The date of this blog is important because it notes the day and year and that will be important in what I write about today, because times have definitely changed.
What do I ask a loan officer? (Before and when applying for a loan)
In pondering this thought, I realized that I usually put myself in the consumer’s shoes and try to feel what they are feeling and since all the laws have changed over the past year and we as loan officers are consumed with so much more paperwork, information, requirements that I hadn’t been able to get back to that place in awhile. After pondering I realized the first question you should ask your loan officer…
Are you licensed by the State of Michigan?
What does that mean to you the consumer? Well it means they have passed both the State and Federal exam, they are bonded, they have cleared a background check AND you can go to http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/fis/ind_srch/ConsumerFinance/Search.asp, after July 31, 2010 and see who is licensed as well as if there are any complaints lodged against any particular loan officer or company. As an example I have passed both exams, but I am in the process of doing everything else on the list and we have until July 31, 2010 to complete everything and then we will officially be licensed.
Do you underwrite, close and fund your own loans?
This is important to the consumer because if the answer is no, the impact on your loan could be very big. If the answer is yes, then they can just walk down the hall if there is a problem and take care of it. If the answer is no, then the loan officer doesn’t have a lot of control. This can cause delays at closing, because they are waiting on someone else to get the money to your closing.
How long have you been in the business?
This is an important question especially today, because experience is so key to what we do in this lending environment that it can truly make a difference.
Do you have references?
Of course you will only get the best of references, but it could be interesting to see what they have to say about your loan officer.
How do I know if can afford a home?
Hopefully most of their answer will include on how they are going to educate you in the process of buying a home and explain how it works and what percentage of your income you should be used for a mortgage payment and what types of options you have in loan programs.
I think the most important thing about speaking to your loan officer is that you have that option. You can make an appointment and speak to them and go over everything face to face vs. doing things over the internet. Using a local lender is so important because they have a stake in seeing that you have a positive experience, because it is their reputation on the line. If you apply online there is no personal stake involved in seeing you have a positive experience.
The questions about rate and closing costs will come and will be important, but how your loan officer prepares you for the process and educates you during the process will be more important in the end on what will most likely by the largest financial investment you will make.
There are so many laws in place to protect you and that should give you some comfort. In order to have survived the past few years and get licensed as a loan officer, it means that 80% of the licensed loan officers have lived through some of the most turbulent times in the industry and are still standing. That should count for something as well.
I hope this helps you when talking to a loan officer about your mortgage. I also it helps give you some insight into the industry today.
Senior Loan Officer
Huron Valley Financial, Inc.
2395 Oak Valley Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Direct Line: 734-669-4295
http://twitter.com/terimarshallWritten by Kathy Toth - Visit Website