When you are looking for a new mortgage, you want to get the “best deal.” So you call up your friendly local lender representative and ask what their rates are. Then you go online and do a little surfing and find a better rate. So what gives? Is your local lender ripping you off, or is the other lender putting “too good to be true” rates on the Internet just to get your attention, and then they’ll jack the rates up on you later?
Well, I’m not going to be able to answer THAT question, because there are too many variables out there, sorry… But what I can tell you is to be very careful of Internet lenders whose rates appear to be much better than someone else’s. There have been reports of people applying for mortgages online and falling prey to identity theft. Think about it, what information do you normally give to someone when you apply for a mortgage? Date of birth, social security number, balances of your checking/savings accounts (maybe even the account numbers), copies of your tax returns, paystubs, etc.
The best protection is to use a local flesh and blood lender that you trust. But if you really want to use an online lender, be careful, and to make sure you are actually dealing with a real company, and not a scammer. One tip is to really look at the domain name. For example, let’s say you see an ad or receive an email for great loan rates from Chase. Before you click, hover your mouse over the link and if the link goes to www.Chase.com, that’s a good sign. If it goes to www.ChaseLoanAp.net, that’s a warning sign. That’s a domain name that sounds like Chase, but almost anyone could have registered that domain name.
If you aren’t familiar with the company, try to check them out. You can try the Mortgage Bankers Association of America at MBAA.org, or the Natl Assoc of Mortg Brokers at NAMB.org or Mortgage.NationwideLicensingsystem.org.
If you have questions on this or any other real estate topic, call me at (925) 240-MOVE (6683). To search the MLS for free and view virtual tours of homes for sale, go to: www.SharpHomesOnline.com. Sharp Realty