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How are interest rates determined?
Should I pay loan discount fee in exchange for a lower interest rate?
Is comparing APR's the best way to decide which lender has the lowest rates and fees?
How do I know if it's best to lock in my interest rate or to let it float?
How much money will I save by choosing a 15-year loan rather than a 30-year loan?
What is your Rate Lock Policy?
Tell me more about closing fees and how they are determined.
What is title insurance and why do I need it?
What is mortgage insurance and when is it required?
What is the maximum percentage of my home's value that I can borrow?
Am I obligated to continue after I submit my loan for approval?
The interest rate you offer is just a little less than what I am paying now. How do I know if it makes sense to refinance?
What happens after I submit my loan for approval?
I forgot my password. What do I do?
Do you provide financing for properties on large tracts of land?
It looks like my loan won't close and disburse before the rate lock expires, what should I do?
I may want to change my loan type before closing, what do I do?
Can I lock in an interest rate and loan discount fee before I find a home?
What happens if I have a second mortgage that I don't want to pay off with my new first mortgage?
Why does it matter if my second mortgage was obtained in the last 12 months?
Why does it matter if I have used my equity line of credit in the last 12 months?
Who can I contact if I have questions?
How quickly can you close my loan?
My rate is floating. How do I lock my rate?
Are there any prepayment penalties for mortgages offered by Republic Bank?
What is an adjustable rate mortgage?
I did not lock my interest rate during the online application. How do I lock my interest rate?
Is there a fee charged or any other obligation if I complete the on-line application?
When can I lock in my interest rate and points?
Will I be charged any fees if I authorize my credit information to be accessed?
What is a Loan Estimate?
What is a Closing Disclosure?
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Interest rates fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including inflation, the pace of economic growth, and Federal Reserve policy. Over time, inflation has the largest influence on the level of interest rates. A modest rate of inflation will almost always lead to low interest rates, while concerns about rising inflation normally cause interest rates to increase. Our nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve, implements policies designed to keep inflation and interest rates relatively low and stable.

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Loan discount fees are considered a form of interest. Each point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. You pay them, up front, at your loan closing in exchange for a lower interest rate over the life of your loan. This means more money will be required at closing, however, you will have lower monthly payments over the term of your loan.

To determine whether it makes sense for you to pay a loan discount fee, you should compare the cost of the loan discount fee to the monthly payment savings created by the lower interest rate. Divide the total cost of the loan discount fee by the savings in each monthly payment. This calculation provides the number of payments you'll make before you actually begin to save money by paying a loan discount fee. If the number of months it will take to recoup the loan discount fee is longer than you plan on having this mortgage, you should consider the loan program option that doesn't require a loan discount fee to be paid.

Use the "Does it make sense to pay points to get a lower interest rate?" calculator in our Resource Center for help with this calculation.

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The Federal Truth in Lending law requires that all financial institutions disclose the APR when they advertise a rate. The APR is designed to present the actual cost of obtaining financing, by requiring that some, but not all, closing fees are included in the APR calculation. These fees in addition to the interest rate determine the estimated cost of financing over the full term of the loan. Since most people do not keep the mortgage for the entire loan term, it may be misleading to spread the effect of some of these up front costs over the entire loan term.

Also, unfortunately, the APR doesn't include all the closing fees and lenders are allowed to interpret which fees they include. Fees for things like appraisals, title work, and document preparation are not included even though you'll probably have to pay them.

For adjustable rate mortgages, the APR can be even more confusing. Since no one knows exactly what market conditions will be in the future, assumptions must be made regarding future rate adjustments.

You can use the APR as a guideline to shop for loans but you should not depend solely on the APR in choosing the loan program that's best for you. Look at total fees, possible rate adjustments in the future if you're comparing adjustable rate mortgages, and consider the length of time that you plan on having the mortgage.

Don't forget that the APR is an effective interest rate--not the actual interest rate. Your monthly payments will be based on the actual interest rate, the amount you borrow, and the term of your loan.

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Mortgage interest rate movements are as hard to predict as the stock market and no one can really know for certain whether they'll go up or down.

 

If you believe that rates are on an upward trend then you'll want to consider locking the rate as soon as you are able. Before you decide to lock, make sure that your loan can close within the lock in period. It won't do any good to lock your rate if you can't close during the rate lock period. If you're purchasing a home, review your contract for the estimated closing date to help you choose the right rate lock period. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, our goal is to have your loan closed before your rate lock expires. However, if you have any secondary financing on the home that won't be paid off, allow some extra time since we'll need to contact that lender to get their permission.

 

If you think rates might drop while your loan is being processed, take a risk and let your rate "float" instead of locking.

 

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A 15-year fixed rate mortgage gives you the ability to own your home free and clear in 15 years. While the monthly payments are somewhat higher than a 30-year loan, the interest rate on the 15-year mortgage is usually a little lower, and more important - you'll pay less than half the total interest cost of the traditional 30-year mortgage.

 

Who Should Consider a 15-Year Mortgage?

 

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage is most popular among homebuyers with sufficient income to meet the higher monthly payments to pay off the house. Homebuyers choosing a 15-year fixed rate mortgage have considered the impact of a higher monthly payment in order to obtain a specific goal such as not having a mortgage payment when their children/grandchildren start college or when retiring from the workplace.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a 15-Year Mortgage

 

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage offers two big advantages for most borrowers

  • You own your home in half the time it would take with a traditional 30-year mortgage.
  • You save more than half the amount of interest of a 30-year mortgage. Lenders usually offer this mortgage at a slightly lower interest rate than with 30-year loans - typically up to .5% lower. The lower interest rate added to the shorter loan life creates real savings for 15-year fixed rate borrowers.

 

The possible disadvantages associated with a 15-year fixed rate mortgage are:

  • The monthly payments for this type of loan are roughly 10 percent to 15 percent higher per month than the payment for a 30-year.
  • Because you'll pay less total interest on the 15-year fixed rate mortgage, you won't have the maximum mortgage interest tax deduction possible.

 

Compare Them Yourself

 

Use the "How much can I save with a 15 year mortgage?" calculator in our Resource Center to help decide which loan term is best for you.

 

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General Statement

The interest rate market is subject to movements without advance notice. Locking in a rate protects you from the time that your lock is confirmed to the day that your lock period expires. During the application process, you will be given the option of submitting the application with the interest rate in either "Locked" or "Floating" status. 

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are locking your interest rate, time is of the essence as your rate lock will start once you submit your online application.  Your Mortgage Specialist will contact you to confirm the items needed to process your loan application.  Please forward the requested documents to your Mortgage Specialist as soon as possible.



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A home loan often involves many fees, such as the appraisal fee, title charges, closing fees, and state or local taxes. These fees vary from state to state and also from lender to lender. Any lender or broker should be able to give you an estimate of their fees, but it is more difficult to tell which lenders have done their homework and are providing a complete and accurate estimate. We take quotes very seriously. We've completed the research necessary to make sure that our fee quotes are accurate to the city level - and that is no easy task!

To assist you in evaluating our fees, we've grouped them as follows:

 

Third Party Fees

Fees that we consider third party fees include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, the survey fee, tax service fees, title insurance fees, flood certification fees, and courier/mailing fees.

Third party fees are fees that we'll collect and pass on to the person who actually performed the service. For example, an appraiser is paid the appraisal fee, a credit bureau is paid the credit report fee.

Typically, you'll see some minor variances in third party fees from lender to lender since a lender may have negotiated a special charge from a provider they use often or chooses a provider that offers nationwide coverage at a flat rate.

 

Taxes and other unavoidables

Fees that we consider to be taxes and other unavoidables include: State/Local Taxes and recording fees. These fees will most likely have to be paid regardless of the lender you choose. If some lenders don't quote you fees that include taxes and other unavoidable fees, don't assume that you won't have to pay it. It probably means that the lender who doesn't tell you about the fee hasn't done the research necessary to provide accurate closing costs.

 

Lender Fees

Fees such as loan origination fee and loan processing fees are retained by the lender and are used to provide you with the lowest rates possible.

This is the category of fees that you should compare very closely from lender to lender before making a decision.

 

Required Advances

You may be asked to prepay some items at closing that will actually be due in the future. These fees are sometimes referred to as prepaid items or required advances.

One of the more common required advances is called "per diem interest" or "interest due at closing." All of our mortgages have payment due dates of the 1st of the month. If your loan is closed on any day other than the first of the month, you'll pay interest, from the date of closing through the end of the month, at closing. For example, if the loan is closed on June 15, we'll collect interest from June 15 through June 30 at closing. This also means that you won't make your first mortgage payment until August 1. This type of charge should not vary from lender to lender, and does not need to be considered when comparing lenders. All lenders will charge you interest beginning on the day the loan funds are disbursed. It is simply a matter of when it will be collected.

If an escrow or impound account will be established, you will make an initial deposit into the escrow account at closing so that sufficient funds are available to pay the bills when they become due.

If your loan requires mortgage insurance, up to two months of the mortgage insurance will be collected at closing. Whether or not you must purchase mortgage insurance depends on the size of the down payment you make.

If your loan is a purchase, you'll also need to pay for your first year's homeowner's insurance premium prior to closing. We consider this to be a required advance.

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If you've ever purchased a home before, you may already be familiar with the benefits and terms of title insurance. But if this is your first home loan or you are refinancing, you may be wondering why you need another insurance policy.

The answer is simple: The purchase of a home is most likely one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. You, and especially your mortgage lender, want to make sure the property is indeed yours: That no individual or government entity has any right, lien, claim, or encumbrance on your property.

The function of a title insurance company is to make sure your rights and interests to the property are clear, that transfer of title takes place efficiently and correctly, and that your interests as a homebuyer are fully protected.

Title insurance companies provide services to buyers, sellers, real estate developers, builders, mortgage lenders, and others who have an interest in real estate transfer. Title companies typically issue two types of title policies:

1) Owner's Policy. This policy covers you, the homebuyer.

2) Lender's Policy. This policy covers the lending institution over the life of the loan.

Both types of policies are issued at the time of closing for a one-time premium, if the loan is a purchase. If you are refinancing your home, you probably already have an owner's policy that was issued when you purchased the property, so we'll only require that a lender's policy be issued.

Before issuing a policy, the title company performs an in-depth search of the public records to determine if anyone other than you has an interest in the property. The search may be performed by title company personnel using either public records or, more likely, the information contained in the company's own title plant.

After a thorough examination of the records, any title problems are usually found and can be cleared up prior to your purchase of the property. Once a title policy is issued, if any claim covered under your policy is ever filed against your property, the title company will pay the legal fees involved in the defense of your rights. They are also responsible to cover losses arising from a valid claim. This protection remains in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property.

The fact that title companies try to eliminate risks before they develop makes title insurance significantly different from other types of insurance. Most forms of insurance assume risks by providing financial protection through a pooling of risks for losses arising from an unforeseen future event, say a fire, accident or theft. On the other hand, the purpose of title insurance is to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in title that may have happened in the past.

This risk elimination has benefits to both the homebuyer and the title company. It minimizes the chances that adverse claims might be raised, thereby reducing the number of claims that have to be defended or satisfied.

Buying a home is a big step emotionally and financially. With title insurance you are assured that any valid claim against your property will be borne by the title company.

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First of all, let's make sure that we mean the same thing when we discuss "mortgage insurance." Mortgage insurance should not be confused with mortgage life insurance, which is designed to pay off a mortgage in the event of a borrower's death. Mortgage insurance makes it possible for you to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment by protecting the lender against the additional risk associated with low down payment lending. Low down payment mortgages are becoming more and more popular, and by purchasing mortgage insurance, lenders are comfortable with down payments as low as 3 - 5% of the home's value.

The mortgage insurance premium is based on loan to value ratio, type of loan, and amount of coverage required by the lender. Usually, the premium is included in your monthly payment and one to two months of the premium is collected as a required advance at closing.

It may be possible to cancel private mortgage insurance at some point, such as when your loan balance is reduced to a certain amount - below 75% to 80% of the property value. Recent Federal Legislation requires automatic termination of mortgage insurance for many borrowers when their loan balance has been amortized down to 78% of the original property value. If you have any questions about when your mortgage insurance could be cancelled, please contact your Loan Coordinator.

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The maximum percentage of your home's value depends on the purpose of your loan, how you use the property, and the loan type you choose.  If you need assistance determining your loan amount, please contact one of our Loan Coordinators either by phone at toll free 1-866-758-3970 or by email at internetlending@republicbank.com

 

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There's absolutely no obligation to complete your application - even after you submit your loan for approval.

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The simple rule of thumb for determining if it makes sense to refinance is to analyze the amount that it will cost you to refinance compared to the monthly savings you'll have by reducing your payment. By dividing the cost of refinancing by the monthly savings you can determine how many monthly payments you'll have to make before you've recaptured the initial refinance cost. If you plan on staying in your home longer than the recapture time it may make sense for you to refinance.

 

To fully analyze whether it's the time to refinance you'll have to look deeper. The remaining term of your current loan must also be considered, as well as your tax bracket. Use the "Use the "Can I save money by refinancing now?" calculator in our Resource Center to help you determine if it's the right time to refinance.

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After you submit your loan for approval, our system goes to work instantly reviewing your application to determine if it meets our guidelines for on-line approval.

 

If your application isn't approved on-line, it doesn't mean that we can't provide your financing. Some situations are too complicated for an automated decision and require a little human intervention. We'll review your information off-line. A Loan Coordinator will contact you to discuss your situation. If we can approve your loan, the Loan Coordinator will give you the opportunity to lock in your interest rate and points right away.

 

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If you can't remember your password, give us a call at toll-free 1-866-758-3970 and we'll establish a new one.

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In some cases we are able to offer financing for homes on large tracts. What's most important is to determine if the size of your property is common for the area. The appraiser must be able to provide detailed information about the recent sale of similar homes on similar lots that have occurred recently. If that's not possible, we may not be able to provide the financing that you are requesting.

 

It's also important that your property be residential in nature. If the property is a working farm or is used for any commercial purposes, we may have issues. Contact a Loan Coordinator if you have concerns about the acceptability of your property.

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Your current rate can be extended one time for either 7 days or 15 days.  An extension fee would apply.  The fee is calculated based on the loan amount.  For example:  Loan Amount is $100,000.  A 7 day extension would cost $250.00. 

  • 7 day extension fee is .25%
  • 15 day extension fee is .50%

If you need longer than 15 days to close your loan, you can re-lock for another 45 days.  There is no fee to re-lock your rate, however, the new rate will be based on either the original rate or our pricing at the time you re-lock whichever is higher. Contact your Loan Coordinator for more information.

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If you have decided to change loan programs, contact your Loan Coordinator to discuss your options.

Generally, changing loan programs is not an issue at all, but if you've already locked-in an interest rate, the pricing for the new loan type may not be the same as your current pricing. Also, you will be required to meet the underwriting guidelines for the new loan type.   

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Unfortunately, we'll need to gather some information about your new home before we can offer a rate lock, so you'll need to have an accepted contract to purchase your new home. 

If you have been "Pre-Qualified" for a new home purchase, simply contact your Loan Coordinator either by phone at 1-866-758-3970 or by email at internetlending@republicbank.com to update your application with the property address and to request to lock in your interest rate.

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If you have a second mortgage that you don't want to pay off with your new first mortgage we'll have a little extra work to do. We'll need to get the permission of your second mortgage lender to pay off your existing mortgage and replace it with your new mortgage. Generally, their major concern will be the relationship of your new loan amount to the value of the home.

 

Your second mortgage lender will probably ask us to provide some documentation such as a copy of the mortgage note you'll be signing and the appraisal before they provide their approval. We won't be able to schedule your loan closing until we receive their approval. If your rate is locked, waiting for the 2nd mortgage approval may impact your lock expiration date.

 

Keeping a second mortgage in place may cause a "Secondary Financing" fee to apply.  The Secondary Financing fee is based on the loan to value of the new first mortgage and the combined loan to value of the new first mortgage and the existing second mortgage.

 

Contact your Loan Coordinator with questions regarding the rate lock expiration date and if the Secondary Financing fee will apply.

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For refinance transactions, underwriting guidelines require that we consider if you are refinancing the balance on existing mortgages only or receiving cash back at closing.  The maximum percentage of your home's value that you can borrow can vary based on the type of refinance you are requesting.

Typically, if you are paying off a mortgage that is less than 12 months old, it is considered to be the same as receiving cash back at closing.

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For refinance transactions, underwriting guidelines require that we consider if you are refinancing the balance on existing mortgages only or receiving cash back at closing. The maximum percentage of your home's value that you can borrow can vary based on the type of refinance you are requesting.

 If you are paying off your equity line, it is considered to be the same as receiving cash back at closing.

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If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Loan Coordinator either by phone at 1-866-758-3970 or by email at internetlending@republicbank.com

Our Loan Coordinators have one responsibility - making sure that your new mortgage experience is amazingly easy! If your Loan Coordinator is not available when you need a question answered, any of our Loan Coordinators can provide any assistance you need.

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Our goal is to have your loan ready for closing as soon as possible! Generally the items that take the longest to receive are things such as the appraisal and the title work. We'll want to get those ordered as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

 

If you are purchasing a new home, we'll do our best to meet the date you and the seller have agreed upon. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, our goal is to have your loan closed before your rate lock expires. If you are refinancing and have a second mortgage that you don't want to pay off with your new loan, closing could take a little longer since we'll need the permission of your second mortgage holder before we can close.

 

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You can request to lock the current day interest rate by contacting your Loan Coordinator using one of the following methods:

  • by phone at toll free 1-866-758-3970 during business hours.  Business hours are 8:00 am – 5:00
    pm (EST).
  • by sending an email to internetlending@republicbank.com.  In order to lock the current day interest rate, email lock requests are accepted Monday through Friday 9:30 am – 12:00 midnight (EST).

     

                                                                                

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Some of the loan programs we offer have a prepayment penalty or an early termination fee. See product descriptions for details.  Should you have any questions or need more details, please contact your Loan Coordinator either by phone at 1-866-758-3970 or by email at internetlending@republicbank.com.

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An adjustable rate mortgage, or an "ARM" as they are commonly called, is a loan type that offers a lower initial interest rate than most fixed rate loans. The trade-off is that the interest rate can change periodically, usually in relation to an index, and the monthly payment will go up or down accordingly.

 

Against the advantage of the lower payment at the beginning of the loan, you should weigh the risk that an increase in interest rates would lead to higher monthly payments in the future. It's a trade-off. You get a lower rate with an ARM in exchange for assuming more risk.

 

For many people in a variety of situations, an ARM is the right mortgage choice, particularly if your income is likely to increase in the future or if you only plan on being in the home for three to five years.

 

Here's some detailed information explaining how ARM's work.

 

Adjustment Period

With most ARMs, the interest rate and monthly payment are fixed for an initial time period such as one year, three years, five years, or ten years. After the initial fixed period, the interest rate can change every year. For example, one of our most popular adjustable rate mortgages is a five-year ARM. The interest rate will not change for the first five years (the initial adjustment period) but can change every year after the first five years.

 

Index

Our ARM interest rate changes are tied to changes in an index rate. Using an index to determine future rate adjustments provides you with assurance that rate adjustments will be based on actual market conditions at the time of the adjustment. The current value of most indices is published weekly in the Wall Street Journal. If the index rate moves up so does your mortgage interest rate, and you will probably have to make a higher monthly payment. On the other hand, if the index rate goes down your monthly payment may decrease.

 

Margin

To determine the interest rate on an ARM, we'll add a pre-disclosed amount to the index called the "margin." If you're still shopping, comparing one lender's margin to another's can be more important than comparing the initial interest rate, since it will be used to calculate the interest rate you will pay in the future.

 

Interest Rate Caps

An interest rate cap places a limit on the amount your interest rate can increase or decrease. There are two types of caps:

1. Periodic or adjustment caps, which limit the interest rate increase or decrease from one adjustment period to the next.

2. Overall or lifetime caps, which limit the interest rate increase over the life of the loan.

As you can imagine, interest rate caps are very important since no one knows what can happen in the future. All of the ARM's we offer have both adjustment and lifetime caps. Please see each product description for full details.

 

Negative Amortization

"Negative Amortization" occurs when your monthly payment changes to an amount less than the amount required to pay interest due. If a loan has negative amortization, you might end up owing more than you originally borrowed. None of the ARMs we offer allow for negative amortization.

 

Prepayment Penalties

Our Adjustable Rate Mortgages do not have either a "Prepayment Penalty" or an "Early Termination Fee".

 

 

Contact a Loan Coordinator

Selecting a mortgage may be the most important financial decision you will make and you are entitled to all the information you need to make the right decision.  If you have questions about the features of our adjustable rate mortgages, please contact your Loan Coordinator either by phone at 1-866-758-3970 or by email at internetlending@republicbank.com.

 

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You can request to lock the current day interest rate by contacting your Loan Coordinator using one of the following methods:

  • by phone at toll free 1-866-758-3970 during business hours.  Business hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST).
  • by sending an email to internetlending@republicbank.com.  In order to lock the current day interest rate, email lock requests are accepted Monday through Friday 9:30 am – 12:00 midnight (EST).

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There is no fee charged to you for us to access your credit information or to submit your application.

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Upon submitting the application, you may be directed to a page which allows you to “lock” or “float” your interest rate on-line.  If you are not directed to this page, we may need some additional information before we can “lock” your interest rate.

Your assigned Loan Coordinator will contact you to discuss your application, lock your interest rate and answer any questions you may have.

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There is no fee charged to you for us to access your credit information or to submit your application!

Upon submitting the application, you may be directed to a page which allows you to “lock” or “float” your interest rate.  If you are not directed to this page, we may need some additional information before we can “lock” your interest rate.

Your assigned Loan Coordinator will contact you to discuss your application, lock your interest rate and answer any questions you may have.

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A Loan Estimate is a three-page form that you receive after applying for a mortgage. The Loan Estimate tells you important details about the loan you have requested.

The form provides you with important information, including the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs for the loan. The Loan Estimate also gives you information about the estimated costs of taxes and insurance, and how the interest rate and payments may change in the future. In addition, the form indicates if the loan has special features that you will want to be aware of, like penalties for paying off the loan early (a prepayment penalty) or increases to the mortgage loan balance even if payments are made on time (negative amortization). If your loan has a negative amortization feature, it appears in the description of the loan product.


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A Closing Disclosure is a five-page form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected. It includes the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage (closing costs).

The lender is required to give you the Closing Disclosure at least three business days before you close on the mortgage loan. This three-day window allows you time to compare your final terms and costs to those estimated in the Loan Estimate that you previously received from the lender. The three days also gives you time to ask your lender any questions before you go to the closing table.

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