Finding a Lender on the Internet

There are two types of mortgage lenders you can find searching the Internet. The first type is what you would find if you went to your local Yellow Pages: traditional lenders with local branch offices who advertise on the Internet. It might be a national company with offices all over the country, or it might be a small lender with only one or two offices. The second type of mortgage lender does not have local offices.

It does the entire mortgage application process over the phone through toll-free numbers. Whether you choose to apply with a local lender or the new breed of long-distance lender, make sure to check their references.

Appendix L lists several sites where you can find both national and local lenders. It also has a few listings for specific lenders. This is not a recommendation of those lenders, but just some examples of different types of mortgage lender Internet sites.

Mortgage Calculation Tools

There are numerous free mortgage calculation tools available on the Internet. Some are built into the Internet sites where they are located, and others are small programs you can download, install, and run on your computer.

Appendix I. lists several sites with calculation tools for home- buyers. Tools available include:

• Rent or buy?

• Refinance?

• How much can I afford?

• Loan payment calculator

• Tax savings

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA have calculation tools on their Web sites.

Applying for a Mortgage Online

There are several sites that ostensibly allow consumers to apply for a mortgage online. Most of these online applications are very unsophisticated forms that gather a little bit about you and do not constitute a full mortgage application. Most of these online applications precipitate a phone call from a loan officer or are followed up with a full application package in the mail.

There are a few sites where you can fill out an entire Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan application (Form 1003) online. Unfortunately, the application is too long and complicated to make online applications practical or desirable.

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