The 5 Not-So-Financial Questions to Ask Your Lender
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The Not-So-Financial Questions to Ask Your Lender
Raise your hand if you think the most important question you should ask your lender is “What is the best interest rate you can give?” Not a bad question but maybe not the most important one. Of course, your interest rate is important but when you’re working with someone who is going to help you purchase a home there are many other factors to consider. Your lender plays a major role in how smooth your purchase is so asking some non-finance related questions is important. Here are five non-finance questions you should ask your lender.
Do you work on the weekend/after hours?
When you’re out on a Saturday afternoon with your Realtor and find THE house you want to be able to move fast. Nothing slows you down, or even stops you completely, from submitting an offer than not being able to get an updated copy of your pre-approval letter from your lender. In today’s fast moving market sellers want to see your pre-approval letter with your offer. You don’t want to lose a house because you couldn’t submit. You’ll find that loan officers with bigger banking institutions (BB&T, Wells Fargo, etc.) don’t typically work the weekends. In your interviewing process make sure to check out companies that specialize in lending like Sierra Pacific Mortgages or Southern Trust as well as credit unions.
What is the best way to get in contact with you?
Being able to quickly and effectively communicate with your loan officer is just as important as communicating with your agent. Your loan officer reaches out to you regularly throughout your purchase to collect information and paperwork from you. You need to know how they’ll be contacting you and the best way for you to share info with them so you don’t miss a step and can keep your purchase going smoothly.
How conservative vs generous are you with your pre-approval numbers?
Some loan officers are more conservative with their numbers which can be off-putting at first glance if you already have your eye on a home in a certain price point. Knowing how conservative vs. generous a lender is being with the numbers helps you determine if you can actually get approved and pay for your mortgage. I tell clients who that just because you can afford something on paper doesn’t mean you can do it #IRL.
Do you have a loan assistant I’ll be passed to at some point?
Most loan officers have several people they will be working with to complete your purchase – an underwriter, an appraiser, etc. – but not all of them have lending assistants. I personally don’t mind an assistant but I do want to know that the loan officer I chose is reviewing my file every week. They are the experiences professional and I want them to be as involved.
Do you use an online portal, fax, or email to gain access to my document and to send me documents?
While effective communication is at the top of the list, it’s also important to know that the information you share with a lender is secure. Some of your document requests may be sent through a secure link, others might be able to be emailed. It’s important to understand how your loan officer operates and how they keep your information protected.