As independent contractors, mortgage brokers match up borrowers with mortgage lenders by analyzing the loans that are currently available to find one that is well-suited to their particular situation. To accomplish this, the one you choose will meet with you to discuss the financial details, your lifestyle and your attitude toward assuming risk. Then they will use their knowledge of the housing market, along with today's dedicated software, to find a home loan that is right for you.
What you should know
A reliable broker will be capable of providing you with relevant options regarding the various loans available at that time and comparing them for you as well. This is essential, because you will need to become familiar with the fees, repayment schedules, interest rates and features of a wide range of loan products simultaneously.
Having your loan approved involves mastering a vast array of information, along with advanced technical skills, to coordinate title searches, appraisals, loan programs and insurance data. Note also that there are many professionals to deal with on every level. Because of this, having your loan approved may actually be based on the contacts your mortgage broker has established over time. With a few years' experience, this professional can take the right steps to expedite your loan request and cut through the proverbial red tape.
What you can do
Note that reputable professionals in the industry belong to organizations such as the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and the local Chamber of Commerce, and this is something you can easily check.. You can also go online to verify their license status in your state and visit some consumer comment websites to determine how well they handle complaints, which are inevitable in the best of circumstances.
At the same time, make a special effort to obtain referrals from people whose opinion you respect, including a real estate agent or tax adviser with a reputation to uphold who conducts a significant amount of business in the area that interests you. When a recommendation is forthcoming, be sure to have the person providing it explain exactly why they feel the way they do. Under pressure, they may decide that they need to pick a name at random rather than ignore your request, and nothing good can come from that.
You can also visit the NAMB's website, where you can search for local members who have complied with the organization's strict code of ethics. Look for a professional who displays the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval, which is a special designation that is not granted to everyone in this group of 8,000 members.
In addition, while you are in the process of obtaining your loan, be sure to keep a written record of all names, times, dates and offers related to it. Place all of this information in a single folder to be used if a dispute arises and your need some kind of proof to support your claim. That should settle the issue in your favor.