A lawsuit may be in the works against Bankrate, after hundreds of consumers complained about lenders who failed to deliver the rates and terms they promised on the website. Why would a lender post rates and terms they are unwilling or unable to honor? To lure in consumers who truly want to believe that they are getting an interest rate or cost package that is significantly lower than all the competition. And by the time the consumer finds out they are not getting the package they were promised, they likely have wasted enough valuable time that they feel somewhat stuck to use whatever terms the lender hauls out.
Of course there are real reasons that the terms of a loan package can change mid-stream, but when working with a reputable lender - it would generally only be caused by a change from what was submitted on the loan application, such as a change in credit, income, employment, debts or assets.
So are there any reputable lenders on Bankrate? Yes, of course. And some of those lenders were the ones who prompted the lawsuit in the first place. As they were posting real interest rates and terms they could actually honor, they could see that consumers would instead be contacting the less-reputable lenders who were posting completely unrealistic rate and cost offers. And the consumer might not find out the difference until it was too late. Mortgage lenders get their money from essentially the same places - so anytime there is a very large difference between quotes on identical programs, it pays to ask some questions.
Bottom line - the internet at large can be a great place to gain basic trends and information about a home loan, but the Bankrate lawsuit illustrates the need to work with a Trusted Realtor. Working with a real estate professional who can advise you on correct strategies and programs for your needs is a must. And like your mom or dad always used to say - you get what you pay for, and solid advice from a real estate professional will save you more than you can save by using a bargain basement operation.