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Comparing Mortgage Brokers

[Mar 12, 2010.]


Don't just sign up with the first mortgage broker you come across. Make sure that the mortgage advice you get is coming from a reputable firm working in your best interest. Use the following checklist to compare mortgage brokers.

—Ask people you know and trust for recommendations about mortgage brokers they have used. If you are still having trouble getting help, check with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers to find someone in your area.

—Ask mortgage brokers how many mortgage lenders they work with. If a mortgage broker only works with a couple of lenders, you may want to keep looking.

—Find out how mortgage brokers get paid. Some mortgage brokers earn a flat fee while others earn a percentage of the amount of your mortgage loan. Watch out for excessive fees and interest rates, which could be padding the broker's pocket. If you are trying to keep your out-of-pocket costs down, ask if the mortgage broker's fee can be financed into your mortgage.

—Ask around in your community about any mortgage broker you are considering. Check with your state's attorney general and the better business bureau for any complaints.

—Find out what kind of mortgage loan programs are offered through a mortgage broker. A broker should also be aware of programs through the government or local agencies that may help you purchase a home, such as first-time buyer programs.

—Be skeptical of a mortgage broker who claims you can get a mortgage even though you have bad credit or no down payment. Mortgage fraud is a serious problem so be an guard for people who make outrageous promises or ask you to lie on a mortgage application or make other false claims.

—See what kind of free mortgage advice is offered. A mortgage broker shouldn't charge you just to explain their policies and procedures.  Avoid mortgage brokers who charge just to do a consultation.

—Does the mortgage broker spend time getting to know you and understand your situation? Avoid people who fail to listen to your needs and try to push cookie-cutter mortgage loan programs at you. Not all home buyers are the same so you should be given individualized attention.

Mortgage Brokers with Experience

Choosing a mortgage broker is an important step in the home buying process. Avoid going with the first nice guy or gal you meet. Look for someone who is experienced and truly understands your local housing market.


About Author:

Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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