Myth 1: The Interest Rate Determines the True Cost of the Mortgage
The annual percentage rate (APR) is what is used to determine the true cost of the mortgage. The APR includes the interest rates, points, mortgage insurance, and all other fees. This figure will give you a better idea of the total cost over the life of the loan.
Myth 2: Mortgage Rates Change Only Once Per Day
Mortgage rates change frequently often several times per day based on market activity. Work with your loan officer closely to determine the best strategy for locking in a good rate.
Myth 3: All lenders charge the same fee for appraisals
Lenders do not have to charge the same fees as there are no laws requiring them to do so. Fees for services like appraisals and credit reports will differ from lender to lender.
Myth 4: Credit is looked at equally when applying jointly for a mortgage
When applying jointly for a mortgage the lender pulls both of your credit scores from each of the three credit reporting agencies. The lowest score of the middle set will then be used to determine your mortgage interest rate.
Myth 5: You must put at least a 10% Down Payment in order to get a home loan
Many potential homebuyers fear the down payment because they believe you need to put down 10, 15, or even 20% down in order to qualify for a mortgage. The truth is there are programs that offer financing as low as 0-3.5% down. Talk to your loan officer about low down payment mortgage options.
Myth 6: You must wait 7 years before getting another home loan after a foreclosure
The waiting period after a foreclosure or a short sale all depends on your down payment and the type of loan. Typically after short sales you will need to wait 2-4 years and with foreclosures you will need to wait 3-7 years. Remember this all depends on your individual situation so check with your loan officer for more details.
Myth 7: You cannot refinance if you are underwater
Thanks to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) underwater homeowners who have a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may qualify for a refinance.
Myth 8: You can only refinance once a year
With most loans you are able to refinance as frequently as you’d like as long as you are refinancing to lower your rate and/or term of your mortgage. A good rule of thumb is to wait to refinance until the current interest rate would save you enough money each month to recoup the costs of refinancing in two years.
Myth 9: A pre-qualification and a pre-approval are the same:
A pre-qualification and a pre-approval are not the same. A pre-qualification is when the lender gives you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify based on basic information such as your income. A pre-approval takes this a step further by providing the lender with all the necessary documentation submitted in a loan app as well as having a lender pull your credit to more accurately give you a loan amount which you qualify for.
Myth 10: You cannot get a loan without perfect credit.
While low credit scores can lead to higher interest rates, there are still loan programs out there that borrowers with less than perfect credit can qualify for. Discuss your situation with your loan officer to find a mortgage solution that works for you.