If you shopping for a home, or have worked with a mortgage professional in the past, you’ve most likely heard of rate holds before. If not, it is something that every potential homeowner should be aware of. This is especially true for the application process as it has some great benefits for active shoppers.
If you are not familiar with the term, a ‘rate hold’ refers to locking in a specific mortgage rate for a limited period of time. This is offered through most lenders, assuming you are a potential client looking to purchase a home and need a mortgage. They are not eligible for individuals that are refinancing their mortgage, or looking to transfer it to another lender.
To most consumers outside of the mortgage space, the terms “mortgage broker” and “mortgage specialist” would seem interchangeable – but they aren’t. As a potential homeowner, the differences are more important than you might think.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the definition of these groups before looking at the major differences. Mortgage brokers belong to an independent firm. This allows them unique access to rates and offers from various lenders’ (banks, credit unions, private lenders and alternative options). Conversely, a mortgage specialist is employed by a single lender and works to sell that particular institution’s products.