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Finding the Right Lender For Your Needs

Whether you’re looking for a loan for a new car, a home, or just a new pair of skis, finding the right lender is the most important step. After all, without a lender, there is no loan. And when you have your unique circumstances and financial situation, you want to find the lender that fits you best. Here’s how to find the one that’s right for you.

Couple at the table with a lender.

Sort out your finances first 

When it comes to finding a lender, you need to start with a look at your financial situation. Start with a look at your credit, and see what you can do to improve it. And there are usually certain documents you need when you apply for a loan, especially a mortgage or auto loan. This is important for finding a lender, not just a loan. This can include your social security number, bank account and credit statements, two years of tax returns, and salary information. When prospective lenders examine your whole financial picture and offer you rates accordingly, you need to give them the entire picture and have your idea of what it looks like. 

 

Think about your priorities 

There’s more to a loan than the amount and the interest rate. And choosing a lender should take more factors into account. Think about what’s important to you regarding service, communication, and community. It might be important to you to have a physical location near you where you can go in and talk to someone with questions. Or you might want the convenience of a seamless online application. Either way, it’s good to identify your must-haves early. 

 

Woman considering her options.

 

Look at the options

The programs available to you will vary depending on your loan type. But if you’re applying for a mortgage, different programs, like VA or rural development loans, might appeal to you, and not all lenders will offer those. Before you reach out to lenders, have an idea of the Lon landscape so you can choose a lender with a program that interests you and fits your unique situation. 

 

Seek prequalification from your top choices 

When you’ve had a chance to window shop for a while, it’s time to do the loan equivalent of stepping into a dressing room. Prequalification on a loan like a mortgage or auto loan lets you know how much you can borrow before you commit. Preapproval takes it one step further, with a hard pull on your credit. Because that can impact your credit score, you only want to take the preapproval step when you think you’re ready to move forward. 

 

Compare prices and services 

When you have all the information in front of you, it’s time to see the options side by side. Comparison shopping is part of the process when looking for a loan. And even as you ask for rates and get prequalification, think about the services side too. Is your lender a huge financial institution where you’re just a drop in the bucket? Or are you a valued credit union member working with lending specialists deeply rooted in your community? 

 

Mortgage preapproval form.

 

Take the time to look through what you prequalify for. Do the math, and see how much more you’ll pay with a higher interest rate. Make that pro-con list, and determine which factors are most important to you. 

 

The good news is you sometimes can have it all. Credit unions like RMCU are known for having a community focus. And because members share profits in the form of dividends, credit unions also often have lower interest rates too. Look at the options from RMCU, and decide on your top lender. 

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