Frequently Asked Questions

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an estimate of the fair market value of a property, typically supplied by a licensed appraiser trained in property valuation. Most lenders require an appraisal to be supplied during the lending process to determine how much it’s willing to lend.

What is private mortgage insurance?

When your down payment is under 20% of your home’s purchase price, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, each month to help guarantee your loan and protect the lender in case of default. Not all loans require PMI, while others require you to pay a year’s worth of PMI at closing.

When should I refinance?

If you’re refinancing to lock in a lower rate, the rule of thumb is to refinance when the rate is 2% lower than your current rate; however, some experts say even a difference of 1% is worthwhile, depending on the number of years remaining on your loan and the length of time you plan to stay in your home.

What is a FHA loan?

These are loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). In a nutshell, the FHA provides insurance to lenders in case a buyer defaults on a loan. Different types of FHA loans offer different advantages and benefits.

What is a VA loan?

VA loans are made to veterans and active service members. The loans are insured by the Veterans’ Administration, which means lenders will be provided some protection in case the borrower defaults.

What is a credit report?

It’s a report that contains a comprehensive history of your credit, including home and car loans, credit card accounts and other accounts. Your report will include information about the balances of existing loans as well as your monthly payments and your payment history, including any delinquencies in payments. Lenders use your credit report to help determine if you’re a good risk for a mortgage.

Do I have the right to know what’s on my credit report?

Yes. In fact, you can request a free annual report from the three major credit bureaus every 12 months by visiting this site: