Thinking of buying a home? With so many decisions to be made during the home-buying process, the most advantageous place to go for your mortgage is with a seasoned mortgage professional who typically works independently as a mortgage broker or mortgage banker.
A loan officer at a bank or a credit union is typically just the smiling face of the institution—the loan officer’s job is to accept an application that the borrower has filled out, and then hand it off to the underwriting department.
An independent loan originator or mortgage broker, on the other hand, typically renders more services to the borrower, including things like advising the client about the best loans available for their purposes, gathering documentation throughout the process, structuring the transaction based on the uniqueness of the situation and documentation, and communicating directly with the underwriter to ensure that the loan gets approved.
A large bank or credit union relies on the underwriting department to handle all of the above tasks—and these departments aren’t working as representatives for the borrower. Often times, after applying with a bank, the loan is rejected based on confusing or inaccurate information submitted on the application since very little assistance or consulting was available to the applicant. For example, say a borrower had been paid both as a 1099 employee and a W-2 employee in the same line of work. If the borrower had been paid most recently as a 1099 employee and did not have a 2 year history, this would be an automatic denial with most banks. However, a seasoned mortgage broker will know how to ask more about the borrower’s job history and present an explanation to the underwriter to satisfy lending requirements. A good mortgage broker knows underwriting guidelines inside and out and often spends hours researching a borrower’s situation before even completing a loan application.
Mortgage rates available from a mortgage banker or mortgage broker won’t be higher than those offered through a big bank. In fact, in many cases, the rates are somewhat lower, partly because independent mortgage brokers typically have more loan sources available to them compared to the big banks, which usually just have a handful of loan products to offer prospective homeowners.
Since all lenders and brokers have essentially the same rates, a consumer should select a mortgage professional based on their perception of the loan officer’s experience and diligence. Does the person answer questions in clear, understandable language? Do they talk about the available choices? Do they respond to email and answer or return phone calls promptly? There is a certain amount of “gut feeling” involved too: Does the loan officer seem interested, engaged and friendly?
There’s also the issue of the competence of the lender. Some lenders advertise heavily, with jaw-dropping low rates, but they have no one on staff who can deal with unique application challenges or expedite the file to meet timing deadlines. In today’s world, there are no more “cookie cutter” loans—every transaction has challenges. If the lender’s “loan consultants” are call center employees, the chances of getting a loan approved and funded are much slimmer than with a mortgage company whose representative is licensed, experienced as a mortgage consultant, and an industry expert.
In summary, you have many more important and fun things to do while buying a house – like choosing paint colors for your new living room. Why stress out over your mortgage transaction when you can leave this task to your mortgage professional? Ask your real estate agent, attorney, friends and colleagues for mortgage broker referrals and trust the process! Not only will you be guided throughout and obtain the best possible rate, your skilled mortgage broker will also communicate with all parties throughout your transaction to culminate in a smooth, timely closing!
This article is submitted by Diane Pyshos, Senior Mortgage Consultant with
A & N Mortgage Services. Diane is a licensed loan originator in
Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
She is both a mortgage banker and mortgage broker representing nearly 30 different lenders. Contact Information:
A & N Mortgage Services, Inc.
1945 N. Elston Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
NMLS #137800 Company ID #19291
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