First a knowlegable go get 'em loan officer is more important than the lender you choose. First of all all lenders go to the same place for the mortgage, second of all the biggest thing that influences what you will pay is the market movement.
In this market many lenders are taking 3 months or more to fund loans. I actually quit a job last June becuase the company I worked for started doing that. Here is the thing, you can only lock in the rate for so long, extensions cost money. So if they do not close the loan quickly you wont be getting the rate they quoted anyway...er if rates go up. They seem to want to deliver that rate anyway if rates go down.
When shopping for a loan be sure to ask, "when can I lock that rate in?"
First of all many lenders do not lock rates. Second of all many lenders are just using bait and switch tactics. If they won't lock your rate for several weeks you are really rolling the dice to go with that lender. Also they can quote you any rate they think will get you in the door rather than the true and correct rate. I really wish the regulators would crack down on this, but for now they are turning a blind eye to it.
One of the new things happening are these large boiler room lending operations, you know who many of them are because many of them advertise non-stop on the radio. Lending Tree, Cash Call and Greenlight come to mind. They have a alot of people answering the phones and they need to make the phones ring, so they more often than not they cut corners by advertising rates that you are not likely to get.
The major banks BofA, Chase etc. have figured out that they can charge more and they do. Right now the are also known for taking a long time closing loans.
I would then say your best bets are: smaller banks, credit unions, smaller mortgage bankers and believe it or not many mortgage brokers are a great choice. I feel lucky to work for a smaller bank that has great rates low fees and closes quickly.
Finally, when you do apply for a loan, the lender will be asking you for a lot of stuff. Give it to them as quick as possible otherwise it becomes your fault the loan did not close quickly.
Here are a few links you should find very useful in your decision:
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"
Personally, I only work with Mortgage Broker/Bankers as I much prefer the opportunity to select from the best rate amongst many lenders as opposed to being forced to accept a single Retail bank's rate the day I make a decision to lock my loan rate - and, you should too!
1) Get closing cost estimates from Banker and Mortgage Broker. Compare all the fees and origination charges, application fee, appraisal costs etc.
2) It is easy for somebody to give you the lowest possible rate of the day and even lock it for you However even if locked it could vary after underwriter has looked at the file. Your FICO, CLTV and property use are the three most important factors for you to get the best rate.
3) No closing cost loans is also an option, but check the rates.
Best of Luck
I do refi on no closing cost with the best rate, but I will need to know what is your fico score, your house value , loan amount and you need to have 2yrs employment history. If you want to find out more you can visit my company website http://WWW.RFLOANS.COM or just give me a call at 925-236-2200.
The rates and programs you qualify will mainly be based on 3 things: Your credit score, the loan amount compared to the appraised value of the home (LTV), and the property use (primary residence, vacation home, or investment property)
Most lenders are going to be within 1/4% of one another in rate, but could be several hundred dollars different in cost. The biggest difference between lenders is going to be the level of service they provide - can they deliver on the terms they promise and can they close you in a timely fashion? After all, it does you no good if it takes 90 days or more to process your loan and the rate lock expires.
The toughest part in comparing loan terms is that there are an infinite number of lenders out there and rates change daily, sometimes more often. So if you compare too much then by the time you make a decision rates may have changed.
My advice is to talk to a few different lenders - maybe the place(s) you bank at and a broker/direct lender or two. See what they have to offer and their turnaround times on refinances and work with who you are most comfortable with.
My company is both a direct lender AND broker, so I have many lending sources from which to shop FOR you. And our costs are very reasonable. If you would like me to provide a free quote please email me or call me at 866-96-5363 ext 278.
Best of luck to you!
Loan Officer -NMLS #966417
WCS Lending, LLC
Toll Free: 866.936.5363 ext. 278