Whether you are looking to refinance or to purchase a home there are way too many advertisements giving you a “streamlined” option to get a quick mortgage pre-approval.
I am extremely perplexed about the calls and conversations I’ve been having these past few weeks. Most of the calls state that they have already spoken with another lender and/or have already been pre-qualified with a lender but that they have more questions. It is always good to get a second opinion. Most of the questions I am getting asked should have been addressed as well as answered prior to pulling any credit! Seriously.
Here are a list of some questions you should be asking lenders:
- What loan options are you able to offer?
- Are you experience with____ (types of loans)?
- Do you offer down payment assistance programs?
- What is the difference between FHA vs. Conventional?
- What are minimum down payment requirements for each?
There are more questions you may want to ask, the main thing is that you need to at least establish what you are looking for in a lender, what you are needing in a mortgage (terms/types), and do they have the options to help you. You may not know what type of loan you are needing or what terms may be best for you, so this comes from a conversation, not an online form.
I think what is happening more often is that there is a “streamlined ” approach to getting a mortgage. Quite honestly there is no streamlined way to qualifying for a mortgage. This is one of the largest financial purchases you will make in your lifetime, why would you want it to be streamlined?
You can’t get real answers with just a touch of a button nor should you when it comes to a mortgage. I can’t understand how completing a form online and not talking to someone afterward seems natural. What happened to good old customer service where you talk to a live person, preferably local and not a call center? I know if I want answers I prefer to talk directly to the source, I don’t want to be handed down to the next open operator and then have to tell my story to 2-3 different people until my questions are answered or my problem is solved. Why would you want this from a mortgage lender?
This is a big financial decision, this is a home mortgage, it’s kind of a big deal, don’t you think? If you are just looking for a ” you’re approved” without giving too much information as well as not really knowing what it is going to cost you, then I guess the streamlined approach is perfect for you. If you are looking for direction, guidance, and honesty then you need to pick up the phone and talk to a mortgage lender.
A conversation with a lender is absolutely necessary before you have your credit pulled. Remember, most online forms that ask for your social security number WILL run your credit prior to talking to you! Be very mindful of who you have running your credit.
If you have questions or would like to discuss please contact us