Here’s a Quick Way to Move Past Being Denied- Find Another Lender!

Heres a Quick Way to Move Past Being Denied- Find Another Lender- 150x150Settling on the first lender that you come across is never a good idea. Only by shopping around can you find mortgage loans with lower interest rates and attractive terms. You will have to look at all the characteristics of the mortgage loan in order to find the one that suits you best or you may end up spending more than you have to.

Looking at mortgage offers and finding a lender which can give you the best interest rate and terms on a mortgage loan is important when trying to become a home owner. But even more important is finding a lender who is willing to give you a mortgage loan, especially if you have a low credit score. Every lender has its own qualification requirements, which can differ greatly from one lender to another. Factors such as your credit score, debt, income, and the area in which the property is located in all have a large influence on whether you are going to be approved for a mortgage loan and how much you are going to have to pay.

Lenders may advertise low interest rates and lenient approval standards, but you will probably have an unpleasant surprise once you apply for a mortgage and find out that the advertised rates are reserved for those with perfect credit scores and high incomes.

Why Will Some Lenders Deny your Mortgage Application?

Most mortgage loans already have their requirements established by the government agency that is backing the loan. Government-backed loans are associated with these agencies: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The fact that the loans are backed by these government organizations is not considered enough of a guarantee by lenders, so they have their own, stricter requirements.

One of the loan requirements that can result in a mortgage application denial is your credit score. The Federal Housing Administration can guarantee mortgage loans for buyers with credit scores as low as 500, but most lenders will deny all applicants who have a credit score that’s lower than 600. Also, most lenders have special requirements for those who don’t have a perfect credit score. For example, borrowers with a credit score that is under 680 may be required to provide additional documentation related to their financial situation.

In order to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance, you must pay your mortgage on time for 12 months without missing a payment. But the lender who will refinance the loan will have additional requirements, such as checking your credit score and income.

Fortunately, not all lenders have the same requirements, which means that you can easily be approved by a different lender, or even get better terms on your mortgage. Generally, smaller lenders and credit unions seem to be more flexible than large lenders, especially if you give them reason to believe that you are not a high default risk, even if some aspects of your financial situation are not in good shape. Mortgage brokers can also help you find a mortgage loan if you think you can’t do it on your own. They charge a fairly large fee, but it may be worth it, especially if you have a strong feeling that most lenders will deny your application.

More People Turning to Online Mortgage Loans- Should You Too?

More People Turning to Online Mortgage Loans-Should You Too- 150x150You can buy almost anything online nowadays, so why not a mortgage as well? More and more home buyers are choosing to find a mortgage loan online instead of going around town and talking to lenders. Applying for a mortgage loan online seems to be significantly easier than doing it the old fashioned way, but you may be wondering what else it involves.

The biggest benefit of finding a mortgage loan online is convenience. You can get mortgage loan quotes and other information from multiple lenders in only minutes, without having to visit each of them individually, which would probably take up a lot more of your time. Applying for a mortgage loan online is even better than doing it by phone- no waiting on hold for a long time and being transferred several times until you find the person who can help you.

Finding Online Mortgage Companies

Many lenders are offering online mortgages, but they all have different rules which can be to your advantage or disadvantage. Some online mortgage lenders are banks and credit unions, which are the ones issuing and approving the mortgage loan. They can inform you of the interest rate that you qualify for, present you with your loan options, and answer all of your questions related to the mortgage. Applying with this type of lender can be very beneficial because most of your questions will be answered directly by the lender. However, in order to get the best deal, you will still have to shop around, speak with multiple lenders, and research all of the loan options that they are offering.

Another option when looking for an online mortgage is to speak with a mortgage broker, which will act as an intermediary between you and a lender. After you give them all of the necessary info, they will try to find the lender that offers the best possible interest rate and terms. Because a mortgage broker is an intermediary between you and the lender, he will handle all of the paperwork and do the research for you. However, mortgage brokers charge a large fee for their services, so if you have the time to shop around for a lender, you would probably be better off doing it yourself.

A third option when looking for an online lender is finding a mortgage referral website. After entering information about yourself and what you are looking for, these websites refer you to several lenders which you can compare in order to find the best mortgage loan deal. Mortgage referral services are easy to use, but you will have to go through the various offers and decide what better suits your needs and financial situation.

Tips for Applying Online for a Mortgage

While applying for a mortgage online is easier and has some great benefits, it also has some disadvantages. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when applying for a mortgage loan over the Internet.

  • Use search engines. What better way of finding something on the Internet than by using search engines like Google or Bing? A few clicks and you can find some of the largest online mortgage companies. Of course, you can also use other sources in order to find online mortgages. Ads on TV, on the radio and in newspapers can also be very helpful when looking for an online lender.
  • Research the online mortgage companies that you are considering. Like shopping for a mortgage loan the old-fashioned way, you have to be careful when deciding which online mortgage lender you want to go with. Reading reviews about online mortgage companies and checking with the Better Business Bureau is something you should do once you find a lender with an attractive offer.
  • Have your financial info ready. Once you find a trustworthy lender that can give you a good interest rate and mortgage loan terms, make sure that you gather all of the necessary documents before they even ask you for them. You will need info about your income, your savings and your debt.

Online mortgage loans are an attractive alternative to conventional mortgage loans as long as you take all the necessary precautions. It’s easier for someone to scam you over the Internet, where you just enter your information without speaking to an actual person. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate online mortgage lenders. You just have to do a little research and make sure that what they are offering is what you will actually get.

Self-Employed? Here’s How You Can Qualify for a Mortgage!

Self-Employed-Here's How You Can Qualify for a Mortgage- 150x150Being self-employed certainly has some great advantages, like not having a boss or setting your own work hours. But not being an employee also has its disadvantages, such as not having paid sick days or paid vacations. The biggest downside, though, is that buying a home is a bit more difficult. With all of the strict requirements, becoming a home owner is tough even for people with steady jobs. Not having a full-time job, a regular income and an employer’s tax form can make it even more difficult for a self-employed worker to get a mortgage loan.

However, it is not impossible. Buying a home when you are self-employed will require more documents than getting a mortgage as a full-time regular employee, and it will probably take longer, but it is doable. Most lenders will probably be worried that you won’t be able to make enough money to pay your mortgage, while others will simply not want to deal with the hassle of giving a mortgage loan to a self-employed home buyer.

Expectations When Shopping for a Mortgage

Most lenders will regard you as a high risk borrower, so you will probably have to pay a higher interest rate than someone who works for a company or an institution. Interest rates advertised by borrowers are really low, but they are normally reserved for home buyers with perfect credit scores and perfect financial situations. The rates that you, as a self-employed worker, will get will probably be much higher than the interest rates that are advertised.

Because you are not looked at as the ideal borrower, you will most likely have to shop around more until you will be able to find a lender who is willing to work with you. Also, your ability to negotiate a lower interest rate will most likely be very limited. Based on your loan-to-value ratio, you will probably have to come up with a larger down payment, as well.

Mortgage Loan Options

Lenders try to stay away from giving out risky loans in order to protect themselves, but there are a few types of mortgage loans that lenders may be willing to give to self-employed workers. One of these loans is the Stated Income/Stated Asset Mortgage loan, which is based on the amount that you declare is your income. The bank will not verify this amount, but you will be required to provide a large amount of documentation, from a list of your clients, to several IRS forms.

Another loan that lenders might give you is the No Documentation Loan, which is great for self-employed workers with low profit, or even those who don’t make any profit at all. However, you will have to pay a much higher interest rate, and probably make a larger down payment.

However, if you are able to provide your lender with enough documentation that proves your income, you can qualify for a regular mortgage loan, which has lower interest rates, and a lower down payment requirement. Traditional employees receive a W-2 form, which reports his or her income, but a self-employed person will have to provide other types of documents, such as tax returns, a business license, balance sheets or profit and loss statements.

Make Yourself Less of a Risk

If you are sure that you can afford a mortgage, and would like to encounter as less difficulty as possible when applying for a loan, you should start by making yourself less of a risk in the eyes of a lender. You should start by improving your credit score as much as possible. Besides making you qualify much easier for a mortgage loan, a perfect credit score will ensure that you receive a much better interest rate on your mortgage.

By making a larger than usual down payment, your lender will regard you as less of a risk. Also, having savings will look good in the eyes of a lender, as you will be less likely to abandon the mortgage if your business stops making a profit.

Lenders may regard you as a higher risk if you are self-employed, but the truth is that a person who is working a full job can be an even higher risk than a self-employed worker. A traditional employee loses all of his or her income when fired, while a self-employed worker probably has several clients, and the chances of losing all of them at the same time are slim. If your business is doing well and you can prove to your lender that you can make monthly payments on your mortgage, then there shouldn’t be any issues getting a mortgage loan if you are self-employed.

Part 3: How to Procure Financing for Investment Properties

Part 3- How to Procure Financing for Investment Properties-150x150Question: Where can I get financing for residential real estate? I heard it’s easier to get financing for commercial real estate- is that true? Also, I would love some information on what variables affect a lender’s decision to give financing.

Answer: Many lenders are thought to prefer lending to commercial real estate investors rather than residential real estate investors. While that may be true, there are plenty of lender possibilities for residential real estate investment. In fact, here is a list of banks and lending institutions that provide loans for both commercial and residential real estate investment:

Lending Institutions for Real Estate Investment

  1. Wells Fargo
  2. PNC Real Estate
  3. MetLife
  4. Prudential Mortgage
  5. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  6. Strategic Alliance Mortgage (SAM)
  7. KeyBank Real Estate Capital
  8. CBRE Group Inc.
  9. Northwestern Mutual
  10. Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers
  11. Berkadia
  12.  NorthMarq Capital
  13. CWCapital LLC
  14. Red Mortgage Capital LLC
  15. Walker & Dunlop
  16. Natixis Real Estate Capital LLC
  17. Pacific Life Insurance Co.
  18. Grandbridge Real Estate Capital
  19. Citi Community Capital
  20. Starwood Property Trust
  21. Beech Street Capital
  22. ING Investment Management
  23. M&T Realty Capital Corp.
  24. Principal Real Estate Investors

 What a Lender Looks for in a Borrower

Lenders seem to ask borrowers almost anything before considering them for a loan. The requirements are even tougher for first time borrowers. While some questions are predictable, lenders are becoming more inquisitive these days in order to minimize the risk of defaults. Lenders aggressively ask more questions so that they can provide reasonable proof to the underwriters that the borrower will actually manage to repay.

Except your family planning and health issues that are forbidden by the law, lenders want to know the following in a borrower:

  • Credit rating- a lender is first interested with your FICO or credit score. The score ranges between 350 and 850. The lender wants to know your outstanding debt in different types of accounts, the total outstanding debt and how well you’ve been paying your bills. Missed payments raise doubts with respect to risk of defaulting. Your credit history is very important to a lender and for this reason you should ensure that your credit report does not have any errors.
  • Debt income ratio- a lender wants to know the ratio of debt compared to your monthly income. The lender explicitly wants to know how much you have to spare each month after you’ve paid out all other debts excluding the mortgage. The debt income ratio disqualifies many people for a loan. You should therefore pay down many of your credit cards before applying for a loan.
  • LTV- this is the loan to value ratio which enables the lender to determine risk. LTV is determined by dividing the value of the home by the anticipated loan amount. In simple terms, it’s the amount of money a borrower is willing to pay for the house. The lower the amount put down by the borrower, the lower the level of doubt the lender will have about their creditworthiness.
  • Cash- lenders also love hard cash because it keeps them running the company. The lender will want to know how much a borrower has saved; this is not for purposes of down payment alone but also for meeting monthly mortgage repayments when they go into a financial stalemate.
  • Collateral- once the lender has assessed that your capacity and credit score meets expectations, collateral is the other most significant thing on the list. This is done by valuation of property by an independent appraiser in order to determine its current market value. The appraised value is used to determine the LTV.
  • Lawsuits- lenders are sensitive to risk, so they have to check out every possibility on your end that can make giving you a loan a bad idea. A lender will want to know whether you are the plaintiff or defendant in any lawsuit because if judgment goes against the borrower, then it will impact their financial position negatively.
  • Divorce- the number of divorces in the United States is on the rise. Lenders want to know the financial details in a borrower’s divorce because a borrower may be responsible for their ex-spouse’s debt. If a borrower includes alimony or child support as a source of income in their loan application, the lender will also want proof of such income.
  • Ethnicity- the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires lenders to inquire about the borrower’s race for purposes of statistics. To avoid discrimination of an applicant, no further ethnic inquiries can be made. HUD also checks lender records routinely in order to ensure that they are not turning down applications from minorities or exploiting them by charging them unusually high fees.

This concludes the three part Q&A on procuring financing for investment properties. If you have other questions, send them our way and we’ll do our best to get answers to you shortly!

Part 2: How to Procure Financing for Investment Properties

 Part 2- How to Procure Financing for Investment Properties-150x150Question: Which type of lender should you target for a real estate loan?

Answer: There are several types of real estate lenders out there. With all of the options, it can be difficult to make a decision as to the best choice for your situation. Whether you choose a mortgage bank, mortgage broker, or other type of lender, there are pros and cons associated with each. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each to find one that works for you!

Types of Real Estate Lenders

1. Mortgage banks- Mortgage banks sell their products in the secondary market. Once you complete an application for a loan, the bank’s employees will carefully review your application and then make a decision.

Advantages of mortgage banks

  • Speed- mortgage banks process loan applications faster than all other providers.
  • First time program implementers- if the federal government launches a new program, mortgage banks are always the first ones to implement it.
  • Reliability- a local mortgage bank is an established institution. It has strong ties with members of your community and follows state and federal regulations to the ‘T’.
  • Savings- since a mortgage bank is the loan originator itself, you will end up with a lot of savings on the loan offer based on the mortgage terms and your deposit in the bank.

Disadvantages of mortgage bankers

  • Limited options- mortgage banks only offer their programs. They tend to be inflexible to the borrower’s needs.
  • Economies of scale- a mortgage banker may not bother to listen to you extensively because of the large customer base. They can be bureaucratic at times.

2.    Mortgage brokers- Mortgage brokers are middlemen who have access to mortgage loan information from different lenders across the country. A broker aims at finding you a loan that matches your needs. After loan application approval, you can get in touch with the lender directly.

Advantages of mortgage brokers

  • Savings- you may definitely access a mortgage at a very low cost because a broker has access to a variety of lenders.
  • Variety- a mortgage broker simply finds you the best loan product that matches your needs because they compare hundreds of lenders.
  • Speed- since brokers are professionals in their field of work, they get you the right lender very fast.
  • Easy qualification- an experienced mortgage broker will even assist you in putting together the required paperwork before directing you to a lender who will easily accept you without hassle.

Disadvantages of mortgage brokers

  • Hidden charges- many mortgage brokers increase their profits by including their price in the loan offer.
  • Not guaranteed estimates- many mortgage brokers rush to seal the deal so that they can walk away with a profit. That’s why they may present you with an offer that does not necessarily coincide with the bank’s terms.
  • They may not compare all lenders- mortgage brokers may not compare all lenders in order to find you the best offer. Moreover, some lenders don’t deal with brokers.

3.    Commercial banks and credit unions- The most popular lender in the world is a commercial bank. Credit unions in the United States are also popular. Understanding their upsides and downsides can help you in making an informed decision.

Advantages of commercial banks and credit unions

  • Competitive rates- compared to other traditional mortgage lenders, commercial banks offer competitive interest rates with very reasonable repayment terms.
  • Always available- since commercial banks have to keep their customers’ money working and earning interest, they are always available at your service.
  • Better terms- commercial banks offer affordable and friendly loan terms compared with a traditional mortgagor.
  • Customers are the actual owners- both commercial banks and credit unions treat their customers very well because they also have a stake in the company.
  • Credit unions are actually non-profit institutions- the aspect of non-profit basically means that they share their profits with their customers. You also get to save in taxes because credit unions are exempt from federal tax.
  • More savings- in addition to the lower fees that a loan from a credit attracts, you will also benefit from lower interest rates as long as you have a high credit rating.

Disadvantages of commercial banks and credit unions

  • Delay in loan approval- if you need access to your loan very fast, then a commercial bank may not be the best option because they take a long time to approve loans.
  • Tough qualifications- commercial banks have tough requirements for low-interest loan qualification, which typically includes excellent credit score requirements.
  • Limited access to new technology with credit unions- credit unions sometimes aren’t up to speed technologically, which may make it difficult at times for you to access their services when needed.
  • Restricted membership- credit unions center their focus on particular communities, professions or groups of people. This can make it difficult to find a credit union for which you qualify.

4.    Real estate agencies and home builders- There are many real estate agencies and home builders. A number of them are affiliated with mortgage brokers and bankers. Additionally, their services can be accessed online.

Advantages of real estate agencies and home builders

  • Pricing prowess- real estate agencies can easily tell how much it will cost you.
  • Experience- approaching home builders gives you assurance of the best residential property because of the experience they have in developing such property.
  • Speed- home builders working together with real estate agencies process your loan request very fast.
  • They do all the paperwork- if you are not very familiar with real estate jargon or not experienced with paperwork, then real estate agencies may be the best for you because they will handle the loan documentation paperwork for you.
  • No closing problems- there are several pitfalls that can kill a deal in its final hours of execution. Real estate agencies ensure that your property is in order.

Disadvantages of real estate agencies and home builders

  • Ethical considerations- some agencies may not consider all of the professional ethical considerations in conducting their business. This may land the investor in trouble with legal authorities.
  • Extra charges- since real estate agencies and home builders don’t directly deal in the money lending business, using those results in an extra cost because they are middlemen.

5.    Internet lenders- The internet is a business powerhouse worldwide. Many lenders have flocked to the internet, giving people  access to a loan at competitive rates.

Advantages of internet lenders

  • Easy access- shopping for an internet lender is very easy because you can do it from your PC or smartphone. You can access them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Competitive rates- unlike other mortgagors who have a physical office, they save you extra costs because they don’t pay property taxes and other overhead costs.
  • Comparative base- there are many online sites where you make comparisons on loan amounts awarded, interest rates and repayments.
  • Convenience- you can apply for a mortgage from an internet lender any time you want and wait for approval from the lender without strict deadlines.

Disadvantages of internet lenders

  • Lack of personal advice- since you don’t meet the lender face to face, a lack of personal touch may not be the ideal experience for you
  • Scams- there are many illegitimate internet lenders who may con you and disappear with your money when you give them your personal information.
  • Out of date sites- there are many online lenders’ sites that remain out of date. This may not give you the right idea of current mortgage rates today.

As you can see, there are many options for you when it comes to choosing a lender. This information should give you a complete overview of what to expect with each lending option. Look out for part 3 of this question, where we discuss lenders for both commercial and residential investment loans as well as what lenders are looking for in borrowers.

 

Buying Your First Home: The Process from Start to Finish

Buying Your First Home-The Process from Start to Finish-150x150There may come a time in your life when you decide it’s the right time to stop renting or living with your parents, and look for a place of your own. Whether you are looking for a house or an apartment, buying a home for the first time can be an intimidating process, and you are probably afraid not to make a mistake that will cost you more money or jeopardize your chances of becoming a home owner.

Finding the right home, obtaining a good mortgage loan, and moving into a new neighborhood are all steps necessary to becoming a home owner, but there’s nothing to be afraid about. By simply doing a little research, and getting to know all the steps, you will realize that this whole process is actually pretty straightforward. Here’s what the home buying process involves, from start to finish.

Find Out How Much You Can Afford to Pay

The first thing you need to do after you decide to buy a home is find out how much you can afford to spend on your first house or apartment. Having a budget is very beneficial, as it will help you in your search for a home, and it will keep you from spending more than you can afford, without even realizing it. Mortgage calculators can be very helpful in finding out how large of a monthly payment you can make and how big of a mortgage loan you can take out. Keep in mind that you will have to pay interest which, depending on several factors, can make your overall loan value much higher. Also, remember that you will probably have to make a hefty down payment and pay closing costs, which are also expensive.

One of the main factors that will affect how much you’ll be paying in interest is your credit score. You are entitled to one free credit report check per year, so you should make sure everything is in order before applying for a mortgage loan. The higher your credit score will be, the better mortgage loan and interest rate you will qualify for.

Find a Good Lender

The only way to find the right lender is by shopping around, asking your friends and family, or simply talking to various lenders. There’s a tough competition between lenders, so you would be surprised at how much some of them are willing to negotiate in order to get your business. Ask them plenty of questions in regards to the mortgage loans that they are offering, and only decide once you have found a lender that you feel comfortable with.

Once you have found a good lender, try to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This will make buying a home much faster once you find the right one, minimizing the chances that the seller will sell to someone else. Being pre-approved for a mortgage loan will also make you look more trustworthy in the eyes of the seller.

Find the Right Home

Knowing what you are looking for before you start to shop around for a home will surely help you narrow down your options, and find the right home faster. Depending on your budget, you might have to make sacrifices in certain areas, but you shouldn’t stop searching for a home until you find the one that is the closest to what you are looking for.

Besides looking at what the property has to offer, also pay close attention to the neighborhood that the home is located in, the proximity to schools or stores, and the length of your commute to and from work. All of these factors can help you better decide if that is the right home for you and give you more reason to negotiate.

Make an Offer

Most home sellers will set their asking price higher than the home is worth, which means that they are probably expecting you to make a lower offer. The best way of finding out how much you should offer is by looking at what comparable houses in the same or similar areas have sold for recently.

Once you have decided how much you want to offer, contact your real estate agent and proceed with making the offer. Most likely, the seller will make a counter-offer, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make a new offer. Going back and forth too much can cause problems, so it is better to meet the seller half way.

Obtain the Right Mortgage Loan

Depending on your budget, you will have to decide between a fixed-rate and an adjustable-rate mortgage loan as well as the loan term. If you can’t afford a large monthly payment, your best choice is to get a 30-year mortgage loan. However, you should keep in mind that the shorter the loan term is, the less you will be paying in interest overall.

You might also qualify for different types of loans that are designed to help those with lower incomes, such as an FHA or a VA loan. These types of loans are geared towards certain people, so you should do a little research before applying for one of these loans to be sure that you fit the criteria.

Close on Your New Home and Move In

Before closing on your mortgage loan, you should get a home inspection to make sure that there are no major issues with your new home. This is one place where you wouldn’t want to try to save money, because finding a problem like roof damage before it’s too late can save you a lot of money in the future. Closing costs will be fairly high, but you will only have to pay them once.

After everything is paid and signed, you can start to move in. You can use a moving company, or just do everything yourself with the help of your friends and family.

Buying a home is not a scary process once you get to know the basics. Of course, you can always encounter some unpleasant surprises along the way, but a little research goes a long way when buying your first home.

Top 10 Loan Modification Lenders

Top 10 Loan Modification Lenders-150x150Many Americans have been affected by the recent economic crisis. Millions of homes have gone into foreclosure, and millions of families have lost their homes. If you are at risk for losing your home, the good news is that there is something you can do about it, but it largely depends on your ability to get back on the right track financially. If your lender agrees to a mortgage loan modification, you have a good chance for saving your home from foreclosure, and avoid the nightmare of losing your home.

Mortgage lenders are not required to agree to a loan modification, so it is up to you to prove to them that your own financial crisis is only temporary, and that you will be able to start making payments on your mortgage again. Not all lenders are created the same, so here is a list of the top 10 loan modification lenders:

Top 10 Lenders

1. Wells Fargo & Company: As of March of 2013, Wells Fargo, whose vision is “We want to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially”, is the best ranked financial institution in market value in the country.

  • The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, but serves its U.S. and international customers through their 9,000 stores, their website and their 12,000 ATMs. Wells Fargo offers their 70 million clients worldwide services such as banking, mortgage and insurance, and is an industry leader in the U.S., being the first ranked retail mortgage lender and mortgage servicer in the country.

2. JP Morgan Chase:  One of the largest financial services company in the world, JP Morgan Chase started its business more than 200 years ago.

  • The firm has assets of $2.4 trillion, and operates in the Unites States, as well as internationally, in more than 60 countries.
  • Some of the services offered to the U.S. customers include credit cards, home finance, education finance, retirement, auto finance and investing.

3. Citigroup: Citigroup opened its doors for the first time in 1812. It only had 1 branch and 22 employees. Today, it is one of the best-known financial institutions, operating in 160 countries and territories, and employing more than 260,000 people.

  • Since 2007, Citigroup, through Citi Mortgage, has helped over 1 million people to avoid foreclosure. The company also launched its Road to Recovery program, to support afflicted U.S. homeowners.

4. Ocwen Financial Corporation: With an experience of more than 20 years, Ocwen is the leading high-risk loan servicer in the country.

  • Ocwen is based in Dunwoody, Georgia, but has offices in other cities across the country, too, and has a license to service loans in all U.S. states and territories.
  • Since February 1, 2013, GMAC Mortgage transferred part of its loans to Ocwen.

5. Bank of America: This multinational financial corporation is one of the country’s largest bank holding companies. Along with its competitors, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, Bank of America is one of the Big Four banks in the U.S.

  • Bank of America and its subsidiaries, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust, offer its clients a wide range of services, such as consumer banking, mortgage, corporate banking, credit cards and wealth management.

6. U.S. Bank: The 5th largest bank in America, U.S. Bank, has assets totaling more than $355 billion. The company offers financial services to consumers in more than 25 U.S. states, and has operations in Europe and Canada, as well.

  • U.S. Bank was ranked first in customer satisfaction three years in a row (2010-2012), and over the years has received numerous rankings and awards.

7. PNC Bank: PNC Bank is the main subsidiary of PNC Financial. The firm is headquartered in downtown Pittsburg, PA, and has over 50,000 employees.

  • PNC is one of the country’s top mortgage lenders, with a loan portfolio of $122 billion. The company has over 90 mortgage offices in the U.S. and 2,800 Retail Banking stores, where its customers are served by knowledgeable mortgage professionals.

8. SunTrust Bank: This financial firm was established in Atlanta, Georgia, and operates in several states in Southeastern U.S.

  • As of March 2013, SunTrust has $173 billion in assets, and approximately 30,000 employees, who work together to offers quality financial services to U.S. clients. Some of the bank’s offerings are mortgage banking, credit and deposit services, retail banking, as well as insurance, asset management and mutual funds.

9. Provident Funding: Provident was founded in 1992, and is the country’s second largest private mortgage firm.

  • The company is licensed in 47 U.S. states, has a $60 billion loan servicing portfolio and more than 280,000 clients.
  • Freddie Mac’s “Top 25” ranked Provident the best servicer for default management, and it also named the mortgage company “Hall of Fame Servicer”.

10. Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T): Headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, BB&T operates in 12 states, has over 1,800 branches and more than 30,000 employees.

  • BB&T received many awards, and is recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for outstanding customer satisfaction.

Having an open line of communication with your lender is very important, and will help you to easier reach an agreement with them. Lenders are not obligated to give you a mortgage loan modification, but being upfront and honest with them will certainly increase your chances of saving your home from foreclosure, and painlessly get back on your feet financially.

Shopping for a Mortgage Loan? Learn How to Compare Mortgage Lenders

If You’re Shopping for a Mortgage Loan, Learn How to Compare Mortgage Lenders- 150x150Becoming a homeowner is something that many people aspire to. Owning a home offers you more security in your life, and it’s something that you can be proud of. But home buying is one of the largest investments most people will make in their life time, so doing it right is very important. When shopping for a mortgage, you must do a ton of research, which will help you find what you are looking for and possibly save you a significant amount of money.

Not all lenders are created equal, which means that, if you just do business with the first one that crossed your path, you won’t have anything to compare him with. Also, more importantly, some lenders can give out loans that better suit your needs, but others will present you with various options that will not work to your advantage. It is imperative to know how to compare mortgage lenders, and is the only way to avoid turning your life into a nightmare.

How to Compare Mortgage Lenders

Finding the right mortgage lender for you can only be done by shopping around and comparing several lenders. When looking at various mortgage loans from various lenders, the first thing that will get your attention is the interest rate. Comparing mortgage lenders based solely on the interest rate is wrong, as there are many other factors that make up a loan. The interest rate has a huge impact on how much the mortgage loan will cost you, but these other factors are not to be taken lightly. Here are a few steps that you should take when comparing mortgage loans from different mortgage lenders:

  1. Research several mortgage lenders in the area. You can do the research online, by calling their offices, or by visiting their locations to talk to one of the officers and pick up brochures. Remember that the interest rate is not the only thing you should look for when shopping for a mortgage loan. Some lenders may offer lower than usual interest rates, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be paying that interest rate for the duration of the loan.
  2. Make sure that you are comparing the same type of loans. It’s important to understand that interest rates change daily, so you should compare rates on a specific date. Also, make sure that you are not comparing the interest rates on loans with different terms. Comparing rates on a 30-year to rates on a 15-year loan will not help with your decision, as this is like comparing apples to oranges.
  3. Compare each lender’s closing fees and points charged. Remember that each origination point represents 1 percent of the purchase price. Also, you can pay for more mortgage points in order to have your interest rate reduced. Points are not the only expense that you will have when taking out a mortgage loan. There are also closing costs, such as the appraisal fee, the title fee and many others, that you should take into consideration, as they can make your closing costs very high.
  4. Find out if there is a prepayment penalty on the loan. If there is a penalty for paying off your mortgage loan too early and you’re unsure of your plans for the next few years, then maybe you should keep looking. The prepayment penalty will make selling or refinancing your home in the near future very difficult and expensive.
  5. Find out how much your down payment will have to be. Most lenders require a 20 percent down payment, but how much you will be able to pay will influence the amount of money that you will be paying for the duration of the loan. This means that, depending on the amount that you will be able to come up with as a down payment, you will save money, or spend more.

Finding a good mortgage deal is influenced by several factors, and not only the quoted interest rate. Closing costs and other fees can rack up quickly and turn what you thought was the perfect mortgage loan for you into a nightmare. A mortgage loan is something that you will have to pay over the next fifteen or thirty years, so properly researching each lender and what they offer will guarantee that you will find a mortgage loan that suits you and your budget.

Compare Mortgage Rates to Find the Best Deal

content_guides_buying_mortgage_adviceObviously, the most important part of finding a mortgage is determining the best mortgage rate. This involves two main things, each of which will be outlined in today’s article. By understanding the importance of each of these things, borrowers will effectively be able to compare mortgage rates and, in so doing, get the best possible loan.

Compare mortgage rates from the past to the present
One of the most important parts of picking a good mortgage rate is understanding how the current rate compares to past rates. If the rate has dipped by several percentage points over the last few years, could it fall any further? Or is it already on an upswing? If you can accurately answer these questions, you can ensure that the rate you eventually choose will be at the lowest possible percentage.

Obviously, analyzing the future trajectory of mortgage rates is difficult if you have no economic background. In fact, even those who do have extensive training in the subject are not always right. For that reason, it’s important to get a wide range of opinions from a number of different sources in order to get a general consensus of how to compare mortgage rates from the past to the present.

If you were to compare mortgage rates today with those in the past, you would find that many term-lengths are at an all-time low, meaning that there has never been a better time to buy for many lenders. Of course, mortgage rates are in a constant state of flux, and they could still become lower as the economy continues to sink. By monitoring information and analysis like this, you should be able to time the market much more effectively.

Compare mortgage rates from different banks
The other major factors that you need to look at are the rates that different banks are offering. Each bank has its own unique pros and cons, and by comparing their different interest rates, you can get a better idea of which lender offers the best solution to your home financing needs. One of the most straightforward ways of doing this is to go around to each bank’s website and look at their individual mortgage rates for the various terms.

However, there is an easier way. Certain websites have made it their duty to keep consumers updated on the best possible interest rates. To do this, they compare mortgage interest rates from a number of popular banks, and allow you to view a side-by-side comparison to determine which lender offers the best rates for the term you are interested in.

Usually, the mortgage rates for these banks are very similar. However, the difference of a few bank ratestenths of a percentage point can add up over time, and could eventually force you into paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest money. This is why comparing mortgage rates are so important: by getting a better idea of the options available, borrowers can pick and choose the one that gives them the best rate. In turn, these forces lenders to offer more competitive rates, as consumers can easily go to the bank that offers the most competitive rate.

Summary
If you can understand and utilize both of the objectives listed above, then you will be much better equipped to find the perfect mortgage rate. Put simply, in order to compare mortgage rates effectively, you need a combination of education and professional opinion about the past, current, and future trends of interest rates from all sorts of different banks.