Chuck Hoover wrote to pitch a new web site, Loan.com:
With all the recent revelations and regulatory actions against predatory lenders and other brokers who employ unscrupulous business practices, the lenders on Loan.com must agree to a Borrower’s Bill of Rights — a set of ethical business practices — or they will be removed from the list. There are many more consumer-friendly features on the site — all of which combine to create a trusted marketplace and make it easier for mortgage shoppers to research and find the right loan program and NOT pay unnecessary fees or interest.
Because I’ve been toying with the idea of refinancing our house with a 15-year mortgage, I took some time to explore the site last night. One thing that bugged me was the flash-based video of a talking woman that appears on many pages. Yes, it’s clever, but I don’t want to be forced to watch her. I want the ability to get rid of her.
This gripe aside, I was impressed. Loan.com has a wealth of information and a pleasant interface. For example, the “Truth Center” has some short articles explaining how to make smart choices with mortgages. These cover topics such as:
- How to compare loans
- How large you should make your down payment
- The difference between “qualifying” and “approval (a difference that frustrates many first-time buyers)
- What gets included in debt-to-income ratios
Loan.com features a number of mortgage calculators (though these took forever to load on my computer). There’s also a loan analyzer that allows you to see if any of the lenders can beat your current loan. (In my case, the savings were minimal, which is comforting.)
I spent most of my time playing with the slick little tool that lets you compare rates. That 15-year fixed loan I’m considering? If we paid 2.25 points, we could get it for a 5.58% APR. Our monthly payment would increase 25% (which we can afford), but our term would drop from 27 years to 15 years.
Still, I’m just playing with numbers right now. I’m not serious about re-financing. I’m performing one of my periodic “financial plans”, testing possibilities. I won’t seriously consider refinancing unless rates drop, or until I pay off my home equity line-of-credit.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Loan.com, and was in no way compensated for this post.