Frequently asked questions

You have questions. We have answers.

Tips for completing our online application

Completing our online application is as easy as 1-2-3!  We'll ask you questions about your personal finances and the home.  You'll probably know all the answers off the top of your head.

The application is broken down into sections and you should be able to complete it in less than 20 minutes.

Move through the application by using the Back and Next options at the bottom of each screen.  Don't use the back and next button on your browser while you're completing the application.

We use exciting new technology in order to provide you with the most convenient online mortgage application ever!  As you answer some of the questions, you'll note that questions may change in response to your answers.  We don't ever want to waste your time asking for information that isn't important in your situation; so we evaluate the information we need based on your answers.  Isn't that what amazing customer service is all about?

If you don't have time to complete the application right now, or if you need to gather information before you finish, you can save the information you have completed up to that point, log out, then return to the site login page, enter your User ID and password to continue.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Mortgage Loan Originator.  Our Mortgage Loan Originators have one responsibility - making sure that your new mortgage experience is amazingly easy!  If your Mortgage Loan Originator is not available when you need a question answered, any of our Mortgage Loan Originators would be willing to provide any assistance you need.

 

Can I apply for a loan before I find a property to purchase? 

Yes, applying for a mortgage loan before you find a home may be the best thing you could do! Having a pre-qualification for a mortgage may give more weight to any offer to purchase that you make.

When you find the perfect home, you'll simply call your Mortgage Loan Originator to complete your application. You'll have an opportunity to lock in our great rates and fees then and we'll complete the processing of your request.

 

Will the inquiry about my credit affect my credit score?

An abundance of credit inquiries can sometimes affect your credit scores since it may indicate that your use of credit is increasing.

But don't overreact! The data used to calculate your credit score doesn't include any mortgage or auto loan credit inquiries that are made within the 30 days prior to the score being calculated. In addition, all mortgage inquiries made in any 14-day period are always considered one inquiry. Don't limit your mortgage shopping for fear of the effect on your credit score.

 

Will I be charged any fees if I authorize my credit information to be accessed?

There is no upfront charge to you for the credit information we will access as part of your online application, with your permission, to evaluate your application online. You will only be charged a credit report fee if you decide to complete the application process with your Mortgage Loan Originator.

 

What is a credit score and how will my credit score affect my application?

A credit score is one of the pieces of information that we'll use to evaluate your application. Financial institutions have been using credit scores to evaluate mortgage, credit card and auto applications for many years.


Credit scores are based on information collected by credit bureaus and information reported each month by your creditors about the balances you owe and the timing of your payments. A credit score is a compilation of all this information converted into a number that helps a lender to determine the likelihood that you will repay the loan on schedule. The credit score is calculated by the credit bureau, not by the lender. Credit scores are calculated by comparing your credit history with millions of other consumers. They have proven to be a very effective way of determining credit worthiness.

Some of the things that affect your credit score include your payment history, your outstanding obligations, the length of time you have had outstanding credit, the types of credit you use, and the number of inquiries that have been made about your credit history in the recent past.

Credit scores used for mortgage loan decisions range from approximately 300 to 900. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the risk that your payments won't be paid as agreed.

Using credit scores to evaluate your credit history allows us to quickly and objectively evaluate your credit history when reviewing your loan application. However, there are many other factors when making a loan decision and we never evaluate an application without looking at the total financial picture of a customer.

 

How do you decide what you need from me to process my loan?

We take full advantage of an automated underwriting system that allows us to request as little information as possible to verify the data you provided during your loan application. Gone are the days when it was necessary to verify every piece of data collected during the application. The automated underwriting system compares your financial situation with statistical data from millions of other homeowners and uses that comparison to determine the level of verification needed. In many cases, a single W-2 or paystub can be used to verify your income or a single bank statement can be used to verify the assets needed to close your loan.

 

I'm self-employed. How will you verify my income?

Generally, the income of self-employed borrowers is verified by obtaining copies of personal (and business, if applicable) federal tax returns for the most recent two-year period. However, based on your entire financial situation, we may not need full copies of your tax returns.

We'll review and average the net income from self-employment that's reported on your tax returns to determine the income that can be used to qualify. We won't be able to consider any income that hasn't been reported as such on your tax returns. Typically, we'll need at least one, and sometimes a full two-year history of self-employment to verify that your self-employment income is stable.

 

Will my overtime, commission, or bonus income be considered when evaluating my application?

In order for bonus, overtime, or commission income to be considered, you must have a history of receiving it and it must be likely to continue. We'll usually need to obtain copies of W-2 statements for the previous two years and a recent pay stub to verify this type of income. If a major part of your income is commission earnings, we may need to obtain copies of recent tax returns to verify the amount of business-related expenses, if any. We'll average the amounts you have received over the past two years to calculate the amount that can be considered as a regular part of your income.
If you haven't been receiving bonus, overtime, or commission income for at least one year, it probably can't be given full value when your loan is reviewed for approval.

 

I am retired and my income is from pension or social security. What will I need to provide?

We will ask for copies of your recent pension check stubs, or bank statement if your pension or retirement income is deposited directly in your bank account. Sometimes it will also be necessary to verify that this income will continue for at least three years since some pension or retirement plans do not provide income for life. This can usually be verified with a copy of your award letter. If you don't have an award letter, we can contact the source of this income directly for verification.

If you're receiving tax-free income, such as social security earnings in some cases, we'll consider the fact that taxes will not be deducted from this income when reviewing your request.

 

If I have income that's not reported on my tax return, can it be considered?

Generally, only income that is reported on your tax return can be considered when applying for a mortgage. Unless, of course, the income is legally tax-free and isn't required to be reported.

How will rental income be verified?

If you own rental properties, we'll generally ask for the most recent year's federal tax return to verify your rental income. We'll review the Schedule E of the tax return to verify your rental income, after all expenses except depreciation. Since depreciation is only a paper loss, it won't be counted against your rental income.
If you haven't owned the rental property for a complete tax year, we'll ask for a copy of any leases you've executed and we'll estimate the expenses of ownership.

 

I have income from dividends and/or interest. What documents will I need to provide?

Generally, two years personal tax returns are required to verify the amount of your dividend and/or interest income so that an average of the amounts you receive can be calculated. In addition, we will need to verify your ownership of the assets that generate the income using copies of statements from your financial institution, brokerage statements, stock certificates or Promissory Notes.  Typically, income from dividends and/or interest must be expected to continue for at least three years to be considered for repayment.

 

Do I have to provide information about my child support, alimony or separate maintenance income?

Information about child support, alimony, or separate maintenance income does not need to be provided unless you wish to have it considered for repaying this mortgage loan.

 

Will my second job income be considered?

Typically, income from a second job will be considered if a one-year history of secondary employment can be verified.

 

I have had a few employers in the last few years. Will that affect my ability to get a new mortgage?

Having changed employers frequently is typically not a hindrance to obtaining a new mortgage loan. This is particularly true if you made employment changes without having periods of time in between without employment. We'll also look at your income advancements as you have changed employment.

If you're paid on a commission basis, a recent job change may be an issue since we'll have a difficult time of predicting your earnings without a history with your new employer.

 

I was in school before obtaining my current job. How do I complete the application?

If you were in school before your current job, enter the name of the school you attended and the length of time you were in school in the "length of employment" fields. You can enter a position of "student" and income of "0."

 

If my property's appraised value is more than the purchase price can I use the difference towards my down payment?

Unfortunately, if you are purchasing a home, we'll have to use the lower of the appraised value or the sales price to determine your down payment requirement. 

It's still a great benefit for your financial situation if you are able to purchase a home for less than the appraised value, but our investors don't allow us to use this "instant equity" when making our loan decision.

 

I'm getting a gift from someone else. Is this an acceptable source of my down payment?

Gifts are an acceptable source of down payment, if the gift giver is related to you or your co-borrower. We'll ask you for the name, address, and phone number of the gift giver, as well as the donor's relationship to you.

Prior to closing, we'll verify that the gift funds have been transferred to you by obtaining a copy of your bank receipt or deposit slip to verify that you have deposited the gift funds into your account.

 

I am selling my current home to purchase this home. What type of documentation will be required?

If you're selling your current home to purchase your new home, we'll ask you to provide a copy of the closing statement you'll receive at the closing to verify that your current mortgage has been paid in full and that you'll have sufficient funds for our closing. Often the closing of your current home is scheduled for the same day as the closing of your new home. If that's the case, we'll just ask you to bring your settlement statement with you to your new mortgage closing.

 

I am relocating because I have accepted a new job that I haven't started yet. How should I complete the application?

Congratulations on your new job! If you will be working for the same employer, complete the application as such but enter the income you anticipate you'll be receiving at your new location.

If your employment is with a new employer, complete the application as if this were your current employer and indicate that you have been there for one month. The information about the employment you'll be leaving should be entered as a previous employer. We'll sort out the details after you submit your loan for approval.

 

I have co-signed a loan for another person. Should I include that debt here?

Generally, a co-signed debt is considered when determining your qualifications for a mortgage. If the co-signed debt doesn't affect your ability to obtain a new mortgage we'll leave it at that. However, if it does make a difference, we can ignore the monthly payment of the co-signed debt if you can provide verification that the other person responsible for the debt has made the required payments, by obtaining copies of their cancelled checks for the last 12 months.

 

I have student loans that aren't in repayment yet. Should I show them as installment debts?

Any student loan that will go into repayment within the next six 12 months should be included in the application. If you are not sure exactly what the monthly payment will be at this time, enter an estimated amount.

If other student loans are reflected on your final credit report, which will not go into repayment in the next six 12 months, we may need to ask you for verification that repayment will not be required during this time period.

 

How will a past bankruptcy or foreclosure affect my ability to obtain a new mortgage?

If you've had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past, it may affect your ability to get a new mortgage. Unless the bankruptcy or foreclosure was caused by situations beyond your control, we will generally require that two to four years have passed since the bankruptcy or foreclosure. It is also important that you've re-established an acceptable credit history with new loans or credit cards.

 

What, exactly, is an installment debt?

An installment debt is a loan that you make payments on, such as an auto loan, a student loan or a debt consolidation loan. Do not include payments on other living expenses, such as insurance costs or medical bill payments. We'll include any installment debts that have more than 10 months remaining when determining your qualifications for this mortgage.

 

What should I do when I find the home I want to purchase?

After you find the perfect home, contact your Mortgage Loan Officer. We'll need some information about the property such as the address and purchase price. We'll collect the application fee to cover the cost of the appraisal and credit report and you'll decide whether you want to lock in an interest rate or whether you want to float the interest rate and lock in later.

We'll send you an application kit that contains some papers for you to sign and return and a list of items we'll need from you to verify the information you provided during your online application. We'll order your appraisal and contact the real estate broker or seller to begin to prepare for closing.

Buying a home couldn't be easier!

 

I am nervous about providing personal data online.  Is this site secure?

This site is hosted by elliemae.com, our Loan Origination System vendor, whose security statement is located on their Privacy Policy page at http://elliemae/privacy-policy .