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Interviewing Mortgage Lenders


A lender is a financial institution that makes loans directly to you. A broker does not lend money. A broker finds a lender. A broker may work with many lenders.  Ask the salesman if they are a lender or broker.

Whether you use a broker or a lender, you should always shop around for the best loan terms and the lowest interest rates and fees.

About the Lender

  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • Whom do you represent (e.g., a bank, broker, finance company)?
  • What are your loan programs? Do you offer any specific programs for public servants (i.e. police officers)? 
  • What is the par rate (the actual rate for a particular loan) for a 30-year fixed loan? (He should have the answer at the tip of his tongue.)
  • Can you estimate and explain your fees?
  • Are you going to hold this loan or sell it?

Additional Questions for Lenders/Brokers:

  • Is there someone I can talk to whenever I need to?
  • How are you keeping my personal information secure?
  • Do you sell my information?

Additional Questions for Mortgage Brokers:

  • How do you get paid?
  • How much will you make on this loan?
  • Who are some of your top lenders (lenders who purchase the loan applications from the broker)?

About the Loan

  • What is the interest rate you are offering, and how did you arrive at it?
  • How do I know this is the best rate?
  • How will the rate change over the life of the loan?
  • If an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), what is the worst-case scenario I could face when the rate resets?
  • Are you locking in my rate? For how long? What does the lock cost me?
  • Could you estimate closing costs for my loan?
  • Can you explain an APR, and what is it for this loan?
  • What am I paying in points?
  • What are my monthly payments?
  • Do I need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI?)
  • Are there any prepayment penalties on this loan?
  • What's the usual timeframe for closing these loans?

Need a Referral?

If you need a list of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders, give us a call 251-974-1288; we'll be happy to help!

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