You can’t beat the ease of applying for a mortgage online, rather than going to a bank in person. But is it the best decision for you? Here are the pros and cons of online mortgage lenders that you should consider when you’re buying a home.
Pro: It takes less time
If you’re busy or need to move quickly, then applying for a mortgage online may be a great choice for you. You won’t have to travel to the bank, find all your documents, and copy and fax all those documents. Instead, you’ll simply upload everything you need right on the website. The time saved can be significant.
Con: It’s easier to make mistakes
While filling out forms online can be a great time-saver, it can also lead to more errors. You could misunderstand a question and provide the wrong information. It’s also more difficult to get answers to any questions you may have while you’re filling out the forms. You may have limited access to customer service, which is generally only available during business hours.
Pro: It’s easy to shop around
Because it’s so easy to access information from online lenders, shopping around is a breeze. Shopping for a mortgage is just like shopping for anything – you should do your research to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Each lender will have its own rates and terms, and when you shop around online, you can easily compare them.
Con: There are more scams
Scams are prevalent all over the Internet, and it’s no different with online mortgage lenders. When you’re shopping around, you may come across a deal or two that seem too good to be true. That’s a red flag. Mortgage scammers will entice you with low rates or insist on some kind of fee or prepayment. If you have any doubt in your mind, do some research on the company to make sure they are legitimate, or it could cost you.
Pro: You’ll likely find lower rates and fees
In general, it’s not unusual for online mortgage lenders to offer lower rates and fees. After all, they don’t have the same kinds of operational costs that brick-and-mortar banks have. They can then pass those savings on to consumers. Even a slight reduction in your rate could save you serious cash over the long haul, which makes online lenders very attractive to many buyers.
Con: You many not qualify for those low rates after all
Online mortgage lenders attract new customers with promises of low rates, fees, and closing costs. But it’s important to read all the fine print. While they originally promise you a low rate, after you’ve filled out all your forms it may turn out that you don’t qualify. This could waste weeks of time and cause serious frustration. And you may be at the point where there’s no turning back if you want to close on the house, so you end up paying more.
In the end, online mortgage lenders can be a great choice for many homebuyers. By understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of securing a loan online, you can be more confident in your ultimate decision.
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