In this modern information age, there are mortgage lenders all around Dallas—and some would say circling—looking for your business. While this can be confusing and even irritating at times, it actually presents an opportunity. You are empowered as never before to choose just the right lender for your needs. Here’s how to make sure that happens.
1. First Things First: Increase Your Bargaining Power
When it comes to making sure you are the best-looking borrower possible, think of getting the right lender like asking someone out on a date. You want to "look" as good as possible. For a Dallas lender, you "look good" when you have a high credit score. This may mean delaying the moment you actually approach lenders and "ask them out," the same way you may take a few months to get in shape before approaching your crush. Think of getting the right loan as a long-term objective. Any work you do now to improve your credit score—even if it takes a few months or longer—is going to be worth it because you will be m much more attractive to potential lenders. Then you will be in a better position to bargain and make demands. Shoot for a score that is at least 620, and try to get into the 700’s if possible. If that’s not feasible, you can still opt for an FHA loan.
2. Get Preapproved for Your Loan
When you get preapproved, some basic information is gathered about your creditworthiness. This is then used to decide whether you are going to be able to repay the loan. In the Dallas mortgage market, having preapproval in hand makes your chances of getting the mortgage you want approved rise significantly.
3. Shop Around
Check out different rates from different lenders. Cast a wide net. Check online and go into banks. You may be surprised that some of the more established banks have rates that can be affordable. At the same time, the opposite may be true, and you’re not going to know until you do your research. In the Dallas area, given the number of choices you're going to have, it may be helpful to decide on a few criteria you want to consider and get that info for each lender you approach or research. For instance, the interest rate, fixed or variable options they offer, down payment options they have, and how interest rates vary depending on your credit score may all be criteria you will want to take note of as you do your searching.
4. Learn About the Mortgage Process
There are several types of mortgages. They vary in length, credit score requirements, repayment options, and down payment requirements. Learn all you can before you start searching. Perhaps a mortgage broker has been instructed to present certain options first and foremost because it will benefit the lender’s bottom line. That’s understandable and it’s good for their business. But if you are aware of all of your options, you will know which ones you should ask about. You want to empower yourself with as much accurate information as you can.
5. Ask Questions
Ask, ask, and ask again about anything you aren’t completely sure about. Also, read the fine print. Set aside a lot of time for each meeting with a lender. If they are not willing to answer all of your questions, move on to someone else. If they are, however, you will get a wealth of valuable knowledge. This can then be used to alter your decision and therefore benefit your bottom line.
If you're searching for a mortgage, you have a unique opportunity to increase your wealth both now and in the long term. A mortgage in Dallas is likely the biggest amount of debt you’re going to assume over the course of your lifetime. Making an informed decision powered by knowledge will ensure you are well positioned for a stronger financial future.