Why Use a Mortgage Loan Advisor?
Mortgage Loan Advisors are trained professionals licensed to represent and provide you with the best advice for your mortgage needs!
The alternative to working with a Mortgage Loan Advisor is to call up dozens of banks and compare their mortgage terms and rates on your own. A Mortgage Loan Advisor saves you the time and headache of having to do that. Mortgage Loan Advisors have access to a wide variety of programs and options, some of which you may not even know about.
Can I Become a Home Buyer Even If I Have Bad or Poor Credit?
Yes. Your credit doesn't have to be perfect to purchase a home. Difficult financial situations are often because of illness, divorce, or temporary unemployment. If you can demonstrate that the problem was in the past, and you have been able to re-establish a good track record for a sufficient amount of time, you may be in a good position to get a mortgage loan.
Which Type of Loan Is Best for Me?
We want to find out more about you before throwing out loan options. You wouldn't expect a doctor to suggest surgery before assessing your medical situation, so we will gather enough information from you before recommending a particular type of loan.
We will thoroughly explain the pros and cons of various loan programs and help you determine which is right for you and your personal financial situation..
When Should I Refinance?
It's generally a good time to refinance when mortgage rates are lower than the current rate on your loan. It may be a viable option even if the interest rate difference is only 1% or less. Any reduction can trim your monthly mortgage payments.
Example: Your payment, excluding taxes and insurance, would be about $770 on a $100,000 loan at 8.5%; if the rate were lowered to 7.5%, your payment would then be $700, now you're saving $70 per month. Your savings depends on your income, budget, loan amount, and interest rate changes. We can help you calculate your options
What Is the Interest Rate and the Annual Percentage Rate?
The interest rate is the cost you will pay each year to borrow the money, expressed as a percentage rate. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan.
An annual percentage rate (APR) is a broader measure of the cost of borrowing money than the interest rate. The APR reflects the interest rate, any points, lender fees, and other charges that you pay to get the loan. For that reason, your APR is usually higher than your interest rate
How Much of a Down Payment Is Required?
We offer loan programs with down payment requirements as low as 3%. There are options available for 100% Financing and/or Down Payment Assistance for qualifying applicants. We will help you select the program that will provide you with the best rates and terms to save you the most money.
What Are All the Costs?
The costs of a loan include not only fees that go to the lender, but also related third-party vendor fees. These can include appraisals, credit report, the title policy, pest inspection reports, escrow where applicable, recording fees, and taxes. An estimate of these fees will be included in your Initial Loan Estimate Document.
Is Title Insurance Mandatory?
Title insurance policy protects a lender against any loss resulting from a title error or dispute. A title insurance policy also protects a home buyer if a home buyer purchases a separate policy, called owner's coverage. All mortgage lenders require lender’s title insurance coverage for an amount equal to the loan. It lasts until the loan is repaid. Similar to mortgage insurance, the borrower pays the title insurance premium at closing.
What Does It Mean to Lock-in the Interest Rate?
Mortgage rates can change from the day you apply for a loan to the day you close the transaction.
If interest rates rise sharply during the application process it can increase the borrower’s mortgage payment unexpectedly. Therefore, a lender can allow the borrower to 'lock-in' the loan’s interest rate guaranteeing that rate for a specified time period, often 15-75 days, sometimes for a fee.
Is There a Prepayment Penalty?
A prepayment penalty is a fee that some lenders charge if you pay off all or part of your mortgage early. Not all loans carry a prepayment penalty. Be sure to read the loan terms outlined within your Loan Estimates and Closing Disclosures to determine if a prepayment penalty is applicable to your loan program.
How Much Time Do You Need to Close?
The average loan processing time falls between 21 and 30 days. 100% Financing and Down Payment Assistance Loans require approximately 45 days to close. Certain specialty loan programs require up to approximately 60 days. You must include a closing date to properly write a purchase contract, so you'll want to coordinate this date with us prior to submitting your offer.
What is a Credit Score?
Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. Information about you and your credit experiences, such as your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points -- a credit score -- helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when due.
The most widely used credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac Company, Inc. Your score will fall between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).
Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it's accurate before you submit a credit application. To get copies of your report, contact the three major credit reporting agencies:
Equifax: (800) 685-1111
Experian: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Trans Union: (800) 916-8800
You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
UPDATE: Starting in 2020, everyone in the U.S. can get 6 free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191. That’s in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and TransUnion reports) you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.
What is PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)?
On a conventional mortgage, when your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, mortgage lenders usually require you to get Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to protect them in case you default on your mortgage.
Sometimes you may need to pay up to 1-year's worth of PMI premiums at closing which can cost several hundred dollars. The best way to avoid this extra expense is to make a 20% down payment, or ask about other loan program options.
Do You Guarantee On-Time Closings?
Closing your transaction on-time is a big issue. We are transparent, open and honest in the event there is a turn-time change. However, we aim to meet your estimated closing date. Our underwriting expertise and technological advantages help to get you Home On Time whether you're buying or refinancing.
What is LTV and Why Does It Matter?
LTV stands for loan-to-value ratio. This is calculated by the total amount of loans (liens) on the property divided by its fair market value. The higher the LTV, the riskier the loan is for a lender. If the subject property is a purchase transaction, fair market value will be based on the lower of purchase price or estimated market value as established by the appraisal.
What is a Loan Estimate (LE)?
When you receive a Loan Estimate, your loan application has not yet been approved or denied. Receiving the Loan Estimate shows you what loan terms the lender expects to offer if you decide to move forward.
If you're applying for a reverse mortgage, you will receive two forms — a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and an initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure — instead of a Loan Estimate. If you are applying for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a manufactured housing loan that is not secured by real estate, or a loan through certain types of homebuyer assistance programs, you will not receive a GFE or a Loan Estimate, but you will receive a Truth-in-Lending disclosure.
What Documents Do I Need to Have Ready When Applying for a Mortgage?
Below is a list of basic documents that are required when you apply for a mortgage. However, every situation is unique and you may be required to provide additional documentation.
- If you and your spouse are applying for the loan, social security numbers for both you and your spouse
- Consecutive pay stubs for the last month
- Copies of your checking and savings account statements for the past 2 months
- Evidence of any other assets like bonds or stocks
- Copies of your last 2 years of income tax statements.
Depending on what is outlined within your credit report and mortgage application, you may be asked for other information and documents as well. The above list is not all-inclusive.
What Is An Appraisal?
An Appraisal is an estimate of a property's fair market value. It's a document generally required (depending on the loan program) by a lender before loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. The Appraisal is typically performed by a state-licensed professional Appraiser who is trained to render expert opinions concerning property values, its location, amenities, and physical conditions.
How Are the Funds From My Escrow Account Used?
The funds from your escrow account are used to pay property taxes and insurance. The payment is called an escrow payment, and a mortgage servicer withdraws the money.
What Are Points?
“Points” refer to any upfront fee that is calculated as a percentage of your loan amount, whether or not you receive a lower interest rate. Points are costs that need to be paid to a lender to get mortgage financing under specified terms. In some cases, discount points are fees used to lower the interest rate on a mortgage loan by paying some of this interest up-front. Lenders may refer to costs in terms of basic points in hundredths of a percent, 100 basis points = 1 point, or 1% of the loan amount.
A point is a percentage of the loan amount, or 1-point = 1% of the loan, so one point on a $100,000 loan is $1,000.
What Happens At Closing?
At closing, the ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to you. This may involve you, the seller, real estate agents, your attorney, the lender’s attorney, title or escrow firm representatives, clerks, secretaries, and other staff. You can have an attorney represent you if you can't attend the closing meeting (e.g. if you’re out-of-state). Closing can take up to several hours depending on contingency clauses in the purchase offer, or any escrow accounts needing to be set up.
Most paperwork in closing or settlement is done by attorneys and real estate professionals. You may or may not be involved in some of the closing activities; it depends on who you are working with.
Prior to closing, you should have a final inspection, or 'walk-through' to ensure requested repairs were performed, and items agreed to remain with the house are there such as drapes, lighting fixtures, etc.
In most states, the settlement is completed by a title or escrow firm to which you forward all materials and information plus the appropriate cashier's checks so the firm can make the necessary disbursement. Your title/escrow representative will deliver the check to the seller, and your real estate agent will give the keys to you.
Can I Finance My Rental Property?
Yes, you can finance a rental property, however, the interest rate is typically a bit higher. This is because there is more risk for the lender when providing a loan against a property that is not the borrower's primary residence.