This is the 2nd part in a series of articles on this topic. The series and other mortgage related articles can be accessed on Dave’s blog located on his website: www.lenderinsider.com
What type of home mortgage are you looking for? The answer to this question should determine which mortgage loan officer you shop for and ultimately select. Finding a good mortgage loan officer that is skilled in the mortgage program you are seeking, should be your top priority.
Most consumers shop for “low mortgage rates” and a lender. But they usually don’t consider which loan officer they will end up working with when selecting a lender. Especially when shopping online.
For example, you do a search for “mortgage rates”. And hundreds of lenders pop up vying for your business. Sifting through this list can be overwhelming in determining who you decide to contact. And once you select a few lenders, you really have no idea who the loan officer will be on the other end that contacts you back.
And if you drill your search down further and search for “FHA mortgage rates”, many FHA lenders pop up. But you still don’t know who the loan officer will be with these lenders. The same is true with any mortgage program search you conduct. It could be for a conventional mortgage, jumbo mortgage, VA mortgage, 30 yr. fixed mortgage, first time home buyer mortgages, refinance mortgage, HARP mortgage, reverse mortgage etc..
The average consumer focuses on shopping for a mortgage lender. But most times does not consider if the lender is proficient at originating, processing and ultimately closing the type of mortgage they are seeking.
My point is this, if you are looking for a jumbo mortgage (Minimum $417k in most states) and just focus on finding a jumbo lender, who’s the loan officer you will be working with? There are many different type lenders who do jumbo mortgages. Banks, Mortgage Brokers, Credit Unions etc. Find a loan officer who understands the jumbo guideline requirements.
A lender who offers low jumbo mortgage rates may not be good at actually processing this type of mortgage. Yes that’s right, lenders all the time offer mortgage programs that their loan officers may not be good at handling.
It takes a certain skill set by a loan officer to originate and process certain type mortgage programs. The last thing you want to do is shop for a lender based on mortgage rates. The interest rate is useless if you can’t get the loan processed and closed in a timely manner.
So if you know what type of mortgage you are seeking, find a loan officer that has experience in that type of mortgage. Mind you, it is not strictly the loan officer that you should base your decision on, but a combination of the lender and the loan officer together.
For example, if you are looking for an FHA mortgage, you do need a lender that is good at FHA mortgages first and foremost. But don’t stop there. Once you find a good FHA lender you then need to interview the loan officer on what experience they have with FHA mortgages.
Trust me, there is a lot of skill and experience required in today’s mortgage lending environment to be good at originating and processing any mortgage program.
A loan officer’s experience with certain type mortgage programs is very important. For example, if you are self-employed and a business owner, you will have tax returns that need to be evaluated. If the loan officer is not skilled at evaluating tax returns you could be in for a long frustrating process.
In summary, shop for a good loan officer that understands and has experience with the type of mortgage program you are seeking. Don’t be afraid to interview them and learn about their background. Finding a good mortgage loan officer will help make your mortgage experience a good one.
David Mully has been in the mortgage industry for 26 yrs. He writes for a national mortgage website: www.mortgageloan.com/contributors . He is the President and CEO of Lender Insider. He has formerly worked as a mortgage loan officer for several years as well as in the B2B sector of the mortgage industry. He formerly wrote a column in several newspapers and online for 6 yrs. titled “Mortgage Search”. His Blog can be accessed on his website: lenderInsider.com