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Football season is here! To help you avoid being the broken chair at the tailgate and folding under pressure, we’ve collected some common questions that you should be prepared to answer when homebuyers are on the hunt for a lender.

What qualifications do I need to apply for a mortgage? 

Borrowers have their hearts set on their future homes and want to avoid a big disappointment from small hiccoughs. For example, borrowers with a history of job changes may find it more difficult to be qualified for a loan. It helps to have a handy list of things you tend to run into that may trip up borrowers when applying for a loan—that way you can warn the borrower about it ahead of time. Alternatively, it’s also handy to have a short list of the most basic things that help a borrower qualify for a home—such as a good credit score or debt-to-income ratio, or a history of consistent housing payments. Don’t forget to let your borrower know that imperfect scores don’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost, however!

What qualifications do I need to apply for a mortgage? 

Borrowers have their hearts set on their future homes and want to avoid a big disappointment from small hiccoughs. For example, borrowers with a history of job changes may find it more difficult to be qualified for a loan. It helps to have a handy list of things you tend to run into that may trip up borrowers when applying for a loan—that way you can warn the borrower about it ahead of time. Alternatively, it’s also handy to have a short list of the most basic things that help a borrower qualify for a home—such as a good credit score or debt-to-income ratio, or a history of consistent housing payments. Don’t forget to let your borrower know that imperfect scores don’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost, however!

How long have you been working as a lender? Have you worked with someone in similar circumstances as mine?

Questions like these may come from borrowers who are looking for assurances. Most borrowers quickly find out how painfully little they know when they first start house hunting, so they need a real estate agent or loan officer that they can put their confidence in. Be ready to confidently answer questions about your qualifications and experience. Providing your past experiences and current endeavors are great ways to add value to borrowers on the fence with having the comfort level to move forward.

What will my interest rate be? What will be my monthly payment?

Money can be very tight, and nobody likes surprise expenses. As a result, many loan officers feel a small twinge of frustration when borrowers start asking specific questions about rates and housing payments on the first phone call. While it is extremely helpful to understand average rates and housing payments to help you give borrowers quick guesstimates, be extremely careful to make it clear that you can’t make any promises, but also give the borrower a clear timeline when it will be clear what the interest rate and monthly payment will be.

Will this hurt my credit?

Many borrowers are familiar with the conventional wisdom to “shop around” but then feel burned when, to their utter surprise, shopping around at various mortgage agencies causes their credit to get pulled enough times to hurt their credit score, potentially disqualifying them from a loan or leaving them with a worse rate. Make it clear in advance what actions you can take with your borrower that will or won’t affect a credit score.

What kind of mortgages are there?

Most anyone who doesn’t work specifically in finance or the mortgage industry is unlikely to know the difference between various types of mortgages—FHA, FNMA, Freddie, USDA, VA—or even know that there are different types of mortgages. Take a few moments to jot down a few key differences between the various types of mortgages  and explain mortgage insurance payment, typical rates, minimum down payment, etc. This will allow you to be ready to give a borrower an elevator pitch on the mortgage types available.

How much do I need for a down payment and closing costs?

It’s a commonly-held belief among borrowers that a down payment needs to be at least 20% of the purchase price. This myth is quite far from the truth—FHA mortgages allow for down payments as low as 3.5%, while other mortgages, such as VA, don’t require any down payment. Make sure that your borrower knows what the trade-offs are for a lower down payment: negative trade-offs include higher monthly payments and mortgage insurance payments, while positive trade-offs include purchasing a home now before prices rise. Additionally, closing costs are another matter entirely—often 3% of the purchase price, it’s important for borrowers to consider this when budgeting for a home.

What assistance options are available to me?

Many borrowers need help, whether that’s making a down payment or paying for closing costs, while other borrowers are interested in financial assistance because it helps them retain what savings they have. In either situation, being knowledgeable of the down payment and closing cost assistance programs available to you will allow you to quickly and confidently help your borrowers—and retain their business. Even better, you will be able to win a firm trust with your borrowers if you are able to provide them quick and convenient help as they ask for it.

One down payment assistance program that consumers may be able to leverage as an option is CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund. Chenoa Fund is a national down payment assistance program that focuses on lower- to middle-income borrowers. Once your company becomes a correspondent with CBC Mortgage Agency, submitting applications for down payment assistance may be easy and answers come quickly—our turn times for applications average less than an hour. Visit chenoafund.org to learn more about how you may lend a hand before you may lend a home.

CBC Mortgage Agency – NMLS 1186381

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For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.

Chenoa Fund is a registered trademark.

Illinois Residential Mortgage License #MB.6761292. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking, 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 – 1-888-473-4858; Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License # 1186381.

Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License # 1186381.

The post Borrower Questions to Always Keep in Your Lender Playbook appeared first on Chenoa Fund - Down Payment Assistance.

Borrower Questions to Always Keep in Your Lender Playbook | CBC Mortgage AgencyBorrower Questions to Always Keep in Your Lender Playbook | CBC Mortgage Agency