It’s a frustrating situation when homeowners start to miss making their monthly mortgage payments. Struggling homeowners are often advised to get in touch with their respective mortgage servicers to help them come up with a workable solution to keep up with their payments and hopefully avoid foreclosure. Homeowners should be familiar with the core duties of the companies that collect their monthly payments so that they can ask the right questions about their mortgage and have an idea of what to expect when they do.
Loan forbearance could be a viable option if you are one of the millions of Americans who have been directly, or indirectly, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forbearance could help you stretch your remaining funds if you suddenly lose your job or have your income reduced or while waiting for financial assistance from the federal government.
Self-employed homeowners who were able to take out a mortgage to buy a home may possibly refinance their mortgage. Mortgage refinancing could be beneficial in several ways including getting a much lower interest rate, mortgage insurance elimination, cashing-out on home equity, or changing an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage. Refinancing a mortgage as a self-employed homeowner could be a challenge if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
Whenever mortgage interest rates take a plunge, most homeowners could be asking themselves if they would benefit from refinancing their current mortgage. Like taking out a mortgage to buy a home, there are also significant fees associated when refinancing a mortgage. When refinancing a mortgage, homeowners need to determine their financial goals so that they could figure out if they would benefit from the process. As a rule-of-thumb, refinancing could make sense if it will improve the homeowners’ finances along the way.
It makes sense to refinance your FHA loan with a conventional loan if you want to stop paying for mortgage insurance premium, or MIP. MIP is the annual and monthly fees you pay for when opting to put a low down payment. Homeowners who put a 3.5 percent down payment on their FHA loan expect to pay MIP until they finish repaying the loan.
Many people find it difficult to save for a down payment to buy their first home. That’s why it’s a big help when they receive a lump sum amount of money from a loved one that they can use to fund a down payment. It’s called a gift fund. Homebuyers taking out a conventional loan are required to follow guidelines if they will use a gift fund for their down payment. Lenders may not approve the mortgage if you could not prove the source of the gift fund.
Getting a mortgage pre-approval, or simply “pre-approval,” is an important step in the homebuying process that you may want to consider if you want to fulfill your homeownership dreams. A pre-approval simply means that a lender initially determines that you qualify to take out a mortgage up to a certain amount. Obtaining a pre-approval from a lender could give you an edge especially when there’s a low inventory in the housing market.
If you will take out a mortgage as a first-time homebuyer, lenders want to make sure that you’re able to dutifully repay the whole amount of the loan you’ll take, plus interest, until the end of the term. Because lenders take a considerable risk when lending money, they find it ideal to require borrowers to make an upfront down payment of 20 percent. If you think a 20 percent down payment is overwhelming, lenders may allow you to put a low down payment, but they will require you to pay a Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI. This could be a viable option if you want to fulfill your homeownership dreams.
When you shop for a mortgage, lenders will review all the information that you submit before giving you a Loan Estimate. Getting a “rate lock” or also called a “lock-in” is one of the decisions you’ll make as you compare Loan Estimates from different lenders. As a first-time homebuyer, it is important that you understand what rate lock means and how it works because it could affect the interest rate you’ll get once you decide which lender you will close a loan with.
Many homeowners have been refinancing their mortgage to take advantage of the historically low interest rates. Aside from getting a low-interest rate, it makes sense to refinance your mortgage if you want to adjust the length of your mortgage term, change from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, or if you want to cash out your home equity. However, if this is your first time to do refinancing, you need to be aware of the typical fees associated with it. Refinancing fees could go between 3 to 6 percent of your outstanding principal in addition to any prepayment penalties or other costs for paying off any mortgages you might have.