Online shopping for mortgages
The expansion of mortgage lenders onto the Internet is a home
buyer's dream. No more visits to banks or mortgage brokers, no more long-winded
phone calls -- you can save hours by shopping for a mortgage online first before
selecting your lender.
Even before you consider individual
mortgage lenders, you can easily use online mortgage calculators to determine
much house you can afford, what your monthly
payments will be, and interest rates nationwide at Bankrate's daily update
You'll find a wealth
of information on mortgage programs available online. Many mortgage brokers, banks
and credit unions have detailed information and even loan applications on their
Where to start
Should you apply for a loan online? Not immediately. Use lender Web sites in the
same way you might use a magazine advertisement or billboard, as a place to start
your relationship. If a lender or broker insists you fill out an application or
charges you a fee to provide further information, move on; legitimate lenders
want your loan business, not your lunch money.
you've identified a lender you like, e-mail them to request more information or
ask the mortgage specialist to call you. Then, if you want to move ahead, download
the mortgage application, print it, fill it out and send it by mail or deliver
it in person. That way you won't have to worry about your financial information
ending up in the wrong hands due to lax Internet or e-mail security.
Internet is a great place to mortgage shop, but don't make the final commitment
online. You will want to talk with the lender or broker, get all of your questions
answered and establish a relationship of confidence and trust before placing your
finances in their hands.
Here are a few Web sites to get you