Know Your Options

There are a wide variety of mortgage loan products out there today. Talk with your lender to determine the right fit for you.

Conventional

Conventional mortgages can be the perfect match for those with a good credit history looking for a variety of down payment options and loan amounts. These mortgages follow the lending guidelines set forth by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A conventional mortgage can come with super low closing costs and flexible payment options.

Highlights:

  • Down payments as low as 3%
  • No mortgage insurance options
  • Low monthly mortgage insurance, if required
  • Multiple mortgage insurance payment structures available, if required

FHA

FHA loans offer many benefits for those seeking a low down payment with less than perfect credit.With less restrictive qualification guidelines, these loans are designed to benefit many first-time homebuyers. In fact, some borrowers may qualify for down payment assistance.

Highlights

  • 3.5% down payments
  • Gift funds allowed for down payment
  • Higher debt-to-income ratios allowed
  • Non-occupant borrowers allowed
  • Thin or alternate credit allowed

VA

VA loan programs offer no down payment and favorable terms and include options to buy, build, repair and refinance your primary residence to our country’s military personnel. Veterans and spouses may also qualify.

Hightlights

  • 100% financing options available
  • No monthly mortgage insurance
  • Thin or alternate credit allowed

USDA Rural

USDA Loans are an excellent option if you’re considering purchasing a home in a rural area. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase a home. There are no down payment requirements, and qualifying is typically easier than for conventional mortgages. However, the property must be located in an eligible area in order to qualify. Income caps also apply.

Highlights

  • 100% financing options available
  • Thin or alternate credit allowed
  • Low monthly mortgage insurance
  • No maximum sales price

Construction / Renovation

Sometimes the home of your dreams just isn’t available.With a renovation or new construction loan, you can afford to turn a fixer-upper into your dream home or build it entirely from scratch.

Credit Scores

A credit score is a number that helps lenders and others predict how likely you are to make your credit payments on time. Each score is based on the information in your credit report.

Credit scores affect whether you can get credit and what you pay for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other kinds of credit. For most kinds of credit scores, higher scores mean you are more likely to be approved and pay a lower interest rate on new credit.

What is a good score? 

In the eyes of most lenders, FICO credit scores above 750 are considered excellent, scores around 700 good, scores around 650 fair and scores under 600 poor. Specifically, FICO scores below 600 indicate high risk to lenders and could lean lenders to charge you much higher rates or turn down your credit application.

Boosting Your Success

Your credit scores change when new information is reported by your creditors. So your scores will improve over time when you manage your credit responsibly.

Here are some general ways to improve your scores:

  • Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can really hurt your score.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards. High debt levels can hurt your score.
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it between credit cards. The most effective way to improve your score in this area is to pay down your revolving credit.
  • Apply for and open new accounts only when you need them. 
  • Check your credit report regularly for accuracy and contact the creditor and credit reporting agency to correct any errors.
  • If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score.

More Helpful Information

10 Commandments of Buying a Home.

These may seem a little tongue and cheek, but are important to remember.

  1. Thou shalt not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
  2. Thou shalt not buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it!).
  3. Thou shalt not use credit cards excessively or let current accounts fall behind.
  4. Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.
  5. Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
  6. Thou shalt not buy furniture on credit.
  7. Thou shalt not originate any inquiries into your credit.
  8. Thou shalt not make large deposits without checking with your loan officer.
  9. Thou shalt not change bank accounts.
  10. Thou shalt not co-sign a loan for anyone.