Here’s How You Can Control the Cost of Your Mortgage

Mortgages aren't cheap, but there are some ways you can keep your lending costs down when buying a home.

Mortgages are not cheap. Closing costs and interest paid over time to your lending bank will make the cost of having a mortgage very pricey over the 15-30 years that you have it. But, when it comes time to get your mortgage, you actually have more control over your loan costs than you think (even in the 2017 mortgage market).

Here are a few ideas on how you can keep costs down without cutting corners.

Remember the Rate-Lock

When you apply for mortgage loan financing and agree to move forward with the loan, there is something called a “rate lock”. Rate Locks are usually set for 15, 30, 45, or 60 days. The rate lock is a commitment; you are committing to your lender that you are going to take the mortgage interest rate and terms they have offered.

In turn, the lender is committing to giving you those terms with zero changes. The big “if” in this statement is whether this rate lock is set for a specific timeframe – 15, 30, 45 or 60 days. The average rate lock is 30 days for most mortgages. If your loan is locked for 30 days and it does not close by day 30, it will have to be extended in order to maintain that rate. If the lock is extended, the cost of your mortgage can change and your loan terms can get unnecessarily expensive. It is not uncommon for a mortgage that started with zero points to end up with pricey discount points due to a lock extension.

You can avoid this, though. The speed and momentum with which your mortgage loan is processed is directly related to how quickly you provide your lender with documentation and requested items throughout the process. The longer it takes you to gather and supply these items, the more it can cost you. You can reference the old adage, time is money.

Get Organized Before You Apply

When you first approach your loan officer and/or lender about mortgage loan financing, try to provide all of the documentation they ask for up front and before you begin. It’s also important to make sure your credit is in good standing and there are no errors on your credit reports before you begin the loan approval process. Doing so can help ensure you get the best rates and terms from your lender.

Once your loan has been underwritten and you are asked to provide additional documentation, get it back to them as soon as you can. The longer it takes for your lender to receive these items, the higher the chance that an extension will be needed. The ideal response period is 24-48 hours after the request is given. If it is going to take you more than 48 hours, or if you know you cannot get it quickly, let them know as soon as you get the request. Do not wait the 48 hours and hope that the condition will disappear. It will not.

Be Proactive & Prompt

The loan process is not always smooth. When items are requested by the lender, things can get frustrating for some consumers. These are some common comments made by consumers that come up during the process:

“I have already provided that piece of documentation multiple times.”

“Why do you need this?”

“I am waiting on my accountant and he won’t get it back for a week.”

Homebuyers can often feel frustrated because the reality of today’s lending environment was not made clear by the mortgage professional at the beginning of the process. If you are the type of consumer that understands that 5+5 will always equal 10 in any situation, prepare to be disenchanted by the mortgage loan process. In the current mortgage market, 5+5 will equal 10, 11, or 0. The environment you are entering is bureaucratic and heavily reliant on compliance to rules and regulation. These can often seem redundant and unnecessary but, remember, they were put in place to protect you.

If you can step back from the frustration and provide the items quickly, not only will you be ahead of the game but you will be saving yourself time and money. If you are prone to providing pushback to your lenders on requests, know that you are costing yourself in time, effort, and money.

Ask for clarification, call your lender, get on their calendar, bite the bullet and you will maintain control of your costs. The way to make sure you are set on the cost of your mortgage is to lock in the interest rate and terms, provide documentation within 24-48 hours, and be on call for any updates that your lender has.

There will always be circumstances beyond your control, but being proactive and on top of what your lender needs is the number one way to stay in control of your financial mortgage success.

Trying to buy your first home? Check out our roundup of first-time homebuyer mistakes you’ll want to avoid and visit our mortgage learning center for more answers to questions that come up during the process.

Image: Geber86

 

The post Here’s How You Can Control the Cost of Your Mortgage appeared first on Credit.com.

This Change From Fannie Mae Could Help You With a Mortgage You Can’t Afford

conventional-mortgage-requirements

A restructured mortgage is a mortgage loan that had some material change to the loan amount, rate, payment or term that benefits the borrower. Some examples include an adjustable-rate mortgage being converted to a fixed-rate mortgage or the terms of a payment being stretched from 360 months to 480. (You can learn more about the difference between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages here.)

Recently, Fannie Mae changed their policy regarding restructured loans. Here’s what that means for consumers.

A New Approach

In the past, if you had a mortgage that was modified in the last 12 months, in order to qualify for a new conventional mortgage loan you would need to pay at least 24 months as agreed upon — or 12 months from the date of the original loan restructuring if you were trying to finance another property.

These requirements took precedence over a down payment, debt-to-income ratio and even a credit score and were put in place by Fannie Mae for restructured mortgages dating back to 2008.

Under the new rules, if you have a restructured loan in your past, you will no longer be precluded from qualifying. (Just note that these changes are for conventional mortgage loans only.) Most other programs, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and jumbo loans, mirror conventional underwriting, though, and could follow suit and change their policies on restructured mortgages.

Currently, two things are working in your favor to finance your mortgage: super-low interest rates brought on by Brexit and a chance to get out of the short-term restructured loan you may have taken out for payment relief during the financial crisis. If you no longer have a restructured loan in your name, don’t worry, the limiting policy is a thing of the past.

As with applying for any home loan, you’ll still need to be able to show a healthy credit score, stable income, a low debt-to-income ratio and, of course, equity, in order to qualify. If you’re considering taking out a loan but haven’t check your credit, you may want to read this primer on why it’s important to check your scores now. You can view two of your scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.

More on Mortgages & Homebuying:

Image: Porta

The post This Change From Fannie Mae Could Help You With a Mortgage You Can’t Afford appeared first on Credit.com.

This Change From Fannie Mae Could Help You With a Mortgage You Can’t Afford

conventional-mortgage-requirements

A restructured mortgage is a mortgage loan that had some material change to the loan amount, rate, payment or term that benefits the borrower. Some examples include an adjustable-rate mortgage being converted to a fixed-rate mortgage or the terms of a payment being stretched from 360 months to 480. (You can learn more about the difference between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages here.)

Recently, Fannie Mae changed their policy regarding restructured loans. Here’s what that means for consumers.

A New Approach

In the past, if you had a mortgage that was modified in the last 12 months, in order to qualify for a new conventional mortgage loan you would need to pay at least 24 months as agreed upon — or 12 months from the date of the original loan restructuring if you were trying to finance another property.

These requirements took precedence over a down payment, debt-to-income ratio and even a credit score and were put in place by Fannie Mae for restructured mortgages dating back to 2008.

Under the new rules, if you have a restructured loan in your past, you will no longer be precluded from qualifying. (Just note that these changes are for conventional mortgage loans only.) Most other programs, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and jumbo loans, mirror conventional underwriting, though, and could follow suit and change their policies on restructured mortgages.

Currently, two things are working in your favor to finance your mortgage: super-low interest rates brought on by Brexit and a chance to get out of the short-term restructured loan you may have taken out for payment relief during the financial crisis. If you no longer have a restructured loan in your name, don’t worry, the limiting policy is a thing of the past.

As with applying for any home loan, you’ll still need to be able to show a healthy credit score, stable income, a low debt-to-income ratio and, of course, equity, in order to qualify. If you’re considering taking out a loan but haven’t check your credit, you may want to read this primer on why it’s important to check your scores now. You can view two of your scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.

More on Mortgages & Homebuying:

Image: Porta

The post This Change From Fannie Mae Could Help You With a Mortgage You Can’t Afford appeared first on Credit.com.