Clearwater Mortgage Blog

Comparing Loan Estimates From Different Lenders

May 17th, 2019 7:47 PM by Carol Youmans

When you're in the market to buy a new home, you might also be shopping around for a mortgage lender and comparing programs, rates, and closing costs. The trick in comparing mortgages from different lenders is to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Doing that is easier said than done. Hear me out. 

What Is A Lender Fee Sheet?

A lender fee worksheet is a detailed list and breakdown of closing costs and expenses for a mortgage. It's a way to compare programs if you know what you're looking for.

Lender A gives you an estimate based upon a conversation on the phone with limited or no documentation regarding your finances.

It's not that this is bad. But, it's really just a ball estimate until your financials are in hand, and he can analyze them against various loan programs. Whatever information you told, the loan officer is what he is basing his loan estimate on

For Example:

"Well, my credit score on Credit Karma is 740 (credit Karma is not accurate for mortgage lending)". or 

"My income is $7000 a month and my wife makes $1000".

It might be a bit different when we see your tax returns. And, possibly, we may need to structure the loan in a way that your wife's income won't count. For example, if her credit score turned out lower than we wanted. 

We need very accurate data and a full application to get an exact estimate. Until then, we can give a "ballpark" estimate called a fee sheet. 

What is a Loan Estimate?

Later, when you have the exact property picked out, and we have all of your documentation, we can give a very solid estimate. That is called a Loan Estimate. By law, only certain parts of this can change after we give it, and by only specific pre-ordained amounts and under only certain conditions. 

Make sure you are not comparing a Fee Sheet to a Loan Estimate. 

Interest Rates Change Daily

Since interest rates change daily, comparing two loan estimates against each other can be a bit deceiving, especially if the estimates aren't on the same day. It can also be tricky if you are not comparing identical programs.

What if the Lender Can't Perform?

Stay tuned for part two of "Comparing estimates from different lenders," where we will go over some more caveats to consider. 

In the meantime, when you're ready to get pre-approved, give us a call at 727-259-2900. 

Posted in:RefinancePosted in:Purchasing and tagged: Closing Costs
Posted by Carol Youmans on May 17th, 2019 7:47 PM