The mortgage lending business is highly competitive and mortgage originators come in all forms of education, training, experience and affiliation.

The amendment of the National Credit Act has made it easier for various lenders to enter the market. There are more micro lending institutions as well as specialist mortgage lenders – giving South African consumers a wide array of institutions from which to choose. This means that the market is full of lenders – both reputable and some unscrupulous ones that are just out to make a quick buck at the expense of unsuspecting consumers.

Choosing the best mortgage lenders involves more than just searching for a good interest rate. You need to consider a range of factors before making your choice.

Know the lending landscape

It can be tricky to discern who the best mortgage lenders are. You need to check for registered lenders. In South Africa, credit providers must be registered with the National Credit Regulator. You need to be clear about your lending needs and find a lender that can meet these needs. Do your research to find out how your interest rates are determined and how lenders calculate costs.

Read the fine print

Ask about estimated closing costs, loan origination fees and transaction fees. There are numerous costs associated with mortgage deals. The best mortgage lenders will be transparent about the entire process as well as relevant costs.

Compare several lenders

Do your research and search for the best mortgage lenders online. Use your research as leverage to negotiate for the best mortgage rates possible. You should know which factors to look for to get the best mortgage deals as well as how lenders differ in their offerings.

Ask the right questions

Speak to friends and family about referrals. Ask the lenders about any down payment requirements as well as turnaround times on preapproval. By asking the right questions you’ll be able to identify the best mortgage lenders faster.