How do I choose the best HELOC lender?
Choosing the right lender can be a challenge if you’re not sure what to look for. A few features to compare while you’re shopping around:
- Types of loans. There are several types of mortgages — including jumbo, conventional, fixed rate, adjustable rate and government insured. Not all lenders offer all types, so knowing which kind you want can help you narrow down your options.
- Mortgage rates. Generally speaking, the lower the rate on a home loan, the less you’ll pay over time.
- Down payment requirement. If the amount you’re able to put down on a home is limited, the lender’s requirements based on your financial situation can make or break your purchasing power.
- Cost and fees. Some are less than transparent. Comb through the fine print and ask about all fees involved.
- Prepayment penalties. Some lenders penalize you for paying off your loan early, while others don’t. If you plan on paying off your mortgage ahead of time, look for a lender that won’t charge you a fee for it.
- Credit score flexibility. Different lenders have different requirements when it comes to credit scores, and some are more strict than others. Knowing where your score stands can help you find the lenders most likely to approve you.
- Face-to-face service. Many modern digital lenders lack brick-and-mortar branches. If in-person service is important to you, a more traditional lender might be a better fit.
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