What to look for when searching for the best mortgage lenders near me
1. Selection of loan programs
Look for mortgage lenders that have a wide selection of loan programs. Some larger banks can only originate their company’s products, but Independent Mortgage Bankers like Mortgage Equity Partners can choose from a wide selection of loan programs from an extensive product portfolio.
Mortgage Equity Partners Loan Programs include:
- 30 year-Fixed Rate Loans are the most popular loan programs with a fixed interest rate and fixed term.
- Adjustable-Rate Loans are loans with a rate fixed for an initial period. An ARM interest rate changes after the initial period and adjusts based on an index.
- Government Loans, including FHA, VA, and USDA, are insured by the Federal Government and generally provide less stringent qualifying guidelines for certain borrowers.
- Non-QM loans – To understand a Non-QM loan, you must understand what a “QM” or qualified mortgage means. A qualified mortgage meets the CFPB’s ability to repay rule, which requires that lenders vet your finances thoroughly and set terms on the loan so that you are more likely to be able to repay the loan. In addition, a qualified mortgage is considered less risky. Some of the best Non-QM loan options include: Bank Statement loans for self-employed borrowers, Foreign National Loans, Real Estate Investor Loans, and Stated Income loans for investors.
- 2/1 Buydown is a loan program that allows the borrower to pay a lower monthly payment for the first two years of the mortgage. It is a great way to get affordable monthly payments for an initial time period without getting an ARM.
- HELOCs and HELOANs at Mortgage Equity Partners are originated using fast-track underwriting approval to give homeowners access to their equity quickly without needing to refinance.
- Bridge Loans/Mortgage Equity Partners’ Instant Equity program will make your offer more competitive by removing the home sales contingency. In a competitive housing market, homebuyers need to have a strategy that works. The Instant Equity Program allows you to access your equity fast for a down payment on your next home using the equity from your current home.
- Down Payment Assistance and State Housing Loans are frequently used by first-time homebuyers to get assistance with down payment and closing costs. Not all lenders are authorized to originate state housing loans.
2. The quality of the loan officers
When searching for the best mortgage lenders near me – look at their team. The top mortgage lenders have the best loan officers. First, you should look for social proof that your loan officer is good at what they do. Many companies use online review platforms such as experience.com. This site provides reviews from actual customers, which are verified to be authentic. Google also provides reviews via the google my business platform. Both sites are easily found on the internet. The best mortgage companies are not afraid to publish their reviews for all to see. Mortgage Equity Partners currently has a rating of 4.98 stars on the experience.com platform, and that is based on thousands of reviews year over year.
3. NMLS Licensure
Make sure that your loan officer and the mortgage company have current NMLS licensure. NMLS licensure is provided by the state in which they are licensed. If there is any negative activity reported against the loan officer or company, it will be found on the NMLS consumer site. Professionally licensed loan officers are required to undergo extensive training to get certified initially and maintain certification yearly throughout their careers.
What experience do the best mortgage lenders provide?
Service, service, service!
You should always look for a company that focuses on service. Often large banks are driven by volume and numbers. In that type of sales environment, they may not provide the service level you will find at an independent Mortgage Banker like Mortgage Equity Partners. We have received many accolades as the best mortgage lender and the best military lender from National Mortgage Professional Magazine and other local publications. These awards are based on exceptional service and are drawn from customer feedback.
Many of our service-related programs were created with customer satisfaction in mind. For example, we provide fast-track underwriting for borrowers who have submitted a complete loan file. This expedites their loan approval by basically skipping the processing department and heading straight to underwriting. We also provide a fully underwritten pre-approval for borrowers looking for a new home but may not have found the property yet. This conditional loan commitment can be used for multiple properties within the same price range. This product gives our borrowers an advantage in a highly competitive market.
What kind of lenders can I go to for a loan?
- Big Banks are for-profit entities that provide multiple products and services. Mortgage professionals at these companies can only originate their own mortgage products, thereby lacking the flexibility of an Independent Mortgage Banker who can provide a wider range of products.
- Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations focusing on serving members instead of earning a profit. You must meet membership requirements to get a mortgage with a credit union.
- Independent Mortgage Bankers like Mortgage Equity Partners, are lenders that only originate and underwrite mortgages. IMBs are focused exclusively on residential loan transactions, and as a result, the process is streamlined and more efficient. Companies of this kind can be direct lenders or portfolio lenders. Unlike your bank or credit union, IMBs do not offer auto loans, credit cards, or manage bank deposits.
- Mortgage Brokers are the intermediary between you and a mortgage lender. Mortgage brokers do not loan money themselves.
What tools does the lender have?
In today’s digital marketplace, speed and efficiency are valued. You want to work with a company providing loan officers with the tools they need to compete. In a sellers’ market, when speed and accuracy matter to get the home you want, the right tools can make or break a deal.
At Mortgage Equity Partners, we have invested in top industry technology to make it easy for borrowers to apply for a loan and follow the loan from start to finish via digital and mobile technology. However, what makes us one of the best mortgage lenders in the industry is that our loan officers know how to combine that tech with the human touch required for such a significant and important transaction.
Having the right mortgage loan officer from the best mortgage lender near you will put you in the strongest position to purchase your first or next home successfully.