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FAQ

HOME BUYING

How much cash will I need for closing costs?

Closing costs generally range from 2% to 3% of your loan amount. Closing costs can be divided into three main categories:

 

  • Lender fees. Fees can include origination, points, application, credit report, and appraisal.
  • Third-party fees. These fees vary by state and the company you select to close your loan. They can include fees for closing, title exam, title insurance and recording.
  • Pre-paid items. These are items collected at the time of closing but are not really considered costs (for example, interest, taxes, and hazard insurance).You’ll be provided with an estimate of your closing costs soon after your application has been received. These estimates will change if you change the product type or loan amount. If this should occur, be sure to ask how the changes will impact your closing costs.
How much home can I afford?

The amount of home you can afford is based on the amount of mortgage loan you can comfortably support. Generally, the amount of mortgage you qualify for is based on three factors:

  • Your monthly payments as a percentage of income.
  • How much cash you have for the down payment and closing costs.
  • Your credit history.
What types of mortgages are available?
  • Fixed-rate mortgage. You pay the same interest rate and same monthly payment of principal and interest for the duration of the mortgage. The most common terms are 30, 20 and 15 years. Fixed-rate mortgages are best if you plan on being in your home for a while.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The interest rate stays fixed for an initial interest rate period, which ranges from 1 to 7 years. Then the rate will adjust up or down annually for the life of the loan based on a specified index. An ARM is a good option if you believe interest rates will go down over the next few years or if you plan on staying in your home 5 to 7 years or less.
  • Combination loan. A loan where you receive a first mortgage combined at the same time with a second mortgage loan. This option may help you avoid the costs of private mortgage insurance (PMI) and/or the higher rate of a jumbo loan with no money down. The most popular combinations are the 80-20, No Money Down (80% First, 20% Second) the 80-10-10, ( 80% First Mortgage, 10% Second Mortgage, & 10% Down Payment), 75-15-10 (75% first, 15% second, 10% down).

 

What are the benefits of a 15-year mortgage?

A 15-year mortgage allows you to own your home in half the time of a conventional mortgage with a 30-yearr term. Although payments are higher with a 15-year mortgage, you’ll save thousands of dollars in interest and build equity faster.

Are there any special programs for first-time homebuyers?

At MortgageMint® we offer ZERO MONEY AND LOW MONEY DOWN programs for our first-time home buyers.

  • ZERO DOWN PAYMENT & NO CLOSING COST LOANS.
  • Lower down payments than most other financing options so you won’t need as much cash to buy a home.
  • The Best Interest Rates.
  • Manageable payments for every budget.
  • Reduced closing costs and mortgage loan fees.
What are the tax advantages of owning a home?
  • Income tax reduction. In the early years of a mortgage, most of your monthly payment covers interest on the mortgage. In most cases, the mortgage interest (and property tax) is deductible from your taxable income, lowering your overall tax bill.Therefore, your after-tax cost of home ownership may be lower than renting. There may be tax implications if you later sell the home at a profit. Consult your tax advisor for more information.
  • Tax deductible borrowing power. As your home equity increases, you can borrow against it for almost any need with a home equity loan or line of credit.Because your home equity loan or line of credit is backed by the equity in your home, you may be able to deduct that interest from your taxable income. This could lower your final tax bill. See a tax professional for complete details.
Should I get pre-qualified for a mortgage before I shop for a home?

YES!! Getting pre-qualified for your mortgage is an important step before you shop for a home. It tells you how much home you can buy and makes applying for your mortgage easier. A mortgage pre-qualification can also give you additional leverage with a seller in negotiating the best possible terms of the sale.Prequalify to buy a home Prequalify to buy a home

How long will it take to get pre-qualified for a mortgage?

You can get a response in minutes when you pre-qualify for a mortgage. There are just a few easy steps involved in the pre-qualification process.Prequalify to buy a home Prequalify to buy a home

Can I complete a pre-qualification form I've already started?

No. You won’t be able to return to an incomplete pre-qualification form. We’ve made the pre-qualification form short and simple so that you can complete it in less than 2 minutes.

How can I lock my interest rate?

You must complete a full mortgage application in order to lock in a rate. After you submit a pre-qualification online, a MortgageMint® loan specialist will call you to discuss your mortgage options. He or she will also help you complete the application and lock in a rate if you’re ready.

What are impounds/escrow accounts?
  • In addition to the principal and interest payment on your mortgage loan, you may elect to impound additional funds each month in an impound/escrow account to pay for property taxes and insurance. With some mortgage programs, impounding for taxes and insurance may be required.
  • Having an impound/escrow account allows you to put aside a small portion each month toward the costs of insurance and property taxes. You send the additional funds each month when you make your mortgage payment. MortgageMint®holds the money in an impound/escrow account and makes the payments from the account when they are due.
Can I get a loan if I'm not a U.S. citizen or if I live outside the country?

Yes. As long as the property you are buying or refinancing is in the United States.

When will I receive my year-end statement of interest paid for tax purposes?

Year-end interest-paid statements (IRS Form 1099) are mailed out by the end of January. You should expect to receive your statement in early February.

HOME EQUITY

What can I use my home equity for?

You can use your home equity to pay for almost anything. Make home improvements, pay for college, consolidate debt, buy a new car, go on vacation.

How do I know how much my home is worth?

For the purposes of your application, estimate the value to the best of your ability. We’ll help you determine the current value of your home by having an appraiser compare your home to homes that have sold in your area.

How is a home equity line of credit different from a home equity loan?

Home equity credit uses the borrower’s home as collateral. The three main differences are:

  • Pricing. A line of credit usually has a variable interest rate while a loan may have fixed or variable interest rates.
  • Access. A line of credit allows ongoing access to your money over an extended period of time. As you repay the money you’ve used, those funds become available for you to use again.
    With a home equity loan, you get the money all at once then repay it over an extended period of time. Unlike a line of credit, you do not borrow, repay and borrow the funds again.
  • Payments. A home equity loan generally has fixed payments, which can make budgeting easier.
    A home equity line of credit generally has a variable payment that can be as low as an interest-only payment during the draw period. During the repayment period, monthly payments include a fixed principal amount plus interest.
What index is used to determine rates on home equity lines of credit?

The index is based on The Prime Rate. This index plus or minus the stated margin is what determines the home equity line of credit rate.

Can I fix the interest rate on all or part of my line of credit?

Fixed-rate loan options are available on home equity lines of credit. Our fixed-rate loan option allows you to lock all or part of your home equity line of credit balances at a fixed interest rate, payment and term. A monthly bill shows your balance, including any fixed-rate loan options. You can also designate separate names for each fixed-rate loan option to make them easy to identify. You can choose to fix any portion of the outstanding balance on your line.

Up to what percent of my home's value will you lend?

Home equity lines of credit & fixed 2nd Mortgages up to 125% are available for customers who qualify.

Can I get a home equity loan or line of credit on a rental property?

Yes, however, the rates are slightly higher and the loan amount is calculated differently.

Will interest on my home equity loan or line of credit be tax deductible?

Under current law, interest paid on loans secured by a primary residence may be tax deductible. Ask your tax advisor about your home and your personal tax situation to determine whether or not interest would be tax deductible.

Do I need an appraisal to get a home equity loan or line of credit?

Under some circumstances, we may require a complete appraisal, including a walk through of the home.

REFINANCING

Should I refinance my mortgage?

There are generally three reasons to refinance:

  • Lower your monthly payments.
  • Pay off your mortgage faster.
  • Take cash out of your property.
    Interest rates and the term of your mortgage can affect your decision.

 

What are the various closing costs involved in refinancing?

Closing costs can be divided into three main categories:

  • Lender fees. Fees can include origination, points, application, credit report, and appraisal.
  • Third-party fees. These fees vary by state and the actual company you select to close your loan. They can include fees for closing, title exam, title insurance, and recording.
  • Pre-paid items. These are items collected at the time of closing but are not really considered costs. They include items you pay whether or not you refinance (for example, interest, taxes, and hazard insurance).
    All together, closing costs typically range 2% to 3% of your loan amount. You’ll be provided with an estimate of your closing costs soon after your application has been received. Any prepayment penalty on a loan being refinanced will increase the amount required to close. If there is enough equity in the home, the closing costs may be included in the new loan amount to keep your out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. The estimated closing costs will change if you change the product type or loan amount. If this should occur, be sure to ask how the changes will impact your closing costs.
How much equity do I need to refinance?

At MortgageMint® our refinance loan programs require at least zero equity in your home to refinance.

Can I combine my first and second mortgages (equity line or loan) when I refinance?

Yes! You can consolidate your first and second mortgages into one low monthly payment. Call today for more details!

Can I refinance if my home is currently for sale?

Yes! In most circumstances you will have to temporarily take your home off the market to refinance. Once the refinance is complete, you may then put your home back on the market. Ask a Loan Expert to find out more!

Will a prepayment penalty affect my refinance?

Prepayment penalties on your existing mortgage could make refinancing more costly. Check the details of your current loan agreement and be sure to factor in the cost of any prepayment penalty!

How long will it take to get pre-qualified for a refinance?

You can get a response in minutes when you pre-qualify for a mortgage. There are just a few easy steps involved in the pre-qualification process. Pre-qualify today to refinance your home!

Can I complete a pre-qualification form I've already started?

No. You won’t be able to return to an incomplete pre-qualification form. We’ve made the pre-qualification form short and simple so that you can complete it in less than 10 minutes.

How can I lock my interest rate?

You must complete a full mortgage application in order to lock in a rate. After you submit a pre-qualification online, a Bank of America loan specialist will call you to discuss your mortgage options. He or she will also help you complete the application and lock in a rate if you’re ready.

Do I need to get an appraisal when I refinance?

Yes. However, if you’re a current Bank of America customer you may not be required to get an appraisal.

How does a refinance closing work?

The refinance closing is handled the same way your loan was closed when you first purchased your property. After your loan is approved, you’ll receive copies of documents you’ll need to sign at closing.