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How to Compare the Best Mortgage Lenders

To make the right decision, you need to know what to consider.

The Best Mortgage Lenders

With almost 5,500 financial institutions originating mortgages as of 2019, how can you ensure you receive the best possible experience? While your realtor or builder may have a preference for a specific lender, we recommend that you do your own shopping as the best mortgage lender for them may not be what is best for you.

Before starting your comparison, you will want to determine which home loan options you are considering. Not all lenders offer the same products, so you must have this information to make an informed decision. Keep that in mind as you go through this guide.

Factor in Your Unique Situation

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We compared lenders on several essential qualities and created the following guide to help you make the best decision. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or have been through the process before, we think you will find this guide helpful in your search for the best mortgage lender for you!

Here are the Mortgage Lenders We Compared:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Better Mortgage
  • Quicken Loans
  • Fairway
  • Chase
  • New American Funding
  • Bank of America

Qualities to Look for in Your Lender

Trust is a vital component of any lender relationship. You will want to look for a lender you can trust to close the deal on time and get you the best deal possible. Most reputable lenders will offer free pre-approval, so make sure that is the case for the lender you choose.

A good offering of products and rates plays a vital role in your lender’s quality, but it is also essential that your lender is straightforward with the information. A lender that is willing and eager to answer any questions that you have is extremely valuable.

Trustworthiness and accessibility are two of the top qualities to look for in your lender. Here are some more qualities to consider when comparing:

  • Reputation
  • Price
  • Closing Guarantee
  • Technology
  • First Time Homebuyer and Other Unique Programs
  • Special Offers
  • Lock Options
  • Experience

Look at the Lender’s Reputation

It is a good idea to ask friends and family about their experience with their lenders, but you should also research the lender’s reputation online. More than a few bad reviews could be an indicator to avoid that lender, especially if there are any complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau.

On the other hand, if the lender has a good reputation, such as On Q Financial’s 4.98 Google rating, you can feel confident that your lender will treat you right. Certain platforms also allow you to reach out to specific reviewers to understand that scenario better.

While reading reviews online can be a valuable tool for comparing lenders, keep in mind that they are only part of the picture, and you should not decide solely on ratings.

Current Mortgage Rates

If you have tried to research current mortgage rates for specific lenders, you may have found that they are not prominently advertised.

Part of the reason is that a variety of different factors determine mortgage rates:

  • The current state of the economy
  • Stock market activity
  • Lender costs
  • Borrower profile
  • Type of mortgage product used

If you manage to find advertised mortgage rates for the lenders, you are considering, read all of the fine print. Often, advertised mortgage rates appear lower because they include discount points. The good news is that there are government regulations preventing mortgage rates from exceeding a certain amount.

Mortgage rates vary, so the best way to get the current rates for your situation is by contacting the lender directly. Remember that the lender does not guarantee any rate information until you lock your rate later in the mortgage process.

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Closing Guarantee

You want to be sure that you are getting a good deal. If that is important to you, you should look for a lender that offers this as a guarantee. At On Q Financial, we offer a closing guarantee, so you can feel confident that you have received the best deal for you.

Mortgage Application Technology

All online mortgage experiences are very popular right now.  If you are interested in a completely remote closing, you will want to ensure that your mortgage lender is easy to work with and makes the process simple.

Find out if your lender has a mobile app that is easy to use and whether or not they require physical documents. You will also want to know if you can track your loan status from the mobile app.

With On Q Financial’s Simplicity app, you can apply for your loan through your phone.

  • Within seconds, you can upload critical loan documents.
  • Milestone updates are sent directly to your phone.

Product and Lock Options

As mentioned earlier, product and lock options are vital when choosing your lender. Not every borrower is the same, and a lender who can provide a variety of loan types and rate options is more likely to fit your needs.

You may be a buyer with a low credit score or no down payment. You should make sure to know what your product options are with the lender you choose. If you have found a lender or mortgage consultant who is willing to guide you through the process, they will be able to give you options that will be right for you.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or buying a million-dollar home, your lender should be able to offer the products that are best for you rather than fit you into any product. Because we specialize in loans, On Q Financial offers products and rate lock options for almost every homebuyer.

Factor in Your Unique Situation

Check Out My Options

Questions to Ask a Lender

It is crucial that you ask questions of any lender before making your decision. Asking your mortgage consultant questions is an excellent way to understand the lender better.

  • What will my interest rate be?

    • Is that including discount points?
  • What kind of loan would you recommend?

    • What is the difference in cost between a 15 and 30-year loan term?
  • What are my options for paying closing costs?

    • Who pays for the appraisal?
  • What is your availability?

    • Can I contact someone at any time?
  • What kind of lock options do you offer?
  • When is the estimated closing date?
  • Can you guarantee the closing date?
  • Are you running any special promotions?

How Mortgage Shopping Will Affect Your Credit

While it is wise to shop around for a mortgage lender, keep in mind that starting an application will usually come with a hard credit inquiry as part of the credit approval process. These inquiries affect your credit score, and having multiple in a short period could negatively affect your credit. So if you are comparing lenders, make sure you only apply once you are close to your final decision!

Making the Right Decision for You

Choosing the right mortgage lender for you can make a difference of thousands of dollars and make a difference in your home buying experience.

Watch out for the tactics we discussed, such as low rates advertised with points to ensure you are getting the full picture. Your decision will be a lot simpler by having the right questions to ask and knowing exactly what you need from your lender.

On Q Financial is proud to have been the right fit for many borrowers!

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*Information and program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. This is not an offer for extension of credit or a commitment to lend. Loan approval is subject to applicant’s qualification for a loan program. On Q Financial does not guarantee that each applicant will receive a loan. Not all loan programs apply. This program has additional restrictions and requirements. Please contact your On Q Financial, Inc. Mortgage Consultant for program terms & conditions details.

Continue on Your Home Buying Journey

Comparing Lenders is crucial to ensuring you receive the best deal on your new Dream Home. Whether you already have a lender or are still deciding, your next step in the Home Buying Journey is understanding The Mortgage Process. In the following chapter, we will break down every aspect of the Mortgage Process to ensure your questions are answered.

Next Step: The Mortgage Process