Bridget's Blog


READ the fine print on those internet loan offers!

Be SURE to READ the fine print on those internet loan offers!


I do my best to build rapport with my clients, go above and beyone to help them to navigate the loan process and the buying process and make myself available for questions (many times at all hours of the day and night-often when "bankers" hours are done)

In this market, that can mean updating lender letters multiple times, running numbers again and again and providing counseling services.

My rates and fees are competive and often better than the competition. My service, top notch.

By the time some folks finally get a ratified contract we have spent many hours together via phone, email and in person.

I love when I get a call about an offer they found on the internet.  "I found a lower rate!"  You can't just look at the rate, you have to review what that rate will cost you to get!  When I take a look, here are some examples of what I have seen in the fine print.

40% Down?!  Not too many borrowers fall in that category these days, an 80% or 90% loan is more likely, but this is the one this lender is advertising.

Example monthly payments are based on a loan amount of $250,000, excellent credit history, a 60% combined loan-to-value ratio (40% down payment), and do not include taxes and insurance – actual obligation will be greater. Advertised Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is effective as of 5/1/2014 but keep in mind that rates are subject to change and are not guaranteed until locked. If approved, your terms may vary based upon your specific situation.

On this rate chart there was .75% Discount Fee in addition to the 1% origination fee listed in the fine print. 

For primary residences and second homes only. Interest-only payment options are available on 30-year products only. Bi-weekly options are available on Conforming and Jumbo loans. Rates quoted above require a 1.00% loan origination fee. The origination fee may be waived for a 0.25% increase in the interest rate. For Super Conforming loans, mortgage insurance is required if the LTV exceeds 80%.

These lenders are providing the info as required by law for the rates shown. I am not telling you that they are offering a bad loan or rate, I would just make sure that you get a rate that is based on YOUR situation and is truly best for you!

Are the costs truly represented?  I have reviewed many competitive lender's fees only to find that the bottom line is not a true reflection of the actual cost to purchase in Maryland. Certain fees will be the same lender to lender, no matter who you go with because they are based on the purchase price or the loan amount.  Certain fees will depend on who you choose for services (title, inspector, pest).

Rates are subject to change.  If you get a quote from one lender today and another tomorrow, the rates could be completely different.  The market changes.  If you are looking for a true comparison, you have to make sure that the rates are within a realistic window and that the lock period is long enough to get you to closing!

Buying a home is a big deal.  When comparing mortgage rates and fees, be sure that you are truly comparing apples to apples.  Find a lender who you can trust will help you to navigate the process, provide education, open communication and competitive rates and fees.  The lower stress levels will be worth it and you won't have surprises at the closing table! You will get to closing on time and you will have someone who will continue to be on the lookout to ensure that the loan you have is the best loan available, even after this loan is closed. 

Please give the lender who has given you their time and talent for many hours, days, months a shot to meet or beat the "lower lenders" offer (if in fact it is truly lower!)

Why don't you give me your best rates and fees first?  I AM going to give you the best that I have available. I don't get paid unless you close your loan with me! I love what I do, but I'd rather not work for free. I want your business. My company wants your business.   If there is another lender out there with lower rates and fees on the same product/same loan parameters and you can get a Good Faith Estimate, I can take that to my management team and may be able to get an exception so we can offer you the same terms. 

When buying a home, or refinancing, be sure you are comparing APPLES to APPLES!

READ the fine print on those internet loan offers!

Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 5 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • May 01 2014 08:28PM


Love seeing a blog post from you in my blog roll Bridget and even more though one that is packed with great information!

I couldn't agree more with ALL your points: read the fine print, compare apples to apples and call Bridget McGee!

Posted by Andrea Bedard, M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond (Thompson Company, REALTORS®) over 6 years ago

Bridget, nice to see your post again.

You are so right - this is one of the biggest financial commitment for people so reading fine print does make sense - as much as it is working with a professional like you!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

Many buyers get snagged by the teaser ads all the time, even the highly educated ones.

Shop for a trusted mortgage advisor/broker/originator FIRST instead of being a rate shopper.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) over 6 years ago

Andrea, Thanks so much!  I do my best to help folks to compare loan options. Too Often the numbers presented by these lenders are not a true picture of the cost to purchase!

Praful, Rates are important, finding a lender who truly cares about your situation and your goals is key to the right loan!

Pete, Though I encourage my clients to check around, too many times the rate shopper is not really getting the best service or the right loan.


Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) over 6 years ago

Anytime a buyer comes to us with their INTERNET prequal letter, we have them get preapproved with a local lender.  Never do we trust internet approvals.  

Posted by Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage, Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist (Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona) over 6 years ago