Many of us dread getting a mortgage because the process is so time consuming. But there are ways to get a loan that can save you time. These days, one option is to work with an online mortgage lender to get your loan. Instead of going to a bank or credit union, you can get a mortgage from the comfort of your home.
If you are thinking about getting a mortgage over the Internet, you should be aware of the pluses and minuses. There is no perfect path to getting a mortgage. Much depends upon your and your individual situation.
Pros of Internet Mortgages
When you are using an online lender, you may be working with an organization with limited overhead. So, they could be able to pass on some of the savings to you in the form of a lower rate or fees. Some online lenders can give you a rate that is ¼ to ½ a point lower than conventional banks. If you can do that, you may save thousands in interest over time. That can really help your finances.
Also, online lenders often have lower credit standards. They are able to get more customers by offering reasonable rates to people that the big banks down the street turn down. While this is a higher risk, new federal laws ensure that the lender carefully checks your income and other documentation to ensure you can really afford the loan. Generally, if you have a FICO score under 700, you should try an online lender first to see what kind of interest rate you can get.
Second, applying for a mortgage loan can be a time saver. If you never got a mortgage before, most lenders will hand you a stack of documents and a list of things you need to give them. Getting all of this stuff in order can take weeks. Doing this online can save you time because you can quickly scan your W-2s and pay stubs, etc and just send them to the broker. You also can usually just send PDFs of tax returns and bank statements to the broker online, which also saves time.
Third, approval with the online lender can be easier. Your credit score will play a major role in the determination of you getting a mortgage or not. All lending agencies and companies have various credit score standards for getting an approval. If you are doing your loan online, your broker is more likely to have access to a wide variety of mortgage programs. This can be helpful if you do not have the best credit score.
Cons of Internet Mortgages
Getting help when you need it can be more challenging when you are trying to use an online lender. If you are working with a local bank or lender in person, you can usually get them on the phone quickly and even see them in person when you have a problem. With online lenders, it can be harder to get the help you need.
You can improve the odds of good customer service with the online lender if you have direct access to your loan officer and not an administrative assistant.
Second, the rates that you see online may not be what you get in the end. Lenders online will post the lowest possible rates to get you to submit an application but the reality is this: Those low rates go to people with 740+ credit scores. If you are less than that, you will probably have a higher rate.
Once you are down the path of loan approval, you may find out your rate is higher than you thought. But the lender knows you do not want to back out after all that hassle. So, you might end up paying more for your loan than you thought. Try to determine as soon as possible what your rate will be, and get it locked in once you are approved.
Last, you do need to be careful who you give your vital financial information to online. There are a lot of scammers and questionable characters online that have ripped off people in the past. When searching for a no cost mortgage, make sure you get everything in writing up-front.
Like most parts of the home purchase process, there is no perfect answer for all borrowers. Some people may like to get a mortgage loan online because it is faster and offers a lower interest rate in some situations. However, others may prefer the customer service offered by a local bank or mortgage company. There is nothing wrong with getting a mortgage quote from an online mortgage lender and a local bank. That way you can compare the rate and customer service you get and determine which is the best path for you.