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Choose your lender carefully. Look for financial stability and a reputation for customer satisfaction. Be sure to choose a financial institution that gives helpful advice and that makes you feel comfortable. A lender that has the authority to approve and process your loan locally is preferable, since it will be easier for you to monitor the status of your application and ask questions. Plus, it's beneficial when the lender knows home values, conditions in the local area and (best yet) you personally.
The APRs offered should also be looked at to find the best deal possible. However, it may be best to pay a slightly higher APR to work with a lender that knows you and with whom you already have a positive relationship.