Lenders consider many factors in evaluating your loan application, but they usually focus on four areas:
Getting pre-approved means that your income and credit have been reviewed by one of our Underwriters. Having your credit pre-approved shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer and helps you establish a more precise price range
Your credit history is only one factor in qualifying for a loan, and in some cases having occasionally made a few late payments shouldn’t prevent you from buying a home. Someone who has consistently made payments on time in the past may have more financing options than someone who has not, but that doesn't mean a mortgage is off-limits if you've had credit problems.
Please feel free to visit the link to a SmartCredit tool for a quick and easy understanding of how to understand, monitor, and improve your credit score.
There is generally no minimum down payment required for buying a home. Many first-time buyers believe they must be able to put down as much as 20% of a home's purchase price in cash. That may have been true in the past, but many of the mortgage options available to today's home buyers require little or no down payment.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) provides your lender with a way to recoup its investment if you are unable to repay your loan. PMI is usually required when the mortgage amount is higher than 80% of the home's value. That means if you buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%, you will probably have to add the small expense of PMI to your monthly mortgage payment. In time, as you build up equity in your home, the need to have mortgage insurance goes away.
Closing costs vary based on a number of factors, including the lender, mortgage type, purchase contract, and location, but they usually include the following:
Your mortgage company may charge for expenses related to making the loan, including an appraisal fee, a credit report fee, origination points, and discount points.
Charges for services not provided by your lender often include the settlement fee, title insurance, and attorney's fees.
Certain mortgage costs must be paid to your lender in advance. The most common of these are pre-paid interest, hazard insurance, and deposits to set up an escrow account.
Discount points are prepaid interest, which you can pay to your lender at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Paying discount points, each of which is equal to 1% of the loan amount, is often called "buying down" your rate.
To find out if paying down points make sense for you,
For example, if it would take five years to break even and you're planning to live in your home for 10, then paying discount points would be a smart financial move.
Most mortgage loans have either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable interest rate. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate never changes and your payments remain stable throughout the life of your loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest rate changes at regular intervals, usually once every year, based on a formula that uses a market index. For most ARM options, rate adjustments begin after an initial period, usually between three months and ten years, during which the rate is fixed.
A fixed rate is usually recommended if you plan to stay in your home for the long-term and are buying at a time when rates are relatively low. An ARM, on the other hand, makes better sense if you plan on moving before the rate adjustments begin, or if you are buying when rates are relatively high.
Locking your interest rate means your lender guarantees the rate on your loan even if market rates change before closing. Most lenders will allow you to lock your rate for 30 to 60 days, with the option to extend the rate-lock period for a fee. So how do you know whether to lock your interest rate?
It depends on whether you expect rates to rise or fall before you close on your home. No one knows for sure which direction rates will go at a given time, so it's difficult to make a reliable prediction.
For most borrowers, each monthly mortgage payment goes toward the following: