How to Get Mortgage Quotes Online
The Internet has changed all aspects of the home buying process, including the way we shop for homes and compare mortgages and lenders. It used to be true that online mortgage lending was a shady business, with limited choices and terrible rates. With more options for online mortgages than ever, shopping for mortgage quotes online is not the hit or miss business it once was.
Advantages of Getting Mortgage Quotes Online
Shopping online for mortgage quotes means you can get several quotes all at the same time rather than call multiple phone numbers of show up at lots of different mortgage offices.
Along with that, using the Internet lets you shop at your convenience, not just during someone else’s business hours. That means shopping for mortgage quotes day or night. Working full-time doesn’t leave much room for quote shopping, so do your mortgage quote homework at your convenience.
Downsides of Getting Mortgage Quotes Online
Of course there will always be businesses that try to take advantage of people online. Your best bet is to get mortgage quotes from companies whose names you know, or who have offices you can contact. Smaller mortgage companies may well be the real deal, but if you can’t talk to a human being related to the company you should be wary.
The biggest downside of online mortgage quote hunting is the fact that your quote may not be as accurate as a mortgage quote from a real person in a real office. Depending on things like debt-to-earning ratio, personal credit history, and other factors, a mortgage quote may vary widely. No online entity can measure all the various things that go into offering a mortgage quote perfectly, and at the same time, these websites can’t answer your question or advise you as you go along like an in-house mortgage office. Of course, when you get an online mortgage quote, you will speak to an agent eventually. But the goings may be slow in terms of getting an accurate quote.
Taking that into consideration, here’s seven steps to finding a mortgage quote online.
1. Figure out what size of mortgage you are looking for
Remember that you will pay a better price for the home if you put down at least 1/5 of the cost of the entire loan in cash. The more you put down, the better your deal, but there’s a limit. There’s no use paying more than 50% of the price of the loan, as the mortgage benefit for putting money down stops at 50%.
2. Gather your financial information
You’re going to be entering lots of annoying financial details in lots of little text boxes for a few days, so it is time to get all your financial details organized and together. The better your organization, the easier your mortgage search. You’ll be putting these numbers into boxes over and over again, so get your typing fingers warmed up.
What kinds of financial details do you need? Annual household income, tax details, references, your mother’s maiden name . . . the more information you have, the better off you’ll be.
3. Get a lot of generic quotes
You’ll start your online mortgage quote search by getting a huge number of fairly generic quote from an equally huge number of lenders. Bonus–generic mortgage quotes don’t require the kind of financial details that more detailed quotes do, so it takes less time to get these quotes, plus your personal information won’t be displayed for the world to (potentially) see.
The idea here is to get together a list of just a few lenders that you want to ask for more specific quotes.
Remember to get your quotes around the same time, as interest rates change multiple times a day.
4. Pay attention to the interest rate
It isn’t true that the interest rate is the only factor you should use to determine if a mortgage quote is good for you, but you should still try to secure a quote with the best interest rate. This is a great way to start thinning the herd of mortgage quotes.
5. Narrow down your list
Now that you have something of a short list of potential lenders, it is time to condense that list even further. Pick five quotes to research further, then head back to their web sites and fill out the more specific mortgage quote functions. This will give you more accurate quotes.
6. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate
It’s time for another round of mortgage quote evaluations–you have better quotes now, so choose from those five the one quote that you think would work best for your specific situation. This may not be the quote with the best interest rate–so pay attention to other factors too.
7. Research your choice online
So you have one lender’s name that you want to use for your mortgage–it’s time to go online a evaluate that lender, especially if it is from a company you’re not familiar with.
Finding a mortgage quote online isn’t as backbreaking an operation as it seems. As long as you stick to companies you trust, gather your financial materials into one place, do the proper research, and don’t just focus on the interest rate, you can get just as accurate a mortgage quote online as you’d get in a bank office.
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