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Use these Learning Hub to help you move closer to your dream. We have provided a Mortgage calculator, trending articles, & FAQs about acquiring loans.
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Use our mortgage calculator and get an idea of what your monthly payment could look like. Enter different home prices and down payment amounts to see how your monthly payment changes.
Common Mortgage Questions
Mortgage terminology can be confusing and overly complicated—but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve broken down some of the terms & questions to help make them easier to understand.
Every situation and every loan is different, so closing times are variable. On average, the closing process usually takes our Experts around 30 days—that’s way faster than the 53-day* industry average.
However, we can certainly close faster than that in most situations. With our 21 in ’21 Guarantee, if we can’t close your loan in 21 days or less, you’ll receive $1,000—on us. Ask your Home Loan Expert about your specific scenario.
The Home Loan Expert offers several low down payment options.
For conventional loans, we offer options with down payments as low as 3%
For FHA loans, we offer options with down payments as low as 3.5%
And for Hero Loan (VA loans), USDA loans, and our down payment assistance programs, we offer options with zero down (0%) payments for eligible borrowers
When you pay off a current mortgage, you will get a refund of anything that has accumulated in your escrow account (if applicable), minus any tax or insurance payments that are due.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) (used for FHA Loans) insures your loan against potential default.
This insurance is required for borrowers who are putting less than 20% down for their down payment. PMI (or MIP) allows borrowers to take advantage of low, competitive rates even without a 20% down payment.
Yes! We offer a variety of down payment assistance programs at both the state and national level. To learn more, contact our team.
Mortgage Center will set up an escrow account to collect funds for the payment of your real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and private mortgage insurance, if necessary. Each month a portion of your payment will be held in your escrow account to make sure the funds are available when these payments are due. At that time, funds are drawn from the escrow account. You may pay your own real estate taxes and insurance if you meet Mortgage Center’s Escrow Waiver Requirements.
- The extra costs paid at closing may include attorney fees, prepaid interest, insurance fees, documentation fees, and more.
- Closing costs may vary by borrower based on your mortgage loan type, property location, and other factors.
- You can find your closing costs broken down in your Closing Disclosure, provided by your loan officer at least three business days before your expected closing date.
Closing costs may range from 2 to 5 percent of your purchase price. The buyer and the seller are both responsible for paying different costs at closing.
The documentation required for a loan pre-approval may vary, depending on your employment, income, and financial history. Typically, we require borrowers to submit income and employment documentation (30 days’ worth of consecutive paystubs), your most recent two years of W-2s, and 1-2 months’ worth of recent bank statements.
For self-employed borrowers, we will also need your tax returns (including schedules), and we may need to see your business tax returns as well.
Our Home Loan Experts can help explain all of the documentation we’ll need for your unique loan (and why we need it). Click here to get started.
Buying too much house can quickly turn your home into a liability instead of an asset. That’s why it’s important to know what you can afford before you ever start looking at homes with your real estate agent.
We recommend keeping your mortgage payment to 25% or less of your monthly take-home pay. For example, if you bring home $5,000 a month, your monthly mortgage payment should be no more than $1,250. Using our easy mortgage calculator, you’ll find that means you can afford a $211,000 home on a 15-year fixed-rate loan at a 4% interest rate with a 20% down payment.
We recommend putting at least 10% down on a home, but 20% is even better because you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is an extra cost added to your monthly payment that doesn’t go toward paying off your mortgage.
Saving a big down payment takes hard work and patience, but it’s worth it. Here’s why:
- You’ll have built-in equity when you move into your home.
- You can finance less, which means you’ll have a lower monthly payment.
With so many mortgage options out there, it can be hard to know how each would impact you in the long run. Here are the most common mortgage loan types:
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loan
- Department of Vertans Affairs (VA) Loan
- Fixed-Rate Conventional Loan
We recommend choosing a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan. Why not a 30-year mortgage? Because you’ll pay thousands more in interest if you go with a 30-year mortgage. For a $250,000 loan, that could mean a difference of more than $100,000!
A 15-year loan does come with a higher monthly payment, so you may need to adjust your home-buying budget to get your mortgage payment down to 25% or less of your monthly income.
But the good news is, a 15-year mortgage is actually paid off in 15 years.
Before you lock in an interest rate, it’s worth knowing that high interest rates bring higher monthly payments and increase the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. In contrast, a low interest rate saves you money in both the short and long term.
Have more questions about what loan you need?
Results are hypothetical and may not be accurate. This is not a commitment to lend nor a pre-approval. Consult a financial professional for full details.
Conventional Payment example: If you choose a $250,000, 30 year loan at a fixed rate of 3.3% (APR 3.5%), with a loan-to-value of 80%, you would make 360 payments of $1,122.61. Payment stated does not include taxes and insurance, which will result in a higher payment.