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Home mortgage loans are offered by lenders to qualifying borrowers. A borrower pays back the home loan over an agreed length of time called a “term”.
Unlike a mortgage prequalification, a home loan pre-approval requires some extra paperwork such as W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns. It also involves pulling your credit score and history. With this information, your lender will then be able to determine your loan amount, so you can shop for homes within your price range. A pre-approval only lasts 90 days, so it’s best to wait until you’re ready to start shopping.
Mortgage rates can be confusing. There are two key types generally referenced when you do research: interest rates and annual percentage rates (APR). In short, your interest rate is determined at the end of your application process, but you can get rough ideas of what to expect prior to applying. APR takes additional factors into consideration, like mortgage fees. See local rates in your area or learn more about the differences between interest rates and APR.
There are a number of factors that mortgage lenders consider before offering a loan to a customer, like credit history and credit score, debt to income ratio, down payment amount and more. A great place to start is to get prequalified for a mortgage. You can also speak with a mortgage loan officer near you if you’re looking for more details into how you can better prepare for a new mortgage.