Mortgage Questions to Ask Your Lender

The following are some good questions to discuss with your lender when applying for a home loan:

  • Are both fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available? (see adjustable rate mortgages below)
  • How long can I “lock-in” the financing at the current interest rate and what is the “lock-in” policy?
  • Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked in?
  • What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan?
  • Are funds for a second mortgage available?
  •  Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all loans in the United States are paid off early.
  •  What is the “grace” period?
  •  How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?
  •  What will happen if a payment is missed?
  •  If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?
  •  Do you have to pay “points” to get your new mortgage? Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A “point” is 1% of the loan.
  •  Will the lender require mortgage insurance?
  •  Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold? Ask for a written “good faith deposit”.
  • What will the total closing costs be?

 

On Adjustable Rate Mortgages

  • How often will the interest rate be adjusted?
  • Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?
  • How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?
  • Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?
  • Can the term of the loan be extended?
  • What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?
  • Is there any potential for negative amortization?

What is the annual percentage rate?

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