Tag: loan officer

How to get the Best Mortgage Loan

getting the best mortgageWhen it comes to home loans, there are hundreds of loan programs and options that you may want to consider. Many first time home buyers do not know where to start when they want to buy a home. It is overwhelming to most people who do not have experience buying a home or getting a mortgage. The good news is, a loan officer can be your tour guide to help you get the best mortgage loan.

A loan officer’s job is to review your financial situation and provide home loan options. They will help to narrow down mortgage programs that do not fit your goals and also ones that you may not be eligible for.  Here are the basic categories that you should review with your loan officer to get the best mortgage for your situation.

What Mortgage Program is the Best?

There are several loan programs that you can apply for including Conventional Loans, FHA Loans, VA Loans, USDA Rural Development Loans, Jumbo loans, and Portfolio Loans. Each loan program has its pros and cons.

Related: Conventional Loan vs FHA Loan vs VA Loan vs USDA Home Loans

You may not be eligible for some programs. VA Loans, for example, require that you have served in the military. If you haven’t served, then this would not be a loan option for you. Conventional loans typically require higher credit scores and are more rate sensitive to lower credit scores. USDA RD Loans, have income limits and restricted areas where you can purchase.

As you can see it is nearly impossible to quickly learn all the ins and outs of each program when you are buying a home. A loan officer can help offer options on what loan program may be the best fit for your situation.

What Mortgage Term is the Best?

loan term

Once you decide on what mortgage program will be the best fit for your situation, you will need to decide on a mortgage term. Loan terms range anywhere from 10 years to 40 years for some programs.  For most loan programs we could even offer a 17 year loan or a 27 year mortgage based on your goals.  The most popular mortgage option is a 30 year mortgage.

Many financial advisers recommend a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. This allows you to get a great rate and pay off your mortgage quickly. Typically loan rates are lower for shorter term loans. The downside is that the monthly payment will be higher the shorter your loan term is.

A traditional 30 year mortgage term has low payments but most of the payment goes directly to interest for the first several years. Many people are shocked at how little their loan balance goes down after a year or two of mortgage payments.

Be sure to ask your loan officer what mortgage term is best for your goals.

Include Escrows or Waive Escrows?

escrows or waived escrows

When you get a mortgage you may have the option to include escrows into your mortgage payment. An escrow account is a savings account held for you by your mortgage servicer that is specifically for paying the property taxes and home owners insurance on your home.

Typically, government insured mortgages including FHA, VA and USDA require you to have an escrow account included with your mortgage.

Conventional loans may allow you to waive escrows. This means that you would be responsible to pay your own taxes and home owners insurance bills when they become due.

Many people like escrow accounts for the ease of payment. It is one less thing homeowners need to worry about when buying a home. On the other hand, some people would rather waive escrows and keep their own savings where they can earn interest and be more in control of their funds.

Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate?

A major choice to consider when getting a mortgage is if you would rather have a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. Most homeowners choose to have a fixed rate that does not change for the life of your loan. This gives predictable payments and certainty that your payment will not adjust.

Other homeowners wish to choose an adjustable rate mortgage, commonly refereed to as an ARM Loan. Typically ARMs start off with a lower rate which is locked for a set number of years (3, 5, 7, or 10 years). Once the initial fixed period is up, the rates are subject to adjustments to the LIBOR or other indexes. If the rates go up, your mortgage payment goes up. If the rates go down, your mortgage payment goes down.

Choosing a fixed rate is thought to be a more safe and secure loan option. ARMs should be carefully considered for financially savvy homeowners. Be sure to ask your loan officer about ARM Loans if you are interested otherwise a fixed rate mortgage is most likely the best choice.

What Interest Rate Should I Pick?

picking your interest rate

Lastly, when getting a mortgage, you have to pick a mortgage rate. Many people do not realized that they have options for different mortgage rates. Once you select all of your other mortgage details, your loan officer will present your mortgage rate options.

When it comes to mortgage rates, you also need to consider the fees associated with getting the loan. Typically, the lower the rate, the higher the fee. Conversely, the higher the rate, the lower the fees.

Should I Pay Discount Points?

pay discount points

If you want the lowest rate possible, you can certainly request a rock bottom interest rate but be prepared to pay discount points for a rate lower than the market rates.

If you want to make sure you are having the lowest costs to get a mortgage, then you may want to consider a slightly higher interest rate. Picking a higher rate may allow you to have no lender fee or even receive a lender credit that will apply towards other closing costs and pre-paid items like taxes and insurances.

Deciding what rate and fee combination can seem difficult, but your loan officer can help you do a break even analysis to compare the time to break even on your investment of paying points for lower rates.

Lets look at an example: If you were to pay 2 points on a $100,000 loan for a lower rate, this would cost you $2,000 in extra closing costs. By getting the lower rate, lets say you save $50 per month.

To find your break even point, you will divide your extra costs of $2,000 by your savings of $50 which would give you 40 months, or 3.33 years to break even on your up front investment.

If you plan on staying in the house for 5 years, then you will save more than your costs therefore paying points may make sense. If you plan on selling your home in 2 years, then you would not benefit from the up front investment and you would be better off taking the higher rate with lower fees.

There are many factors to consider to get the best mortgage for your situation. It is not as easy as simply picking the lowest rate. Be sure to work with a trusted loan officer that can help review all the mortgage programs to get you the best mortgage for your situation.

For more information on home loan programs or to review the best loan for you, request information below or call a loan officer at 800-555-2098.

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How to Refinance a Home Loan

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Want to save money on your mortgage? Refinancing might be the best way to take advantage of the historically low rates. Depending on your goal, make make great financial sense to refinance your mortgage. Here’s what you need to know to make the best decision.

Benefits of Refinancing your Home Loan

Before you refinance your home loan, it is important to determine your financial goals. Do you want a lower interest rate? Do you want to change your adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage? Do you want to pay off your loan in 15 years instead of 30? Do you want to lower your monthly payments? Did you know you can also refinance to consolidate a first and second mortgage? You can also extend your current loan to cash out if you want to start a business, help a family member in financial crisis, or go on an expensive vacation.

Do the math.

Ask your loan officer to help you figure out how much refinancing will cost you, and how much you’ll save over the long term. If refinancing will save you $200 per month, but you have to pay $2,000 in closing costs, you’ll break even in 10 months. How much longer do you plan to stay in the home? If you plan to stay there for more than 10 months, refinancing may be a good idea. If you’d like to move out sooner, the costs associated with refinancing may not be worth it. Also, if you lower your interest rate but extend your loan from a 15-year to a 30-year, you’ll lower your monthly payments but end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Talk to a loan officer to review your mortgage refinancing options.

If you decide refinancing is right for you, start by calling loan officer. He or she may be able to save you on closing costs and other fees by recommending a loan program specifically for your situation. Before you start the process it is important to do your research to find the best loan option to meet your goals. Do not just settle for what your current bank offers just because you have a car loan or checking account there; let your lender know that you’re shopping for mortgages so you can make an informed decision and perhaps he or she will find a way to offer a better deal.

Know your refinancing options.

Find out if you are eligible for any special refinance programs that may benefit you over the standard refinance mortgage. For example, if you currently have an FHA loan, you may qualify for an FHA streamline refinance, which would allow you to refinance with no appraisal, no income, and little to no closing costs. If you currently have a conventional mortgage, you may qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which may allow you to refinance, regardless of your home’s value, with no out-of-pocket costs.

Expect to gather documentation and paperwork.

Refinancing your home loan is a process that usually comes with a significant amount of paperwork to document your income assets and passed credit. Do not be overwhelmed by the request for documents with the current laws and underwriting guidelines. Even those with perfect credit have to provide the same documentation to get a home loan or mortgage refinance.

When you work out the details of your refinance mortgage, your loan officer will help you navigate the steps from initial loan consultation to closing. Be prepared to provide documentation, including driver’s license, social security card, one month of paystubs, two months of bank statements, past two years of W-2 statements, and your current mortgage statement.

Once you sign your application and send in the documentation, your loan officer will send in your file for underwriting, which may require additional documentation. You may also be required to complete a home appraisal. When you’re finally approved in underwriting, you’ll be cleared to close. Your loan officer will review the final figures, you’ll have to pay closing fees and documents, and then the process is complete.

Steps to Refinancing your Home Loan

1) Initial Mortgage Consultation
2) Sign application
3) Send required documents – (drivers license, social security card, 1 month paystubs, 2 months bank statements, past 2 years w2 statements, current mortgage statement)
4) Underwriting Process
5) Complete the Appraisal (if required)
6) Clear to Close – (once fully approved in underwriting your loan will be “Cleared to Close” and scheduled for closing)
7) Meet for the Home Loan Closing

For more information about what Riverbank Finance offers for refinancing, schedule an appointment with one of our loan officers by calling 800-555-2098 or fill out our online refinance application or by completing the form below.

Request Information Now!