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California Mortgage & Home Loan Rates Online

How much of a down-payment will I need?
The minimum down-payment required depends on the mortgage program you select. There are many different types of loans with various down-payment options, including no down-payment and low down-payment programs. Ask your mortgage broker.

How much of a home I afford?
The best time to look for a mortgage is before you start looking for a house. This helps you to determine how much house you can afford.

Why do I need private mortgage insurance?
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is an actual insurance policy that the lender takes out to protect themselves if you default on the loan. This protects the lender and at the same time, enables you to apply a minimal down-payment to purchase a home.

What is a Good Faith Estimate?
The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) discloses estimated costs associated with your mortgage transaction.

What is a VA loan and who can qualify for it?
The Veterans Administration (VA) created a loan program to help military veterans purchase homes. VA loans require no down-payment Veterans, current military personnel and spouses of veterans who died of service-related injuries may apply for VA loans.

Will a mortgage broker be able to find me the best rate over a banking institution?
Mortgage brokers work with many lenders including commercial banks, thrifts, and mortgage bankers. Brokers may also have access to lenders who don't have an office located in your state, but are licensed to lend money. So they may be able to help you obtain a better loan rate.

Should I forget the type of institution and focus instead on who advertises the lowest mortgage loan rate?
You can, but you have to remember that there is no guarantee you will get the mortgage home loan rate advertised. The best way to compare is to ask each lender what the mortgage home loan rate would be if your closed in 90 days or whatever your timetable is. Remember to get everything in writing!

What documents do I have to provide a mortgage loan broker or banking institution?
You will need to provide the following:

  • Proof of income (including a pay stub and the previous two years tax returns)
  • Your bank account numbers, checking, savings, and other investments
  • A list of your long-term debt accounts (credit cards, auto loans, child support, etc.)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Some lenders may want three months of statements for utilities and so forth

Does it make sense to prepay my home loan or should I use the money to invest?
That depends on the cost of the home loan, your appetite for risk and your age. Prepaying shortens the term of the loan, saving you thousands of dollars of interest. "As a general rule, on a 30 year mortgage, you save $3 for every $1 prepaid. On an After-tax basis, you get back $2 for ever $1 you prepay." It's and easy, risk-free investment. Just round your monthly payment up to the nearest $100: if you pay $883.50, write the check for $900. If your mortgage costs 8 percent a year, that's what you'll earn on your prepayment. Compare that return with what you'd earn in other comparably safe investments, like a CD or paying off credit cards (If you pay 18 percent on credit cards don't even think about prepaying a 8 percent mortgage instead.) Note. Notify your lender if your personal or financial status changes between the time you submit and application and the time its funded. If you change jobs, get an increase or decrease in salary, incur additional debt, or change your marital status, you must let the lender know.


Refinance Questions:

What is a home equity line of credit?
A home equity line of credit is a form of revolving credit in which your home is used as collateral. Home equity lines of credit feature a variable interest rate and a draw period.

Why is an appraisal necessary?

Appraisals compare your home to other homes in your area that have recently sold. An appraisal is necessary for the lender to justify the loan amount being requested.

How much can I borrow?
Your available equity is determined by taking a percentage of your home's appraised value, and subtracting the balances of any outstanding mortgages on the property.

Must I occupy the residence I'm using as collateral?
You can use a residence that you do not occupy as collateral if the property's total existing mortgages and your requested home equity line add up to no more than 70% of the home's appraised value.

How can I access my home equity line of credit?
Within a couple of weeks of your loan closing you will receive a package that contains both payment information and checks that will allow you to access your line of credit.

What is a draw period?
The draw period is the time frame during which you are allowed to use the credit available on your home equity line. When you borrow funds from your line of credit it is referred to as a draw.