have an affiliate association with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. Keep in mind your broker should know your state specific laws and be licensed in the state where you want to buy or refinance a home.
5. Specialties. Mortgage brokers often have specialties. Some niches in the mortgage industry are: bad credit financing, reverse loans, new home purchases, home equity loans, refinance mortgage loans, VA loans, home improvement loans and more. If you have a specific need such as bad credit financing, find a broker who has made this their passion.