How to Find the Right Loan Officer

When you are about to make the largest purchase of your life, you need someone who will not only find you a low rate, but who gets the significance and wants to help you succeed in the most affordable way possible. After all, the terms of your mortgage will impact your household finances for years to come.Recognizing the right individual takes meeting several, which you may want to do before you even start looking at homes. The right Loan Officer will prequalify you and help you determine which mortgage programs are right for you, since this could affect the homes you will want to look at.Here are some tips for spotting Loan Officers who will put your best interest ahead of theirs.

  1. Trust but verify. Whether you receive a referral from a friend, relative, or your Real Estate Agent, do your own background check. Verify your Loan Officer’s license and registration here. Then, check their online reviews.
  2. Don’t stop with just one. Different lenders offer different programs. Due to corporate initiatives, some mortgage companies may seek new business more aggressively than others by offering more attractive pricing. Little savings can add up over the lifespan of a mortgage, which is why comparison shopping is advisable.
  3. Never rely on an interest rate quote alone. To make an informed decision about which Loan Officer you want to work with and which product to use, you need to understand all the costs associated with your potential financing. Online calculators can help you determine how the closing costs and any fees might impact your monthly payments and enable you to see your total cost over time.
  4. Understand what will be expected of you. In addition to receiving a full breakdown of anticipated fees, determine what kind of down payment you will need and when money will be required from you.
  5. Explore communications options. Before you commit, ask the Loan Officer how they communicate and what hours they work. You need to be able to contact your lender at a time and using a method that is most convenient for you. For instance, if you work full time, you may want a lender who is available before or after regular business hours, as well as online.
  6. Understand the process. Find out what documents will be needed, when, and how long a decision takes so you can manage your time and expectations accordingly.

Don’t underestimate your own power when it comes to mortgages. Whether a Loan Officer approves your application or not has much to do with you, the steps you take before you apply, and with whom you choose to do business. Choose a Loan Officer based on how collaborative the relationship will be. Their focus should be on you and helping you make the best decisions for your financial situation and your long-term home-owning goals. Remember, you are in control.