Mortgage lenders, usually banks, may be local, regional, or national while most mortgage brokers tend to be more local, serving a particular community and surrounding towns. Lenders usually have wholesale and retail departments. The lender on the retail side of the bank will lend directly to the borrower. The wholesale side of the bank will usually offer the same programs to the mortgage broker, but usually at a lower cost of fees and lower rates as an incentive to do business with them.

In addition to the usual criteria for qualifying for a loan, such as income and monthly expenses, lenders will determine how much you can borrow based on your credit and employment histories. Generally, a lender will look at your monthly housing expenses (mortgage payment, taxes, insurance) and all other monthly payments (car loans, personal loans, credit card payments, etc.) to determine the debt ratio. The debt ratio is the total debt divided by the gross monthly income. Lenders usually look for a debt ratio which does not exceed 41%. However, a good credit score, a sizable down payment, or a combination of both, can often make a lender a bit more flexible with with the ratios.

There are many mortgage programs available now with little or no money down.

Most sellers want to know that you are pre-approved before entertaining an offer to purchase. Home Advantage Mortgage offers free pre-approval over the phone and will work with your real estate broker to ensure that your offer is presented in a timely manner.

Home Advantae Mortgage charges an application fee to cover the cost of processing your mortgage to the lender.

What you need depends on the type of mortgage you apply for. The normal requirements include the W2 forms from the last 2 years, current pay stubs, and the most recent bank statements for all liquid assets. At some point in the process, you will need to provide us with a Purchase and Sale Agreement.

If you have an agreement for a property, you can lock an interest rate at any time during the mortgage process.

It usually takes 30 days to close on a mortgage. However, we will work with you to close your mortgage sooner if needed.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is insurance that protects the lender in the event of foreclosure. PMI is usually required if you do not put 20% down on the purchase of your home. However, there are other options available inlieu of PMI. Be sure to ask your loan officer about alternatives to PMI.

We have programs designed specifically for borrowers with credit problems. See the problem credit page for the information.

FICO scores are based on a mathematical model and are calculated by the credit reporting agencies. Your score is calculated based on the amount of current credit outstanding, past credit history, availability of outstanding credit, and the timeliness of your payments. Examine the 31 FICO rules for more details.

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