Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When banks compete you win! OK!!!

We’ve set up meetings, we’ve started looking at houses a little, so we better make sure we’re as good to go financially as we think, right? Right!  So what’s a girl to do when she’s bored at work and getting into the whole mortgage getting process?  Check her credit reports and scores, right? Right!

Now, I’m going to try and not brag too much, but let’s just say, my credit is looking at the really really good bracket of borrowers these days.  And because Jason and I live together and have been trying to get each other in good places and helping each other out so much, I know his is right there too. 

With our credit looking so good, we don’t want a lot of banks running our credit and potentially knocking down our scores.  So in an attempt to keep that threat at a minimum, we each printed our credit reports and scores and were ready to hand the lenders a copy at our meetings so they could see what they were dealing with, without actually “hitting” our credit. 

Which leads me to my first mistake in this process.  While in my quest to keep my credit in the spotless range, I remembered the numerous commercials that come on the boob tube for Lending Tree and decide to check it out.  Their slogan “When banks compete, you win” sounded pretty enticing.  I mean, I want banks to compete for my money, I’m an asset to them.  Good financial history, stable job, no creditors seeking my doom, right? Right!  So I go to the website for Lending Tree as that seems like a good place to start. Let’s see what they’re about and exactly how this whole bank-competing thing works.  Uh oh.  The website doesn’t offer a whole lot of information, not much history or reviews.  So someone, please tell me why I continued surfing this website?  I don’t know!!!  What I do know is that I ended up giving them enough information about myself for them to turn around and prequalify me. 

That is exactly what I was trying to avoid!  For them to have prequalified me, means they ran my credit.  Grrrrr!!!!!  But now it’s too late and I might as well go with it.

The website surf occurred on Thursday night and I got a phone call Monday morning.  Rut row!  By the way, Jason was not happy with me!!  His idea of looking for a mortgage involves a face to face and not a voice over a phone that sounds convincing.  And he just isn’t sure that a lender who is strictly online and that is known for quickly selling your loan to someone else can be all that legitimate.  I have to agree, but the damage was done. 

But the guy called on Monday.  The first thing he asked me?  “Have you found a home yet?”  Ummm, no smarty pants, I don’t know how much I can afford.  What a silly question, don’t ya think?  But he said I was prequalified for $95,000.  This is definitely an amount suitable for the foreclosure home we had been eyeing.  And…..that amount was based solely on my credit as if it were just me getting the loan.  But Jason and I would be getting a loan together, so we still didn’t know what price range we could potentially be looking at for our house hunt.

Within the next few hours, I had a prequalification letter in my inbox and was definitely something that we wanted to have with us when we met with the banks, mostly to find out their opinion.

Now….I’m not saying that Lending Tree is a bad experience, but for first time home buyers, it moved a little too fast, too easy and we’re too old-fashioned for a phone call experience.  But for those of you who may be buying a home for the second or third time, it might be the easiest route for you.  And if you’re strictly looking for information about Lending Tree…don’t use their website.  Just a word of caution, as it could having you falling into a quick hole of doom!!!!!

Here’s to hoping that the banks are as eager to give us money as a website!

Love as always!


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