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How to Shop for a Mortgage Loan

house beautiful back With lenders refusing to give out a Good Faith Estimate, how can you shop for a mortgage without submitting your W2s, tax returns, and social security number?

Easy. Call and ask for a cost estimate or fees worksheet. This is the new upfront GFE. They are happy to give you this without pulling your credit report, based on the verbal information you provide.

New lending laws say that the Good Faith Estimate is a contractually binding document. (Since when is an estimate a contract, right?) This has forced banks and mortgage lender to rename the upfront estimate. And here’s something that might surprise you…

I prefer the upfront cost estimate or initial fees worksheet over the new, convoluted, inefficient, three-page GFE designed by the Fed committee. So go ahead and use the same shopping method, including the scripts for what to say, in Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers and in Homebuyers Beware–just substitute cost estimate for Good Faith Estimate.

Don’t Shop By Email

Notice that I recommend calling on the phone, not shopping by email. Why? Because it is important to listen to the loan officer’s response. Listen to the tone, to how he/she answers your questions. Listen for straightforward answers and for dancing around the topic. This will go a long way in determining if you are working with an honest, easy-to-communicate professional or a dishonest scammer. You cannot get that by email, so don’t be lazy when it comes to something this important.

Confused By the Worksheets?

As with the old GFE forms, the new worksheets come in different formats from different banks and lenders. They call their lender fees by various names, and they place them in various places throughout the forms. This makes it difficult to choose the best loan if you’re not an expert working in the business. This is where I can be of help.

I am not doing loans myself now, so I have no vested interest in any particular mortgage lender. I am truly an unbiased expert source. If you would like me to review your worksheets and/or GFEs, you can email them to me. I will check the interest rate, fees, missing information, bogus charges, etc. Then we will have a 20 to 30 minute telephone conversation. I will give you my opinion and answer all your questions so that you can proceed with confidence.

For details, please see the page at the top called Review My Estimate. I’ve saved folks many thousands of dollars and sleepless nights. It’s what I love to do.

As always, thank you for reading my blog.


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