If you’re considering a home loan, your most important job is to ask a lot of questions. It’s only natural that you won’t understand all the complexities of the deal in the beginning. You weren’t trained to. But, if you’re going to make the biggest financial transaction of your life, it’s essential that you do understand everything about it before you jump on board.
These are five of the most crucial questions to ask your mortgage broker.
==> Question #1: How Do You Get Paid?
Understanding whether or not your mortgage broker is incentivized to push certain kinds of loans is very important.
Some companies encourage their lenders to push loans that pay higher commissions than others, even if they’re not in the best interest of the client.
Asking this question will help give you a sense of whether or not your broker is really on your side.
==> Question #2: What Kind of Documents Do I Need?
The time to start preparing for your loan is now. Don’t wait until you’re up against a deadline to start gathering your documents.
Generally, you’ll need your pay stubs, your tax returns, your W-2 forms, your rental agreements, proof of expenses and anything else you need to verify your income and expenses.
==> Question #3: Which Loan Is Right for Me and Why?
Lenders have the option of giving you loans from an entire portfolio of different options. You should never just take a plain loan that wasn’t chosen specifically to cater to your situation.
Ask your lender what they’d recommend and why. If all they give you is “this is our best loan,” pick a different broker. Your broker should be able to give a good reason for why they chose that precise loan for you.
==> Question #4: What Are All the Costs?
There are all kinds of costs that go into getting a mortgage. Ask your broker up front what these are so you’re not surprised later.
Costs include title transfer, appraisal, escrow fees, taxes, inspections and more.
==> Question #5: Give Me the Details on Interest Rates
Ask for all the details regarding your interest rate.
If you’re getting a fixed interest rate loan, ask if you’re being charged a fee for locking the rate. Make sure to also ask if there’s a limited duration to the loan lock.
If you’re getting an adjustable rate mortgage, ask them to explain exactly how your rates might be adjusted. What index is used? How often can they raise your rates? Is there a maximum amount the interest rate can rise to?
Asking these questions will help you make an informed decision on your mortgage. If at any point you get the sense that your broker isn’t looking out for you, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are many others who want your business.