Are you applying for a mortgage? Make sure you come prepared to ask the right questions, as the more you know, the better decisions you can make. Here are the top ten questions to ask your mortgage lender – jot them down or program them into your smartphone today.
Question #1: What is the interest rate on this mortgage?
Currently, the interest rates are low, but just because the lender is flashing around low rates doesn’t mean you’ll get them. You have to qualify to get the lowest rates, and a low credit score can hurt your chances. So before you take for granted that you’ll be offered a low interest rate, be sure to ask what your specific rate is.
Question #2: What are the closing costs and will I receive a good faith estimate?
Most lenders will provide you with a good faith estimate that details the chargers you will be assessed for their services, also known as closing costs. Since many lenders expect you to pay for closing costs out of pocket, make sure you know what these costs will be as soon as possible.
Question #3: Are there any potential delays that may impact my closing?
As long as you provide honest, upfront information to the lender, the process should go rather smoothly. Some of the factors that can delay the process include changing jobs, having a decrease in your salary or changing marital statuses. Be sure to let your lender know of these changes immediately if they are to occur.
Question #4: What are the qualifications for the loan?
Generally speaking, conventional loans are the most difficult to receive, but other loans have less strict criteria. Be sure to ask about the various loan options and the qualifications for each. First-time homebuyer programs for example, have incentives for new homebuyers.
Question #5: What is the down payment for this loan?
The rate and terms of your loan will be dependent on how much you put down. Most lenders ask for 5 to 20 percent of the total loan amount, and the more you put down, the lower your payments will be and the better terms you’ll have.
Question #6: Can I lock in my interest rate?
If you’re approved for a low interest rate, ask your lender about locking in the rate, but do so with caution. There may be fees to lock in through your lender, and you never know, the interest rates may go down further.
Question #7: Will I have to pay points on my loan?
Many lenders charge prepaid mortgage interest points in order to lower your interest rate. Many of these points have little to no benefit to the borrower, so be sure to ask if you’ll be paying for points and what kind of points they are.
Question #8: What documents do I need to provide?
In order to keep the process moving along smoothly, you’ll want to have the necessary documents in place. Most commonly, these documents include proof of income, bank account information, IRS Form and credit reports, but ask your lender for more specifics.
Question #9: Is there a prepayment penalty on this loan?
Prepayment penalties can kick in when you go to sell your home, reduce the principal balance by a certain amount or refinance. If there is a prepayment penalty, find out how much the penalty is and how the amount is calculated.
Question #10: How long will the process take?
Although lenders may say two weeks, it’s best to expect 45 to 60 days to have the loan application processed. If there are any obstacles or changes along the way, that will slow the process as well. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
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