1. Do you charge an Application Fee?
Some Mortgage Brokers charge $500 or $1,000 as an application fee. It is better to avoid paying this fee and work with a broker that is not trying to prevent you from shopping for your mortgage.
2. How do you ensure my preapproval is accurate?
Each mortgage broker or lender has a different process for loan preapproval. Many mortgage companies offer online-only applications that must be completed before a preapproval is issued. Some companies may pull your credit report, examine some of your financial documents (such as a bank statement, tax return, W2, or citizenship documents), or ask you questions about your monthly debts.
Your best option is to avoid online-only applications. There is no way for a computer system to catch potential problems or ask the follow-up questions needed to ensure that your preapproval letter will be accurate.
Another suggestion is to speak with multiple mortgage companies before providing your Social Security Number and having your credit report pulled. By speaking with a few companies, it will be easy to compare their processes and determine which company is the most thorough and competent.
3. Can I meet you in person?
This is a question to ask every mortgage loan officer or company that you are considering. If they say ‘No,’ or they are not available for an extended period of time (1 week or more), this is a sign of a problem. If the NJ mortgage broker confirms they are available for an in-person appointment, it doesn’t mean that you have to schedule it, but you can be confident that they are available (and a legitimate provider) if they are willing to schedule an appointment.
4. Can I lock my rate before I find a house?
Yes! It is possible to lock in your rate BEFORE you find your dream home. With interest rates steadily increasing each week in 2022 and 2023, it is an excellent idea to consider locking your interest rate once you are preapproved. Two key questions to ask:
- a. What is the cost to lock my interest rate?
Typically, most lenders will charge a non-refundable upfront fee to lock in your interest rate. One of the benefits of working with NJ Mortgage Broker is that you can avoid paying any fees to lock in your rate.
- b. What if interest rates decrease once I find a house?
Most lenders and NJ Mortgage Brokers cannot lower your interest rate once it is locked. Brightwire Loans is an NJ Mortgage Broker that WILL lower your interest rate (if possible) once you find your dream home (even if you locked the rate in advance).
5. Do you have any first-time homebuyer programs?
The answer to this question should always be YES! Every lender or NJ Mortgage Broker should have at least one loan program for first time homebuyers. A few of the follow-up questions to ask:
- a. How is a first-time homebuyer defined?
Brightwire Loans defines a first-time homebuyer as someone that has not owned a home in the last 3 calendar years.
- b. What are the benefits of the first-time homebuyer program?
The answer you may receive will vary between mortgage companies. Typical answers might be: down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, reduced private mortgage insurance, or closing cost credits.