FAQs: Your Application

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Can I apply for a loan before I find a property to purchase?

Yes, applying for a mortgage loan before you find a home may be the best thing you could do! If you apply for your mortgage now, we'll issue a preapproval subject to you finding the perfect home. You can use the pre-approval letter to assure real estate brokers and sellers that you are a qualified buyer. Having a pre-approval for a mortgage may give more weight to any offer to purchase that you make.

When you find the perfect home, you'll simply call your Mortgage Consultant to complete your application. You'll have an opportunity to lock in our great rates and fees then and we'll complete the processing of your request.

What is a credit score and how will my credit score affect my application?

A credit score is one of the pieces of information that we'll use to evaluate your application. Financial institutions have been using credit scores to evaluate credit card and auto applications for many years.

Credit scores are based on information collected by credit bureaus and information reported each month by your creditors about the balances you owe and the timing of your payments. A credit score is a compilation of all this information converted into a number that helps a lender to determine the likelihood that you will repay the loan on schedule. The credit score is calculated by the credit bureau, not by the lender. Credit scores are calculated by comparing your credit history with millions of other consumers. They have proven to be a very effective way of determining credit worthiness.

Some of the things that affect your credit score include your payment history, your outstanding obligations, the length of time you have had outstanding credit, the types of credit you use, and the number of inquiries that have been made about your credit history in the recent past.

Credit scores used for mortgage loan decisions range from approximately 300 to 900. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the risk that your payments won't be paid as agreed.

Using credit scores to evaluate your credit history allows us to quickly and objectively evaluate your credit history when reviewing your loan application. However, there are many other factors when making a loan decision and we never evaluate an application without looking at the total financial picture of a borrower.

Will the inquiry about my credit affect my credit score?

An abundance of credit inquiries can sometimes affect your credit scores since it may indicate that your use of credit is increasing.

But don't overreact! The data used to calculate your credit score doesn't include any mortgage or auto loan credit inquiries that are made within the 30 days prior to the score being calculated. In addition, all mortgage inquiries made in any 14-day period are always considered one inquiry. Don't limit your mortgage shopping for fear of the effect on your credit score.

Will I be charged any fees if I authorize my credit information to be accessed?

There is no charge to you for the credit information we'll access with your permission to evaluate your application online. You will only be charged for a credit report if you decide to complete the application and we begin the processing of your loan.

Are we right for you?

Whether you're purchasing or refinancing, we're certain you'll find our service amazing!

If you'll be purchasing but haven't found the perfect home yet, complete our application and we'll issue an approval for a mortgage loan now with no obligation!

What can you expect when you apply for a mortgage?

First, you'll complete our online application.

The application will ask you questions about the home and your finances and takes less than 20 minutes to complete. As soon as you've finished the application it will be submitted for review by one of our mortgage consultants. We will ask you for a deposit to cover the cost of the credit and appraisal on your home so that we can begin to process your request immediately. This deposit will be credited towards your fees at closing.

After completing your application, a mortgage consultant will contact you to introduce themselves and to answer any questions you may have. Your mortgage consultant is a mortgage expert and will provide help and guidance along the way.

If you are purchasing a new home, the mortgage consultant will also contact the Real Estate Broker or the seller so that they'll know who to contact with questions.

Processing your loan:

We will begin the processing of your loan application once it is completed by you

We'll order the appraisal from a licensed appraiser who is familiar with home values in your area. Depending on your finances and the loan amount requested, different types of appraisals are used. Sometimes the appraiser will need to view the home. Sometimes they are able to do their evaluation from the street.

Title insurance will be necessary, if you're purchasing a home we'll work with the real estate broker or seller to insure the title work is ordered as soon as possible. If you are refinancing we'll take care of ordering the title work for you. We'll use the title insurance property to confirm the legal status of your property and to prepare the closing documents.

Your mortgage consultant will keep you informed every step of the way.

We'll contact you to coordinate your closing date.

After we received the application kit back from you and the appraisal and title work, we'll contact you to schedule your loan closing. If you are purchasing a home, we'll also schedule the closing with the real estate broker and the seller.

The closing will take place at the office of a title company in your area who will act as our agent. A few days before closing your mortgage consultant will contact you to walk through the final information so that there won't be any surprises at closing.

That's all there is to it! You're on your way to the most convenient home loan ever!

How do you decide what you need from me to process my loan?

We take full advantage of an automated underwriting system that allows us to request as little information as possible to verify the data you provided during your loan application. Gone are the days when it was necessary to verify every piece of data collected during the application. The automated underwriting system compares your financial situation with statistical data from millions of other homeowners and uses that comparison to determine the level of verification needed. In many cases, a single W-2 or pay stub can be used to verify your income or a single bank statement can be used to verify the assets needed to close your loan.

I'm self-employed. How will you verify my income?

Generally, the income of self-employed borrowers is verified by obtaining copies of personal (and business, if applicable) federal tax returns for the most recent two-year period.

We'll review and average the net income from self-employment that's reported on your tax returns to determine the income that can be used to qualify. We won't be able to consider any income that hasn't been reported as such on your tax returns. Typically, we'll need at least a full two-year history of self-employment to verify that your self-employment income is stable.

Will my overtime, commission, or bonus income be considered when evaluating my application?

In order for bonus, overtime, or commission income to be considered, you must have a history of receiving it and it must be likely to continue. We'll usually need to obtain copies of W-2 statements for the previous two years and a recent pay stub to verify this type of income. If a major part of your income is commission earnings, we may need to obtain copies of recent tax returns to verify the amount of business-related expenses, if any. We'll average the amounts you have received over the past two years to calculate the amount that can be considered as a regular part of your income.

If you haven't been receiving bonus, overtime, or commission income for at least two years, it probably can't be given full value when your loan is reviewed for approval.

I am retired and my income is from pension or social security. What will I need to provide?

We will ask for copies of your recent pension check stubs, or bank statement if your pension or retirement income is deposited directly in your bank account. Sometimes it will also be necessary to verify that this income will continue for at least three years since some pension or retirement plans do not provide income for life. This can usually be verified with a copy of your award letter.

If you're receiving tax-free income, such as social security earnings in some cases, we'll consider the fact that taxes will not be deducted from this income when reviewing your request.

If I have income that's not reported on my tax return, can it be considered?

Generally, only income that is reported on your tax return can be considered when applying for a mortgage. Unless, of course, the income is legally tax-free and isn't required to be reported.

Some lenders may offer a stated income program, which means that you can be qualified for a loan based on the income you state rather than that which can be verified. Usually these programs require larger down payments and offer interest rates that are substantially higher than regular mortgage rates. We do not offer stated income programs at this time.

How will rental income be verified?

If you own rental properties, we'll generally ask for the most recent two-year's federal tax return to verify your rental income. We'll review the Schedule E of the tax return to verify your rental income, after all expenses except depreciation. Since depreciation is only a paper loss, it won't be counted against your rental income.

If you haven't owned the rental property for a complete tax year, we'll ask for a copy of any leases you've executed and we'll estimate the expenses of ownership.

I have income from dividends and/or interest. What documents will I need to provide?

Generally, two years personal tax returns are required to verify the amount of your dividend and/or interest income so that an average of the amounts you receive can be calculated. In addition, we will need to verify your ownership of the assets that generate the income using copies of statements from your financial institution, brokerage statements, stock certificates or Promissory Notes.

Typically, income from dividends and/or interest must be expected to continue for at least three years to be considered for repayment.

Do I have to provide information about my child support, alimony, or separate maintenance income?

Information about child support, alimony, or separate maintenance income does not need to be provided unless you wish to have it considered for repaying this mortgage loan.

Will my second job income be considered?

Typically, income from a second job will be considered if a two-year history of secondary employment can be verified.

I am relocating because I have accepted a new job that I haven't started yet. How should I complete the application?

Congratulations on your new job! If you will be working for the same employer, complete the application as such but enter the income you anticipate you'll be receiving at your new location.

If your employment is with a new employer, complete the application as if this were your current employer and indicate that you have been there for one month. The information about the employment you'll be leaving should be entered as a previous employer. We'll sort out the details after you submit your loan for approval.

I've had a few employers in the last few years. Will that affect my ability to get a new mortgage?

Having changed employers frequently is typically not a hindrance to obtaining a new mortgage loan. This is particularly true if you made employment changes without having periods of time in between without employment. We'll also look at your income advancements as you have changed employment.

If you're paid on a commission basis, a recent job change may be an issue since we'll have a difficult time of predicting your earnings without a history with your new employer.

I was in school before obtaining my current job. How do I complete the application?

If you were in school before your current job, enter the name of the school you attended and the length of time you were in school in the "length of employment" fields. You can enter a position of "student" and income of "0."

If my property's appraised value is more than the purchase price can I use the difference towards my down payment?

Unfortunately, if you are purchasing a home, we'll have to use the lower of the appraised value or the sales price to determine your down payment requirement.

It's still a great benefit for your financial situation if you are able to purchase a home for less than the appraised value, but our investors don't allow us to use this "instant equity" when making our loan decision.

I'm getting a gift from someone else. Is this an acceptable source of my down payment?

Gifts are an acceptable source of down payment, if the gift giver is related to you or your co-borrower. We'll ask you for the name, address, and phone number of the gift giver, as well as the donor's relationship to you.

If your loan request is for more than 80% of the purchase price, we'll need to verify that you have at least 5% of the property's value in your own assets.

Prior to closing, we'll verify that the gift funds have been transferred to you by obtaining a copy of your bank receipt or deposit slip to verify that you have deposited the gift funds into your account.

I am selling my current home to purchase this home. What type of documentation will be required?

If you're selling your current home to purchase your new home, we'll ask you to provide a copy of the settlement or closing statement you'll receive at the closing to verify that your current mortgage has been paid in full and that you'll have sufficient funds for our closing. Often the closing of your current home is scheduled for the same day as the closing of your new home. If that's the case, we'll just ask you to bring your settlement statement with you to your new mortgage closing.

Can I really borrow funds to use towards my down payment?

Yes, you can borrow funds to use as your down payment! However, any loans that you take out must be secured by an asset that you own. If you own something of value that you could borrow funds against such as a car or another home, it's a perfectly acceptable source of funds. If you are planning on obtaining a loan, make sure to include the details of this loan in the Expenses section of the application.

I've co-signed a loan for another person. Should I include that debt here?

Generally, a co-signed debt is considered when determining your qualifications for a mortgage. If the co-signed debt doesn't affect your ability to obtain a new mortgage we'll leave it at that. However, if it does make a difference, we can ignore the monthly payment of the co-signed debt if you can provide verification that the other person responsible for the debt has made the required payments, by obtaining copies of their cancelled checks for the last twelve months.

I have student loans that aren't in repayment yet. Should I show them as installment debts?

Any student loan that will go into repayment within the next six months should be included in the application. If you are not sure exactly what the monthly payment will be at this time, enter an estimated amount.

If other student loans are reflected on your final credit report, which will not go into repayment in the next six months, we may need to ask you for verification that repayment will not be required during this time period.

How will a past bankruptcy or foreclosure affect my ability to obtain a new mortgage?

If you've had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past, it may affect your ability to get a new mortgage. Unless the bankruptcy or foreclosure was caused by situations beyond your control, we will generally require that two to four years have passed since the bankruptcy or foreclosure. It is also important that you've re-established an acceptable credit history with new loans or credit cards.

What, exactly, is an installment debt?

An installment debt is a loan that you make payments on, such as an auto loan, a student loan or a debt consolidation loan. Do not include payments on other living expenses, such as insurance costs or medical bill payments. We'll include any installment debts that have more than 10 months remaining when determining your qualifications for this mortgage.

What can you expect when you apply for a home equity loan?

First, you'll complete our online application.

The application will ask you questions about the home and your finances and takes less than 20 minutes to complete. As soon as you've finished the application we'll review your request, and we'll ask you for an application deposit. This deposit will be refunded to you if your equity loan is funded.

After completing your application, a mortgage consultant will contact you to introduce themselves and to answer any questions you may have. Your mortgage consultant is a mortgage expert and will provide help and guidance along the way.

Processing your loan:

We will begin the processing of your loan application once it is completed by you

We'll order a property valuation. Depending on the location of the property and the loan amount requested, different types of appraisals are used. Sometimes the appraiser will need to view the home.

Once your equity loan has been processed, you will be advised, and the documents can be forwarded to you directly, or to one of our local branches. You must sign in the presence of a notary. Our branches can provide that service free of charge.

Your mortgage consultant will keep you informed every step of the way.