If you're being interviewed for a job, you need to ask the interviewer questions to make sure that the position is right for you. Mortgages are no different. There are certain questions that you need to ask a lender to determine if a home loan is right for your financial situation.
The tortoise trumped the much-speedier hare by clinging to his mantra, "Slow and steady wins the race." When you're applying for a mortgage, these wise words apply for you, as well. No matter what a lender tells you, be sure that you're moving at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Take the time to ask plenty of questions-particularly these four.
1. What's the interest rate and loan term?
This question may sound like a no-brainer, but it's actually overlooked by many mortgage applicants-particularly the mortgage's term. Many people who suffered during the subprime mortgage crisis claimed that they didn't realize their adjustable-rate mortgages would-you guessed it-adjust. If you want a mortgage with a fixed-term, make sure that's what you're getting.
2. What are the origination fees and other closing costs?
It's imperative to understand all the fees and costs associated with your loan, particularly when you're working with mortgage brokers. These individuals make money from origination fees, so you'll want to scrutinize their costs on the Good Faith Estimate that they'll provide. If you don't understand all the fees, show them to an attorney, or ask for an explanation.
3. Are there prepayment penalties?
Lenders make their money by keeping their loans on the books. To prevent a borrower from refinancing, they may tack on a prepaymentfee. If you find a prepayment penalty on your proposed loan, ask to have it removed. You don't want to tie your hands in the event that you need to refinance, or move out of the house sometime in the near future. If your lender refuses to remove the clause, start shopping for a new one.
4. How long will it take to process and close the loan?
This question particularly applies to homeowners in the process of buying a new property. Many contingencies in a home purchase are based on timing, so you'll need to know exactly how long it will take the lender to get a loan approved. If the home mortgage takes a very long time to process, there's always the chance that another buyer could come in and make an offer on the home. Be sure that your lender understands how quickly you'd like to close.
Taking your time, and asking the right questions, might frustrate some lenders-but it's the surefire way to get the mortgage you really need. Apply the tortoise's philosophy as you begin shopping for a mortgage. Remember, this may be the biggest single investment you'll ever make. Over the long run, it will be worth taking some extra time to make sure that all your questions are answered and you get the loan that you need. This information has been provided by, and republished with the consent of Greg Mishio.