Can You Switch Mortgage Lenders After Being Pre-Approved?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a big step in the home buying process. It shows sellers that you are serious about buying a home and that you have been pre-approved for a loan. However, what happens if you get pre-approved for a mortgage and then find a better deal with another lender? Can you switch mortgage lenders after being pre-approved?
Read the article to find out.
Is It Possible to Switch Lenders?
Yes, you can switch mortgage lenders after being pre-approved. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Keep in mind that when you switch lenders, you essentially start the mortgage application process from the beginning with the new lender. This means you will need to provide them with all the necessary documentation, such as income verification, bank statements, and credit reports. The new lender will evaluate your financial situation and determine if you still meet their lending criteria.
One important factor to consider when switching lenders is timing. If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you need to ensure that the switch can be completed within the agreed-upon timeframe. This is particularly important if you have already signed a purchase agreement or have a closing date set.
It’s also worth noting that switching lenders may have an impact on your credit score. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will typically pull your credit report, which results in a hard inquiry on your credit history. Multiple hard inquiries within a short period of time can slightly lower your credit score.
However, credit bureaus understand that consumers may shop around for the best mortgage rates, so they usually treat multiple inquiries within a certain timeframe as a single inquiry when calculating credit scores. This timeframe is typically around 14-45 days, depending on the credit scoring model.
Before deciding to switch lenders, it’s essential to carefully compare the terms and conditions offered by different lenders. Look at factors such as interest rates, loan terms, closing costs, and any other fees associated with the mortgage. Switching lenders can potentially save you money if you can secure a better interest rate or more favourable loan terms.
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How to Switch Mortgage Lenders After Being Pre-Approved
Switching mortgage lenders after being pre-approved requires following several steps to ensure a smooth transition. Here is an expanded guide on how to switch mortgage lenders after being pre-approved:
- Evaluate your current situation: Before making the decision to switch lenders, take a close look at your current mortgage offer. Consider factors such as the interest rate, loan terms, closing costs, and any other fees associated with your existing pre-approval. Assess if switching lenders would provide you with better terms and potentially save you money in the long run.
- Research and compare lenders: Research different lenders and their mortgage offerings. Look for lenders who offer competitive interest rates, favourable loan terms, and excellent customer service. Compare their rates, fees, and reputation to find the best fit for your needs.
- Obtain a new pre-approval: Once you’ve identified a new lender, contact them to begin the pre-approval process. Provide them with all the necessary documentation, such as proof of income, bank statements, and credit reports. The new lender will evaluate your financial information and determine if you qualify for a mortgage with their institution. If approved, they will issue you a new pre-approval letter.
- Arrange for a new appraisal: A new lender will require an appraisal to determine the value of the property you intend to purchase. This ensures that the loan amount they offer aligns with the property’s worth. Pay for a new appraisal and provide the necessary access to the property for the appraiser to conduct their evaluation.
- Review closing costs: Switching lenders may involve additional closing costs. Closing costs include fees such as appraisal fees, title insurance fees, loan origination fees, and more. Carefully review and compare the closing costs associated with the new lender’s offer to ensure it aligns with your financial plans.
- Notify your current lender: Inform your current lender about your decision to switch lenders. They may have specific requirements or procedures to follow for the transition. Coordinate with them to ensure a smooth transfer of any necessary documentation, such as the appraisal report or other relevant paperwork.
- Finalise the mortgage with the new lender: Once you have completed all the necessary steps and are satisfied with the terms offered by the new lender, proceed to close on your home loan. Work closely with your new lender to complete the required paperwork and fulfil any outstanding conditions. Ensure that the loan is processed in a timely manner to avoid any delays in the closing process.
- Close on your home: After all the paperwork is completed, schedule a closing date with your new lender and the necessary parties involved, such as the title company or attorney. Attend the closing meeting to sign the final loan documents and officially transfer the funds. Once the closing process is complete, you will have successfully switched lenders and finalised your mortgage with the new lender.
What Should I Consider?
When considering switching mortgage lenders after being pre-approved, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Shop around for the best deal: It’s crucial to explore multiple lenders and obtain pre-approvals from them. This allows you to compare their interest rates, fees, and loan terms. Don’t solely focus on the interest rate; consider the overall cost of the loan, including any discount points or origination fees. By shopping around, you increase your chances of finding a lender that offers more favourable terms and potentially saves you money over the life of the loan.
- Understand the costs involved: Switching lenders typically incurs additional costs. Be prepared to pay for a new appraisal, as the new lender will require an updated assessment of the property’s value. Additionally, there may be closing costs associated with the new lender, such as origination fees, title insurance fees, and other charges. Carefully review and compare these costs between lenders to determine the most cost-effective option.
- Familiarise yourself with the process: Before initiating the switch, make sure you understand the process of switching lenders. Research and educate yourself on the necessary steps involved, the documentation required, and any specific lender requirements. This knowledge will help you navigate the process more smoothly and avoid any surprises along the way.
- Consider timing: Timing is essential when switching lenders, especially if you are in the process of purchasing a home. Ensure that the switch can be completed within the agreed-upon timeframe to avoid any delays or potential issues with the home purchase. Coordinate with both the old and new lenders to establish a realistic timeline for the transition.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
Pros and Cons of Switching Mortgage Lenders
Switching mortgage lenders after being pre-approved can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some expanded pros and cons to consider:
Potential for a lower interest rate: Interest rates can vary between lenders, and securing a lower rate can result in significant savings over the life of your mortgage. By shopping around and comparing offers from different lenders, you increase your chances of finding a more competitive rate.
Cost of a new appraisal: The new lender requires an updated assessment of the property's value to determine the loan amount they are willing to offer. The cost of the appraisal can add to your overall expenses, so it's important to consider this factor when deciding whether to switch lenders.
Ability to get a shorter loan term: If you initially pre-approved for a longer-term mortgage but now wish to pay off your loan sooner, a different lender might offer more favourable terms for a shorter loan duration. This can help you save on interest payments and build home equity at a faster pace.
Additional closing costs: Switching lenders may involve incurring additional closing costs. These costs can include fees such as loan origination fees, title insurance fees, and other charges associated with the loan.
Access to different mortgage options: By switching lenders, you can explore a wider range of mortgage options and find one that aligns better with your financial goals and preferences. For example, if you initially pre-approved for an adjustable-rate mortgage but now prefer the stability of a fixed-rate loan, a different lender may offer that option.
Time-consuming and complicated process: The process of switching lenders involves gathering new documentation, going through the pre-approval process again, coordinating with multiple parties, and ensuring a smooth transfer of the mortgage. This additional time and effort may not be suitable for everyone.
What Should I Do?
Switching mortgage lenders after being pre-approved is possible, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision. If you are able to find a better deal with a different lender, the savings may be worth the hassle of switching lenders.
However, if you are not sure if you can find a better deal, it may be better to stick with the lender you have already been pre-approved with.
If you are considering switching mortgage lenders, we encourage you to reach out to Odin Mortgage. We are a leading Australian mortgage service provider for Australian expats and foreign nationals globally. We can assess your situation and help you find the right lenders to finance your mortgage.
Speak with our expert mortgage brokers today for personalised assistance tailored to your unique circumstances.
Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.
Frequently asked questions
If you have already made an offer on a home, you can still switch mortgage lenders. However, you will need to make sure that the new lender is willing to close on the home before the closing date that you have already agreed to with the seller.
If you have already closed on a home, you cannot switch mortgage lenders. You will need to wait until your mortgage term is up before you can refinance with a different lender.