Mortgage lenders have a bad rap in large measure because the lending process has become complex. Here's what you can do to protect your...

Mortgage lenders have a bad rap, and with some reason: the lending process has become so complex, many borrowers feel they will drown in a flood of paperwork and confusion.

What to do? Get a better lender.

There are steps you can take to find better mortgage lenders and get a loan with less hassle and fewer headaches. Yes, there will still be paperwork requests and questions which will likely cause amazement, but the process will be a lot better and far easier with the right loan officer to assist. There are better lenders out there, and you can find them by taking three steps.

Comparing Mortgage Lenders

First, you’ll want to winnow out the lenders with the best mortgage rates for people with your borrower profile. This is easy to do using tools like LoanExplorer by LendingTree.

Next, you can check lender ratings on LendingTree.com and see what borrowers like you experienced when they worked with these lenders. While a great rating is not an absolute guaranty of a smooth closing, and a lender with no ratings yet might be dying to show what he or she can do, a good past performance can be a reliable predictor of a positive future experience.

Finally, interview a couple of the winners, and choose the one who communicates in a style with which you are comfortable, the lender who is most responsive and proactive. Ask each of the finalists to review your file and tell you what issues they see that could potentially trip you up. For example, if you’re self-employed and your income dropped from the previous year, underwriters may be concerned about your future earnings.

Success in the mortgage marketplace requires a little more work for borrowers up-front, but delivers better results when it comes time to complete a loan application. That’s not a bad trade-off, especially when you consider that even small changes in rates and terms can add up to big dollar amounts over time.

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Peter G. Miller

Peter G. Miller

Peter is a contributor writer for LendingTree.