Getting a Home Loan -- What You Should Ask A Mortgage Lender

When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are 6 questions you should ask to ensure that you understand the process and your options.

1. What mortgage types do you offer?

Different mortgage lenders offer different types of mortgages. Each type of loan may have different down payment requirements, interest rates, and lengths of loans.  Common mortgage types include the following:

  • Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgages
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgages
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages (FRMs)
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

2. What mortgage is the best fit for me?

Your mortgage lender will be able to answer this question once you’ve completed an application and the lender has reviewed your qualifying information, such as employment, income, assets, credit, debt, expenses, and the down payment you plan to make.

3. What are the full costs of my mortgage?

A Good Faith Estimate will be provided to you by the loan officer, which is a line-by-line estimate of mortgage costs. Then when you are ready to close on the loan a HUD-1 settlement statement will be given to you that includes a complete accounting of the purchase transaction.  You have the right, by law, to receive the HUD-1 a day before closing.  It is important to review it and understand it.  The closing company and/or your agent can help explain any items with which you are not familiar.

4. What documents do I need to provide?

Documents that are necessary to provide can be extensive, as lending requirements are much more strict than they were several years ago.  Proof of income and assets, personal identification and information about your credit history are the big three.Your lender should be able to give you a list of the items you will need to provide.  Once all the documents are sent to the underwriter, they will often request additional documents and information, so don't be surprised when that happens.

5.  How long will it take to process my loan application?

The answer depends on how quickly you supply the required documents, the mortgage lender’s workload and the demand for inspectors, appraisers and other professionals involved. The loan officer should be able to give you a good estimate so you will know how much time you need to ask to close in a purchase agreement. 

6. What can I do to speed up the process?

While your mortgage lender will give you specifics, here are some general recommendations:

  • Fully complete all required documents.
  • Be readily available to answer any questions.
  • Be prepared to explain any past credit issues.
  • Go over your credit report for errors.
  • Do not take on any new debts, switch jobs or change careers during the process.

As with all things, the more you know, and the better prepared you are, the better your experience will be.  

We are always available to answer your questions and to assist you in finding a lender that best suits your needs.  Contact us any time.  We're here to help.