I try to think of myself has an informed shopper. I try to research products, and services. I often use Consumer Advocate groups such as Clark Howard, Consumer Affairs etc.
I just completed a mortgage refinance with Costco using Consumer Direct. The mortgage process has become very cumbersome with red tape. However, the Consumer Direct team worked tirelessly to make it as simple as possible.
I was penalized by some lenders for having a home equity loan that I was consolidating even though my credit score, liquidity, income and assets were excellent.
Not only did Consumer Direct get me a tremendous rate for a fixed 30 year, but the closing costs were the most competitive I seen and their employees were proactive in finding solutions which meant I almost paid nothing at closing and still managed to save a 4 figure amount on my annual loan payment!
I shall definitely be using Costco mortgage services again if mortgage rates continue to fall!