Boise Mortgage Broker: How to Find the Best Broker

September 8, 2020
Last updated:
January 11, 2024
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Buying a home in Boise can be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Securing a mortgage and getting to closing day can be a nerve wracking experience, and you’ll want someone to hold your hand.  A Boise mortgage broker may seem like an easy choice, but it may not be the wisest one if you need more than a lender hookup and really want the best loan possible.

Are you seeing a lot of ads for Boise mortgage brokers offering to put you in touch with the best lenders and get you the lowest mortgage rates? Be aware that mortgage brokers in Boise might not be your best option due to how they operate and what personal criteria they have for “a best lender” (tip: it might just be the one who pays them the most on commissions…)

Who a Boise Mortgage Broker Is

Mortgage brokers are business professionals who specialize in loan origination. They must have passed the National Mortgage License System (NMLS) Loan Originator test, and may also have completed specific certification or pre-licensure programs.

Most brokers are bonded for your protection, They typically hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business, and depending on the state(s) they work in, they may also hold one or more state business licenses.

Think of a mortgage brokers as a middleman or matchmaker. They can’t approve or fund a loan for you, but they do pair up would-be borrowers with lenders, across a variety of institutions including online only mortgage shops, big banks, local credit unions.

What a Boise Mortgage Broker Does

Mortgage brokers depend on relationships with various lenders to supply mortgage options for their clients. Some brokers are independent, while others work for larger brokerages. A broker will take your financial information, pass it along to lenders to get mortgage quotes, then present the quotes to you.

Ideally, your Boise mortgage broker would consult with you at length about your specific needs, and work on your behalf to negotiate terms like your loan interest rate, down payment, and closing costs to get you the best deal possible.

However, this isn’t always the case. Brokers who handle high volume loan origination may simply plug your basic financials into an algorithm, run the results through a “pre-qualification” process and get basic quotes from lenders before asking you to pick one.

The heavy lifting of verifications and approval comes far later in the game, meaning you can get stuck with surprises and higher interest rates after you already feel locked in with a lender. This is why it’s so important to choose a dedicated loan professional who can help personalize your loan options.

How Mortgage Brokers Get Paid

The worrisome part about using a Boise mortgage broker is that it can be hard to tell if you’re getting the best referral or advice when they may be getting paid to funnel business in a certain direction or push you to get the biggest loan possible.

As it now stands, the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits dual compensation. That means brokers can’t double dip, getting loan origination fees from you and a commission from the lender, or vice versa. Only one person can pay the broker. However, the broker also has the option to charge a flat fee or a commission.

With a commission, the broker can receive a percentage of the total loan amount, typically between 0.5% and 3% (the federal cap.). This can lead them to try and get you to take a bigger loan, or they might only recommend lenders who give them the fattest cut. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re getting solid advice on who to trust with your home loan.

Online Mortgage Application and Pre-Approval

Many homebuyers assume shopping online for a mortgage necessitates a Boise mortgage brokers help. That’s just not true anymore, if it ever was. Today’s lending landscape is digital, and self-respecting mortgage banks will have structures in place to help you apply get fully pre-approved for a mortgage online.

At Sammamish, we offer a streamlined loan application process with a secure portal through which you can upload scans of all supporting documents needed for verification. When you receive your pre-approval letter, you’ll be ready to home shop with confidence.

Worried you’ll get stuck or not understand the technology? Don’t be concerned – we also have salaried loan officers standing by to provide personalized help from the start of the pre-approval process through to the day your loan is funded.

Using a Loan Officer vs. a Boise Mortgage Broker

Still trying to parse the difference between using a mortgage broker or a loan officer (LO)? Here’s the down low on what brokers do vs. LOs.

Broker works for themselves as independents, or for a mortgage brokerage, and not for lenders directly. They don’t have anything to do with the final lending decisions or funding of home loans. Brokers simply originate loans, and may or may not provide some level of assistance during the application and approval process.

Loan officers (LOs) typically work for a bank, credit union or loan company. They have a direct line to your lender, and work with other people in the institution, such as a transaction coordinator and an underwriter to get your loan from preapproval application stage to closing on your home.

Be wary of LOs paid by commission, just as you are of mortgage brokers, as this can introduce bias. A mortgage bank that pays their LOs a generous salary is looking out for you by helping ensure the advice you get is in your best interests.

Questions to Ask a Mortgage Broker

If you want to investigate the Boise mortgage broker option further, ask this list of questions to determine who knows their industry and if they will be likely to prove useful n your quest for a home loan:

  • What payment structure do you use and who pays you?
  • How long have you been a broker and what are your areas of expertise?
  • What licenses and certifications do you hold, and are you bonded?
  • What types of lenders do you work with and what loan programs do they offer?
  • What loan type would you recommend for me? Why?
  • Can you get me a pre-approval letter and a rate lock?
  • Is closing within 30 days of an offer likely?
  • During the home buying process, are you my main point of contact?

A mortgage broker who takes down your data and spams it out to lenders without doing any real research into your needs means you simply won’t get personalized service. By asking about specifics like closing, rate locks, pre-approval, and support structures, you can learn if a broker is prepared to really go to bat for you.

Ultimately it’s up to you to figure out what the best interest rate and lowest loan costs can be and choose the right lender for you, whether your guide is a Boise mortgage broker or a seasoned LO with a more customized approach.

Live Boise Mortgage Rates

Important Loan Limits Information

Loan limits are dollar amount caps placed on a mortgage. Different types of loans have different limits.

  • Conforming loan limits are caps placed on loans that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will acquire.
  • FHA loan limits are caps placed on loans that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backs.
  • VA loan limits have been eliminated since 2020. Some borrowers may still be subject to them if they currently have a couple of VA loans, or have defaulted on one in the past.

Loan limits are assigned to (and vary across) each county in every state across the country. They typically increase at the start of every year to reflect the growth in home prices.

Check out our mortgage loan limit tool for conventional, FHA, and VA loans.

Boise Mortgage Broker Alternative: Sammamish Mortgage

Sammamish Mortgage is a family owned, local mortgage bank serving the broader Pacific Northwest region, including Washington State, Idaho, Colorado, California, and Oregon. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and loan products with flexible qualification criteria.

Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan. One of our salaried loan officers (LOs) will be happy to help you get pre-approved for the Boise mortgage that is right for you.

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