Know the answers to these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
Now more than ever, Americans are discovering the importance of having a handle on their finances. Budgeting projected monthly expenses and future investments helps consumers determine whether or not home ownership is financially feasible. By addressing the following key questions with one of our mortgage specialists you can gain a better understanding of the mortgage process and ensure you obtain the product that best fits your needs and circumstances.
- What documents must I provide and what might delay the mortgage approval process?
Prepare to be inundated with personal, income, employer, asset and liability questions. Get a head start and avoid any potential delay in your mortgage approval by checking your own credit file and gathering the required documents a couple of months prior to shopping for your mortgage.
The following are just a few of the necessary documents you will need to supply in order to complete your mortgage application:
• Earnings: W-2 forms, recent pay stubs and tax returns for the past two years.
• Employment: Copy of a recent paycheck stub that displays your full name, Social Security number, your year-to-date earnings and the name and address of your employer.
• Additional income: Documents to show you have other sources of income, which may include a second job, overtime, commissions and bonuses, interest and dividend income, Social Security payments, alimony, child support, VA and retirement benefits.
• Debts: A full list of your outstanding debt and creditors, such as credit cards, car loans, student loans, child support, etc., along with the minimum monthly payment and balances.
• Assets: Records of investments including real estate and auto titles, stock/bond certificates and mutual funds.
Get a full checklist of application requirements by contacting your Maine Mortgage Specialist.
- What are the qualifying guidelines for my loan?
Once you have completed the mortgage application, you will be presented you with the products that best fit your financial situation. The loan programs offered will require that you meet several income, employment and credit guidelines.
- How will my down payment affect the cost of the loan?
The more money you can afford to put down the better. A large down payment will either reduce your mortgage payments and/or enable you to purchase a bigger, more expensive home. Generally, lenders require a down payment anywhere between 2 percent and 20 percent of the home sale price.
- What is the annual percentage rate of the loan?
Use the annual percentage rate, or APR, as a general guideline when comparing your loan options. The APR is designed to represent the true cost of the loan, preventing lenders from concealing fees and upfront costs from the borrower. Though the APR is a good comparison tool, it does not always include all costs that you will pay. Ask your mortgage professional to clarify what is and is not calculated into your loan”s APR so that you can determine which program best fits your financial needs.
- Is there a prepayment penalty on the loan?
Prepayment penalties ensure that your lender is compensated for a certain amount of money when you, the borrower, decide to pay off your loan earlier than what was originally agreed. Not all loans enforce prepayment penalties, but those that do, have penalties that range anywhere from one to three percent of the loan amount.
By asking the right questions, you can gain a better understanding of the mortgage process and be confident that you are getting the product that best fits your financial situation.