To get your mortgage online or not. Do you really want to make one of the most important financial transactions you’ll likely ever make using the Internet?
Here are three reasons why it’s a good idea to take more time with the process and to consult with your experienced loan officer, realtor.com .
1. You’re a first-time home buyer
Researching all of your options is especially important if you’ve never purchased a home before. First-time buyers should always talk through important details like rates, points and closing costs with an expert.
Even those who have borrowed before may want to consult with their mortgage broker if there is anything about their circumstances that might make qualifying more difficult—for example, borrowers who are buying a second home or rental property, have less-than-stellar credit or have inconsistent income.
2. You’re self-employed
About 15 million Americans are classified as self-employed, according to the Pew Research Center. While salaried workers usually only have to show the lender their W-2 tax forms to prove their income, self-employed workers can expect to provide their lender with more income documentation, such as tax returns from the past few years.
Turns out that some online lenders are stricter about documentation requirements than federal guidelines require, because they want to reduce their risk. That can make qualifying even more difficult for a borrower who is already perceived as a higher risk—for example, applicants who have only been in their current job for a few months, or those who want to include overtime pay as evidence of their buying power.
The lender will want to see proof that the overtime pay is consistent. Certain guidelines say you have to show you have it for 12 months or 24 months—it depends on the loan.
2. You want some extra handholding
Not only can working with an experienced lender one on one help prevent last-minute problems when it comes time to buy a house, but there’s also the matter of personal preference.
Not everyone likes the impersonal approach. Before applying for a loan, borrowers might consider whether they are the kind of person who appreciates a lot of help and attention in other shopping experiences. If you like a hands-on environment, you’re a different kind of shopper than someone who enjoys going to a warehouse club.