How to Shop for Lenders
Learn to Compare Mortgage Rates Online

If you've tried to compare mortgage rates online lately, the process may have left you feeling frustrated. You should know you are not alone. It's not an easy task. Regardless, it's a skill you must acquire because understanding how to successfully shop for competitive interest rates and competent banks is crucial to getting an affordable mortgage payment.

Your Guide to Savvy Lender Shopping

Hi, I'm Kate, creator, author, and publisher of this website. I will be your guide while you learn to shop for a mortgage originator and compare interest rates.

Let's get started and by the way, besides taking advantage of my answers to other mortgage borrowers, you can ask Kate (that's me) a question of your own.

New! Ask Kate How to Compare Mortgage Rates Online

Local vs Online Mortgage Lenders: Accountability - Alicia understands lenders are hesitant to lend on vacant land but even still she has a 20 percent downpayment and blemish free credit. After finally dumping her online lender, she says I may be their last beacon of hope!

New Loan Estimate Form - Know Before You Owe - What you don't know about the new Loan Estimate form could cost you big-time! So I'll walk you step-by-step through the form that replaced the Good Faith Estimate. My tutorial will equip you to compare interest rates and spot prepayment penalties, balloon payments, and other slippery fine-print.

Building Retirement Home: Should You Refinance or Get New Mortgage - Thomas asks for the best way to put money together for a new retirement house: Take money out of his condo or get a new mortgage? Walter asks if his ex-wife had the right to add a 2nd mortgage before his divorce decree required him to refinance.

National Mortgage News: Lower HAMP Payments - Besides breaking news from Fannie and Freddie regarding interest rate adjustments for HAMP loans in their fifth year, Sarah, sole borrower on her mortgage, asks how the loan servicer could approve a loan modification without her permission. Mark asks for affordable refinancing options for disabled borrowers.

Should I Use a Pushy Mortgage Lender When I Refinance My Home - Debbie's Good Faith Estimate is 5 months old but her lender won't issue a new one neither confirm her lock in writing. Sally isn't sure she has the lowest rate yet her lender is pushing her to close. Both are feeling uncomfortable with their lenders' loan process.

Affordable Mortgage Payments After Divorce - Part III - The third post in a mortgage affordability mini series, meet Leonor who supports her children with no help from her ex-spouse. She asks how to make her mortgage payment affordable in lieu of giving up the house.

Affordable Home Loans: Fixer Upper Houses - Part II - The second post in a mortgage affordability mini series, meet Rachel who could lower her housing expense if she buys a fixer upper. Read why her plan concerns me.

Affordable Home Loans: Mortgage Desperation - Part I - The first post in a mini series on affordable home loans, meet Gerald who financed a fixer upper with a 10 percent mortgage that includes a $325,000 balloon payment.

Cash Out Mortgage Refinance to Add Mother-in-Law Apartment - I have a private loan and need to refinance to get a better mortgage rate. But since I recently became disabled, I decided to build a mother in law unit in the back and live in it while I rent out the main house.

Hardship Loan Modification or HARP Refinance Plan - Hardship refinance? Modification? What do I ask for? What is available for my situation? The best protection for homeowners is to understand their mortgage options before calling a loan servicer or bank.

Refinancing Your Home: Stated Income and No Doc Mortgages - Irene's home has massive equity but her social security income is a roadblock to refinancing. Learn how non-traditional borrowers like Irene can safely shop for their lowest mortgage rate and best terms.

How to Compare Mortgage Lenders and Avoid Borrower Remorse - With this guidance and a little elbow grease on your part, you can learn to shop mortgage plans, whether the program is HARP, Fannie Mae, FHA, VA, or private money.

Kate's six simple steps to choosing the best mortgage lenders is found at at Compare Mortgage Rates Online.

Contradictory Mortgage Approval Process - TJ's refinance just closed. Yet his lender is promising a better interest rate if TJ will immediately refinance his home loan once again. But Texas state law prohibits more than one refinance a year...

Capital Gains Tax and Selling a Home to Family - Kate, I inherited a house from my parents. My niece is interested in buying it. How do I calculate capital gains tax? (Bonus! Land contract information included!

Compare 15 Year to 30 Year Mortgage Refinancing - Brenda is trying to decide if a 15 year streamline refinance is worthwhile. Shawn wonders if a HARP refi is the way to go or should he pay off personal loans, car, and credit cards.

Is Mortgage Approval Possible Without Verbal Employment Verification - Even with 50% down payment, no debt, perfect credit, and written income documentation, JS is shocked that they seem to be out of luck for getting a home loan! Here's the problem...

How to Refinance a Mortgage Without Going Broke - Sue is refinancing from a 15 to 30 year term. Real estate investors are having a difficult time refinancing s home. Susan has a $25,000 balloon payment that's due soon.

Refinance Your Mortgage without Losing Your Mind - AJ can't refinance because of a short sale in his past. Bill can't refinance his mortgage that's about to balloon in spite of his perfect 30 year payment history. Because Jason's mortgage isn't backed by Fannie, he has zero options for refinancing. Noel put down 20% but can't refinance after (barely) missing the HARP deadline.

Deciding When to Refinance a Mortgage - After receiving an unsolicited refinance offer, Ben asks if he should refinance his underwater home. I'm puzzled by Paul's question about refinancing into a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. Larry doesn't know if he should refinance his rental property or consider foreclosure.

Survive Deceptive and Unfair Mortgage Lender Practices - Requests after closing his transaction border harassment, trying Bob's patience with his lender. Home buyer Brad suspects Fannie Mae might be trying to pawn off IRS tax liens. For a third homeowner, is the risk of a deficiency judgement worth negotiating with the bank to buy back his foreclosed home?

Refinancing my Home - How to Overcome Challenges - Are you an armchair quarterback who thinks homeowners need to toughen up and quit whining about their finances? Meet Marian with solid credit. Then there's Philip who's been in a terrible car accident, just looking to lower their mortgage payment. Lastly meet the homeowner with tons of equity. Yet none of them can refinance.

Compare Loan Origination Fees - Say No to Junk Fees - It's popular to define junk fees as charges that do not pay for an actual service. Others claim they are surprise closing costs that remain undisclosed until final mortgage documents are ready to for signing. But how about the following interest rate quoted to John? In my book, it's a junk fee!

Affordable Home Loans - How Much Mortgage Can I Afford - David makes a lot of money yet can't afford his monthly house payment. He's recently heard a commercial that's advertising to people in his predicament. My antennas go up because David describes himself as someone who commonly gets targeted by predatory lenders.

More on Shopping for Lenders and Comparing Mortgage Rates Online

Home Loan Help: How to Refinance a Mortgage when You Smell a Rat - Carolyn received a phone call that VA loan guidelines changed 8 months after she closed her refinance. Now they want money from her. Susan's husband is being asked to sign a fictitious gift letter for their daughter who is buying a home. Vickie is trying to refinance her 1900 farm house with HARP 2 loan. But Fannie Mae insists she has manufactured home financing and wants her to pay for an appraisal.

Mortgage Loan Origination Fees vs No Junk Fees - Triesta is refinancing and surprised to find an application fee of $200 and a processing fee of $425, in addition to a 1% loan origination fee! She's right to question the junk fees! Triesta also asks if taking the bank's offer of an above-market interest rate to pay for closing costs is smart.

Not Happy with Loan Servicer - Elizabeth's loan servicing was just transferred to a subservicer. Just what's needed in mortgage lending, another layer of personnel. While we are discussing loan servicing, there's a statement on the Good Faith Estimate that grinds my gears.

Savvy Shoppers Compare Refinance Fees - Avoid being surprised by higher interest rates and refinance fees by understanding origination charges, points, and rebates on the Good Faith Estimate. Learn what the government doesn't require banks to disclose!

Refinancing Non-Arms-Length Non-Seasoned Home Purchase - "Getting Worried" asks if 6 to 8 months seasoning is long enough to wait for refinancing a non-arms-length purchase transaction? He is the non-occupant co-borrower as well as joint owner.

How Does Streamline Refinancing Work - 4 homeowners ask about streamline refinances for FHA, rental properties, and borrowers with low credit scores or non-verifiable income. Kate discusses cross-collateralization and closing costs for streamlines.

Mortgage Refinancing at No Cost - In spite of copious regulations, Buyer Beware remains the best advice for homeowners wanting to refinance. This is why I author Ask Kate! My goal is to empower you to get the best rates at the least cost. Read how!

Today's Best Mortgage Rates for Self-Employed Homeowners - I had a brand-new master's degree. So we put 20% down and got a no-doc mortgage loan, sure that I would get a job with no problem and refinance. Ha!

Mortgages for Self Employed Clearly Explained - My husband and I are self-employed homeowners with good credit. But our tax returns make our income look too low. Where can I go to refinance?

How to Compare Mortgage Lender Representatives with Ease - I am so confused about getting a loan approved before I know what house I want to buy. Help!

3 Ways To Compare Mortgage Lender Rates - I was shopping around to refinance my home loan and talked to two mortgage lenders. Who do I believe?

Finding a Real Estate Investor Loan - I plan to buy a duplex as my very first investment. What types of low downpayment mortgages can I expect?

Smart Mortgage Refi - Looking around is the key and not taking "no" for an answer.

Finding Your Best Mortgage Lenders - My personal preference is to compare mortgage rates online and see what is available in the local area.

Choosing The Best Mortgage Lenders - I want to see a person to finalize the documentation and possibly ask any last minute questions.

How I Found My Mortgage Lender - I am now sitting in the house of my dreams faster than I thought I would be.

Home Owner Qualifies Mortgage Lender - My decision was based on referral.

Best Mortgage Rate Or Best Mortgage Lender - We were able to get a bit closer to our target interest rate and ended up at 6.5%.

Prefer Working With A Mortgage Lender In Person - We were referred from a friend.

Never Again Face To Face With Mortgage Lender - You too will want to apply for a mortgage loan online!

Finding The Best Mortgage Lenders - We got our mortgage at a better rate and with less expenses.

Compare Mortgage Rates And Closing Costs - Is it just me or do the numbers look suspicious?

Ultimate Collection of Ask Kate Articles - Cruise My Site

Ask Kate About Locking Rates

Kate's Guide To Mortgage Rate Lock

Blockbuster Article Collection A-J

Blockbuster Article Collection K-Z

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Haven't found what you're looking for? Here's the solution! Go ahead and Ask Kate for answers.

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