Q: My wife and I live in Georgia. We are thinking about refinancing our house. We are considering using a particular a mortgage broker but they have had a number of complaints with the Better Business Bureau and have a B rating. So how do we decide whether we should refinance with them?
We currently have a fixed 30 year mortgage and a rate of 6.375 percent, but we think we can get a rate around 5 percent. My wife and I both have excellent credit. We are looking for another 30-year fixed with no pre-payment penalties.
A: Why would you work with a company that has a less than stellar rating with the BBB and has lots of complaints? Why wouldn’t you look at 4 or 5 different lenders, including national banks, credit unions and another mortgage brokerage firm? You should be working with each, getting their best offer, and then pitting them against each other so that you’re negotiating a tough but very fair mortgage offer.
Sounds to me that you aren’t really doing enough work to know if you’re getting a good deal or not – and that tells me that you’re not ready to refinance. With hundreds of lenders out there, you may be able to find a lender with a better rating.
But the Better Business Bureau rating is only one consideration you should use when choosing a lender. However, if the company doesn’t have a stellar rating and many of the complaints are from the office you plan to use, are you willing to become a borrower that has to complain to the Better Business Bureau and lose whatever rate you locked in because you chose poorly?
You may find that the larger the lender, the more complaints that they receive. And you should use that information when comparing lenders and consider the size of the lenders. However, the lower rating by the Better Business Bureau may indicate that some complaints may have been unresolved.
You should take a look at the Better Business Bureau website and determine whether there is a pattern or problem with this lender. Also, if the lender is national, you may find that the grade this lender gets is for their complaints across the country. After you review this information, you can do a search on the internet to determine if this lender’s rating for your area is proper based on your inquiry.
Finally, type the name of the lender and the word “complaint” into a Google search engine and see what comes up.
I’ve written extensively about the refinance process on ThinkGlink.com, you can read a number of articles in which I walk borrowers through the process of finding the right lender for them here on the site.