If you’re considering a loan for a home, business, vehicle or another purpose the task may seem intimidating, complicated, and even discouraging. Most everyday consumers don’t completely grasp the process involved with the complexities of requesting, receiving, or being denied a loan. Before diving right into how to find the best loan consultant or agency, let’s first decipher the difference between a loan consultant and a mortgage broker.

While not very different they are not necessarily the same either. In fact, they often serve two different purposes and have differing requirements and availability for approval. One, for example, may be more limited than the other, and have differing abilities to offer better rates, plans, or packages. (Read more to find out about these differences below)

Determining what type of loan consultant, agency, or mortgage broker to seek out, evaluate, and trust should be a responsibly paced process, and not one in which is underestimated or rushed under any circumstances. After all, the process will heavily involve your credit on the line, reputation, future credit, and a substantial financial responsibility.

What Makes a Good Loan Consultant?

When shopping around for a (good) loan consultant, make it a point to never limit yourself to only one loan officer. Because there are so many various banking and credit institutions in today’s market there’s sure to be more than one potential loan option and loan consultant that strikes your interest and may be a good fit.

The first time you meet with a prospective loan consultant just as they’re cross-examining and getting to know you, likewise should you be doing the same with them. Treat your consultation with a loan officer like an interview, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking things like How long have you been a loan officer or what areas of loans are your specialty are great questions to ask, and are likely to dramatically improve your experience. After all, you’re sharing in-depth personal information and probably spilling more than you should with them (not recommended), so why not have it go both ways?

A loan consultant should not only be informative and respectful but should also conduct them in a professional manner. If your loan consultant seems to be pushy or entertain figures or make guarantees before a loan request is reviewed or even approved then it might be time to search elsewhere. These types of salesman-like tactics are uncanny at best, and can often lead to trouble later on especially if you’re dealing with an independent loan consultant, which leads us to our next point.

Should I go with an independent loan consultant?

Just as there are plenty of banking and credit institutions available on the market, likewise are there many independent or contractor loan consultants available for the taking.

Because of this, it may be easy to get confused or have a hard time deciding whether an independent loan consultant or bank is best for you and your needs or situation. So, look at it this way; if you believe you will or are having a tough time getting approved because of turning down a loan offer for an undesirable percentage rate, or perhaps because you’re dissatisfied with the package offers then it may be in your best interest to seek an independent loan consultant. Independent loan consultants often have more resources and tools available to them, as well as flexibility and more contacts or package offers than a banking institution can. This is because a banking or credit institution will be limited per its executive management and underwriting department with who it can and cannot do business with.

However, if you happen to have especially good credit, a high salary, and collateral to put down and no negative loan history than seeking out your options at banking institutions first might be best. Keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with exploring the market and considering offers from both banking institutions, as well as private independent loan consultants. A major different to keep in mind, however, that’s a sort of common trend is that when dealing with an independent loan officer the fee for service (while included in the loan) may be a bit higher.

Therefore, much like the emphasis on exploring your options throughout this article, take into consideration both sides of the equation and what may or may not make the most sense for you and your situation or needs.
Still unsure about the banking institution or independent loan consultant you’re considering. Don’t hesitate to conduct research online via the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and other major reporting agencies as well as public review/feedback websites to get a better idea of others experiences with said institutions and independent loan consultants.

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