Financing in Dallas>Question Details

Terrawatson@…, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

Need a bank with low FEES! (not rates, but low FEES!)

Asked by, Dallas, TX Mon Dec 28, 2009

I would like to know which banks/companies have the lowest FEES. (not rates... but FEES.) My bank has thousands and thousands in origination fees, loan processing fees and underwriting fees. I know that some of these are just to line their already fat pockets. Any links to companies that have low flat fees?

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Help the community by answering this question:


I, too, am a fan of Guardian Mortgage in Plano for reasonable fees and rates - and local processing for faster closings. You might also, for comparison, step outside the big banks and get smaller, independent banks like NexBank in Plano, a shot at your home loan. Suzanne Short is a very experienced loan officer and offices at 5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 120, Plano, TX 75024. A big bank is only going to offer you their in-house loan programs, so they aren't out there shopping the market for the best loan available. A mortgage broker, and a smaller independent banker, is going to be more flexible and probably have less overhead. Be sure to ask where the processing of the loan, underwriting of the loan, and document preparation for the loan are going to be handled. You might be surprised how many outsource these processes to central locations around the country. It's a big reason why some lenders can close a loan in 10 days, while others will take 30 days or more.
Have a blessed day!

Ronda Allen, Realtor and Certified Purchasing Manager
CEO of of Dallas/Fort Worth
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Keith Dobbs Team
#1 Office and #3 Team for RE/MAX in the North Texas region at mid-year 2009!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 29, 2009
I am sure you didn't expect to stir things up with your question, but the simple fact is everybody wants to make a living and whether it's fees that show up on the HUD-1 or rates that include paying for the fees that are hidden from view, the services that lenders use have to be paid for by someone. Yes, BoA still pays for survey and a tax certificate and a flood certificate, etc. You just don't see a separate charge on the HUD.

Comparison shopping will help you, but with the new rules effective 1/1/2010, it will be difficult to get a GFE until you have already committed to purchase a property (as illogical as that sounds). Lenders will probably be issuing a different type of estimate (instead of the GFE) so that you can comparison shop before you find your dream home.

When comparing estimates you should focus on 2 numbers:
Cash to bring to closing, and
Your monthly Principal & Interest (plus Mortgage Insurance, if needed)
Ignore the amount each lender estimates for taxes and insurance, because they will all turn out to be based on actual taxes and which insurance policy you sign up for. So, the estimates are just a guideline -- don't take the lowest estimate as being the true amounts for Taxes and Insurance (the TI part of PITI).

Regardless of which lender says his fees are lower or that they have the best rates, provided they all quote you a fixed rate and the same term (length of payback), you should compare only P+I. For example, if the interest rate quoted is 5.125% on a 30 year fixed loan and your monthly P+I is $1,500, then you can compare that to all the other lenders to see whose interest rate is really lowest in terms of monthly payments. Some will quote you $1,523 or $1,479 a month, but it will be hidden inside the total monthly payment including taxes and insurance and hard to spot.

But the catch is that cash to close will vary from lender to lender. If the best monthly P+I quote needs $20,000 to close and another one needs $10,000 to close but the monthly P+I payment is $35 higher, which should you pick? Simple math will tell you that the $10,000 difference will take about 300 months (25 years) to recoup.

Yes, the seller may provide some of the cash to close, but doesn't that mean he won't give you that amount off the price? So, you can push the problem somewhere else, but you're still paying.

Please remember that fees are not the right thing to focus on. When you're buying a car, you don't ask which dealer charges the least for undercoating or dealer prep -- you look at the bottom line. Of course you still need title, tax & license (these are like TI). In lending, though, there really isn't any fluff like dealer prep, despite aspersions cast by so many calling the service fees "junk fees" -- they're real. It's just a lender choice whether they show up on the settlement sheet or not.
In this case there are 2 bottom lines to look at:
cash to close and total principal + interest per month, on the same terms.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 2, 2010
Wow, lots of hostility here! And to think right after Christmas, hopefully next year will be better :-) Good advice sprinkled throughout though. With lenders and realtors, talk to several before committing to find the one you want to work with and that will help you make the decision right for you. The new RESPA rules about to go in effect will hopefully help the consumer with making the everything more transparent but time will tell...

Btw, the link below is to info on the RESPA act if interested and not to my web site...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Do you have a Good Faith Estimate from your loan officer?
I will gladly go over it with you and explain it from every angle.
For a lender to say: "Hey, I don't charge origination fee...." Well, that is false. They charge it up front or they charge it in the rate. Plain and simple.

Tom Burris
214-763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
I do not charge any origination fees, I will be glad to help you any way I can.

Feel free to call or send me an e-mail with what your objectives, and loan parameters.

Erik Konar
Mortgage Banker
Office: 281-583-0674 Fax: 713-400-8915
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hi Terra Watson:
We have No fees loans. fill out an application at and come sign the loan application. You will have a NO FEE LOAN (With Approved. credit)
Simple, when do you want to stop in and get started.
Congratulations on your new Home!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 12, 2010
Any lender can do this....built their fee into the rate to give you virtually no closing costs. It's called premium pricing. There is likely a limit, but most should be able to do it.

We also have lenders that have both low fees and low interest rates when you work through us.

Bruce Lynn
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX

What you may or may not know is that a good portion ( I will go out on a limb here to say) of credit unions (At least 90% of them) do not even originate their own loans. They send it out to another mortgage affiliate and I have found "in my experience" that they are not as experienced, competitive or knowledgeable as one would think about the home loan process. I am a loyal and happy client of a credit union but they have never been the best at rate or costs in anything they offer, however as some pointed out in here, client experience is important and I have had a great experience with them on everything except a home mortgage.

As for the comment, "found there seem to be a lot of sharks out there who will fight for high fees and think they're worth it.". That is kind of a biased statement especially because you are not a Loan Officer and you do not know how each mortgage company pays their Loan Officers. The pay structure in the mortgage business ranges from $15 per hour, 25%, 35%, 45%, 55%, 65%, 75% 85% and then you have to ask a percent of what? Respectfully, the pay ranges dramatically unlike you who demands 3% no matter the client experience.

I for one would not want a credit union employee who gets paid $15/hr handling my home mortgage transaction. I am sure many would agree with me here on this one. However, the experienced Loan Officer has more incentive to provide the client the best rate and terms and most importantly, "service" considering they get (A) paid well & (B) referrals. This is regardless of his pay cut which respectfully, you know little about. I am not being a cynic here but I stay out of Real Estate contracts for a reason.. I don't know about them and don't want to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
As a matter of personal opinion, I agree with Bruce on Guardian Mortgage. I used them for my mortgage and I have 3 friends that have used them and had great results.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009

WOW seem to have created a monstor here..... as you have found there seem to be a lot of sharks out there who will fight for high fees and think they're worth it. Luckily I found this out too one of my first days in the business when I was discussing intrerest rates with our in house mortgage person (when I worked for a different brokerage). When I asked him how he determined the interest rate for someone, his answer was "whatever I think I can get away with..." I knew then that I could never trust him with one of my customers and he never got any business from me.
I've typically had good luck with credit unions, Regions Bank, and Guardian Mortgage out of Plano. Credit Unions are not always as great as they used to be as many farm out the loans to a 3rd party now. From what I understand Guardian and Regions have limits as to what their loan officers can charge or make on loans. Several of my clients have used Guardian over the years and consistantly they have both competitive rates and low fees, plus they're the only lender I've seen never miss a closing and the only one to have had docs to the title company as much as two weeks early. All these lenders in my experience though also work best with great credit and reasonable loan terms. I've used other lenders if you want to do something out of the norm or your credit is challenged.
As others have mentioned, sometimes you have to be careful with this type of question. Some loan officers are known to focus on one idea or the other....sell you low/no fees but hit the interest rate high to make up for it. If you are focused on rate, then they will make rate low, but charge high fees. So that's just something to keep in mind.
Good luck and let me know if you need a referral.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
More funnier than before. LOL!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Wow! That was interesting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Wow, thanks again for all the great advice everyone (almost everyone! ;). I am currently a homeowner and I absolutely love it, this time around I just wanted to more cautious and look at every penny. Again, very good advice, thank you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
BY the way, Steve. You sound like someone who may have lost his home. There is a bit of bitterness in your tone. Not all people need to rent and besides rents are about the same as home payments making it an apparent good time to purchase a home. I am not sure you really are speaking from your knowledge or rather from your anger. Just an opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Tom.. Good line! "Do you have a Good Faith Estimate from your loan officer?" That is what is called a "Last Lookie Lou".. This is a LO's dream lead! Everyone knows that the last person to look can almost always do the most desperate act in order to solidify the deal. Good one!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
All good answers here Terra. I always explain to folks that I work with that, as many here have mentioned, low fees translates to a higher rate - low rates translate to higher fees. Higher fees up front usually means less out of your pocket over the long haul. If given the choice on a personal basis - I would always choose the lower rate. If shopping lenders I would look at the overall out of pocket loan fees - 9 times out of ten every lender will be close in total, BUT they may call their "fees" by different names. It's all a dollar if you get my drift. But, the dollar paid in origination (or in a rate buydown) is tax deductible as mentioned by others, the dollar paid elsewhere in fees is not. So, 2 lenders, same fee total, one makes it up in origination, the other says "I don't charge an origination" but their total in fees is essentially the same. I'll take the one with the origination point everytime. If you've been quoted an origination fee PLUS what adds up to another percentage point in loan fees then you definitely need to shop some more - there are definitely better deals out there. Someone mentioned Bank of America - one of my faves by the way as long as you deal with their mortgage arm, not a walk up banking center or their online process. You need a good BofA officer name - email me off list at - I am happy to share with no obligation even if you are already working with an Agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
my reply to Steve would be you are a great economist but not that good or you would be on a boat off your own island somewhere in the south. that being said, it is the American Dream to own your own home and so long ass you do not rely on economists (similar to yourself) or the NAR, the choice is up to the would-be homeowner.
To Bill Pollack I would say although you have been very knowledgeable in the past, from my many years in the biz I would never send a first time homebuyer to, although the addenda after that stated the RESPA changes on 1-1-10 will forever change these internet brokers and their "offerings"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
You need have someone explain to you what it all means, and number of people involved to get any transaction closed. Their are many standard fees .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
This truly is a great site! Thanks so much for your answers. I did not mean to imply that I don't think that a person should not get paid for their work, but I also have no problem with asking the bank or anyone else for lower fees. I think we all have done pretty right by the banks, so it's definitely fair that the $2800 origination fee should be up for discussion.
I will be contacting the links that people responded to me!
Thanks again,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009

I can certainly understand your concern but it is very important to know that when it comes to the mortgage industry you generally pay for what you get. Any lender can offer you a high rate and cover all of your costs but then you are paying for it the next thirty years! How long do you plan on living in your home? Why are the overall closing costs so important to you? Did you know that you can negotiate the contract to have the seller pay most if not all of your closing costs? Lenders have to charge fees in order to make money just like every other company does. If you hear a lender that is not charging you any fees then they are making their money on the interest rate. Many banks prefer doing this as it sounds like a better deal when its not. Did you know that the loan origination fee is a tax write off for the year that you buy your home?

Terra when it comes down to it you need to do whats best for your family but be careful what you ask for and educate yourself about the outcome. I hope this helps and see my website for more information or to contact me. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009

We can provide you with a pretty reasonable rate and no origination, underwriting, processing not application fee (which large lenders tend to charge). You just pay your taxes, insurance and interest (however, we may have a solution to pay that as well). We are direct and are a national lender.

Let me know,
Ted Canto
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hey Terra....
Depending on the loan amount... ANY lender can offer lower fees for a higher rate.
BofA does this all of the time.
Great strategy if you plan on being in the home a short time.... as you effectively just rolled the fees into the rate and made them tax deductible.

Bottom line.... every bank has to pay a lot of people to work your loan file. Fees cover those salaries. Low fee deals have always been around and any bank can do them. They get a rebate when they sell your loan(with the higher than par rate) to cover their fees.
Talk to your loan officer about rolling fees into the rate.
Again.... depends on loan amount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Hello Terrawatson:
Do you want to know the secret behind rate and fees?

The lower the rate the higher the fees and the Lower the fees the higher the rate.
Pretty Simply math.

Now, as a Mortgage Banker I can offer you either low rate or low fees.
The BIG question is which is best for your needs...?
Over time the cost upfront may save you Thousands of Dollars overall.
But, if you only plan to live in the house a few years then lower fees is best.
give me a e-mail at and I will show you the difference and you pick what is best for you.
I guarantee what I quote you will be exactly what you get at closing.
I will make it simple and save you money on your loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Every company in the banking industry has low fees. You just have to ask for it. The situation is that you are one in a million of customers asking for low fees. Just about everyone I talk to asks, "What's the rate?" or "I went online and the rate was..." When a bank, broker, lender etc sells a loan to another, they are paid a premium also known as Yield Spread Premium (YSP). The higher the rate I sell to you, the more YSP I get. So, I can use part or all of the YSP to offset the fees. Typically when you walk into a bank that has thousands of clients, they'll work the loan to get both the YSP and the upfront fees. Why not? It's business, right? I mean, if you own a bank and owe the government billions and need to make payroll and pay top executives millions, why not milk the customer? But then there are borrowers like you who say, "No way! I'm not paying that much!" and that's good that you are questioning it. More so, that you are seeking advise from others. You should find a company that will offer competitive fees (2% to 3% of the loan amount) and a competitive rate ( Please note that the lower the loan amount, the higher the percentage of closing costs. Consider that title fees are $1000 and if the loan amount is $50,000, that's 2%. Take the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and shop around. The new RESPA laws for 1/1/10 will require lenders to let you shop with the GFE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
Banks make their money through fees and interest rate. If you want low or no fees, then you can ask for the bank to raise the interest rate. Also, check with a credit union, they usually aren't as brutal.

But you can't have low fees and a low interest rate.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
$499 origination fee
TRUE/ACTUAL cost for appraisal, credit report(s), flood and tax cert.
That is ALL. Every other cost to you comes from closing, recordation and title costs.

PS If you are already WORKING with an agent from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, please disregard.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
seriously Steve? Mtg rates are low, I have excellent credit and cash for down pymt. And you think I should rent?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 28, 2009
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