For many borrowers, the challenge is not merely finding a lender. It’s sorting through the confusion of banks, brokers, online lenders, and more to find the right lender. With so many options, it can be confusing and challenging to find the best deal, or a company that you trust. Below are a few pro tips.

1. Talk with your real estate professional
It’s always a great idea to ask your real estate agent for lender recommendations. While some brokerages have affiliations with specific lenders, most professionals will suggest several credible lenders, not just their in-house option. And because the lender they recommend wants to keep a good relationship with the agent who is sending them referrals, they will most likely take great care of you.

2. Contact the lender before you fill out an application
Before you spend a ton of time filling out an application, call or visit your local bank to talk with someone one-on-one.

This will give you great insight before you even begin the paper work. How do they treat you? Is their customer service up to par? Are they pressuring you into filing an application?

There’s no point in pursuing a lender that doesn’t make you feel comfortable, so why waste time with an application?

3. Turn the interview tables
After your application is submitted, you will be asked to have an interview. Interviews are always nerve wracking, whether they’re for a new job, or a new loan. But take this opportunity to ask the lender any and all of the questions you may have.

While you want to be approved, you also want to make sure you’re making the right lending choice, so don’t be afraid to turn the tables a bit in the interview. Not sure what to ask? Try a few of the following questions:

  • How long will it take to process my loan application?
  • What is the minimum down payment required?
  • What might delay my approval?
  • Do you offer loan rate locks?
  • Is there a prepayment penalty?
  • What are the discount points and origination fees?

4. Study rates, points and fees
When comparing lenders, there are three things you can whittle your attention down to: rates, points, and fees. Things like taxes and insurance won’t vary too much from lender to lender, so these aren’t as important. However, rates, points, and fees can differ greatly from lender to lender, and the numbers all affect one another, so be sure to pay close attention and calculate carefully.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.