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Mortgage Programs
Learning Center offers various content to help you get familiarized with the mortgage process and to help you proceed through all stages of an application process.

  1. Get answers to all your questions about the mortgage process.
  2. Find answers just for your situation.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the application process and industry terms.

I'm buying my first home:

What can I afford to buy?
Each buyer is unique — and we'll help you find out just what you can afford. Your income and your debts will typically play the biggest roles in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate, just run the numbers for yourself using our Resource Center.

Do I have enough money to buy my first home?
We offer a range of mortgage programs, and we'll help you determine which can work for you — some of our loans require little money down. You'll also need to consider closing costs and the escrow account for taxes and insurance. But don’t get overwhelmed: it's a snap to figure out how much money you'll need, using our handy Resource Center.
What about my less-than-perfect credit report?

Our special solutions program can help!
We offer loan options ideal for those who have a few "dings" on their credit report. We try to work with every customer to develop an individual mortgage program - we call it your personalized rate, because no two are alike. So we try to develop a custom program based on your credit worthiness.


What's the best loan program for me?

What are the tax benefits to owning a home?
You may be able to deduct the interest you pay on the mortgage loan and some of the financing costs of the home, such as points. And your property taxes could be deductible. You should consult your tax advisor for more information. If you're renting right now, you may want to take a look at our
Resource Center.

What do I need to know about the mortgage loan process?
Our
Resource Center offers various content to help you get familiarized with the mortgage process and to help you proceed through all stages of an application process.


Start the loan Process!

I'm buying my next home:

I want to move up to a better home. What can I afford?
Each buyer is unique — and we'll help you find out just what you can afford. You already know that monthly income and financial obligations are most important in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate: just run the numbers for yourself using our
Resource Center.

I'm buying a second home. Is it a different process?
No. Whether you need to be near the water or in the mountains, a vacation home offers an opportunity for fun and relaxation — and we make it just as easy to obtain a mortgage. But keep in mind you'll need to identify sources for your down payment, since you're not selling your current house and using the proceeds, and you'll need to expect a larger monthly obligation for housing expenses. We’ll work with you to create a customized loan program with the best combination of rate, points, and closing costs for your needs — we call it our personalized rate because no two are alike!

What about my less-than-perfect credit?
We offer loan options ideal for those who have a few "dings" on their credit report. We try to work with every customer to develop an individual mortgage program - we call it your personalized rate, because no two are alike. So we try to develop a custom program based on your credit worthiness.
Our special solutions program can help!

Will I need an appraisal on my new home?
Not necessarily. You may qualify for a more streamlined loan process. We can look at your credit history and consult our property assessment model to determine if we can complete your loan application without an appraisal.

Do I have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
Our loan programs for down payments of 20% or less do not require you to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Instead, we have a Low Down Payment Rate Adjustment that is added to the interest rate. In most cases, it will cost less than PMI and, if you itemize deductions on your taxes, this may provide you with an additional tax deduction opportunity. Please consult your tax advisor.

What if I don't sell my current house?
You may qualify for a new loan without even selling your current home. We'll help you determine what might work for you. It's simple to run the numbers for yourself on our handy
Resource Center. You may also want to discuss a bridge loan — contact us.

What if I'm building a home?
If you are working with a builder within a sub-division or development and just making carpeting, lighting and appliance selections for a brand-new home, you can probably obtain a standard mortgage loan. But if you're hiring contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters, you probably need a construction loan, which provides funds to pay subcontractors as work progresses. For more information on construction loans,
contact us or Visit our Resource Center.


Start the loan Process!

I'm refinancing my home.

We offer a range of mortgage programs, and we'll help you determine which can work for you — some of our loans require little money down. You'll also need to consider closing costs and the escrow account for taxes and insurance. But don’t get overwhelmed: it's a snap to figure out how much money you'll need, using our handy Resource Center.
What about my less-than-perfect credit report?

Our special solutions program can help!
We offer loan options ideal for those who have a few "dings" on their credit report. We try to work with every customer to develop an individual mortgage program - we call it your personalized rate, because no two are alike. So we try to develop a custom program based on your credit worthiness.

Is now the time to refinance?
Each homeowner is unique — and we'll help you determine if it's the right time for you to refinance. Effective refinancing typically means lowering your current mortgage loan rate by at least one percent. You might also want to consider changing the length of your loan or receiving cash from the equity in your house. It's simple to see what will work for you, just let us run the numbers.

Is refinancing the best choice for my financial goals?
If you want to increase cash flow, refinancing to lower your monthly payment could help.

Can I reduce my monthly payment if I refinance?
Quite possibly. To get a good idea of what your new monthly payment would be, we can help calculate the numers for you.

Can I shorten my loan term if I refinance?
Yes, as long as you qualify. For instance, you may be able to reduce your mortgage loan term from 30 years to 15 years.

Can I refinance and use the cash for an addition to my home?
Absolutely. Many people borrow against the equity in their homes to make improvements.

How much of my home equity can I use?
Up to 90 percent of the appraised value of your home can be used to make home improvements. The equity you can use is based on the value of the home and what you currently owe, subject to applicable state laws.

Can I still refinance even if I don't have much equity?
Yes, up to 90 percent loan-to-value (LTV) if you want to refinance your house for a new rate and term. A reappraisal of your property may be required.

What will it cost me to refinance?
You will have closing costs associated with refinancing your loan, including points and processing fees. You may have the option of rolling these costs into the loan amount to reduce your cash out of pocket. To evaluate your options, use our
Resource Center.


Start the loan Process!

Your credit guide:

Our special solutions program can help!
We offer loan options ideal for those who have a few "dings" on their credit report. We try to work with every customer to develop an individual mortgage program - we call it your personalized rate, because no two are alike. So we try to develop a custom program based on your credit worthiness.

What You Should Know About Credit!
For generations, owning a home has been a big part of the "American dream." One critical element you need to realize this dream is developing and maintaining good credit. Our mission is to treat our customers — and potential customers — like members of our own family. In doing so, we want to help you understand why having good credit is so important — especially when pursuing the American dream of home ownership.
Click here if you don't know what your Credit Score is.

What is credit?
When you borrow money, you are given credit. Credit simply means you are using someone else’s money to pay for things. Getting credit also means you are making a promise to pay the money back, usually with interest. Interest is additional money you pay for the privilege of borrowing money.

Why is having good credit so important?
Establishing and maintaining a good credit history helps you get a loan when you want one. In addition, it also gives you more control when shopping for loans. When you have good credit, you are more likely to receive favorable loan terms and pay less interest than someone who does not have a good credit history.

Why not pay with cash?
Paying cash for things such as clothes and household items is generally a good idea. However, using credit cards for larger purchases, such as an appliance, can help you establish credit. Making monthly payments and paying off balances in a timely manner will provide you with a good credit history that will help when making larger purchases, such as cars and homes.

Does it matter how many credit cards I have?
Yes. Every credit card company allows you a specific amount of money to spend. This is called a credit limit. Having numerous credit card accounts open, however, may affect your ability to get a loan. Although the accounts may have low or no balances, a potential lender considers all available credit limits when deciding if you would be a good credit risk.

What happens if I don’t make payments on time?
Making payments late costs you money. Each time you pay after your due date, you may have to pay penalties or late fees. In addition, a history of making late payments may ultimately cost you by having to pay higher interest rates on subsequent loans. For example, someone with good credit may get a mortgage with an 8 percent interest rate, while someone with poor credit past may have to pay 15 percent or more. If each borrows $100,000 over 30 years, the 8 percent borrower will pay $164,155 in interest and the 15 percent borrower will pay $355,200. That’s a difference of $191,045.

How are late payments defined?
Generally, a payment is considered delinquent if it’s received 30 days past its due date. A mortgage payment, however, is considered late when it’s received 15 days after its due date. If an account is 60 or 90 days late, it’s considered a serious delinquency. When applying for a mortgage, it is preferable not have any late rent or mortgage payments in the past 12 months since that could affect your interest rate.

How does a potential lender know if I have good credit?
The primary source a potential lender uses to evaluate your credit is a credit report. When you open a new credit account or borrow money, the company you do business with may report information about your repayment history to one or more credit-reporting agencies. The credit-reporting agencies, in turn, make this information available to potential lenders.

What appears on my credit report?

Can I get a copy of my credit report?

How does a potential creditor evaluate the information on my credit report?
Most creditors, including mortgage lenders, use a credit score generated from information on your credit report. A credit score is a statistical measurement used to predict how likely you are to repay a loan based on experience with millions of consumers. As a result, it provides a fast and objective way to evaluate your credit history.

What factors influence my credit score?
Any action you take regarding your credit practices influences your credit score. For example, if you regularly make payments on time every month, that will positively influence your score. Conversely, if you tend to maintain maximum balances on your credit cards, and make minimum payments, that will negatively influence your score. At any given time, your credit score is calculated by weighing all positive and negative points.

What is a "good" credit score?
Generally speaking, when you have a high score, you are considered a better credit risk. The specific range of scores depends on the credit scoring software used and the guidelines established by the lender. A typical range of credit scores, however, usually falls between 500 and 800. A credit score that falls between 650 and 800 is more favorable.

Can I change my credit score?
Yes, in fact you are the only person who can change your credit score. If you have scored poorly, you can make a concerted effort to improve your score by paying off loans, reducing credit card balances and making monthly payments on time. After a period of time, generally a year or two, such positive practices will be reflected in your credit score.

Does a lender take anything else into consideration when I apply for a loan?
Yes, although lenders rely heavily on credit scores, other factors are taken into consideration. Included in your evaluation may be your job history, income, savings and checking accounts, the types of loans you currently have, and the type of mortgage loan you want.

What can I do if I don’t have credit?
If you don’t have credit as reported by the credit-reporting agencies, most lenders will accept other sources of credit. Other sources or "alternative credit" includes bills that you have paid on a regular basis, such as rent, utility payments, cable TV, or monthly insurance payments. Any of these creditors should be able to provide you with a "credit reference" to document your payment history.

Can I "start over" by declaring bankruptcy and clearing away all my old debt?
Declaring bankruptcy does not automatically allow you to "start over." If you have declared bankruptcy, had a car repossessed, had a house foreclosed on, or have not paid a loan, it will likely have a major effect on your ability to get a new loan. Information about a foreclosure or repossession can stay on your credit report for seven years and a bankruptcy for up to 10 years.

Can someone help me "fix" my credit?
Credit Repair-with Cdrom

If you are having problems paying your debts, you may want to seek help from a not-for-profit credit counseling organization. Such organizations can work with you and your creditors to set up repayment plans at little or no cost.Credit Repair

When seeking advice, however, you may want to stay away from "credit repair" or "credit consolidation" companies that offer to "fix" your credit history for a fee. It can be done. Only you can repair a bad credit history by repaying your debts and ’t making your monthly payments on time.

We hope this information has helped you gain a better understanding of how to start and keep a good credit history. It’s important to remember that your credit history will follow you throughout your life. Making good decisions along the way will help a great deal when you’re ready to realize the American dream of home ownership.
Click here if you don't know what your Credit Score is.

Buying a house Loan Programs

Fixed-Rate Mortgages: A fixed-rate mortgage means the interest rate and principal payments remain the same for the entire life of the loan. (Taxes, of course, may change.)
Advantages: Consistent principal and interest payments make this loan stable. Your rate won’t change, so you don’t need to worry about market fluctuations. This is a good choice if you’re likely to stay in this house for a long time.
Disadvantages: May cost you more — these loans are usually priced higher than an adjustable-rate mortgage. Keep in mind that, on average, most people move or refinance within seven years. If rates in the current market are high, you’re likely to get a better price with an adjustable-rate loan.
Types of FixedMortgages-Rate:
30 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
20 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
15 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
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Adjustable-Rate Mortgages: An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) means that the interest rate changes over the life of the loan — according to the terms specified in advance. With ARMs:
The initial interest rate is usually lower than with a fixed-rate mortgage. The monthly repayment would also be lower. The interest rate may be adjusted (up or down) at predetermined times. The monthly payment will then increase or decrease. Most ARM programs do offer "rate cap" protection, which limits the amount the rate can be increased, both each year and over the life of the loan. All ARMs are amortized over 30 years.
Advantages: ARMs are usually priced lower than fixed-rate mortgages so you can increase your buying power and lower your initial monthly payments. If interest rates go down, you’ll enjoy lower payments. Usually an ARM is the best choice for homeowners who plan to relocate (for example, with their company or the military), or for those who are purchasing their first home and plan to be in the property only for three to five years. Remember that, on average, most people move or refinance within seven years.
Disadvantages: Your monthly payments can increase if interest rates go up. Keep in mind that ARMs are best for homeowners who aren't planning on staying with a property for a long period. If you’re on a fixed income, an ARM (especially a short-term ARM) may not be your best choice.
Types of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages:
10/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
7/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
5/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
3/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
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Other Mortgage Programs: 7 Year Balloon Mortgage:
With a balloon mortgage, you start by making payments as you would with a full-term loan, but after a certain period the balance of the mortgage comes due.
With 7 Year Balloons:
Your mortgage is amortized over the full term of the loan repayment period. At the end of a specified period, the balance comes due — a balloon payment needs to be made. So with a 7 year balloon, you would make monthly payments for seven years that have been calculated based on a 30 year mortgage payment plan. At the end of those seven years, the remaining principal balance is due and payable in full.
Advantages: You’ll get a lower price on the loan, which will increase your buying power — and remember that your payments will be calculated as if the term were 30 years. You’ll also usually have a conditional right to refinance after seven years, though on average most owners will have already made a change. If you know you have a lump sum of money on the way (such as an inheritance, bonus, or dividend payment), if you expect to relocate in a short period of time, or if you simply think you’ll be in a better position to refinance later, this may be a choice worth your consideration.
Disadvantages: If you plan on keeping this property for longer than seven years, a longer-term loan may be a stronger choice.
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