Three factors to consider when choosing a mortgage lender

A home is the most significant purchase many people will ever make. Perhaps because of that, many buyers, particularly those purchasing a home for the first time, are understandably nervous about the home-buying process. The decision regarding which home to buy warrants ample consideration, but so, too, does the buyers’ choice of lender. Mortgage lenders can be found all over the internet, and the sheer volume of lender options can make it hard for home buyers to find the right fit for them. Couple that with lending-related terminology that many first-time buyers may be unfamiliar with, and it’s easy to see why prospective homeowners can feel overwhelmed about the process of borrowing money to buy their homes.

When looking for a mortgage lender, prospective homeowners should never forget that the choice of lender is, in most cases, entirely theirs to make. When making that decision, a host of variables should be considered.

The following are three such factors that, upon ample consideration, may help buyers rest easy knowing they did their due diligence when looking for lenders.

1. Reputation/recommendation. Just like other businesses, lenders have reputations, and oftentimes those reputations can be determined via some simple online research. Peruse online reviews to determine what past buyers felt about a given lender. If possible, ask friends, family or colleagues who they worked with to secure a mortgage.

2. Fees. Fees vary from lender to lender. Fees should not be mistaken for interest rates, which change daily and are typically dictated by the financial industry and prospective buyers’ credit history and financial standing. When speaking with potential lenders, ask for a rundown of their fees, and the services those fees include, and closing cost estimates in writing, then compare and contrast fees and costs of various lenders before making a final decision. Some lenders may charge considerably more in fees than others, so buyers should put in the effort necessary to comparison shop.

3. Personal interaction. Buyers, especially those who have never before purchased a home, will likely have lots of questions. This is where personal interaction with a prospective lender should be noted. Securing financing for a home purchase can sometimes seem like an impersonal process, but it doesn’t have to be, and many lenders are happy to answer buyers’ questions. Lenders who answer questions quickly and clearly can make buyers more comfortable about the home buying process. Buyers may want to avoid lenders who seem evasive or unwilling to answer questions in writing.