Homeowners: Where Did You Get Your Mortgage?

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I’m curious as to where people initially found their mortgage loans, even if later on it was sold to someone else. Here are the options, along with a brief and very generalized impression of their pros and cons.

  • National Banks. In general have above-average rates, but may have special programs for certain groups of people. May be more comfortable and/or reputable. Relatively rigid lending standards. Examples: Bank of America, Wells Fargo.
  • Local Bank. May have a good relationship and be easier to communicate with, and may be more flexible with underwriting.
  • Online Bank. May offer competitive rates, but the communication and service might not be as good. Example: Capital One Consumer Bank.
  • Local Broker. May offer a better rate by shopping around for a wholesale rate and adding their commission. However, the quality and honesty of these brokers can vary wildly from great to subpar. The rates quoted might not actually materialize.
  • Credit Union. Limited membership field, but may still offer good rates to members. Example: Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • Online Broker. You can compare lenders online at a distance. However, the service again might not be that great. Example: LendingTree.com.

Here’s is the poll:

Who Did You Get Your Mortgage Through?

View Results

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Feel free to explain your decision in the comments if you have time!

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  1. I couldn’t vote for any of the options because while I am currently with ING, my initial mortgage(s) to purchase the house were set up through my realtor. She (I assume) received a commission if I initiated a mortgage through her firm’s national mortgage agency. Because I only put down 10% and needed a second mortgage in addition to the main mortgage, it was fairly convenient to go through this process.

    I refinanced the 2nd mortgage about 1-2 weeks after closing (the rate was too friggin high) – no cost, so that was fine.

    I refinanced the main mortgage to ING about 7.5 months after that.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Did you do it that way because you were in a rush to get “some” kind of loan in place to buy the house? Or some other reason?

    I added an “Other” option to accommodate other scenarios. I just thought of VA loans as well.

  3. CitiMortgage gave me the loan, but I went through Lending Tree to get it. Worked out very well. 6.75% for someone with Ok credit at the time was great. I’m hoping to be able to refi one rates hi 5% and drop my payments down some.

  4. by your definitions, I had to say “other” because I used a local mortgage banker. I checked into the online brokers and a local broker, but I ended up going with the local mortgage banker.

    I really didn’t have any Con’s that I could determine, and they said the closing would be very easy as they were the banker and providing the funds. Of course, they sell 100% of the loans, and mine was sold within 3 months to Countrywide.

    Since they don’t service the loans, there were a fair amount of fees I’ve seen other avoid. But then they were able to give me better terms on rate and lock period since they were originating the loan themselves.

  5. New homes sale in Georgia says

    Started Countrywide and got sold to another within the first year.

  6. I used a local mortgage broker whom I know and trust. I met him through the Chamber of Commerce, and then he began attending our church, where I got to know him better over a year or so of serving together and being in a small group together. So I trust him. 🙂 He’s actually done two mortgages for us now: one for our home, and one for a rental home we purchased last year.

    I like the local broker approach because they can shop for the best deal (as you mentioned), plus it’s a local face, someone you can know and talk to, as opposed to an online form, etc. As long as you pay attention to what kind of loan you’re getting and what the terms are, you should be OK…

  7. Sovereign Bank- I had a friend who worked as a loan officer through them, and because he was personally interested in my deal he went through the effort to get me a first time homebuyer’s grant, waived a lot of my fees, and found me a great rate. So, I ended up with a 5.125% interest for 30 yrs with no points. I bought in 2003.

  8. Ted Valentine says

    I’ve used local mortgage companies or banks in the past.

    I just used Penfed for a refi.

  9. Other: State-run mortgage program. It’s worth looking for government-run mortgage programs in your area. See: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/arcmessageview.php?catid=52&threadid=629605

  10. I ended up with a local broker because he worked in the office next door and I got to know him pretty well. Nowadays we speak every few years and he keeps me posted with the latest in mortgage information. I find this ongoing service beneficial because it means that I don’t have to keep up on the latest mortgage rates and can pretty much ignore all the propaganda I get in the mail about it.

    The one big thing that I would encourage you to do is to work with someone who requires all the information they will need up front to give you a pre-approved letter. Because of my situation there were some red flags raised and I had to produce some extra documentation. This would have been stressful and annoying if done in conjunction with a “I want this house now” situation. One of those things that I needed to document, in fact, was some of my credit card activity, because at the time I was also doing the 0 percent transfer game and did not want to make paying that off a condition of my load (as in, part of the mortgage would go to doing that). All I had to do was provide a detailed paper trail on this, but it was not something I would have wanted to deal with later. (I had a much more complicated paperwork challenge with some gift money that I got from my parents as well)

    Anyway, the first guy I started to work with offered me my pre-approval letter after me simply telling him all my info and a credit check.

    Then, in terms of continuing service, I like a broker over a direct lender because having a mortgage is something to continue to evaluate over time like any other financial decision. Sure, it’s nice to think “oh, I’ll have this loan for 30 years or however long it takes me to pay off” but there are lots of reasons to evaluate it often. First, in our situation our house has just about doubled in value. We put down 20% at the beginning so there is no need to re-finance because of PMI, but there is a TON of equity in our house and we have no plans on moving at any point. So do we just let the equity sit in our house? Well, for between 5 and 6% right now, we could refinance and take up to 100,000 more than our original loan (100K + the amount we’ve paid off so far) out of our house that can still be deducted on our taxes. Plus more if we wanted to spend it on improvements (new roof, etc.).

    I’ve been looking at various options for investing this money, including real estate. A mortgage broker can help you manage all of your mortgages as a package, not just follow you through one loan application.

    But with all of that being said, our mortgage landed at a national bank and has not been sold yet. This bank happened to be one of the ones I use as a local bank (basic checking, ATM, that sort of thing) and I really appreciate that. I get some extra benefits by having a combined set of assets at this bank (mortgages count as an asset), so it is nice. For this reason I have included them in my short list for a refinance. We are eligible for a cheaper refinance than through my broker at the moment through them, as far as fees go, so I keep them in mind while planning.

    Hope this early morning ramble is mostly coherent. 🙂

  11. My original mortgage was through the mortgage broker our realtor recommended. I hesitated to do this at first–I really thought we would get screwed. I decided to shop around–I put in my application with them at the same time I applied through multiple lenders recommended on Fatwallet. The local broker offered the lowest rate, but fairly high closing costs. After showing him a GFE with a lower origination fee, he agreed to match that cost. Overall, he was VERY willing to match/beat the competition. In addition, it was our first home purchase, so it was nice to have a local contact for my questions.

    I recently started the re-finance process. Again, I applied with several banks/credit unions/brokers. On a whim, I called our current lender’s refinance line and they were able to offer a lower rate than the competition, with no appraisal necessary and fairly low closing costs. I’m so glad I called them!

  12. Parents.

  13. i spent a lot of time shopping rates
    i called all the national banks, i called a couple regional and local banks, and i spoke with 2 brokers.

    i ended up at WellsFargo. it was close between them, and a small local bank. both people i talked to came refered to me. both were able to work with me, waiving fees, and waiving this and working with that, etc.

    I think the most important thing to know (regarding rate and money) is there is pretty much always more wiggle room, so try and get as much as you can.

  14. I used a local mortgage broker that was recommended to me by a friend (my boss at the time). I still shopped around for a better deal and ended up getting a lower rate and fees from the broker by showing that I had gotten a better rate from a big national bank. I recommend that to anyone, make lenders bid for your service to get the lowest rate and fees possible. When it comes to getting loans, I really don’t trust anyone to just hand me a good deal the 1st time around, they look at a chart based on your credit and spit out a number…yea right. You counter that with “I’ve been quoted a much better rate than that at bank ABC”. It has more teeth though if you can get a good-faith estimate from bank ABC to present to them.

  15. btw i love that wellsfargo hasnt sold my loan — which is almost certainly going to happen with smaller banks

  16. Bank of America
    Their no cost mortgage program was hands down the best.
    No catches – no gimmics.
    Straight forward dealing.

    Our seller’s title company was extremely inefficient and BofA worked with us throughout the process to get things done right.

  17. Jonathan Bright says

    I disagree with online banks having sub-par communication and service. I got my mortgage with E-LOAN and the service was amazing. They assigned me a personal loan assistant and gave me her direct number. She was very experienced and excellent to deal with. Almost every single time I called, she was there to answer whatever questions I had and went above and beyond in a lot of ways to make sure I was satisfied. I was very pleased with my experience and I’m glad I went with E-LOAN because I feel that it really saved me a lot of hassle. The mortgage was sold to Wells Fargo after a very short period, but that was expected because E-LOAN is just a broker really. I am happy with Wells Fargo but at times the customer service can be lacking, although not horrible.

  18. I really liked my local mortgage broker. He was a strong recommendation from a good friend who has bought numerous properties in my area, so I felt that I could trust him. He told me himself that many brokers are less than reputable, so recommendations or personal connections are the best way to go if you decide to go this route.

  19. Hmm, I fall somewhere in between national and local bank. Ours is through a relatively large regional bank. The look and feel of a national chain, but enough local offices to get some personal attention. I hate them as a bank and we don’t use them any more, but we got a reasonable rate on your mortgage at the time.

  20. We went with a local credit union, and it was a simple decision for us because we live in a dirt-cheap real estate market in rural Oklahoma. We borrowed 67K at 5.5% on a 5-year mortgage, and my goal is to pay it off in 12 months.

  21. My mortgage is through a large bank (Wells Fargo), but I went through a local broker to get it. Typically, brokers can get you better rates than if you go straight to a bank — although the broker gets a fee for originating your loan (typically ~1 pt), the banks keep the same fee for themselves if you go straight to their retail branch, because they don’t want to undercut their broker distribution (an besides, the make more money that way). Thus brokers aren’t at a disadvantage to retain banks, but they can shop around to get better rates. They can also cut into their commission if they want to.

    I locked my rate with a broker, and at the same time went to a bunch of the bigger online “discount” brokers, and none of them were able to match my rate and terms; thus I was satisfied that I had gotten a good deal. (Several of them actually expressed disbelief at the rate that I got.)

    On the flip side, there are a lot of shady brokers out there, so you need to make sure you trust your broker, and make sure you know exactly what kind of loan you are getting into. Probably at this point, many of these are out of business, since the loans they originated no longer exist, but it’s still good to be careful.

  22. We have used our credit union for our last couple of mortgages. We have found their rates to be very competitive, and they may be much more flexible in terms of PMI and escrow requirements. (I haven’t paid escrow on any credit union mortgage, and had PMI waived on an 85% LTV mortgage.)

    As an aaide, on our last purchase, we did the primary with our current credit union, and the second mortgage with our previous credit union to get the best combination of rates. It really wasn’t a hassle to split it between companies, aside from having to send the paperwork to both institutions. Also, it should be noted that for many credit unions, nearly anyone can become a member, so it’s worth asking if you find a good rate.

    The other thing I like about the credit unions we’ve used it that they service all their mortgages.

  23. I basically set up a “mortgage” with my parents – I paid the down payment, and they funded the rest. We set up a schedule – basically the terms are for a 15 year fixed rate, and signed a contract.

    At 6%, they are not getting the best deal maybe, especially since they have to claim the money as ordanary interest (as opposed to capital gains and whatnot), but for me, it is an incredible deal as the house is “owned” free and clear by the family, I get to deduct the interest the same as mortgage interest, plus, someday I hope to inherit some of that money back. Not only that, but I know that if I lose my job, or whatever, my parents will work with me as I have been responsible with making payments.

    An extra perk: With the contract we signed, my parents can’t come to visit without giving us 30 days notice – no small benefit if your wife doesn’t like the in-laws! 😉 (Although my wife and my parents get along great btw!)

  24. I have my $54,000 mortgage with ING. They allowed me to have 95% loan to value, and didn’t care about the smallness of the mortgage. They allowed me to get a house right when I wanted one. Otherwise I would have had to rent for another 5-6 years, and that just wasn’t appealing to me. The house is nicer than anything I could get with renting for the same price, and I have a chance to build a little equity.

  25. My rentals are all through major banks. My personal home currently runs through wamu but I’ll refi it soon and go for NFCU.org credit union. They’re stable, have great rates and we already use them for car loans. Find a bank/lender you like and offers you the security/payoffs you are comfortable. Sometimes it’s nice to have a property that’s just solid and unchanging from year to year.

  26. End up going with BOA, who offered the best rate at the time, last August 07. You have to remember, rates were going up during that time. My wife who works at a different bank, could not have gotten a better rate even with her discount, my friend who is a mortgage broker was not even close. I who can also do my own loan, could not find a better rate. I heard BOA, will have periords where they offer really good rate. I guess we caught them at the right time.

  27. JimmyDaGeek says

    My wife works in a real estate settlement company and prepares the paperwork. She prepares the HUD-1s that you sign showing what money goes where. She thinks all mortgage brokers are scum and would not borrow any money through one.

  28. We went through a local bank after failing to get underwriting approval through an online bank. The local bank acted as a broker and our loan was actually written by WAMU. AFAIK, the loan has not yet been sold.

  29. Jonathan

    I get my refi through a broker. She gives no cost refinance loans. For some reasons bank give her much better rates than they are directly willing to give customers. And banks pay her 6 to 7 thousand dollars in commission for each loan ( she uses part of that to pay my loan costs). If you are in bay area, drop me a line and i’ll give you her contact info.

    One caveat in going with brokers is that they make you sign a no refinance for 6 months contract. Banks usually dont have it

  30. Also used a Realtor recommended financing, who gave us a 25 year mortgage instead of the 30 year requested. We mentioned it to the person, and they said it would be straightened out for closing. Would have had to put off closing if we didn’t go with the 25 year, and we were ready to move, having sold our place. Very frustrating. Needless to say, we refinanced with our Credit Union within months, mostly because they don’t sell their mortgages, or try to do any other fun stuff. We put down 50% on our place to keep the payments low, so that we could switch to a single income at any time.

  31. Local, in state, broker. We’ve been very happy with them.

    We might be moving soon and this is the advice our broker gave us (because his company doesn’t finance out of state):

    1) Check the state Housing Finance Agency and you might see who participates in their programs, by area, because participation in these often says something about the lender. You might even call the agency to see which lenders they could recommend for a non-first time buyer.

    2) Remember when comparing offers that title fees and escrow charges (taxes, insurance, pre-paid interest) typically do not really vary much from lender to lender, even if estimates make it see so. It is the total cost of rate and points (including discount, origination, and loan-level price adjustments) plus miscellaneous and lender fees (inc. so called “junk” fees) that you want to zero in on and compare. If you receive an offer (Good Faith Estimate, i.e.) and would like me to review it for comment, I am happy to do so.

    3) When you get a Good Faith Estimate ask the lender to disclose all costs on the form, even those normally paid for by sellers.

    4) Ask for two estimates from each lender, one reflecting little or no origination or discount points, and another showing at least 1% origination and discount.

    5) Also always ask if your lender is approved to sell loans directly to Fannie Mae (or Freddie Mac) and whether they can do FHA, VA, and USDA Rural Housing loans as well as conventional loans. Likewise you should always ask your loan officer how long they have worked with that company, and how long with the particular loan processor (with whom you likely will do most of the work on your loan, after application). And if your loan will involve mortgage insurance make sure the lender discusses all your options for this (financed, monthly, partially financed, refundable or not).

    There are not necessarily “right” answers but how lenders respond to these questions can often be very informative.

    Because of the publics recent lack of faith and trust in the mortgage industry, many brokers are now joining groups like the UpFront Mortgage Broker Association where they are required to be honest about all fees, etc.: http://upfrontmortgagebrokers.org/index.asp

    “Instead of shopping for a mortgage loan, you are shopping for a mortgage broker. Once hired, the UMB will perform the shopping for the mortgage loan on your behalf.”

    No matter which way you go, you still need to do your own research, learn the lingo, and make sure you aren’t getting screwed.

  32. I used ELoan back on Feb 2007. I’ve got by far the cheapest rate on the market back then…5.875% (20% down, 30-yr fixed, for a 710 FICO).

    I applied for a pre-approval online, they called me 2 minutes later and offered a 30-yr fixed @ 5.875%…good for 30 days. I didn’t pledge or pay anything. I called them 25 days later and they honored the rate (even though current rate was about 6.25%).

    It was easy to apply, and easy to close, no surprises at all.
    My mtg got sold to Wells Fargo a month after closing.

    I’m currently looking to refinance with Wells Fargo, they have a no-fee refinance for current customers.

  33. Penfed is the best. Closing costs are what kill any *great* looking mortgage deal….Penfed is the lowest I found. Plus their rates are transparent – updated every day at noon on their website.

  34. “She gives no cost refinance loans.”
    Nothing in life is free. The no-fee, no point is just a way to get your attention. You end up paying for it in some way.

    “For some reasons bank give her much better rates than they are directly willing to give customers. ”
    Brokers needs to eat also.

    ” and make sure you know exactly what kind of loan you are getting into.”
    Yes, please know the detail of your loans. It surprises me people don’t read there loan package. Don’t trust what people say. What if the loan term is not what you expected. Read it, if you don’t understand, ask! It’s your loan, know the terms of the loan.

  35. We ended up going with a national bank- for no other reason than the builder was giving us $10,000 closing assistance if we went with one of their preferred lenders. Originally, we had every intention of using my credit union (I’m a federal employee) and even contemplated dropping the closing assistance, but after doing an “apples to apples” comparison of my credit union with the builder’s 4 preferred lenders (3 national banks and 1 regional bank) there really wasn’t much of a difference at all from a closing cost perspective; however, mortgage products varied in price up a few hunderd dollars per month. Throw in the $10k and Bank of America came out on top… We ended up going with an 80-15-5 (because it’s over the $417 threshold)- 5.3% on the mortgage and 7.625% on the second trust. Rate on the second trust sucks, but will probably refinance with my credit union.

    I will say that this was a learning experience, and I can pass on a few pointers when looking at and comparing lenders:
    1.) the GFE is just that- an estimate. Chances are each lender will use a slightly different tax rate, assessed value, annual insurance, and prepaid items in escrow (i.e. insurance, tax, insurance). When comparing lenders be sure to make sure you use identical values.
    2.) See if the lender will allow you to float your rate but give you a ceiling. In my case, the loan officer gave me a ceiling of 5.5% and once rates hit the 5.3% range I decided to formally lock. If you have good credit, ability to repay (DTI ratios), and cash in the bank, a lender will bend over backwards to get you as a client. Looking back, it was definitely a conservative move, and rates could slide from now until we close (mid-february), but there’s just too much volatility out there to my liking.

    Hope this helps…

  36. I used Suntrust Mortgage for my home. I purchased a new home from a builder and in order to get my closing costs paid, I had to go through their preferred lender.

  37. I first shopped with a National Bank, Washington Mutual, but their rates were too high for me. They were quoting me “retailer” pricing instead of what my local mortgage broker gave me (wholesale pricing). I don’t know how the National Bank competes with the local broker. I guess eventually the loans are routed through them anyway. Though I went with a local broker, my loan is with Wells Fargo.

  38. Get multiple offers from local brokers and negotiate your rate by adjusting the points, term/type of loan, and pre-payment terms. For example you might be able to get a lower rate if you agree to a 2 or 3 year pre-payment penalty. It wouldn’t matter if you plan to live in the house for a while.

  39. I used an upfront mortgage broker http://www.upfrontmortgagebrokers.org/. Commissions are negotiated upfront and then the broker forwards best wholesale rate sheets currently available. I select the lender I want based on the sweet spot for the rate/rebate I’m looking for along with lender fees and then I request to receive the wholesale rate sheet daily to determine exactly when to lock as the loan is moving thru the underwriting process. The longer you wait to lock the better the rebate, assuming rates are steady.

  40. Your definitions make it hard to pick because I went through LendingTree.com (online broker) which connected me with a local broker in Colorado, who set me up with a National Bank mortgage.

    I have to say this broker I got through LendingTree, though we’ve never met face to face, is by far the best winner ever for customer service. Always willing to talk me through every detail (for hours if I’d let him), always pushing for results (got my first mortgage closed 2 weeks after applying), always in touch with everyone–agents, title co, appraiser, etc.

    All my real estate agents and interested parties thought he must be a family friend because he was so hard working and detail-oriented. I’ve referred this guy to others and am using him again for my rental property mortgage! Conversely I work for a regional bank and can tell you the service and follow-though isnt’ always there.

  41. We have a 30 yr fixed with Third Federal S&L @ 5.96% from Nov. 2005.

    They offer a “Best rate Guarantee” for Ohio and Florida mortgages. Pay you $1000 if they can’t beat another lenders rate.

    It seemed to be the best rate at the time. At least I couldn’t find one better.

    They only hold out property taxes in Escrow but once you have 30% equity you can request dropping the excrow requirement and pay them yourself.

  42. Bankrate.com would be my answer. I know it doesn’t directly sell mortgages, but it connects you with some great rates. Some of the rates aren’t from trustworthy places, so I would try to get their rate in writing and have someone else you trust match it. This is what I did and it worked out really well.

  43. Navy Federal Credit Union rates looks pretty good. Can any one tell how to join the credit union by joining any other organizations?

  44. I shopped local banks, local brokers, national banks, credit unions and also used LendingTree. I ended up using the contact that LendingTree provided. Their rates were not the most competitive, but better than the average of all the mortgages I shopped. However, the service I received was very good, and I felt as a first time homebuyer I might want a little extra handholding.

    Plus, I went through Costco to LendingTree and received a $300 Costco Gift Card after closing

    And closing costs were pretty low. I think that out of the ~12 mortgage GFEs that I got, this one had the second best rate and the second lowest closing costs

  45. MSMomsmoney says

    I orginally used a local mortgage broker. I had a first time home buyer discount, and got 6.9% 30 year fixed with Leader mortgage. (Sept. 1999)

    I re-financed a few years later, with a 5.5% 30 year fixed with Chase. (March 2002)

    I am currently in the process of re-financing my first and second HELOAN, (currently 5.99% fixed 20 years) with PenFed, for 4.625% 15 year fixed.

  46. Other:
    Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, first time home owners program (fantastic).

  47. GMAC – GM Family First:

    Received a .25% off their best current rate plus competitive closing costs for having a family member that worked for GM,

    It was a good deal…not spectacular, but better than anyone else locally.

  48. Anita Graf says

    My wealth plan involves buying cash-flow rental property. It is not easy finding properties for which “the numbers work” (ie, after all expenses, including mortgage and management, if that is necessary, there is left over cash — enough left over cash to make a tidy return). I just put in a purchase agreement on a multi-unit property, for which the numbers work well. This type of property requires a commercial loan, which is a parallel universe to the standard mortgage. I am working with an online bank, Commercial Direct (a division of Bayview Financial), and so far, the lender-guy I have been working with has given me outstanding service and follow-up (far superior to any of the other types of banks I contacted) as well as the best deal. If you are interested, I will tell you how it finishes up. We have a closing date of March 15.

  49. Someone recently said they got a 15 yr fixed, no cost loan @ 4.625%, does anyone know who offered that loan?

  50. I got mine through a relative who works at Provident Funding. Got a 30 year fixed for $330k @ 5.5%, no points, zero costs all around. Otherwise I was going to go with Wells Fargo.

  51. We purchased our first home using a loan for first-time home buyers in our state. It was financed by a national bank, who then sold it to another national bank. The service has been great. In addition, we received a second loan from a local housing association at zero interest to cover the down payment.

    First time buyers should seriously look into programs in their state and area to see what they qualify for (start by going to the HUD website). In my area income limits are quite high, (even higher if you have kids), and the middle class definitely qualify for ‘help’ in financing a home. By help I mean a great interest rate, no closing costs, and a zero or low interest rate loan for a down payment.

  52. I got mine with Wells Fargo 5.875%, 20% down, 10 yr int. only, Jumbo(no second loan). It sounds like i should have tried something for first time buyer or i should move to a lower cost area. The O.C. can drain your money pretty fast. If you are preparing to buy the rates keep dropping and I will probably be looking into the Wells Fargo current customer rate drop that someone talked about above.

  53. sengineering says

    We got a national bank loan because partner works for one. We got an employee discount ta boot.

    I tested the lending tree site a couple of times. Although they say one will have 4 banks competing, not one person was affiliated with a bank. This illustrates how dishonest their advertising is.

  54. MSMomsmoney says


    That was me. It is with PenFed.

  55. I agree with Eric up above. There is no such thing as a no cost mortgage. You will always have taxes, other government fees like recording, and title fees and your lender or broker has to make some money. In the end, you’ll pay a much higher rate with the rebate built in. I prefer brokers because they can choose from several lenders, at preferred rates. If they know their lenders well, they can match you to the one that best suits your situation. But also important to remember is that the lowest rate may not come with the best program. You can get a super low rate with an option arm, but they aren’t good loans for everyone. Maybe only for a flipper. I think only a handful of brokers are bad people. Most of these guys just want to earn an honest living by establishing long term relationships. You wouldn’t go back if they ripped you off, right? But, please, read your papers, ask questions and understand the loan you sign up for. The folks that are losing their homes now need to take responsibility for not paying their bills or not paying attention to the loan details. I can guarantee that no one put a gun to their head and made them sign papers. But we’re talking about mostly subprime loans anyway. They started as subprime and ended as subprime, again the borrower needs to own up to their own credit situation. All in all, I believe that brokers are the way to go as they are the most knowledgeable about the loan process and various lenders.

  56. One more thing, Bob, that loan with PenFed at 4.625% isn’t available today, and was probably locked in on Jan. 23, which if you look at the charts for the 10 year treasury note on Yahoo, was the lowest point in a long time. Today, you’re closer to 5.5% if you want your costs rolled in. Remember a rate is only good if it’s locked in. They can change several times a day, so if your broker calls and says to lock, you should definitely listen!

  57. I have used Mike Izzi at Absolute Mortgage http://www.absolutemortgageco.com for 6 years. Always the most competitive rates, low fees and no points. Absolute is licensed to do business in 24 states. We last used them to refi our house to a 20 yr fixed rate mortgage at 5%. This was in the summer of 2005. Our loan was later sold to Citi.
    I totally agree with Natalie. Shop around, ask questions, Understand….and most important, be responsible. Only you know what you can truly afford.

  58. Teresa Rowell says

    I orginally had my loan through Southtrust Bank but it was sold to 21st Mortgage. They paid my county taxes which was not in the original loan agreement. They said since my taxes were due on Feb. 1st and they became delinquent after that date. They paid them and now they have increased my note by saiding they are putting it into escrow to paid my county taxes on my land. But my land is not with my housenote, it is free and clear of debt. I think they did that so they could increase my note. I never sign up for escrow to paid by taxes. Is there laws that this mortgage company violated and what can I do about it. I am sending a check for the taxes they paid in full but they said they could go back to my original loan monthly payment because I broke my contract. In the contract it stated that they were not obligated to paid my taxes, so I think they paid it to increase my note. I have talk to several loan officers at different banks and I needed to get a lawyer. Please Help me with this situation.

    Thank You

    Teresa Rowell of Purvis, MS

  59. Anyone wishing to become a member of a CU:
    While SOME are still limited in the ways to become a member (Navy), many many more now have very broad ways to become a member.
    Sometimes as simple as living in the same community as the branch!
    Look up CUs in your town to see what your options are.

    Here in CA I became a member of Provident very easily with a $25. deposit to the new savings account, and they are definitely who my next mortgage will be through.

    My current mortgage is a 2003 4.75% 15 year fixed with Wells Fargo that was a straight refi of a std bank mortgage with a bank I hated that also had pathetic and obstructive customer service- the unsolicited offer was just too good to ignore, since the complete total and final cost was $40. for notarized sigs on the forms, and the interest rate was sharply less as well.

  60. Orig we got Home Equity Loan through Bank @ 6.75 for 20 Yr. But since interst rates have dropped we are now trying to get 4.675 with NFCU even though we will have to pay a 1.0 % Orig fee and a .250 points. for a 15 year mortgage. The fees alone are 6100 and we are asking for only 178000.
    But it will knock 3 yrs interest off our existing loan & save 58K in interest. Our FICO Score is 780. Mortgage person isn’t sure if we can pay without escrow for Taxes and Insurance . Even though we are good on our existing note ( been paying for 2 years) with us paying the Taxes and Homeowners Insurance.
    Are these NFCU people commissioned? I thought that I shouldn’t have to pay an origination fee but they say to get ANY loan with them you must pay an origination fee of 1% + appraisal fee of $400 plus a good faith application fee of 250.
    Seems like a whole lot of fees for someone who has perfect credit & is of no risk to them.
    (BTW my brother got us a membership with NFCU he used to have a DOD-Navy Civilian job in the 1980’s and he was able to get us in to NFCU last year.)

  61. Update. NFCU advertises as low as % on their website showing a 80% LTV ratio.

    But then the lowan officer says that the product shown is for a 60% LTV ration and anthing over that is more Interest & more Points.

    This is BAIT & SWITCH NFCU! TOTALLY UNFAIR. Plus the closing costs are HIGH ! 6k for a 178k no cash out RE FI? at 5.4% ? huh?

    Pen Fed offering 5% 0 points and only 2100 in closing costs.

    NFCU has changed..drastically.. We did Home Equity with them but will take REfi to someone else, they have no incentive to keep outr business & our FICO is 780!

  62. Natalie Alexander says

    It takes a long time to understand how a mortgage works. What the LO from NFCU told you is correct. 60% LTV fetches better pricing on your loan. Think of your loan rate like a stock (MSFT), it sells at a different price every single day, it’s always available, but the price is ever-changing. If you get “stuck” on a rate, you could end up paying points to get that rate. If the LO shows you options, it may very well be best for you to pay those points over the long term. The mortgage market has changed and lenders offer very little in terms of compensation to the Broker, therefore, the borrower will pay some amount of origination to get the rate they want. There are no such things as NO COST mortgages, this only means the rate is much higher. You’ll always have to pay recording, title, appraisal, underwriting, processing, settlement fees. And remember, the LO has no control over your property value, if it goes above 60% loan to value, it is what it is. The option there would be for you to pay the difference in cash.

  63. Then why does their NFCU website say the rates shown are for 80% LTV
    and they give the current Rates, Orig Fees and Points.

    Yet when you apply for the loan they say oh- what we show you on the website is not applicable..we now index it at 60% LTV.


    doesn’t the brokers EXAM cover FRAUD?

    If they want to have accurate rates they should put the 60% LTV on their NFCU website and end the confusion. Other Credit Unions do.. Like Pentagon Federal or USAA.

    They tell you upfront if it is 60% LTV!

  64. Natalie Alexander says

    I agree, they should show you what they quote you. I’m going to their web now…

  65. Natalie Alexander says

    Just checked NFCU, their rates are high compared to most right now. They look like they are quoting 80 LTV, not 60. (With 60% or below, FNMA, gives an incentive of a quarter point to the pricing side of the loan, not the rate, IF your score is high enough), but it helps to give a lower rate ultimately. When your LTV is 75 or higher, if your credit score is below 740, you’ll be charged for that. This is FNMA and your gov’t hard at work, charging you all kinds of fees, and forget about taking cash out, they crucify you for that.
    A note to SDL-Provident has good numbers if you and your property are PERFECT. Otherwise forget it. If you live in a declining market (all of USA, practically), Provident will tear your appraisal to shreds. I hope they are different on the Retail side, but they are murder on the Wholesale side. We originated 67 million+ this month and only a handful closed with Provident.

  66. I got my mortgage through Intercontinental Capital Group. They do mortgages in Washington state, but I think a bunch of other states in the country, too. They were very nice and helpful and really made me feel comfortable about spending my money and signing my name. I’ve been in my house for three years now, and I love it!

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