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Tips for Using Online Mortgage Brokers

by Craig Romero, Mortgage Analyst,

If you’re thinking about taking out a mortgage or refinancing your existing one, you’ve probably considered using an online mortgage broker. While the task itself sounds rather simple, it helps to have tips and guidelines to use to avoid some of the common pitfalls that consumers tend to run into.

The first thing you will want to do when dealing with an online mortgage broker is to make sure that the broker represents a number of lending institutions and offers a wide range of loan products. It is very important to make sure the broker isn’t just a lender agent in disguise. If the broker only represents one bank or lender, it is very unlikely that they are going to be able to offer you the mortgage or refinance option that best suits your needs.

Check the qualifications of your broker. Do they belong to any associations? Do they have references? How long have they been in the business? Experience is the key when it comes to mortgage lending and finding the right program to fit your needs. You want to make sure that your mortgage or refinance is in the hands of someone competent, someone who knows what they are doing.

Check to see if your broker is going to charge you a fee. Some brokers charge a fee just for using their services, while others do not. Unless you have reason to feel that the broker is worth the extra cost, avoid brokers that charge an up front fee.

When your broker makes a recommendation, ask them for a comparison to make sure you are getting the loan that best serves your needs. The comparison should include upfront fees as well as ongoing fees and should be based on the actual amount you are borrowing.

Check to make sure that the broker is going to be around to offer you service after the loan closes. Exactly what services does the broker offer? If you have a dispute with the lender, will the broker be able to help you remedy the situation, or will you be left on your own?

When you meet with your broker, make sure you adhere to these tips and suggestions. It will show your broker that you’re an educated consumer that means business; and knowing what questions to ask will help you feel confident and better prepared. It’s the best way to ensure a smooth and pleasant lending experience.

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