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A Beginners Guide to Mortgage Loans

Before your home becomes your home, escrow refers to a legal arrangement in which a third party temporarily holds your money until the sale has closed. Not every mortgage comes with an escrow account, but it is required for borrowers who pay a down payment lower than 20%. You’ll also need to pay for some additional expenses every month, like property taxes and homeowners insurance, which can fluctuate from year to year. Fortunately, many lenders set up what’s called an escrow account to manage these costs on your behalf. One way to pay off your loan faster is with a larger down payment.

Calculate your loan payments

The rest of the process is similar to getting a conventional home loan. Mortgage loans are available through credit unions, banks, and government entities like the VA and USDA. However, lenders vary in their qualifications, as well as their rates and terms. Once you’ve been pre-approved, you’re free to hunt for a house, and the lender won’t step back on the scene until you’ve made an offer on a property and it’s been accepted. Your lender needs to fully vet not only your own information — details regarding your income and assets, for instance — but also your home’s.

How are VA loans different from other mortgages?

Read more about Your Loan Guide here.

Once you have the loan, VA mortgages function much like other loan programs, allowing you to pay off the cost of purchasing a house over time. However, many of the upfront fees, qualifying requirements and application processes are quite different. Once you’re done researching, narrow down a list of around three lenders and submit mortgage applications. Each lender will supply a loan estimate that includes the details of your potential mortgage. After comparing the loan estimates, you’ll choose a lender to work with. This may cause your credit score to drop by a few points because each lender performs a hard inquiry on your credit. You can lessen the effect by submitting all of your applications within a 45-day period.

When buying a home, lenders want to know that you have some extra money in the bank in case something unexpected occurs. This assures the lender that you’ll still be able to make your payments if you run into financial trouble. Your lender will ask to take a look at your assets, which include any type of account that you can draw cash from. If there is an amount listed on this line, it means that the lender is giving you a rebate to offset your closing costs. You may be paying a higher interest rate in exchange for this rebate. A similar loan may be available with a lower interest rate and without lender credits, if you prefer.

How to shop for the best mortgage rate

You probably already know that a mortgage is a type of loan that you use to buy a home. It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about getting a mortgage before you start shopping for a home. She worked for almost two decades as an executive, leading multi-billion dollar mortgage, credit card, and savings portfolios with operations worldwide and a unique focus on the consumer.