Sept. 16, 2010

Important Questions to Ask Your Lender

The mortgage loan process can seem intimidating, complex and confusing, so I thought I might take this opportunity to share some good questions to discuss with your lender when applying for a home loan. Just print this page and take it with you when you meet your mortgage professional!

General Mortgage Questions:

  • What kind of fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available?
  • How long can I “lock-in” the financing at the current interest rate and what is the lock-in policy?
  • Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked-in?
  • What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan?
  • Are funds for a second mortgage available?
  • Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all mortgage loans are paid off early.
  • What is the “grace” period?
  • How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?
  • What will happen if a payment is missed?
  • If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?
  • Do you have to pay “points” to get your new mortgage? Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A “point” is 1% of the loan.
  • Will the lender require mortgage insurance?
  • Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold?
  • What will the total closing costs be?

Questions on adjustable rate mortgages:

  • How often will the interest rate be adjusted?
  • Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?
  • How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?
  • Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?
  • Can the term of the loan be extended?
  • What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?
  • Is there any potential for negative amortization?
  • What is the annual percentage rate?
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