13 Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender or Broker

1. How much can I borrow to buy a home?

Lenders can consider your income level in relation to debt, your employment status, and your credit history when deciding how much you may borrow. Before you start looking for a new home, talk to a lender about getting prequalified for a mortgage. This will help the whole process run more smoothly.

Special government-sponsored mortgage services may be available to military veterans and first-time homebuyers. Inquire with your lender to see what you may be eligible for.

2. How much money do I need to put down?

Try to put down at least 20% of the purchase price to get the best rate and conditions on your loan. Although a lower down payment would not automatically disqualify you, if your down payment is less than 20%, you will be required to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI). Other factors, such as the interest rate, conditions, and monthly payments, would be influenced by your down payment. Request more information from your lender about the minimum down payment needed for your loan, as well as whether you may be eligible for any down payment or cost-saving assistance programs, and then determine what’s best for you.

3. What’s the interest rate?

Right away, you can request a direct interest rate quote from your lender, as well as the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). Since the APR accounts for fees and other loan-related costs, it allows you to compare lenders on an apples-to-apples basis. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find one that fits your needs.

4. What’s the difference between a fixed-rate and a adjustable-rate mortgage?

A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the entire loan period, which is usually 15 to 30 years. This keeps the monthly payment for principal and interest stable and consistent over time. Interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages, or Weapons, fluctuate with the economy, so your payment will fluctuate. The majority of ARMs have a 30-year term and begin with a fixed interest rate for a set period of time, generally 5, 7, or 10 years. It’s important to compare these two types of mortgages to see what’s better for your situation.

5. How many points does the rate include?

In return for a lower interest rate, a discount point is a charge charged to the lender at closing. 1 point equals 1% of your total mortgage balance.) Ask your lender how many points are included in the quoted interest rate and what the advantages and disadvantages of buying more or less points are.

6. When can I lock in the interest rate?

Interest rates are still changing. Locking in a low rate will pay off in some cases. Inquire with your lender about when and for how long you will lock in a discount. Remember that lenders typically pay lower interest rates for shorter-term locks and higher interest rates for longer-term locks.

7. What are my estimated closing costs?

Remember to account for all of the costs associated with purchasing a house, particularly closing costs. Loan origination fees, valuation fees, and solicitor fees (if any) are only a few of the closing costs. Your lender can provide you with a Loan Estimate that details the estimated costs of your loan so you can plan ahead.

8. Can you approve loans in-house?

The underwriting stage of the mortgage approval process is crucial. During this step, the underwriter examines your paperwork to ensure that you are eligible for the loan. Your lender can delegate this task to a third party in some cases. Otherwise, the underwriting procedure occurs in-house.
When you are trying to close on a home, time is of the essence. You may be putting a lot on the line, such as earnest money, additional fees, or your house. Often double-check timelines with your lender ahead of time.

9. Do I have to pay for mortgage insurance?

You can hear about mortgage insurance when you learn more about buying a home and how to prevent it. The aim is to cover lenders in the event of a default by the borrower. You could be charged an upfront fee, a fee included in your monthly mortgage payment, or a combination of the two.

If you put down less than 20% on a traditional mortgage, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance, also known as private mortgage insurance (PMI). Mortgage insurance is also available on government-backed loans such as FHA and USDA. This is referred to as a mortgage insurance premium in some cases (MIP).

10. Can you provide a fee worksheet or good faith estimate?

It’s important to get anything in writing while dealing with a lender. You should request a fee worksheet, which is also known as a good faith estimate (GFE). Your average interest rate, closing costs, and monthly mortgage payment are all included. Your estimated property taxes and homeowners insurance will also be included. It’s just speculation before you have anything in writing.

11. Are there any other costs or fees I should know about?

The more details you can gather ahead of time, the more prepared you’ll be if you run into any unforeseen costs. Your lender can provide you with a Closing Disclosure that details all of the fees associated with your loan to help you understand them. Comparing the Closing Disclosure to the Loan Estimate is a smart idea.

12. Can you estimate when the closing will be?

Many variables play a role in determining your exact closing date, many of which are entirely beyond your control. Request an estimation from your lender on when you would expect to close. That way, you’ll have a general understanding of the schedule you’re dealing with.

13. Is there anything that could delay my closing?

Yes, purchasing a home is a lengthy process involving several phases and specifications. Although delays are unavoidable, staying in contact with your lender and providing the most up-to-date documents as soon as possible is the best way to prevent them.

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