How To Protect Your Information When Applying For A Mortgage
The most vital information is often given out when applying for a mortgage for a home. Due to this, it can be scary knowing that your information may not be safe during this process. The confidential information that is given usually includes; pay stubs, W-2’s, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and your social security number. You may not know the person all that well who is handling your application for a mortgage, so in essence they are a stranger. This can be scary. So how do you know who you can trust? Here are some tips and things to consider below:
1. Check to see if your loan officer is licensed in your state. This is crucial because they are the ones handling your personal information and you need to know if they are qualified. You can start by checking the NMLS (National Mortgage Licensing System) online. In order to be listed on the NMLS , a loan officer must go through a full background and credit check. If your loan officer is listed on the website, they have passed the background and security check. Not all states are currently listed on the NMLS, so make sure that your state is currently a participating state before you find out otherwise. If your state is not listed, do a search for your states mortgage originator license requirements. It is also wise to request that your loan officer provides you with a copy of their license. Something else to keep in mind is that your loan officer for federally chartered banks is not bound by the NMLS licensing requirements.
2. Try to work with someone that you know or someone who comes highly recommended as a qualified loan officer. You should also always check consumer reviews online. If you have a loan officer with 95 reviews and all are 5 stars, they are probably someone that you can trust. Loan Officers are usually listed on various websites. However, not everyone online has a significant amount of reviews, or if any at all. In that situation, we recommend doing a little bit of internet research on your loan officer and the company that they work for as well. Always interview your loan officer over the phone or in person to get the best overall review. As always, ask them tons of questions when doing so.
3. We also recommend going directly to your loan officer’s office to submit any financial documents. Also, when you are at their office look around for things that indicate their qualifications. Loan officers will usually have documents or rewards that make them qualified hanging or in plain site. Also, look for any loan files that may be spread all over the place, sensitive income documents in plain view, or things of this nature. If you see any of these signs, they are red flags. All loan documents should be kept under lock and key at all times, unless they are being reviewed. A responsible loan officer will have a desk that is of sensitive information.
Performing these background and security checks through the NMLS licensing system will help you keep your personal information secure and we highly recommend it!