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Applying to Multiple Mortgage Lenders: Finding the Best Offer

14 min.

There are numerous loan options available from many lenders, especially if you consider working with an online mortgage lender instead of a bank. So you should study home loan offers thoroughly to determine the best deal for yourself. Here, you will find the information why you should apply with several lenders and how to do it.

Applying to Multiple Mortgage Lenders: Finding the Best Offer

Why you should apply with multiple lenders?

You can better understand your possibilities and find loan officers with whom you feel most comfortable if you speak with different lenders. You might spend weeks giving the lender information and filling out paperwork, so finding one with whom you can talk easily and quickly is essential.

Sending your application to multiple lenders is the best way to find affordable mortgage rates and fees. You can negotiate terms more confidently with different loan offers and come to a good credit deal. There can be significant differences in how interest is calculated and whether closing costs are paid for by the borrower or added to the loan estimate.

Several online lending companies offer loans with no or low closing costs. However, the interest rate on these loans is usually higher. Some non-online lenders may charge higher closing costs but offer a better interest rate.

Before you send in your application, you need to do a lot of preparation work, especially if you want to apply for a mortgage loan. Once you know what kind of home you want and how much money you have, the next step is to look into the different loan options and choose the mortgage lender that best fits your needs.

However, the most critical question among homebuyers is "How many lenders should I apply to for a mortgage?" There are many applying to just two lenders and then picking the better of the two offers they receive. Some borrowers choose to use multiple institutions before making a final choice. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says you should get in touch with "at least three lenders" on your list.

Today 01.12.2023 Mortgage Rates
Today 01.12.2023 Mortgage Rates

Find the best mortgage loan with a free credit score check.

Cons of applying with multiple lenders

Credit applications can lower your score

Having multiple mortgage applications on file may cause many credit inquiries. Lenders review your credit report before deciding whether to give or extend credit for a home loan. The lender checks the applicant's credit by contacting the three major credit bureaus.

A mortgage credit inquiry is a hard pull. These credit inquiries lower your FICO score by three to five points with the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). Since the number of inquiries can affect a person's credit score, you should determine how many mortgage lenders you want to apply with and do it within a short time.

You have up to two weeks to fill out applications with as different lenders as you wish. They will perform multiple credit inquiries showing as a one single credit check. In the current housing market, buyers get preapproved, decide on the offers, and close on houses over several months instead of 30 days. Lenders may include only a few mortgage company checks spread out over several months toward a mortgage. This practice hurts your credit for up to two years after you purchase a home. This restriction is for buyers to do a thorough research before making major purchases.

Application fees add up if you apply to several lenders

Working with multiple mortgage lenders will help you get the best rate. Nonetheless, you should only have to pay once for the same service since you submitted multiple applications. When applying for a mortgage, you'll eventually have to pay for a home assessment. You should have at least one evaluation, but it's not a good idea to spend more money than you have to. Instead, deal with a single trustworthy lender.

For some house hunters, the mortgage rate and closing costs are the key factors. Still, it may be more expensive in the long run to pay the builder a $100 daily penalty because the lender couldn't close on time. A higher interest rate may not be as crucial as the service provided and the ability to close on time. Prioritize your needs before shopping for a mortgage.

Many mortgage brokers may contact you

After filling out a single loan application, you may get many unwanted phone calls and emails. This is because mortgage companies, lenders, and online fintech platforms may have sold your personal information to other banks. These parties may get your information by buying it. Although after borrowers have agreed to the loan terms and conditions of a lender, there is little more they can do, there is a chance that reducing the number of queries will also reduce the quantity of subsequent spam.

Shopping For a Lender

Before asking for mortgage rates and applications, find out as much as possible online. Mortgage rates, annual percentage rates (APRs), and fees are all publicly available. You can study the current rates. It allows you to compare fees between many lenders and zero in on the ones you're most interested in before submitting an application. There is no "magic number" of mortgage lenders from which to request quotes, but the CFPB recommends talking to at least three. If you put in the time to investigate your options, you'll be better prepared to choose the mortgage companies you find the most suitable to submit an application. Select the financial institutions and loan officers with whom you feel most comfortable working when closing the deal.

Choosing a loan offer

When you have more than one lender to choose from, there are several factors to consider for the best mortgage preapproval.

  1. Fees. There are several mortgage fees a lender may charge. A few examples are application fee, underwriting fee, rate lock fee, and processing fee. When you decide to apply for a mortgage loan, you may have to pay an application fee. This amount, which can be several hundred dollars, is typically non-refundable. One could waste much money applying for many mortgages. If you're dead set on asking for a loan from a lender that charges a fee, negotiate a reduction or waiver of that price. Depending on the lender, they may have a discount.
  2. Interest rates. A lower interest rate is attractive. However, the advertised rates are applicable to the best qualified borrowers. So you will know your exact rate once you're preapproved. There are financial circumstances when a lender must make changes to the costs to offer you the best possible interest rate.
  3. Annual percentage rate. To figure out the annual percentage rate (APR), you add up the interest rate and any fees that go along with the loan. The fewer expenses there are in the application, the closer the APR is to the interest rate that was quoted.

How to preapprove with multiple lenders?

Check your credit report

You should check your credit score from time to time regardless of when you decide to apply for a mortgage. It becomes especially important to do so before you apply.

You should only apply for and open new credit accounts when necessary, but knowing that checking your credit report has no impact on your FICO® scores is good to keep in mind. If you take this step, ensure all your personal and financial information is correct. Potential incidents of identity theft may also be prevented. Check your credit report right before you start looking for a mortgage, so you can spot any problems early on and take swift action to fix them.

Don't get new credit while hunting for a house

When looking for a mortgage, it's best to hold off on applying for any new credit. Even though new credit accounts for only about 10% of your scores, you'll be better positioned to get the best rates if you don't open up many new accounts while house hunting. A hard inquiry, like when you apply for a new credit card, will cause your score to drop a little.

If this is a factor, lenders may think twice about giving you a mortgage. Inquiries also remain on credit reports for 2 years. On the other hand, FICO® only looks at credit activity and inquiries made within the past year. The data suggests you should wait a full calendar year before applying for a mortgage and new credit lines. A user's account age is also a factor. So, while you're in the market for a mortgage, you'd rather have a five-year credit history than a five-week one.

Examine the option of advance approval

The time spent for homes that are out of your price range can be reduced with preapproval. Lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio and expenses to determine what they think you can afford.

However, preapproval and prequalification differ from what you might expect. While prequalification can give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow, preapproval requires you to provide a lender with more information. A lender won't be able to give you an estimate without first seeing your W-2s, pay stubs, and property taxes. Moreover, preapproval and prequalification can mean different things to different lenders. Hence, knowing whether an estimate will get you closer to getting the home you want is important.


Here are the tips you should consider when looking for mortgage lenders:

  1. Research the mortgage loan estimates online and compare the options using the mortgage calculators;
  2. Prequalify with several lenders to determine if they are ready to give you a loan and on what terms;
  3. Apply with at least three lenders to ensure you will get an approval and receive the best terms;
  4. Sign an agreement only if you find the loan suitable and can pay it off. You can reject the loan.


Should I reach out to multiple mortgage lenders?

It is wise to speak with several mortgage lenders and build relationships with multiple loan officers. The possibilities available to you are attracting, so you better learn more about them. Reach for at least three lenders.

Do multiple mortgage preapprovals affect credit score?

Even if you get preapprovals from two or three different lenders, you will lose a small number of mortgage points. You should get all your preapprovals in a row within a few days. In this approach, the impact on your credit score of each hard credit inquiry will be minimal.

How many preapprovals can I get?

The maximum number of times you can get preapproved is unlimited. Homebuyers locate their dream residence within a matter of weeks or months in a buyer's market, where there are more houses than people looking to buy.

Is a preapproval letter enough to make an offer?

When you make more than one offer to buy a home, including a mortgage preapproval letter can show the mortgage lender that you have the money they need to close the deal. A seller may give more weight to a buyer's preapproval letter if it offers guarantees that no other bidder can match.

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