When looking for a loan, there are some things you should consider before settling on a lender. Are they are mortgage lender or mortgage broker? Do they offer a product that will best fit your needs and save you the most money? Can you actually get in a car and drive to them if problems arise or would you have to hop on a plane to New York to track them down? Will they service the loan locally or sell it off to one of the larger banks like Chase, Wells Fargo or Bank of America? A good lender will walk you through the process and ask questions to determine the best product for you. They will also point you to any tax credit or down payment assistance you may qualify for.
Mortgage Lenders vs. Mortgage Brokers – A mortgage lender is someone who works in the mortgage center at your local bank, credit union or other institution. While they may have a wide variety of products to choose from (i.e. FHA, VA, Conventional, 30 year, 10 year, etc) all of the loans are funded from the same source. A mortgage broker is someone who serves as a middleman between consumers and lenders, basically scouting out the best rate. However, the lender they match you with may not be local and there may be more fees associated with this type of transaction.
I am a big proponent of using a local lender. In a time of non-stop changes of industry standards and banks tightening their belts it is comforting to have the ability to put a face with the voice behind your loan. Local banks use local underwriters and so it is possible to see each of these people face to face if necessary. Years ago, before I got in to the business of real estate I decided to go online and find “the best deal” on a rate. I ended up with Countrywide in Florida. I cannot tell you what a nightmare the entire transaction was. The rate even changed at the last minute and we had a big surprise at closing. I learned a huge lesson from that experience. I have found that local lenders are more accountable, sometimes show up at closing and some even provide servicing for the life of the loan, such as BOK, so you don’t have to worry about it getting sold to an out of state company whose business ethic doesn’t match up with yours. I like this option because money that stays in our community impacts our local economy in a positive way!
Here is a list of lenders that I would trust to process my own loan:
If you need help determining which lender might best fit you, please give me a call at 405.365.5320. They are all wonderful but some may have features that specifically pertain to you such as upfront savings for particular employers, participation in bond money programs, loans for energy efficient improvements or on sight processing of Native American loans.