How Do I Know If An Online Mortgage Company Is Legitimate?

How do I know if an online mortgage company is legitimate? To protect yourself, make sure your online mortgage company is legitimately qualified by the Mortgage Banker Association. The accessibility of the...

The accessibility of the internet has led to a widespread availability of online lenders. Selecting a legitimate online lender is an easy process providing the consumer takes the time to follow a few simple rules or suggestions. "I would really look for their qualifications," recommends Stephen Edwards of Waterfield Financial Company, the nation's largest privately owned mortgage company.

Once you have selected an online lender's site to look at, exercise a bit of patience. Forego checking out interest rates and APRs for a few minutes. Take the time to read the information about the lender that is offered on the site. Discover what you can about the lender before entering any personal information.

"Make sure they are a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association," recommends Edwards. The Mortgage Bankers Association is a national organization whose membership is comprised of companies and individuals in the mortgage industry. Members may include individuals from all areas of the real estate finance industry, including lawyers, title companies, mortgage consultants, originators, and other affiliated industry associates.

Check to see if the online lender that you are considering is a member of this organization. If he is, then that is a favorable sign that the lender is legitimate. This organization plays an important role in the real estate finance industry. Additionally, a member of this organization will usually display the official logo of the group somewhere on the website.

Another organization, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, allows the online consumer to search through a national database for its members. NAMB, the acronym used for this group, provides an online search directory by city and state, as well as the broker's name.

Another indicator of the legitimacy of an online lender is the number of licenses that the lender has with other states. The lender should clearly indicate this somewhere on the website. "A lot of times, we will find on the Internet, that some lenders have multi-state licenses," says Edwards. "If you see a vendor that has a license in only one state or handful of states, this may not be the best vendor to go with."

Furthermore, look for the privacy and security statements that should be provided on the website. Review them carefully. Phony websites usually do not post statements of this nature, since their sole purpose is to collect the personal data of unsuspecting consumers. If none are posted, consider switching to a different online lender.

If the website has pop-up windows, do not complete any transactions that require sensitive personal data. Fraudulent websites frequently use pop-up windows to collect personal information, which they can use for illegal purposes. Pop-up windows should be user generated.

If you have any suspicion that the website might not be legitimate, leave it immediately. Trust your instincts. Numerous legitimate lenders are available, both online and in person, and a few more moments of your time to locate one is well worth it.

The consumer can do additional things to protect personal information used on the internet. Maintaining a current web browser and computer operating systems are very important. Additionally, the installation of virus protection software is recommended.
Keep your computer operating system and Web browser current.

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