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?
There is no reason to be afraid or intimidated by the process...just make sure you work with someone who inspires your confidence...and ask the right questions!
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