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Buying a house is no small feat. You will be locked into a 15, 20, or even 30-year mortgage. Taking the necessary time now to ensure you find an ideal lender is imperative to your future financial health. We’ve compiled a list of the top tips to help you find the best mortgage lender for your situation.

 Understand How Much You Need To Borrow

Before you even start looking for a mortgage lender you need to get your finances in order. This means boosting your credit score where possible and saving money. You should have enough money to supply a 20 percent or more down payment, closing costs, your first year of homeowners insurance, and your first year of property taxes.

While the specific amount of these figures will change depending on the size of the house, it’s a good idea to have a rough estimate ahead of time. This will help you decide what amount you will need to borrow from the mortgage lender.

 Get Recommendations From Others

One of the best ways to find out about a company’s services is through its customers. While you can’t take every word to heart, you can get a pretty good idea of what most people are saying about their experiences with a lender. Ask friends, coworkers, family and even your financial advisor for recommendations. Be sure to record both the good and bad companies.

 Online Research And Preliminary Inquires

Doing some online research to check out available lenders is a valuable use of time. You can obtain a lot of information about current rates. We suggest looking at specific banking websites for posted rate schedules.

Avoid entering in any of your personal information to get an instant quote or approval. Many lenders will buy your personal information from these sites. This means get ready to have both your inbox, mailbox, and voicemail flooded with calls from lenders who want your business.

One other stealthy tactic for checking on rates is to call up local institutions. Do an over the phone inquiry about what the rates would be for a suggested loan amount. If at any point the institution representative asks for your personal information, decline giving it out. Explain that you are just doing a preliminary inquiry as this will help you avoid unwanted calls later.

 Talking With Loan Officers

Talking with loan officers, the representatives from the lending companies, is a necessity to get your loan. Once you have narrowed down your list of lending institutions it’s time to schedule some meetings. Pick a good four or five lending institutions.

When you are meeting with each loan officer there are a few things to keep in mind. Have the officer break down all the charges for you. You should know exactly what your money is being spent on. If the loan officer doesn’t take the time to fully explain the costs or tries to rush through an explanation than ditch them.

You should only apply with a lender that has a good attitude along with good loan terms. Again you will be working with your mortgage company for many years, so having a productive relationship is key.