Obtaining a mortgage is now easier than ever: you may apply for one online. That means no awkward bank appointments; you won’t even have to change out of your pjs. (Unless you really, really want to.)
With today’s technology, it’s also easier to compare mortgage lenders. You may evaluate various mortgage lenders and choose the best one for you thanks to online lending.
With this in mind, we analyzed the leading mortgage firms to provide you our recommendations for the best online mortgage lenders. Check out our shortlist below, as well as a summary of some of the most significant facts about the online mortgage market.
What is an online mortgage lender?
During the last 20 years, you had to physically drive to a lender’s office to apply for a mortgage. They would offer you an application packet to fill out and return before your loan could be processed. You’d then be given a list of required documents (such as tax records) and would have to physically deliver them to your lender’s office. If anything needed to be changed along the road, you’d probably have to make another trip to sign documents.
By allowing consumers to complete the application online, an online mortgage lender hopes to simplify the mortgage procedure. Without leaving their home, homebuyers can check prices, submit an application, sign documents, and upload documents.
How does an online mortgage work?
The lender determines the online mortgage process. Some lenders, for example, allow you to complete the entire house loan procedure online, from start to finish (Note: Due to notary requirements, closings generally still take place in person.) Some lenders may enable you to view mortgage rates and upload documentation online, but they may require you to call a loan officer before your application can be finalized.
In most cases, regardless of the level of online services accessible, an online mortgage loan follows the same fundamental procedures. In general, the steps you may experience are as follows.
1. Fill out a simple form and check your interest rates
This is known as a pre-qualification, and it entails your lender running a mild credit check to verify your credit score. This excludes verification of income, employment, or assets. You’ll be able to see the loan options you qualify for if you have the lender’s minimal credit score or above.
2. Decide what type of mortgage loan you want
Do you want 15 years, 30 years, or something else? Conventional, FHA, or VA loan? Choose the best mortgage loan for your needs and formally apply.
3. Submit any documentation your lender requires
You should be able to do this totally online. To make things as simple as possible, many lenders will allow you to immediately link to your bank accounts and other sources.
Upon the submission of your documentation to your mortgage firm, the underwriting department will verify it. You’ll be able to close once your documentation has been confirmed.
5. Sign and schedule
Set up your loan closing and sign your loan documentation. This will almost certainly have to be done in person, but many online lenders will send a notary to you, so you won’t have to leave your house.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re refinancing your mortgage, you’ll have to schedule an assessment of your house to validate its value.
This occurs with a purchase mortgage as well, although it is a more behind-the-scenes process (as opposed to an appraiser visiting your property while refinancing).
How to choose the best online mortgage
The optimum plan of action consists of two simple actions.
Make a short list of three to five online mortgage lenders that fit your requirements. We’ll go over what to look for in the following section, but our top selections for the finest online lenders are a fantastic place to start.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, apply for preapproval with each of them, even if they require a credit check to establish your interest rates. The FICO® credit scoring algorithm is specifically designed to allow you to browse for rates without negatively impacting your credit score.
The various loan terms that lenders will give the same borrower may surprise you. The difference can be enormous. For example, if you apply for a $400,000 mortgage, the difference in interest rates between 3.125% and 3.25% corresponds to over $10,000 in interest savings over a 30-year period.
Tips for comparing online lenders
Start by comparing the interest rates you’re offered. Here are a few other things to consider before applying.
- Origination fees: Some internet lenders charge a minimal or no origination fee. Some may charge hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars.
- Loan types: Unless you’re looking for a basic conventional mortgage, check sure the lender offers the type of house loan you require. For example, if you require FHA financing, make sure the lender provides it before applying.
- Other features: Certain mortgage companies may provide discounts for opening numerous accounts (like a checking account.) Others provide an online process but also have physical locations where you can visit if necessary. These are just a few aspects to examine, but the point is that you should choose the lender who best suits your needs.
Pros and cons of online mortgage lenders
Like most things in life, using online mortgage lenders has pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider:
- Loans may close faster
- The ability to close long-distance
- Difficult to receive in-person help from a mortgage broker
- May be a learning curve for people who are not tech-savvy
- Might not be accessible to those without a steady internet connection
||Streamlined online application|
||No lender fees and online application|
Guaranteed Rate Mortgage
||Digital experience & down-payment assistance|
Bank of America Mortgage
||Diverse loan offerings and relationship discounts|