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Expert Advice on Your Mortgage Options: An Interview with Dan White of Mortgage Financial, Inc.

By Dan White

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

Mortgage Financial, Inc. has been lending in New England for over 27 years. Our Home Office is in Tewksbury, MA and we have offices throughout New England. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive lending services to New England consumers throughout their lifetimes.

Mortgage Financial, Inc. provides the right combination of quality products, competitive rates, and passionate service. Our history of personal, honest attention has evolved into a unique process focused on integrating your loan into your overall financial plan and insuring a smooth closing process with no surprises. We are a full service lender, meaning not only do we offer you the most competitive rates but we also coordinate the steps involved in the loan process - arranging for an appraisal or contacting an attorney. Your Loan Officer and Loan Processor will be your contacts throughout the entire process.

Customer satisfaction will remain our number one priority. Since its founding, Mortgage Financial, Inc. has made tremendous investments in people, technology and processes that create a better experience for customers.

What are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about getting a mortgage for a new home?

One of the most common misconceptions is that the process should be simple as long as a borrower has good credit and income. The realities of today's regulatory environment have changed what used to be a relatively painless process into one that requires patience, cooperation and more of a paper trail than one might imagine. It is more important than ever to work with experienced financial professionals to obtain home financing. Our average tenured employee has been with Mortgage Financial for more than 12 years, with many here over 20 years.

What would you recommend as the first steps that someone who wants to buy a house should take to secure a mortgage?

I would suggest that anyone thinking of applying for home financing in the next year call one of our experienced loan officers as soon as possible. Our team specializes in guiding borrowers through the do's and don't's before they apply, which will save time and paperwork when they are ready to take that next step. It is not uncommon at all for our Loan Officer's to work with borrowers for a year prior, to actually closing a loan on a new or existing home. We are committed to taking the time to ensure that the choice that a borrower ultimately makes is the best one for their family.

Can you briefly explain the main types of loans and who they are typically best suited for?

Mortgage Financial provides multiple types of financing for residential homes. We offer Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA and USDA loans on Single and Multifamily Properties, as well as Condominiums, Second Homes and Investment Properties. Each program has its own benefits and features, so an important part of our process is to discuss the various programs with each borrower and determine what is the best fit based on their individual needs.

Are there any things that prospective homeowners should not do when they're applying for a home loan?

Yes and this can be critical to the approval of the loan. Here is a pretty good list of Dos and Don'ts for borrowers to be aware of when they are thinking about applying for a home loan.

Dos:
1) Keep all of your financial records in good order and available, be aware that in order to verify your income, underwriters will need the tax documents you have received from your employer, CPA and/or the IRS as well as your recent paystubs.
2) Be sure to save all pages of your recent bank statements as you will need to supply the most recent two months when you apply.
3) If you are receiving any gift money from a relative, they will need to sign a gift letter and they will need to provide their bank statements evidencing the source of those funds.
4) If you are renting, on time payments are crucial and be sure to save proof of the monthly payments.
5) Keep a close eye on your credit by making all payments on time. Late payments can have a dramatic impact on your credit score which can affect the terms of your financing and potentially prevent your closing altogether.
6) Understand that things have changed. Underwriters require far more documentation than in the past. Even if requests seem silly or unwarranted, please remember that if they didn't need it, they would not ask for it.

Don't's:
1) If at all possible, do not apply for any new credit beyond the home loan. Changes in your credit profile can affect the terms of your financing and potentially prevent your closing altogether. If you must apply for new credit, please consult with your Loan Officer, prior to applying.
2) Do not change your job during the process. Any recent changes in employment are significant and should be discussed as early as possible. This includes a change from a salaried to commissioned or self-employed position.
3) Avoid making undocumented deposits into your bank account. Primarily large, but sometimes even small deposits must be sourced unless they are identified as payroll related. Keep your deposits separate and small so that if the need arises, you are easily able to identify the source of the funds.
4) Do not be afraid to ask questions. That is what we are here for. A home loan is likely the largest financial transaction in a person's lifetime, so please be sure to ask away. It will be our pleasure to provide the answers.

What is one of the biggest regrets you've seen people have when it comes to their mortgages?

I would say that taking a shorter term mortgage with higher payments versus a longer term mortgage with lower payments seems to come up fairly often. Although a 10 or a 15 year mortgage may seem like the best choice at the time, it does not always account for unexpected changes that can occur in a borrower's situation. Prior to determining the length of loan to apply for, we recommend that borrowers think about cash reserves, other debt they may have at higher interest rates, tax implications, potential investing and/or maxing out their 401k contribution and also their insurance coverage. We always suggest that once all of the options are considered, borrowers should consult their financial adviser to ensure that they have made the best and most informed choice.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

The best way to reach us is to call 800-659-4663 or email us at info@mfsinc. You may also find us on the web at www.mfsinc.com.

If you are interested in a career at Mortgage Financial, Inc please call Dan White at 617-251-4800 or email at dwhite@mfsinc.com.

Mortgage Financial, Inc. is a Residential Mortgage Licensee. Massachusetts Mortgage Lender and Broker #MC2644, Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department License #5482-MB "d/b/a MFS Home Mortgage". Vermont Broker License #0740MB, Vermont Lender License #5842, Maine Supervised Lender License #SLM3193, Connecticut Licensed Lender License #10134 NMLS #2644 "Equal Housing Lender".

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