- Posted by: steve
- Category: mortgage advice
When you’re ready to work with a mortgage company in the West Palm Beach area, it can be difficult to know where to start.
You likely have so many questions about the type of mortgage that’s right for you, what sort of rate you need, and whether or not you’ll qualify for a loan.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting ready for the mortgage application process, as well as what you should look for in a qualified mortgage company.
Do Your Research
The first step in finding a qualified mortgage company is to conduct thorough research.
Though recent studies have concluded that close to 90% of consumers value online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family, proceed with caution.
Keep in mind that these online reviews only represent a part of a mortgage company’s reputation. Of course they’re going to post positive and glowing reviews on their website!
But to really get to know a company, ask for references, and for the contact information of current and past clients.
Also, be sure that you check the Better Business Bureau for the West Palm Beach area. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the full story.
Finally, be sure that you ask each company you’re considering working with about their history. Make sure you’ve investigated things like:
- How many loans the company has in default
- Any past predatory lending issues/complaints
- Whether or not they have the proper licensing
- Past disciplinary actions
Compare Rates From Multiple Companies
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of potential mortgage companies, the real work starts.
It’s time to compare the rates they offer you to find the best solution for you. There are tons of options out there when it comes to the type of company you can work with. These include:
- Commercial Banks
- Credit Unions
- Online Lenders
Start by taking a look at all the mortgage rates of the lenders you’re thinking of working with. Remember that this rate may be influenced by your own credit score and loan application process.
Keep in mind that the “best rate” doesn’t always mean the “lowest rate” and the least amount of closing costs. You’ll also need to think about whether a fixed-rate option or an adjustable-rate mortgage would be the best fit for you.
While a fixed-rate locks in an interest rate, an adjustable-rate can vary for the length of the loan. It’s all about which option is right for you, and what you can afford.
Finally, also be sure to ask whether or not you might qualify for any sort of special programs that can lower your costs. These are things like VA loans for veterans, First-time homebuyer programs, and even USDA loans for those living in more rural areas.
Never forget that the main reason why you want to do this rate research is so that you can negotiate better offers with a mortgage company!
Fix Up Your Credit Score
Your current credit score and larger financial history will have a fairly large influence on whether or not a mortgage company will be able to provide the kind of help you’re looking for.
Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies.
If you have a lower credit score, lenders feel that they’re taking a bit of a risk by deciding to lend to you. While this doesn’t automatically disqualify you, it does mean that you’ll likely have a higher rate of interest on your loan.
If you have a solid credit score, you’ll be able to field multiple offers from lenders and secure better rates. This is why it’s so important to pay your bills on time and work towards paying down your debt.
Start by paying off your higher-interest debts first, which balances out your debt-to-income ratio. Then, try to pay off as much of your credit card balance as you can, so you’ll be have more money to make a down payment with.
Work To Get Pre-Approval
The housing market is incredibly competitive. However, getting pre-approved for a mortgage and showing that pre-approval letter to the seller gives you the upper hand.
It says that your finances have been evaluated, and lets a seller know how much money you’ll be able to borrow from a lender. In reality, pretty much every serious buyer will be walking into the housing market with a pre-approval in hand.
So, if you don’t have one, you’ll be far behind other bidders that do.
In order to get pre-approval, you’ll need to give the lender you’re working with some major financial information. You’ll need:
- Your Social Security Number (and those of any co-signers)
- Your tax returns from the past two years
- Your salary and employment information
- Your checking/saving account statements
To ensure that you don’t run into any problems, begin the pre-approval process well before you plan to start looking at houses. That way, you won’t miss out on the home of your dreams.
Looking For A Mortgage Company In West Palm Beach?
Thanks to this post, you know both what to look for in a lender, as well as what you need to do to improve your chances of getting the best deal.
We know applying for a loan and buying a home can be a challenging process. We’re here to help make it as easy as possible.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you to understand the mortgage application process, and to ensure you’ve found the right lender for your needs.
Make this the year you finally make a down payment on the home of your dreams.