There are a 101 different loan products that are available. Take the time to talk with the lender about all your options!
Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, I will be happy to answer them or get the answer for you.
Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you
to get the best financing deal. A mortgage--whether itís
a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan--is
a product, so the price and terms may be negotiable. Youíll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.
Obtain Information from Several Lenders
Home loans are available from several types of lenders--thrift institutions, commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. Different lenders may quote you different prices, so you should contact several lenders to make sure youíre getting the best price. You can also get a home loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers arrange transactions rather than lending money directly.
A brokerís access to several lenders can mean a wider selection of loan products and terms from which you can choose. Brokers will generally contact several lenders regarding your application.
Obtain All Important Cost Information
Be sure to get information about mortgages from several lenders or brokers. Find out all the costs involved in the loan - knowing just the amount of the monthly payment or the interest rate is not enough. Ask for information about the same loan amount,
loan term, and type of loan so that you can compare the information. The following information is important to get from the lenders
- Ask each lender and broker for a list of its current mortgage interest rates and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week.
- Ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates for adjustable-rate loans go up, generally so does the monthly payment.
- If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate loan, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down.
- Ask about the loanís annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate.
- Points are fees paid to the lender or broker for the loan and are often linked to the interest rate; usually the more points you pay, the lower the rate.
- Check your local newspaper for information about rates and points currently being offered.
- Ask for points to be quoted to you as a dollar amount--rather than just as the number of points--so that you will actually know how much you will have to pay.
A home loan often involves many fees, such as loan origination or underwriting fees, broker fees,transaction, settlement, and closing costs. Every lender or broker should be able to give you an estimate of its fees.
Some fees are paid when you apply for a loan (such as application and appraisal fees), and others are paid at closing. In some cases, you can borrow the money needed to pay these fees,
but doing so will increase your loan amount and total costs. "No cost" loans are sometimes available, but they usually involve higher rates.
- Ask what each fee includes. Several items may be lumped into one fee.
- Ask for an explanation of any fee you do not understand.
Down Payments and Private Mortgage Insurance
If a 20 percent down payment is not made,lenders usually require the home buyer to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) to
protect the lender in case the home buyer fails to pay.
If PMI is required for your loan,
- Ask about the lenderís requirements for a down payment, including what you need to do to verify that funds for your down payment are available.
- Ask your lender about special programs it may offer.
- Ask what the total cost of the insurance will be.
- Ask how much your monthly payment will be when including the PMI premium.
- Ask how long you will be required to carry PMI.
Once you are satisfied with the terms you have negotiated,
you may want to obtain a written lock-in from the lender or
broker. The lock-in should include the rate that you have agreed
upon, the period the lock-in lasts, and the number of points to be
paid. A fee may be charged for locking in the loan rate. This fee
may be refundable at closing. Lock-ins can protect you from rate
increases while your loan is being processed.
Fair Lending Is Required by Law
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits lenders from discriminating against credit applicants in any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of race, color, religion,national origin, sex, marital status, age, whether all or part of the applicantís income comes from a public assistance program, or whether the applicant has in good faith exercised a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in residential real estate transactions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Under these laws, a consumer cannot be refused a loan based on these characteristics nor be charged more for a loan or offered less favorable terms based on such characteristics.
Donít assume that minor credit problems or difficulties stemming
from unique circumstances, such as illness or temporary loss of
income, will limit your loan choices to only high-cost lenders.
If your credit report contains negative information that is accurate, but there are good reasons for trusting you to repay a loan, be sure to explain your situation to the lender or broker. If your credit problems cannot be explained, you will probably have to pay more than borrowers who have good credit histories. But donít assume that the only way to get credit is to pay a high price. Ask how your past credit history affects the price of your loan and what
you would need to do to get a better price. Take the time to shop
around and negotiate the best deal that you can.