Applying for a loan? Since you will be providing your extremely sensitive personal and business information to an individual and company, it is imperative that you take time to research and compare companies. In addition, will they follow through to provide the advertised radio or TV offer? How well do you know or trust them? By spending approximately 15-20 minutes, you may save yourself significant heartache and money through the process. Like any industry, there are good and bad apples, so looking into their history and track record can indicate the kind of experience you may have. Would you want to use a lender that received 83 complaints at the Better Business Bureau in the last year? Below is a simple step by step process that can help you research and compare lenders to better ensure your deal is the best one for you.
Company or bank name:
Contact email address:
Contact phone(Office / Cell):
- Is the company licensed to perform mortgage banking? Check this website: http://www.corp.ca.gov/fsd/licensees/
- Has the company been in mortgage banking for 10+ years? I prefer to use a company that began business before the “Great Recession” and conducted their business in a way that avoided many of the pitfalls, such as accusations of fraud or poor management.
- Is the company website professional, provide information about loans and processes, and lists owners and loan officers? I prefer unique websites that lenders have taken time and effort to create, versus a canned website used by many smaller and more expensive lenders. I also prefer a company that is willing to display staff and owners pictures and experience, which allows me to research their longevity in the business.
Does the company website provide client testimonials? I prefer to review a long history of very happy and satisfied customers that are willing to write anything from a quick comment to lengthy statement.
a. Was the testimonial written recently?
b. Does it provide detailed reasons why they like the company so much?
- Does the loan officer and lender have a mortgage license?
Is the company accredited by the Better Business Bureau? http://www.la.bbb.org/Home.aspx
a. Is their rating A or better? I prefer an A+ rating.
b. How long has the company been in business?
b. Are there any unresolved complaints?
Does the loan officer and company have a LinkedIn profile? http://www.linkedin.com/
a. Do they both have 5+ years loan officer and business experience? I prefer to have a very experienced loan officer and company any unusual situations happen which might delay the loan process. Problem solving experience really pays off in this area.
b. Is their profile professional, detailed and have 200+ connections?
b. Do they have recommendations from subordinates, fellow managers, supervisors or clients? Recommendations go a long way with me, especially over the years.
Google search the internet for client comments about the lender from:
a. Consumer Affairs: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/
c. Credit Karma reviews: http://reviews.creditkarma.com/mortgages/1/ Any red flags?
What are the reviews in their Yelp profile? http://yelp.com
a. Do they have a 4 or 5 star rating? Four out of 5 stars is good for me.
b. Are there recent reviews?
c. Is the loan officer listed in the reviews and comments? Positive or negative experience?
d. Read the “Filtered” reviews as well, at the bottom of the rest of the reviews. Even though these do not get in the primary viewing area, they could be very informative.
d. Did many reviewers find the reviews helpful?
- Is the company donating to charities in the local community and nationally? 83% of the population want to use companies that are giving back to their communities or charities. I will utilize a company that is giving to charities over one that is not.
Does the company website providing free educational tips? I like to see companies willing to provide free information to help the general population.
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Example: I researched a local lender that a financial planner recommended for my client. The lender was recommended because he happened to be in the building, not because he had done a loan through him. That is red flag #1. I researched the lender to find out: the lender had been licensed for 5+ years, but the company had only been in existence for 2 years. Red flag #2. I wonder about lenders that recently started their business. Were they employed by a previous, potentially unscrupulous, lender that possibly committed fraud or bad business practices? When the lender provided a rate and fee quote, they did not include the appraisal fee. Red flag #3. Mistake or not, they may have been trying to make their quote look better than the competition. Either way, it was an error, and I prefer not to use lenders that create errors at the beginning of my loan. In addition, their website had no client testimonials or details about the owners, managers or loan officers. Red flag #4. After concluding my research, their fees were over $700 higher than the lender I found for my client. Ultimately I did not feel I could trust them. All of this is extremely important when providing your financial information.The lender I chose had the following:
Munzing Mortgage Group
Mike Munzing, Mike@MikeMunzing.com, 949-689-5626
616 – #I S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672
- Mike has 24+ years mortgage experience.
- Website is very unique and professional, providing more information than you would ever need. http://www.mikemunzing.com/
- Testimonials are on the left, 2/3 of the way down. Although nothing recently, the clients provide various positive comments.
- Yes, CA DRE Broker Lic. #: 00890921 * NMLS #: 329629
- No, he is not accredited, but he has no complaints filed against him in the 20+ years of business.
- Yes, with 500+ contacts and many recommendations.
- In 3 pages of searching through Google, I could not find anything negative.
- No search results found. Zero negative comments is great.
- His charities are political causes to improve the world.
- Yes, more times than you will ever need.
- Mike has 24+ years mortgage experience.
Years ago, I worked directly with Mike and found him to be highly experienced, ethical, devoted and resourceful in all aspects of his life. That is who I want to do business.