Using a mortgage broker to shop for home loans can make the borrowing process a lot less stressful than doing it yourself. Here are the nuts and bolts on getting a good broker.
Competent Mortgage Brokers
There are a couple of obvious situations where going with a mortgage broker makes perfect sense. If you have less than perfect credit, a mortgage broker is going to be able to open your eyes to numerous loan options a traditional bank would never tell you about. If the idea of handling the mass of paperwork involved in the loan application scares you, a mortgage broker is definitely going to be a savior since they will take on that burden. Still, how do you know if you are talking to a competent broker?
The first issue to address when considering whether to use a mortgage broker is scope. Scope refers to the number of different lenders the mortgage broker works with in home financing. Generally speaking, the more lenders the broker works with, the better mortgage options you will get and, ultimately, the better financing. A good mortgage broker should have at least eight different lenders they work with and be able to go find others should your particular situation call for a special financing package. If the broker identifies only two or three lenders, you need to move on to the next broker.
The second biggest issue is the mortgage broker’s knowledge of the lending industry. By knowledge of the industry, the broker should be able to identify multiple lending programs and the various lenders and options for each. For instance, you might ask the broker who he works with and the loan options available for a person with a 580 [poor] credit score. Further, ask the broker if he has arranged funding for such loans before and the specifics of the loans used. If the broker shows a depth of knowledge and starts rattling on about options, you’ve found the correct broker. If they don’t, you haven’t.
Mortgage brokers are paid upon performance. If they don’t get you a loan, they don’t get paid. The positive aspect of this is you can be the mortgage broker is going to bust their tail coming up with a solution for your problem. The negative aspect is you need to make a determination as to whether the options give to you are good loans for your situation. The commission of a mortgage broker is typically paid out of the loan proceeds, but costs such as appraisals are your responsibility. The broker should have no problem telling you their commission rate on the loan.
If you don’t trust banks to give you the best deal or have been turned down by a lender, mortgage brokers are a great way to find good deals. Understand the nuts and bolts of what they do and you are on your way to getting a loan.