11 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender

Dated: October 2 2020

Views: 152


You have found a new home-maybe the home of your dreams. You're ready to make the leap and call your lender. Here are some of the most important questions to ask:


1.  What is the interest rate?

This is the most obvious question. The interest rate is used to calculate your monthly payments, and it will determine how much you'll pay over the life of the loan. But you'll need to understand more than simply the quoted rate. A good benchmark is the annual percentage rate (APR), ‘This figure combines the interest casts and other foes charged over the life of the loan, and expresses them as a yearly percentage.


2. Will the interest rate change over the life of the loan?

In the case of a fixed rate mortgage, the interest rate will remain the same for the entire term of the loan. Adjustable rate mortgages, however, have interest rates that change periodically. If you're considering an adjustable rare mortgage, make sure you understand what the adjustment period is—that is, how often the rate will change (usually annually). Also, ask what the index and margin are that will determine your rate, and find out what caps will protect you from large sate increases, You can request a chart showing the past performance of the index the rate is based on, which will give you an idea of the race swings other borrowers have experienced in the past with the same mortgage.


3. Will I be charged points?

A lender may offer co lower your rate if you pay discount points upfront. One point is equal to one percent of the principal—two points on a $150,000 mortgage, for example, will cost $3,000 and might lower your rate by 0.5 percent. Lenders may also charge origination points, which are an administrative fee for processing your application and do not affect the interest rate, Make sure you understand which type you are paying for.


4. What are the closing costs and other fees?

Ask your lender tor a good faith estimate of the closing costs, Take the time to go through each estimate carefully to be sure you understand what each item means.


5. Will you lock-in the interest rate?

A lender may allow you to lock-in the increase rate and points quoted in your offer for a specific period of time, often 30 to 60 days. This will protect you if rates go up during the time it takes to process your application. Ask what date the lock-in becomes effective and whether there is an additional fee involved—and get the agreement in writing.


6. How will my down payment affect the cost of the loan?

Down payment requirements vary widely, Typically, if your down payment is less than 20 percent, the lender will require you to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). On the other hand, you may be able to reduce the cost of your loan, or at least improve the terms, by making a larger down payment.


7. What documentation do you require?

Lenders will ask you to provide a bundle of personal information, such as your income, employer, social security number, information about your assets, and an appraisal of your home. Ask for a checklist so your application is not delayed by missing paperwork.


8. What are the payment terms?

Ask your lender what method of payment they require, such as sending back a coupon with a check or perhaps arranging an automatic withdrawal from your bank account. Determine whether there is a grace period (typically a week or two), and ask about late payment fees.


9. Can I pay the loan off early?

Chances are you may want to refinance your mortgage before the term is complete. So check whether a lender will charge you a prepayment penalty for doing so. Some may also charge a fee for paying down a substantial portion (more than 20 percent) of the principal before it is due.


10. How long will it take to close the loan?

The time it takes to close a mortgage loan varies with the type of mortgage, buyer!homeowner situations, and lender processing efficiency. A good rule of thumb, however, is to assume that a typical mortgage loan will take around four to six weeks to close from the application date. Understand that certain loans may require a slightly longer period to reach closing.


11.  What might delay the process?

Ask your lender what information—employment, marital status, other outstanding debts—they will be checking, and make sure you advise them of any changes in these areas. You can also head off potential problems by checking your own credit file a couple of months before talking to your lender about a mortgage.

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Janette Friend-Harrington

"Your Legacy Begins At Home" Janette and Doug and their Friend Team have more than a real estate practice; they have a mission called "Your Legacy Begins At Home". The mission combines years of real ....

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