Financing FAQs

Provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage

Is it cheaper to rent or buy?

The cost of renting is increasing. This means that in many markets around the United States, it is actually cheaper to own than it is to rent.

How good does my credit score need to be? / Is my credit score good enough?

You do not need perfect credit in order to qualify for a new home loan. Credit scores can impact the rate of interest you are offered, but there are other factors considered when determining mortgage qualification. There are mortgage products available that have the potential to get you qualified with scores under 600.

Will my student loan debt keep me from qualifying for a mortgage?

Millions of Americans carry some level of student loan debt. It is a factor when qualifying for a mortgage just like any other monthly debt obligation. However, the student loan monthly minimum payment is what is used when qualifying for a mortgage.

How high should my income be to buy a house?

You should be very mindful of your income and the expenses that are spoken for each month. The perception that your income is not enough may not be true. Talking to a mortgage consultant is the best way to determine where your budget should be and if your income is enough to qualify.

Why should I get pre-approved?

Getting pre-approved is a great way to show property sellers and builders that you are serious about buying a property and can give you great negotiating power.

What does it mean to be pre-approved?

You are pre-approved once you complete a full mortgage application with a mortgage loan officer. A pre-approval is based on a thorough, preliminary review of credit and income. While it is not a commitment to lend, it does give you an idea on the maximum loan amount that meet your financial goals. Pre-approvals are subject to change or cancellation if a requested loan no longer meets applicable regulatory requirements, there are changes in your credit report and/or credit score or your current financial status or application information changes or cannot be verified.

What does it mean to be pre-qualified?

You don’t have to complete a full mortgage application to become pre-qualified. A talk with your mortgage loan officer about your income and assets, and possibly a review of your credit report, can help give you an idea of what might be possible for you. However, the potential loan amount would just be an estimate. To get a better idea, it is recommended that you and your mortgage loan office do a thorough document review and get pre-approved.

How large should my down payment be? / Do I really need a 20% down payment? / What if I don’t have a down payment?

The idea that a large down payment is needed is traditional thinking. The truth is that there are many low-to-no payment financing options available for home buyers.

How much house payment can I afford?

The amount you can “afford” is unique to each individual’s preference. When applying for a mortgage, your mortgage consultant will determine the amount of housing payment you can qualify for. Talking to a mortgage consultant is the best way to determine where your budget should be and what total housing payment is comfortable for you.

Why should I refinance? / Would I save money if I refinance?

Refinancing is a great way to lower your payment by obtaining a longer term on your loan or a lower interest rate. You can also refinance to liquidate equity from your home for debt consolidation or home improvement projects.

How do I refinance my home?

You can start the process today by contacting one of our Prosperity Home Mortgage Consultants. Or apply online.

How can I lower my interest rate?

On a new purchase your interest rate is determined by the market. Also, the property type, your fico score, loan program, and amount of down payment can affect your interest rate. You have the ability to buy down your interest rate via discount points. Your Mortgage Consultants can give you a cost break down for these scenarios. You can also lower your interest rate on your current mortgage through a refinance.

I’m starting home shopping, where do I start?

Consulting a realtor and a mortgage professional is the best way to begin. Your mortgage professional can provide you with all of the specifics in obtaining a mortgage, including the down payment, closing costs, and the monthly payment. Your realtor can assist you in finding your desired home and facilitate the purchasing process.

What does my mortgage payment include?

There are 2 components to your mortgage payment. First is your Principal and Interest this is the payment for the loan itself. Next is your taxes and insurance (Escrow Account). This amount is specific to your insurance quote, and property taxes on the home. You have the option to waive your escrow account, but there may be a change to your interest rate to do so.

What paperwork would I need to start to buy a house?

Most mortgage transactions are “Full Doc” loans. This means all income, and assets must be documented. The documentation needed as a rule of thumb are 2 yrs. W-2s, or Tax Returns, 2 Most Recent Paystubs with year to date information, and 2 most recent assets, or bank statements. Depending upon your specific financial situation additional documentation may be required. See the link below for additional information.

How easy is the mortgage process?

The mortgage process can seem a bit invasive. During the mortgage process the lender is completing a detailed analysis of your financial situation. Understanding the process is the best way to insure you have a smooth transaction. Get an overview of the mortgage application process.

Should I talk to a mortgage professional before house hunting? / Who should I talk to first, a realtor or a mortgage loan officer?

Either a mortgage professional or a realtor is a great jumping off point. Many times, if you do not have a relationship with a mortgage professional your realtor can point you in the right direction, and vice versa. It is suggested that you meet with a mortgage professional prior to making any offer on a new home.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are costs that are incurred when purchasing a property. These include, but are not limited to Loan Origination fees, Appraisal Fees, Title Insurance, Surveys, Recording Fees, and Credit Report fees.

How much are closing costs?

Closing costs can vary from Lender to Lender. In addition, some loan programs have specific closing costs also. When discussing programs with your lender it is recommended you get an itemized fee sheet.

What is the difference between fixed and adjustable rate loans?

A fixed rate mortgage means that your rate and monthly principal and interest payment stays the same for the life of the loan. An adjustable rate mortgage has a fixed rate for a predetermined amount of time (3,5,7, and 10 Years), and then it will adjust annually. Find additional information here.

What can I do to improve my credit score?

The first step is to know your credit score. Check your report for any erroneous accounts. Next keep your credit accounts current. Keep your balances low on credit cards and other revolving accounts to increase your unused credit. Avoid opening credit accounts that you do not need to increase your available credit.

What determines a credit score?

The two most important factors that determine your credit score are how you pay your debt, and how much debt you owe.
With my credit situation, when can I buy?

There are many programs available for all credit situations. Even if you have had negative items on your credit such as a foreclosure or bankruptcy you may still be able to purchase a home. The best way to find out is to contact one of our mortgage consultants.