Before you begin the process of applying for a mortgage, you may want to learn a little more about the different ways of finding a home loan. While some borrowers opt to work with the lenders at their bank or get financing through large mortgage companies, many other borrowers choose to work with mortgage brokers, instead.
What’s the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage lender?
A mortgage lender is a financial institution (usually a bank or mortgage company) that issues home loans to qualified borrowers. A mortgage broker is a licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between the borrower and the lender. Working with a mortgage broker is not a requirement; many people choose to work directly with the lender that is providing the loan. However, there are specific benefits to working with a mortgage broker.
What value do mortgage brokers bring to the table?
Put simply, the biggest advantage of working with a mortgage broker is having access to more options. In today’s fast-paced, on-demand world, this can be an incredibly valuable and attractive feature for any industry. Just look at Netflix, Spotify, the entire world of online shopping, even dating sites. Consumers today expect easy access to numerous options, whether it’s watching movies, listening to music, finding a date, or getting a home loan.
Mortgage brokers focus on what’s best for YOU.
Working with a mortgage broker can provide you with faster access to a wider variety of home loan options, because they partner with several wholesale mortgage lenders. And since they have these partnerships with multiple wholesale lenders, they can focus on finding the best product for your needs, rather than trying to sell specific loans from a single company.
Mortgage brokers can help find solutions to challenging situations.
Working with a mortgage broker is similar to shopping online vs in person. When you shop in person, you’re choices of what to buy are limited to the inventory of each shop you visit. That means if you’re in need of something unique, it can take a lot of time to find what you’re looking for. However, when you shop online, you can simply type in whatever it is you want to buy, and your search engine will provide you with multiple options across numerous web retailers. This can help you uncover hard-to-find products in a much shorter period of time. This is similar to what mortgage brokers can do for hopeful home buyers who may have unusual or difficult circumstances.
How do mortgage brokers help you find the right home loan?
When you work with a mortgage lender, your loan choices will typically be limited to their product offerings. For example, let’s say you’re a first time home buyer and you don’t have a lot of cash for a down payment. You know that the FHA insures loans that offer low down payments (as low as 3.5%, in fact). But, the mortgage company you’re working with is not an FHA-approved lender and therefore, does not offer that financing option. By contrast, if you were working with a mortgage broker, he or she could help you find an FHA loan through one of the several wholesale mortgage companies with whom they’re partnered. Likewise, if you’re not quite sure what type of loan would be best for your situation, a good mortgage broker can look at your financial qualifications, discuss your homeownership goals and make recommendations based on a wider representation of what is available in today’s marketplace.
Photography by [Roman Samborskyi] © shutterstock.com
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