3 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Mortgage Lender

If you're considering home ownership now or in the future, one of the first things you'll want to do is research. Learn more about the home buying process, the desired location, and the various products that might be available in terms of financing. 

Additionally, before creating your "home buying team" (realtor, lender, attorney, etc) it's a good idea to interview potential candidates to gauge if the services provided will meet your needs and provide you with the information you'll need to feel empowered about the decision making process down the line. 

It is very easy to create your "home buying team" with the help of family and friends who may be in the business, or by seeking home financing through the firm where you currently do your banking. On the other hand,  when it comes to  the biggest purchase and the largest investment you're likely to make in your life, convenience and relationships should not be the only factors that weigh in on your decision. 

When it comes to choosing a lender, there are a few questions, that are just as important and in some cases, more important that than the 'What's your rate?' question.  

1. ) What is your closing rate?

This question will give insight as to the frequency at which borrowers who apply with the prospective lender actually receive the home financing they seek.

2.) How and how often is mortgage status communicated once the process begins?

One of the biggest complaints home buyers have about the process of purchasing a home is the lack of communication - not only from borrower to lender or realtor, but also communication among the members of the "home buying team." Ask about how you will receive communication about your loan status. Is it using a method with which you'll be comfortable? How often will you receive this communication and will you be able to speak to an actual person as needed?

3.) What is the average time to close a mortgage loan?

30, 45, 60 days? This is a big one. Just think about it - what difference does the best quoted rate make if you can't close on time or at all?

When meeting with a lender, ask them how long it usually takes loans to close. Keep in mind the mortgage process is very customized and not every scenario is the same, so there are always exceptions to the rule, but in general a lender should be able to give you an idea of when you can expect to close "in an ideal situation" based on your loan type. 


I am a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist and Loan Officer with Jersey Mortgage. I educate and empower Home Buyers and Investors so that they can make decisions about home ownership that support their overall financial goals. Servicing NJ, PA, CT, FL, NY. NMLS: 1150526