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How to Choose a Local Mortgage Lender in Oregon

Sammamish Mortgage
September 20, 2020
Last updated:
June 25, 2021
How to Choose a Local Mortgage Lender in Oregon
In This Article

Buying a home in Oregon is a huge investment and one that should be made with great consideration and care. Considering the expense of a home purchase, the overwhelming majority of buyers will require the assistance of a mortgage to help finance the purchase.

It’s important that you choose the right mortgage lender in Oregon to help you obtain the appropriate financing product for you. These professionals will take the time to assess your financial situation and help you secure the right loan accordingly. And considering how long you’ll be committed to your mortgage, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision.

As overwhelming as this all might sound, there’s no need to stress out about it, especially if you’re partnered with the right Oregon mortgage lender. As with any other type of investment or complex process, your best bet is to gather as much information as possible and learn what you can so you go into the process well informed.

And with the right mortgage lender by your side, odds of steering off path are slim.

Luckily for today’s borrowers, shopping for a home loan is as easy as taking to the internet. By shopping and applying for a mortgage online, you can save yourself a lot of time, hassle, headaches, and frustration.

Here are some useful tips to help you find and choose the best mortgage lender in Oregon.

1. Pinpoint Your Goals

As a homebuyer, you may fall under any one of a number of categories. For instance, are you buying your very first home? Do you require a down payment assistance program? Are you looking to downsize, or do you need more space? Are you looking to buy a vacation home or investment property?

The answers to these questions will help you solidify your path and help you narrow your focus on who best to work with to achieve your ultimate goals.

2. Find Out Your Credit Score

Your credit rating plays a key role in your eligibility for a mortgage program. The higher it is, the better your chances of getting approved. Further, a higher score will also afford you a lower rate, which can help you save a ton of money over the life of your mortgage.

You can find out what your credit score is by getting a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus, which you can do for free every 12 months.

3. Improve Your Credit Score

If you find that your score is low, take steps to improve it by paying all bills on time, spending a limited amount on your credit card, making more than the minimum payment requirement on your credit card, asking your creditor to increase your credit limit, avoiding too many loan applications, and leaving old credit accounts open (even if they are not being used).

If you notice any errors on your credit report, they could be pulling down your score. In this case, have these mistakes investigated and rectified right away.

4. Keep Your Spending in Check

When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to come up with a down payment. In order to save up, you may need to cut down on frivolous spending. Plus, the underwriter will check your spending habits and deposit history, so you may want to slow down on your expenditures while you are in the midst of finding a mortgage lender and applying for a home loan.

5. Check Out Online Reviews of the Mortgage Lender

Many businesses have reviews posted online from past clients, including Oregon mortgage lenders. Reading these reviews can help give you a sense of what the lender is like to work with.

Just keep in mind that not all online reviews are accurate. Instead, what you should do is read as many as you can to get an overall idea of the mortgage lender. And make sure to check out only reputable review sites that are known for posting real reviews from actual customers.

6. Ask For Referrals

In addition to seeing what people online are saying, you may also want to include your friends and family in the discussion. Ask anyone you know if they have recently worked with a mortgage lender in Oregon, and if they would recommend them. If they’ve had a good experience, perhaps you might too.

7. Get a Rate Quote

One of the most important aspects of a mortgage is the interest rate. The rate you are charged will have a direct impact on how expensive the mortgage will be. Obviously, you’ll want the lowest rate possible.

While there are many factors that play a role in the rate you are given – including the mortgage type and your financial health – the lender will still offer their own rates, which you will want to get familiar with before settling on a particular lender.

8. Find Out About Their Fees

There’s a cost to taking out a mortgage, and the interest rate is just one of them. There may be other fees associated with a mortgage, including the fees that the mortgage lender charges.

Reputable Oregon mortgage lenders will be fully transparent about their fees. Find out exactly what fees are charged by asking direct questions. While you’ll inevitably find out what they are in your Loan Estimate, you’ll want to get a clear picture before you start working with a lender.

9. Get Your Paperwork in Order

Applying for a mortgage requires a lot of collection of documentation on your part. Your lender will want to see paperwork that they can look at to determine your financial situation.

The sooner you collect all these documents – which can include your paystubs, letter of employment, tax receipts, statement of assets and liabilities, and so forth – the smoother the loan application process will be.

10. Choose the Type of Mortgage You Need

There are so many different types of home loan programs out there. Each program comes with its own unique traits that make them more appropriate for certain types of home buyers than others. For instance, first-time homebuyers may find one type of mortgage program more applicable than a retiree looking to downsize.

11. Inquire About Mortgage Programs Offered

Ideally, the mortgage lender you choose will offer a number of different mortgage programs to choose from. Even better, they’ll offer the exact type of mortgage program that is best suited for you. Ask the lender what types of mortgage programs are available to you – such as FHA loans, VA loans, conventional loans, jumbo loans, and so forth – before you settle on one.

Be sure to take the time needed to ask a lot of questions, gather all the right information, and get your finances in order before you choose the best Oregon mortgage lender for you.

A Word About Loan Limits

Conforming loans and FHA loans have certain limits that borrowers must stay under, otherwise the loans will be considered “jumbo loans.” Loan limits are dollar caps placed on loans that either Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or the FHA guarantees, depending on the type of mortgage.

VA loan limits have been eliminated for 2020. But 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 every county in the country and usually 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.

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Need a Mortgage Loan or Have Questions?

Sammamish Mortgage is a local lending firm serving the broader Pacific Northwest region including Washington state, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria, and have been doing so since 1992. Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan.

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