As with all major financial decisions, you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that has your best interest in mind when taking out a reverse mortgage. When shopping around for California reverse mortgage lenders, you have several options for finding lenders and checking them out before choosing one. Just as choosing the wrong lender can cost you a lot of money and heartache, choosing the right one can make the process smoother and may even end up costing you less money.
How to Find Lenders
In addition to looking in your local directory or on Google, you can search for lenders in a variety of ways. Many resources will also give you unbiased information as to the lender’s performance, ethics and track record. Following are ways to search for mortgage lenders in California.
- Advisor Boards – Online there are several advisor boards that have done the work for you. These unbiased boards feature a list of lenders in your area as well as reviews for each lender. Having all of your options in one place saves you the time and effort of looking up each lender individually. Most boards also have links to lender’s websites that you can follow if one or more of them capture your interest.
- HUD – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a list of HUD-approved lenders in your area on their website www.HUD.gov. Not only do they only list reputable lenders, you can also narrow your selection to lenders who meet certain criteria such as location, experience and types of loans offered.
- AARP – You can also research lenders through AARP’sHomeEquityInformationCenter.
- Legal Counsel – The American Bar Association offers counseling to homeowners considering taking out a reverse mortgage. To find one in your area, contact the California Bar Association or the National Center for Home Equity Conversion.
Choosing the Right Lender
With so many options available inCalifornia, it can be daunting to find the right lender. Narrow your search by discarding lenders with questionable reviews and little experience. Make a short list of about 10 lenders that you would like to work with. Contact each lender, ask questions and rate each on the following:
- Closing costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Amount you can borrow
- Interest rate
- Total cost
You will find that some lenders differ greatly, and you may get a better deal from one lender versus another. It’s also important to like who you’re working with. Pay attention to how you’re treated while researching lenders. If you experience bad customer service, you will likely continue to experience it throughout the course of your loan. Sometimes it’s worth paying a bit more to get better and faster service.