How to know more than your mortgage loan officer without lifting a finger (so you don’t get screwed)
If I had a dollar for every person who told me about their stressful mortgage experience, I’d be sunning myself on my very own Mediterranean yacht right now.
Most of the stress that home buyers and homeowners who are getting a mortgage or refinancing feel is from dealing with uncertainty:
“Is the information I’m getting right?”
“Am I being told everything I need to know?”
“Is this a good deal for me in the long run?”
and, most commonly,
“What am I not being told?”
Sadly, there isn’t an easy way for home buyers and homeowners to know the answers to these questions. After all, how can you be an expert in something like mortgages that’s already so complicated? And, who has the time?
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the seven years of being in the financial industry it is that things that are opaque for consumers create massive opportunities for banks. And, that’s the way they like it. I hate to be cynical but I’ve seen it in action so many times.
I had a bad mortgage experience and I got so mad about it that I started a software company that made tools to make mortgages clear to consumers. We sold these to service-focused banks and non-profits. You know what I learned through that experience? If educating the consumer causes a loan officer to lose a buck, guess what? They won’t educate you.
One of the loan officers who used our product actually said, “I only use this with the 5% of people who ask a lot of questions and won’t shut up, so that I don’t have to explain to them how things work. With the other 95%, if they don’t ask, it’s easier to just close the deal”. In other words, a savvy customer to him means less money in his pocket.
Got that? It’s a lot better for this guy if you’d just shut up and take what you are given!
But that’s definitely not how you get a good deal on your mortgage.
So how do you guarantee that you won’t get screwed over and instantly know more than the loan officer you are dealing with?
1. Play the field
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gives good advice – people who shop around save money. But, mortgage companies make it really hard to shop around because they a) all qualify you differently & keep asking you for all sorts of random materials before they even give you a binding rate b) have access to different products so you aren’t always things that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison with.
Solution: If you spend time upfront getting everything loan officers will need, it cuts the time by literally one tenth when you are in the process, and makes shopping around a breeze. You’ll have everything you need to get multiple quotes and offers from different loan officers while barely moving a muscle. If you want to shop around like a ninja (with your mortgage professional none the wiser) get our home buyer’s guide. It has everything you need to be sure you get the best deal possible. No funny business.
2. Know where to find real rates
Most people think that the rates that you see on the internet are real, like on rate charts where you plug in your loan information and credit score. Wrong! Rates on the internet are glorified advertisements. This is because a bank can’t give you a real rate until they know your credit risk and what you qualify for and for this they need income, taxes, debts, job specifics, and other information, not just your credit score. That’s why the fine print says “non-binding quote”.
Solution: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made a page with live mortgage data specifically to give consumers a better sense of actual mortgage rates in your area and to counteract these fake rate sites that take your information and sell it to the highest bidder.
3. Figure out what you want, independent of a loan officer
The type of mortgage that you get, whether it’s a 15 year fixed, 30 year fixed, FHA, or adjustable loan will very much affect your finances in the future. Many people rely on a loan officer to tell them what is good for them. Though there are many intelligent loan officers, they only need to have 20 hours of training and then pass a state exam. How do you know that they are telling you everything you need to know?
More importantly, why would you leave a decision that affects your future to someone who may have their own best interests in mind?
And, for a refinance, you may have even more options, like a cash out refinance, or a different term loan that suits your needs better.
Solution: Don’t let a loan officer limit your possibilities.
Decide for yourself what fits best for your future. See with your own eyes what is best for you. Get our guide on the top tips to create your own, ideal destiny. You’ll be automatically signed up to get notified when we release our tools so that you can independently look at all the loan options available to you, and then tell the loan officer what you want. How’s that? One mortgage company CEO said when he saw our tools, “No loan officer in their right mind would want their client using these as it shows all the things they are trying to hide.”
Yep, that’s the point!
4. Close the deal like a hero
One of the worst parts of the mortgage process is when you are pressed for time and then you get these quotes in that are so complicated, and you’ve got to make a decision. A big decision. This is when the rubber hits the road, because what you pick can affect you for up to 30 years. And the loan officer is throwing concepts like “points” at you and “non-lender fees” and all of a sudden you feel like you have to cave.
Let’s stop for a second. Mortgages are commodities. Why should any bank or person have more information than you? Why should you be made to feel dumb?
Solution: Don’t cave, and don’t even break a sweat.
See with your own eyes how one complete deal (fees and all) stacks up against another without having to trust that your loan officer is giving you the right information or spend your precious time trying to make sense of it all. Let us do the heavy lifting. Get our guide to 10 secrets of getting a great deal.
If you want a guide to all home buyer, home owner and home seller aspects, get my book, Avoid the Money Pit, Turn your Home Into a Financial Powerhouse. I wish I had this book when I got my first three mortgages. And I made plenty of mistakes. On the third mortgage, I really got taken advantage of. I got so mad that I started a company that made mortgages clear to consumers. For a few years, we sold these to banks and non-profits, but then we realized that they were holding back on the most powerful parts of the tools, because they would make them lose business. Why? Because the show people when a deal is not in their best interest!
I was injured in an accident a little while ago, and while I was recovering, I thought, life is too short to not make an impact where it is most needed. I’m going to offer these straight to the people who need these the most – home buyers and homeowners. I’m taking all the insider information on how to level the playing field and giving it to home buyers and homeowners.
Whether you are buying a home, or refinancing, or simply want to understand your current mortgage before you even consider refinancing, download the first chapter for free here to get first dibs on these powerful tools that will transform your home buying or refinancing.
Do you have tips or frustrations about the mortgage process that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know.
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