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Where do I start when looking for a mortgage lender.

My husband has a low credit score but we have been improving it. We want to wait another 6 months before officially applying so we can improve and also put away more money. Will a lender have a meeting with us and tell us what needs to be done to make sure we have the best chances at good rates when we are ready
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June 23 2012 - Glen Burnie
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Answers (14)

You may be getting closer to buying.  I hope you have found a great lender to work with and that they were able to give you an honest evaluation and good advice!

If you haven't found someone you are comfortable with, or for other folks asking the same question....Look at reviews here on Zillow, read blogs (activeRain is a great forum) to get an idea of who you will be dealing with.  Recommendations are a great way to start too. If you already have an agent, they will probably have folks that they know, like and trust, but you are not required to use their recommendation. 

I would recommend that you use a local lender, someone you can actually meet face to face if possible.  Most of the lending horror stories I have heard are about out of state lenders found on a "competitive quote" site. 

Good lenders will be able to give you advice on your current situation so that when you are ready to buy you are truly mortgage ready!

Maryland Mortgage Mama
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September 16 2012
Absolutely, talk to at least two mortgage brokers and a credit union.  They will be able to guide you in order to obtai the best possible loan.
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September 14 2012
RUN... don't walk to your bank or credit union - They will be happy to accept a loan application and tell you what needs improvement before they will lend to you- Once armed with that information you can start the planning process to purchase.
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September 14 2012
I would suggest you speaking with family or fiends referrals are all ways good or even a Realtor. Most lenders will give you an guide to what needs to be one credit wise in order to qualify for a home loan. Good Luck!
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September 14 2012
The bankers in our area would sit down with you and look at your credit and advice you what needs to be fixed.
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June 26 2012
I would reccomend talking with a realtor in your area. If you are not already working with a buyers agent then you could ask your friends if they have worked with a good realtor in the past who they would reccomend.
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June 26 2012
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"Wouldn't it be best to learn on the first transaction, from professionals, than to solo and fall flat on your face? You can still take charge of your own transaction by becoming actively involved in every aspect of it, but at least if you are being guided by a Realtor, you will learn how to go about it."

It would be nice if it were that easy. However, that approach leads to the question "How to pick a REA?". This is not (in my view) a question of "do they need a REA?". And, I am not advocating that the OP go the transaction alone, rather that they use their search for a lender as an opportunity to educate themselves.

Unfortunately, as with all professions and persons, not all are equally proficient - nor equally worthy of trust. Deserved or not, I would never recommend that a consumer's first source of information is a commission-based sales person within the industry.
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June 24 2012
SoCal, I do appreciate your advice to participants on this forum.  And I totally agree that not everybody needs a Realtor, but I have also learned to read between the lines, and when you have somebody asking "Where do I start when looking for a mortgage lende" you pretty well can tell that this individual has no experience in realestate or they would know what to do.  Wouldn't it be best to learn on the first transaction, from professionals, than to solo and fall flat on your face?  You can still take charge of your own transaction by becoming actively involved in every aspect of it, but at least if you are being guided by a Realtor, you will learn how to go about it.  Your in put on discussions is always appreciated, even by us realtors, you are very insightful and it is always good to hear the other side. 
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June 24 2012
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Of course REAs (or, many REAs) will advise you to start everything potentially related to RE by first contacting a REA. As a consumer, I advocate that you should take charge of your own transactions - and that it is not always necessary to engage a REA.

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June 23 2012
If I were you, I would try to find a buyer agent and then ask the agent to put me in touch with one or two lenders.
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June 23 2012
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Any decent/reputable lender will take some time to review your situation and provide some guidance as to how to best prepare. While it is not necessary at this point-in-time to share all your financials with the lender, the more specific the information you share with the lender, the more specific their advice can be.

As for how to select a lender, this is a good opportunity to use your need for advice as the premise for talking to a couple different lenders. Use the time to gauge both the quality of their advice as well as how comfortable you feel dealing with them. You might want to talk to your local bank, as well as a few independent brokers.

While an REA can definitely recommend a lender, you should talk to multiple lenders - both to compare advice and offerings.
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June 23 2012
I would try to find a loan officer fairly close to where you live now.  You should expect to meet with them to give them documents and sign papers so it would be more convenient.  Please contact me directly to tell me your location and I may be able to refer someone.
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June 23 2012
I would ask for a referral from a Realtor.  If you chose the right broker they will likely have done a ton of transactions with a lender partner and if they have been in business long enough they will know the good lenders form the bad.

If you aren't ready to talk with a Realtor I would ask friends and family who they have worked with and had a good experience.  Choose from there!  Good luck...
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June 23 2012
Many lenders will do that. Your best bet is if your current bank does mortgages, ask to speak to a lender there.  If they don't give mortgages, it wouldn't hurt to find a Realtor now, that will be your buyer's agent, and see who they recommend.
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June 23 2012
 
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