Common Borrower Mistake: Why you shouldn't trust online mortgage interest rate ads or attention grabbing rate news headlines.
Interest rates are the subject for confusion, excitement, disappointment and panic. They truly touch on nearly every emotion. Online ads, sponsored-content articles and news headlines contribute to the confusion among borrowers. These publications and platforms don't make it clear that borrowers can't simply get the lowest possible rate. There are factors that impact their qualifying rate, and therefore borrowers should ignore the hype and learn from this article. We'll discuss what impacts a qualifying interest rate and how to be prepared for the application process.
by Christian Scully
As we witnessed in 2020, news headlines and online advertising are enough to stir up excitement and send borrowers shopping and applying for refinances. 2020 even saw some interest rates under 2%! What those news headlines often forget to mention is the $10,000+ in discount points you'd be paying to get a rate under 2%.
Sometimes borrowers will start a conversation with me by inquiring about the current interest rates. This is not a black and white question. Those advertised rates are generally the best rate you could possible qualify for under perfect conditions. However, in the process of applying for a mortgage, other details about the transaction are filled in. Those details can trigger a "loan level price adjustment" or LLPA.
LLPA's can add or subtract a small amount to the interest rate for various reasons. The most recent newsworthy example of this would be the half-point (0.5%) fee that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac added to all refinances after 9/1/20, named the "Adverse Market Refinance Fee". In most cases, this would cause the interest rate to increase simply for the fact that the loan purpose is a refinance.
Other details that will affect a borrower's qualifying interest rate include their credit score. For example, if the borrower has a 580 credit score, their interest rate will increase more than if the borrower as a 660 credit score. If the borrower is applying for a mortgage on a primary residence, the interest rate will be lower than if it is a second home. Interest rates for investment properties are significantly higher. Interest rates for multifamily properties will be higher than for single family properties. Rates for 5% down payment will be higher than 20% down payment.
This article will provide you with a list of eleven common mistakes that borrowers often make when preparing to applying for a mortgage or when in the middle of the application process. We will discuss the potentially negative affects that can be caused by each mistake.
by Christian Scully
Applying for a home loan can sometimes feel like a challenge, but the best thing you can do as a borrower is to be informed, prepared and to not make things harder for yourself. If you have already been prequalified for a mortgage, you are going to want to keep your current financial situation unchanged. Consider that you are building an image of yourself for your lender, you don't want to change that image before the lender can make the ultimate decision. If you are working towards getting prequalified for a mortgage, you want to avoid anything that will be detrimental to your credit history. If you are already under contract or in the middle of a refinance application, there are a few easy mistakes to avoid. No matter what point you are at in the mortgage process, make note of the following eleven things you should not do.
1. Don't open any new lines of credit or take out any loans.
Opening new credit accounts could have two potentially negative effects. First, if you open a new credit account you could be adding debt to your credit report. Additional debt could change the loan amount you qualify for. Second, opening new credit accounts will lower the average age of your credit accounts which could lower your credit score.
2. Don't apply for credit with many different lenders.
If you have applied for a credit card and been denied, don't keep applying for more cards thinking eventually one will approve you. Every time you apply for credit there is a hard inquiry on your credit report, potentially lowering your score. Applying to a few different mortgage lenders in an attempt to shop around for the best rate and terms is okay. Typically if you have a few inquiries from mortgage lenders in the same month it will be clear that you are shopping around and your score likely won't be impacted too much. However if you have 8 inquiries for credit card, 4 inquiries for auto loans and a few mortgage inquiries, it does not paint a very good picture of your financial situation, especially if those inquiries don't lead to actually opening a credit account. It shows lenders that you likely are not qualified for credit.
+ Better Note: Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years. If you are applying for a mortgage, your lender will likely ask for explanations if you have several recent hard inquiries on your credit report. They want to know that you don't have new debt obligations that have not yet been reported.
In this article we will break down the basic steps in the mortgage application process. Borrowers will deal with several people and so many documents. Read through these steps to have a good understanding of what to expect, and tips on how you can make the process efficient and what to do when you encounter any problems.
by Christian Scully
At this point you should have already been working with a loan officer, gone through the prequalification process, and been issued a prequalification letter that tells you, your realtor and any seller to whom you submit an offer how much you are qualified to borrow and what type of loan you will be applying for.
If you have not been through the prequalification process, then take a few minutes to start with the previous article on this topic here.
If you have been prequalified, congratulations! If you are still working towards prequalification, stay the path and keep working hard. The next step in the mortgage process is applying for the mortgage. If you are working with a good lender and they did a thorough prequalification, then you should already be in a good position to get through the application process almost effortlessly.
Let’s break down the mortgage application process so you know exactly what to expect and you can be prepared.
This article breaks down what first-time homebuyers can expect when starting the mortgage application process. The first step is getting pre-approved, and we will discuss the steps to pre-approval and how first-time homebuyers can be prepared, knowledgable and less stressed during this process.
by Christian Scully
There are two types of first-time homebuyers that I meet a lot in my work as a mortgage loan originator:
Some buyers reach out seeking a mortgage for the first time, excited and motivated to start shopping for their first home and have an expectation that they can simple fill out a quick application and be handed a couple hundred thousand dollars to go pick out the home of their dreams.
Others reach out absolutely terrified at the idea of applying for a mortgage, either based on bad experiences their friends have had, or general anxiety when it comes to finances or credit.
These two polar opposite attitudes when it comes to applying for a mortgage are both extremes. The problem with expecting the process to be super fast and easy is that they tend to be surprised at the need for some of the necessary steps in the mortgage process. This can cause frustration and even anger at times. And the issue with being frightened of the process and expecting a nightmare is that it causes unnecessary stress on the buyer and already begins the experience with negative attitude.
Let's take a very simple, quick overview of how to start the mortgage application process and hopefully help set your reasonable expectations and provide a clear path to your goal of purchasing a home. The first phase of the mortgage application process involves getting pre-approved for a home loan. This should be every first-time homebuyer's first step in the home buying process as well. Before you can start seriously shopping homes, you need to know if you are in a financial position to actually be approved for a mortgage, and know exactly the maximum price of a home you can afford, and what type of loans might be the best option for your needs and goals.
Real Estate +
Thoughts, ideas, lessons-learned, inspiration, how-tos and more from a journey to own and invest in real estate, and helping borrowers navigate the mortgage process as a licensed loan originator.