Starting Your Mortgage Application: Questions to Ask a Loan Officer
There are a lot of participants in the mortgage application process from real estate agents to attorneys and underwriters. One of your top resources throughout the process? Your loan officer.
What Does a Mortgage Loan Officer Do?
A mortgage loan officer is a mortgage specialist, acting on behalf of your lender, and partnering with you the home buyer to guide you through the application process. You’ll meet with them regularly as you move through the application.
At Santander Bank, our mortgage loan officers are all registered with the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). The home-buying process is more than a transaction. It’s a relationship between you and your bank. This relationship is why we’re eager to share our process as a way of demonstrating our commitment to, and concern for, your dreams and ideas.
At your first meetings, your mortgage loan officer will ask you questions about your financial history and the home you’re looking for to help you choose the right mortgage for your needs. They will also help you fill out the actual application, including telling you how to submit any needed mortgage documents. But above all, your mortgage loan officer is available to answer any question you may have about your mortgage. Think of your mortgage loan officer as a partner and sounding board to help you understand all you want to know about financing one of your most valuable assets. While you’ll likely have a lot of mortgage loan questions throughout the process, there are several that you should ask up front.
Questions to Ask When Getting a Mortgage
Bring these questions with you when you meet with your mortgage loan officer to help guide your conversation. While this list isn’t exhaustive, they are key pieces of information you’ll need to know.
Questions to Ask for Any Mortgage:
- What types of mortgages do you offer?
- Which mortgage would you recommend for me?
- Do I qualify for any specialized mortgage programs?
- What loan qualifications should I be aware of up front?
- What will my interest rate be? How can I improve my interest rate?
- Does my prequalification or pre-approval expire?
- What mortgage documents will I need to provide as part of my application?
- Is there a minimum down payment?
- Do you offer a low down payment option?
- Will I need mortgage insurance?
- Can I lock in my interest rate? Is there a cost associated?
- How long does it take to process a mortgage application?
- What could happen that would hold up my application? What can I do to avoid delays?
- Are there any origination fees?
- How many mortgage discount points can I buy?
- Will my mortgage payment include insurance, taxes, and other charges?
- Can I make extra payments to reduce the principal?
- Are there any prepayment penalties?
- Will I have to pay an additional fee if a payment is late?
If you’re considering an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, be sure to ask:
- How much higher can my interest rate and payments go when the mortgage first adjusts?
- After the first adjustment, exactly when, and how often, could m y rate and payment adjust?
- What’s the most my interest rate and payment could increase?
- Can I also pay down the principal?
Learn more about Adjustable Rate Mortgages.
General Questions to Ask:
- What is the best way to reach you?
- How frequently should I expect updates on the status of my loan?
- Will you be in touch with other parties involved with the transaction, or will I be expected to facilitate communication?
- If I can’t get in touch with you and I have a question, whom should I contact?
Mortgage Loan Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer
Like we said, applying for a mortgage is a partnership. The question and answer session won’t be one-sided, so you should be ready to answer a few key questions from your loan officer. While each mortgage specialist is different, be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What do you value as you look for a mortgage?
- How long do you plan to stay in your house once you purchase?
- How much do you have saved for a down payment?
- What is your basic monthly income?
- What are your regular monthly expenses?
Ready to Meet with a Mortgage Loan Officer?
All loans are subject to approval.
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