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Frequently Asked Questions

Paying your bills on time, reducing your credit balances, and trying to not apply for credit too often are all ways that you can raise your FICO score.

Pre-qualification is a determination of the loan amount you’re likely to receive. To obtain pre-qualification, you usually are interviewed by a licensed loan officer who determines the pre-qualification amount. On the other hand, to be pre-approved, you must submit an application and verify your credit and financial history. After you receive your pre-approval certificate, you’re in a stronger position to close earlier and negotiate a better price.

The alternative would be an adjustable-rate mortgage, in which the interest rate applied on the outstanding balance varies throughout the life of the loan.

A fixed-rate mortgage is an attractive option for borrowers who plan to stay in their home for several years. The alternative to the fixed-rate mortgage is the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which features lower monthly principal and interest payments during the first few years.

ARMs are fixed and variable rate hybrids. These loans are also usually issued as an amortized loan with steady installment payments over the life of the loan. They require fixed-rate interest in the first few years of the loan followed by variable rate interest after that. Amortization schedules can be slightly more complex with these loans since rates for a portion of the loan are variable. Thus, investors can expect to have varying payment amounts rather than consistent payments as with a fixed-rate loan.

While many prefer the security of a fixed-rate loan, an ARM may be a better choice – especially if you know you’ll be moving within the next several years. As always, be sure to consider all of your options and go with the one that’s right for your financial situation..

It’s paid by homeowners who take out loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). 1. FHA-backed lenders use MIPs to protect themselves against higher-risk borrowers who are more likely to default on loans. FHA mortgages require every borrower to have mortgage insurance

Mortgage points, or discount points, are a way to prepay interest to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Each mortgage point equals 1% of your home’s value. In most cases, a point can reduce your interest rate by one-eighth to one-quarter of a percent.

This is one of the most commonly asked mortgage questions, and the answer may surprise you.

If you’ve paid off all your debt—and we recommend you do before buying a home—it is possible you won’t have a credit score when you meet with a lender. That might make you nervous. But don’t worry; you can still get a mortgage.

If you apply for a mortgage without a credit score, you’ll need to go through a process called manual underwriting. Manual underwriting simply means you’ll be asked to provide additional paperwork for the underwriter to review personally. Your loan process may take a little longer, but buying a home without the strain of extra debt is worth it!

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