Do You Need A Financial Guru?
What’s that again? Shopping for a home loan can be one of the most daunting financial chores you’ll face. These intermediaries act as a liaison
between borrower and lender and can simplify the process by researching various loan options, counseling consumers on their
choices, and facilitating the transaction, says Jim Pair, a certified mortgage consultant (CMC) and a former president of
the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB), an industry organization. These pros got a bad rap during the subprime-mortgage
crisis, but they can be invaluable in securing a good deal.
When to hire: Anyone in the market for a home should consider going with a broker, but that is particularly true if your credit score is below 680 (or you have other credit problems), if you are self-employed, or if you need a jumbo mortgage (more than $417,000 in most locations). “In such cases, a broker could find you a better interest rate than what you could get yourself,” says Liz Weston, an MSN.com columnist and the author of Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s at Stake (FT Press, $19, amazon.com). But even if you do hire one, do a little digging yourself to verify that you’re getting the most favorable rates and terms. (Go to schwabbank.com for current information.)
Expect to pay: One to 1.5 percent of your loan amount; often the lender covers this fee.
How to find a good one: Go to namb.org; look for a broker who has a lending integrity seal from the organization. This mean she subscribes to a code of ethics, has had a criminal background check, and meets certain educational requirements.
Most Popular Galleries
When it comes to the do’s and don’ts, you’ve got lots of questions. Here, solutions for making the season merry and bright.