How Mortgage Shoppers Can Save $2K in Extra Fees

The Fees

Shopping around for a mortgage can provide savings beyond just the interest rate. Borrowers could save thousands in lender fees as well.

Borrowers who collect up to five offers from mortgage lenders could save more than $2,000 on mortgage fees, according to a new study from LendingTree of 300,000 loan offers. These extra fees include the costs for a mortgage application, underwriting, origination, appraisals, and up to 16 other fees that borrowers are charged by lenders.

Some mortgage fees are flat fees. Others may be based on a percentage of the loan amount.

“Most aspiring home buyers are focused on saving for their down payment—and they may not have budgeted for additional thousands of dollars in fees,” the study’s authors note.

About 7% of new-purchase borrowers paid no fees when taking out a mortgage, and 15% paid less than $500. On the other hand, 13% of purchase borrowers paid $5,000 in fees and 3% paid more than $10,000.

Taxes, flood certification, city and county stamps, and recording fees tend not to be negotiable. But other mortgage fees may be, researchers say.

“You can skip the back-and-forth by shopping around for the best rate and fees before you commit to a lender,” the researchers note. “In our study, we looked at the savings available to the same borrower who received offers from multiple lenders. The median spread between the highest and lowest fees proposed was $2,045 for people who received five offers or more. That’s a lot of money to potentially save.”

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