If your plans include buying a new home or refinancing, there’s a good reason why you need to shop around for a mortgage. Banks really do compete for your business and you can take advantage of the competition to get a better deal on the terms of the mortgage.
Yet a recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that almost half of those who apply for mortgages visit one bank or mortgage broker and take the offer they receive.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “Consumers put great thought into the choice of a home, but the mortgage process continues to be intimidating.”
The CFPB created a mortgage tool kit to try to make things easier and ConsumerMojo created videos and posts to walk you through the mortgage process starting with What’s the First Step to Get a Mortgage?
Here’s what the CFPB found:
- Fewer than one out of four borrowers submit a loan application to more than one lender or broker.
- 70 percent of consumers say they rely on their lender or mortgage broker to get information about mortgages. While lenders and brokers can offer valuable information, they have a stake in selling the mortgage. Consumers and lenders don’t always have the same best interest.
- Borrowers who said the terms of the loan were more important than a “banking relationship” were more likely to shop around and get a better deal.
- Consumers who mortgage shopped saved money. The CFPB says, “For example, interest rates can span more than half a percent for a conventional mortgage for borrowers with a good credit rating and a 20 percent down payment. For a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed-rate loan for $200,000, getting an interest rate of 4 percent instead of 4.5 percent translates into almost $60 saved per month. Over the first five years, the borrower would save about $3,500 in mortgage payments. In addition, the lower interest rate means that the borrower would pay off an additional $1,400 in principal in the first five years, building greater equity.”