Not too long ago, the phrase "getting a mortgage" would bring about a picture of our parents driving to a local credit union with a shoe box full of income documents and bank statements, be interviewed by a loan officer of the neighborhood banker, and be told that the loan committee would meet once a week and it shall render a decision on the mortgage application in three weeks. Then our folks would drive on to the next neighborhood bank and repeat the same process.

With the advance in technology, shopping for a mortgage has become a matter of a few clicks. Most mortgage brokers today have the ability to directly submit a loan to multiple banks’ underwriting systems. Mortgage programs nowadays are more flexible and require much less documentation. Instead of being delivered in a shoe box, credit documents are scanned, emailed, uploaded, and faxed electronically. Since the introduction of "automated underwriting", most brokers are able to get loan approvals literally in minutes. Luckily, unlike our parents, you will no longer hear the phrase "our loan committee only meets every Tuesday".

Use caution when applying online! There are many scam websites that collect private data. Most states have websites where you can verify the company you are working with is properly licensed rather than a ring of identity thieves.

For security reasons, most mortgage shoppers still prefer to do their research online, but actually apply over the phone. Others feel confident with secure mortgage websites.
Most mortgage websites have a brief form online to get your contact information, as well as a complete application form, to meet the comfort level of their online customers.

The borrower should be careful to fill out an application which promises contacts from several different lenders. They really do mean "several" because the website owners sell off your information to lots of different lenders/brokers. You should always fill out the online application where the broker's office is clearly disclosed on the website.

Whenever you are filling out a loan application for a home mortgage you should make sure that they website is secured before providing any really personal information. If you are just simply providing the basic information such as your name, address, phone number and email a secured website is not nearly as important. The use of automation, online applications and advanced technology has really helped speed up the mortgage process from where it used to be several years ago. Always use caution when doing anything online and you should always check the legitimacy of any company before you decide to buy anything or fill out anything online.

You can tell if a website is secure by looking at its URL or internet address. If the website's address begins with "https://www." as opposed to "http://www." then you know it is secure. The "s" on the end of "http" stands for secure.

Before applying anywhere online, look over the website. Somewhere on the site there should be information regarding the company's licensing. If they do not have their license information on their website, you should probably not fill out an application. If you want to go one step further, you should also verify the mortgage company's license with the appropriate licensing agency.

A mortgage loan professional can give you a pretty accurate quote just using your estimated credit strength, income information, and down payment plans. However, for a more solid quote, he will need to take a look at your actual credit profile. In most cases, he will be able to provide you with a good faith estimate within an hour or two of your initial conversation.

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