Luck is not the key to a smooth mortgage process. In fact, you may have more control over the experience than you might think. While your Realtor, builder, friends or family may share their own recommendations or cautionary tales, you have the freedom to choose your lender.

Could you face unexpected challenges along the way? Sure. But rather than leave it to the fates, consider these four characteristics when choosing a mortgage lender.


Does the company have a reputation for making great customer service a top priority for its employees? Excellent customer service can go a long way when it comes to setting the tone for your experience. Your loan officer serves as a guide throughout the mortgage process and should provide you with the information you need to feel confident about your home financing decisions.

One aspect of outstanding service is providing regular and transparent communication. Receiving updates throughout the loan process may help you feel at ease. Being open in this way may also minimize surprises, or at the very least make you aware of them quickly so they may be addressed in a timely manner.


Speaking of time, is the lender known for getting customers from application to closing quickly? If you are buying a home, it is likely that your purchase contract includes a number of fixed dates by which you are expected to meet certain milestones. Ideally, the mortgage lender you choose will be able to accommodate and operate within those deadlines.

It’s important to keep in mind that your financing needs are unique and your speed at fulfilling requests for information can impact the length of your loan process as well. However, if a company has favorable average speeds for things like time spent in underwriting and the overall loan process from start to finish, it may indicate that it has sound, reliable processes in place to keep your loan moving.


Is the company competitive in terms of pricing? When it comes to making what is likely one of the most significant investments of your life, it’s only natural for pricing to be top of mind. In addition to comparing interest rates, you should also consider fees. Some fees may be fixed and non-negotiable, but there are others that you may have more control over. Your loan officer should be able to provide you with information about the fees associated with your desired loan program.

When considering lenders’ rates and fees, take care not to view pricing in a vacuum. While comparing interest rates online might be a good place to start, posted rates may not account for certain variances unique to you, like your credit score, down payment and loan type, which brings us to our fourth point.


Does the lender have the loan program(s) you need? While there are certain common loan types offered by most mortgage lenders, each may have slightly different requirements if the company has imposed additional overlays. There may also be some programs that are only available from certain companies. This could include first mortgage loans, as well as down payment assistance programs and niche products for buyers with unique needs who may not qualify for some of the more common loan programs.

In short, it takes more than luck to find a good partner and guide for your home financing journey. A little research could make all the difference. Contact a loan officer near you today to explore your options and get prequalified with no obligation.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® (NMLS #1251) is a leading independent mortgage lender headquartered in Draper, Utah, with locations across the United States.

Restrictions may apply. Not all who apply will qualify. Program qualifications & offerings are subject to change at any time. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government. Equal Housing Lender. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY. Licensed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Arizona Mortgage Banker: BK-0908287. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act License #4130740. Regulated by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #43759. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banker and Consumer Finance. Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration #SM.502008.000. Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-4090. Washington #CL-1251.