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 how
much house you can afford, what your monthly
payments will be, and interest rates nationwide at Bankrate's
daily update of mortgage
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 Web
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.
Once 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.
The 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 started: