A loan refinance can accomplish various goals. Monthly payments can be reduced by lowering the interest rate with a rate and term refinance. A home can be paid off at a milestone date (such as retirement) by refinancing to a shorter term (i.e. 10 or 15 year) loan. A cash out refinance can provide funds to consolidate debt, pay for education or wedding expenses, or provide funds to invest. A refinance can also convert an adjustable rate loan or interest only loan to a safer fixed rate loan.
Loan origination points are commonly charged as a fee for the work associated with originating a loan. For a loan of $100,0000, a loan origination fee of one point fee is $1,000. Discount points are fees used to permanently lower the interest rate on a mortgage loan. Loans with lower rates are more expensive because the lender receives less interest income. Conversely, higher rates provide more interest income, which enables lenders to internally cover loan origination points and can provide a lender credit to cover other closing costs.
Maybe. If you are certain that you will keep the loan more than 5 years, it generally pays to select a loan with a lower rate. Paying discount points to lower the loan's interest rate is a good way to lower your required monthly loan payment, and possibly increase the loan amount that you can afford to help buy a nicer home. However, if you plan to stay in the property for less than five years, your monthly savings may not be enough to recoup the cost of the discount points that you paid at close for the lower rate.
The annual percentage rate (APR) is an interest rate reflecting the cost of a mortgage as a yearly rate. The APR is typically higher than the note rate, because it takes into account loan origination and discount points and other pre-paid finance charges. The APR allows homebuyers to compare different types of mortgages based on the annual cost for each loan. The APR is designed to measure the "true cost of a loan." It creates a level playing field for lenders and helps prevents lenders from advertising a low rate and hiding fees.
The APR does not affect your monthly payments. Your monthly payments are strictly a function of the note rate and the length of the loan.
Because APR calculations are effected by the various fees charged by lenders, a loan with a lower APR is not necessarily a better. The best way to compare loans is to ask your loan officer to provide you with a settlement worksheet reflecting their costs on the same type of program (e.g. 30-year fixed) at the same interest rate. You can then delete the fees that are independent of the loan such as homeowner's insurance, title fees, escrow fees, etc. Now add up all the loan fees. The lender that has lower loan fees has a cheaper loan than the lender with higher loan fees.
The following fees are generally included in the APR:
The following fees are normally not included in the APR:
Locking the loan means a mutual agreement between the borrower and lender to set the interest rate and fees for the loan. A loan typically floats up and down during the loan processing phase, much like a stock's price. Working together, the loan officer and borrower decide when to lock the loan. Once it is locked, the lender provides disclosures that verify the terms of the lock; namely, the interest rate, discount point or loan origination fees (if any), and length of the lock.
Below is a list of documents that are required when you apply for a mortgage. However, every situation is unique and you may be required to provide additional documentation.
If you will use Alimony or Child Support to qualify:
If you receive Social Security income, Disability or VA benefits:
Source of Funds and Down Payment
How is my credit judged by lenders?
Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to give you credit. Information about you and your credit experiences, such as your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points -- a credit score -- helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when due.
The most widely use credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac Company, Inc. Your score will fall between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).
Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it's accurate before you submit a credit application. To get copies of your report, contact the three major credit reporting agencies:
Equifax: (800) 685-1111
Experian (formerly TRW): (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Trans Union: (800) 916-8800
These agencies may charge you up to $9.00 for your credit report.
You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This free credit report may not contain your credit score and can be requested through the following website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com
Credit scoring models are complex and often vary among creditors and for different types of credit. If one factor changes, your score may change -- but improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to other factors considered by the model. Only the creditor can explain what might improve your score under the particular model used to evaluate your credit application.
Nevertheless, scoring models generally evaluate the following types of information in your credit report:
Scoring models may be based on more than just information in your credit report. For example, the model may consider information from your credit application as well: your job or occupation, length of employment, or whether you own a home.
To improve your credit score under most models, concentrate on paying your bills on time, paying down outstanding balances, and not taking on new debt. It's likely to take some time to improve your score significantly.
An appraisal is an estimate of a property's fair market value. It's a document generally required (depending on the loan program) by a lender before loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. The appraisal is performed by an "Appraiser," typically a state-licensed professional, who is trained to render expert opinions concerning property values, its location, amenities, and physical conditions.
On a conventional mortgage, when your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home mortgage lenders usually require you get Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to protect them in case you default on your mortgage. Sometimes you may need to pay up to 1-year's worth of PMI premiums at closing which can cost several hundred dollars.
Surprising as it may seem, some folks with hefty incomes find that it’s mighty tough for them to save enough money to make a 20% cash down payment on their dream homes. Using conventional financing, such buyers must purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which increases the cost of home ownership and, ironically, makes it even more difficult to qualify for the mortgage. However, if you’re a dues-paying member of the cash-challenged class, don’t despair. Given that your income is sufficiently high, it’s eminently possible to avoid getting stuck with PMI. That is why 80-10-10 financing was invented. It is called 80-10-10 because a savings and loan association, bank, or other institutional lender provides a traditional 80% first mortgage, you get a 10% second mortgage, and make a cash down payment equal to 10% of the home’s purchase price. By using this method, you are no longer obligated to take out PMI on your property.
The same principle applies if you can only afford to make a 5% down, 80-15-5 financing is also available. However, because a smaller cash down payment increases the lender’s risk of default, do not be surprised when you are asked to pay higher loan fees and a higher mortgage interest rate for 80-15-5 than you pay for 80-10-10.
The property is officially transferred from the seller to you at "closing."
At closing, the ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to you. This may involve you, the seller, real estate agents, title or escrow firm representatives.
Most paperwork in closing or settlement is done by escrow companies, working closely with the lender and title company.
Prior to closing you should have a final inspection, or "walk-through" to insure requested repairs were performed, and items agreed to remain with the house are there such as drapes, lighting fixtures, etc.
In California the settlement is completed by an escrow firm in which you forward all materials and information plus the appropriate wire or cashier's checks so the firm can make the necessary disbursement. Once the loan is funded, escrow ccordinates with title to have the transfer deed recorded. Upon confirmation that the deed recorded, the sale is complete.