Useful Tips On Finding A Good Loan Officer
For most people, buying a home represents the largest investment decision they will ever make. Given the substantial amount of money involved, enlisting the help of the best professionals possible is key. Finding a good loan officer is perhaps the most important step in the process and something to which every prospective home purchaser should pay close attention.
For first-time homebuyers especially, trying to distinguish good loan officers from bad ones can be a daunting task. Appearances can be deceiving, and that is why it is necessary to look beyond the surface and watch for certain signs of quality. Finding a good loan officer can often mean the difference between getting a fair, affordable mortgage rate and overpaying by thousands of dollars.
A useful indicator of whether or not a prospective loan officer has the expertise you need is whether or not they work in a full time or a part time capacity. While there are surely many knowledgeable part time loan officers working today, it may be better to find someone who spends all day, every day immersed in the world of home loans. Mortgage loan officers who work on a full time basis are more likely to be in tune with the latest developments in the market and more inclined to have strong relationships with the underwriters who will ultimately decide the fate of an application.
To truly assess the quality and expertise of a potential loan officer, pay close attention to how much time he or she spends talking to you when you make your initial inquiry. Not only do you want to find someone who is receptive to your questions and answers them thoroughly and knowledgably, you also want someone who takes the time to learn about your situation, financial circumstances and desired outcome. Someone who offers little more than perfunctory or incomplete answers to your questions is likely not the right choice.
Savvy home purchasers also know that any loan officer worth his or her salt will be meticulous when it comes to documentation. Skilled mortgage loan officers will always ask to see bank statements, paystubs and tax forms in order to provide honest, accurate assessments and recommendations. Attempting to identify mortgage programs for which a borrower may qualify without this type of information is a fool’s errand and also the sign of an inexperienced or lazy loan officer.
Finally, one of the most important characteristics of a good loan officer is that of candor. The home buying process can often be fraught with stress and anxiety, and it may be tempting to simply go with a loan officer who tells you what you want to hear. However, such an approach will only undermine your chances of getting into a loan that truly does suit your financial circumstances and your overall objectives. Therefore, try to find a loan officer who is willing to play devil’s advocate, be completely honest with you, and one who clearly has your best interest at heart.
After reading the tips found above, you should have a better idea about the sorts of things to look for as you go about finding a good loan officer. However, you may be wondering how to begin actually making inquiries. Start by asking friends, relatives and colleagues for personal recommendations. If you know someone who had a particularly positive experience during their homebuying process, ask for the name of the loan officer they used. Other sources of useful information on area loan officers include online forums and message boards where borrowers can post their own feedback and experiences.
By heeding the guidance and insight presented above, it really is possible to find an experienced, knowledgeable loan officer you can trust. The financial savings realized as a result can be significant, so do not skimp on the process.