Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need to apply for a home loan?

After receiving your Loan Estimate, you will need to provide two of your most recent pay stubs, tax returns from the past two years, and bank, stock, and retirement account statements from the past two months. Additional personal information or documentation may be required. For more information see the Mortgage Documentation list.

What is a Loan Estimate (LE)?

This document reflects the settlement charges, payment information, loan program information, lock status, APR, and other various disclosures that the lender is obliged to provide the borrower within three business days of receiving the loan application.

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

Yes. It is recommended that you apply in advance as then you will be pre-qualified when you are searching for your home. Being prequalified will help you set a budget so you are searching for homes in the price range you can afford.

What is pre-qualification?

This is the process of determining what loan amount a client qualifies for based on the information they provide. A pre-qualification is short of an approval because it does not take into account the credit history of the borrower.

What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval?

A pre-qualification is issued by your loan officer who will determine the amount you may qualify for but it is not a guarantee. A pre-approval involves obtaining a credit report with the application information will be run through an Automated Underwriting System, then receiving an outcome acceptable to either FNMA, FHLMC or HUD

How much do I need for a down payment?

There are a variety of loan programs available that allow a borrower to put as little as 3% down. Mortgage Insurance will be required, though, on any down payment less than 20%.

How does the occupancy of my property affect my application?

Second homes and investment properties carry additional loan underwriting guidelines and interest rate adjustments.

How does my credit score affect my loan application?

With a client’s authorization the lender can pull a credit report to assist in obtaining their credit score. The higher the credit score the more favorable the interest rate can be. Additionally, many loan programs will have a minimum credit score to qualify.

Does it matter if I am self-employed?

There will be different documentation requirements for a self-employed person verus someone employeed by others. Talk to your mortgage professional about documentation requirements.

How does my monthly income and debt affect my application?

These numbers are used to calculate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). All loan programs have maximum DTI ratios you need to be under to qualify. This ratio is used to determine how much money you can safely pay back each month, the higher the ratio, the higher the risk you are seen to have. A higher DTI can also affect the interest rate you are offered.

What are cash reserves for?

Some loan programs require you have to a certain number of months’ worth of total housing expense set aside in savings. This is mainly used for second homes and investment properties.

Why do you need to know how many properties I own?Certain loan programs restrict the number of properties you may own to 6 or 10, depending on the program, in order to qualify for another mortgage.

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