Insights, Mortgages & Renting

How to Get a Mortgage: Everything You Need to Know

flik eco finance personal how to get a mortgage

Are you thinking of buying a home? If so, you will need to get a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan that you take out to purchase a home. It is important to understand how mortgages work before you apply for one. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about mortgages. We will cover topics such as how to qualify for a mortgage, how to find the best deal, and how to avoid common mistakes.

What Are The Different Types of Home Mortgages?

There are many types of home mortgages available to you, and it can be hard to know which one is right for your needs. Here's a quick rundown of the most common types of home mortgages:

Fixed Rate Mortgages

With this type of mortgage, your interest rate will stay the same for the entire term of the loan. This makes budgeting easier, as you'll always know how much your monthly payments will be.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)

With an ARM, your interest rate will start off lower than with a fixed rate mortgage. However, after a certain period of time (usually five or seven years), your interest rate will adjust according to prevailing market rates. This means that your monthly payments could go up or down, making budgeting a bit more difficult.

Balloon Mortgages

With a balloon mortgage, you'll make smaller monthly payments for a certain period of time (usually five to seven years). At the end of that period, you'll need to pay off the remaining balance of the loan in one lump sum. This can be risky, as you may not have the money available at that time.

Government-Backed Mortgages

There are several types of government-backed mortgages, including FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. These programs often have more relaxed credit and income requirements than conventional mortgages, making them a good option for first-time homebuyers or those with less-than-perfect credit.

What is The Difference Between An Interest-Only and a Repayment Mortgage?

The main difference between an interest-only mortgage and a repayment mortgage is how you pay off the loan. With an interest-only mortgage, you only have to pay the interest on the loan each month. This means that your monthly payments will be lower than with a repayment mortgage. However, you will still owe the full amount of the loan at the end of the term.

With a repayment mortgage, you make both interest and principal payments each month. This means that your monthly payments will be higher, but you will owe nothing at the end of the term.

Which One Should You Choose?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. If you are able to afford higher monthly payments, then a repayment mortgage may be the better choice. This is because you will eventually pay off the entire loan, which can save you money in the long run.

If you are not able to afford higher monthly payments, then an interest-only mortgage may be the better choice. This is because your monthly payments will be lower, which can help you to free up some cash each month.

No matter which type of mortgage you choose, make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line. And always remember to shop around for the best deal!

What Are The Eligibility Requirements for a Mortgage?

The most important factor when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage is your income. Lenders want to see that you have a steady stream of income that will allow you to make your monthly payments.

They'll also look at your employment history and how long you've been with your current employer.

Other factors that will be considered include your credit score, the amount of debt you're carrying, and your down payment. A higher credit score will give you a better chance of being approved for a mortgage.

If you have a lot of debt, lenders may view you as a higher risk and be less likely to approve your loan. And if you can't come up with a significant down payment, they may not offer you the best terms.

If you're self-employed, you may have a harder time getting approved for a mortgage. That's because lenders like to see a steady income from an employer. They may require additional documentation, such as tax returns, to prove your income.

How Do You Get a Mortgage?

The first step in getting a mortgage is to find a lender. You can shop around at banks, credit unions, and online lenders to compare interest rates and terms. Once you've found a lender you're comfortable with, you'll need to apply for pre-approval.

To get pre-approved, the lender will need to see proof of your income, employment, debts, and assets. They'll also do a credit check. Once you're pre-approved, you'll know how much house you can afford and what kind of interest rate you'll be able to get.

The next step is finding a real estate agent. A good agent will help you find homes that fit your budget and needs. They'll also be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you through the closing process.

Once you've found a home you want to buy, it's time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will help you with this. If the seller accepts your offer, you'll enter into a contract and begin the process of getting a mortgage.

The mortgage process can seem daunting, but if you take it one step at a time it's manageable. With a little research and help from professionals, you can get the home of your dreams.

Can You Apply For a Mortgage Online?

Yes, you can apply for a mortgage online, but it's not as simple as filling out an online form. Applying for a mortgage online typically involves providing your personal information, income information, employment history, and assets.

You'll also need to provide your credit score and any other relevant financial information. Once you've provided all of this information, a lender will be able to give you a decision on whether or not you're approved for a mortgage.

Applying for a mortgage online has its benefits- it's fast and convenient. However, it's important to make sure that you're applying with a reputable lender before submitting any sensitive information.

It's also worth noting that some lenders may require additional documentation if you're applying for a mortgage online.

So, if you're not sure whether or not you have all the required information, it's always best to reach out to a lender directly before applying.

What Additional Fees Come With a Mortgage?

Besides the interest you’ll pay on your loan, you may also have to pay:

  • An origination fee. This is a charge by the lender for processing the loan, typically a percentage of the total loan amount.
  • Discount points. These are fees paid upfront in exchange for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. One point equals one percent of the loan amount.
  • A private mortgage insurance (PMI) premium, if you put down less than 20%.
  • Homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, which will be collected by your lender and held in an escrow account until they’re due.
  • Prepaid interest. This is interest that accrues from the date of your closing until the end of that month.
  • A loan assumption fee, if you assume someone else’s mortgage.
  • A loan modification fee, if you modify your mortgage after closing.
  • Other miscellaneous fees, such as a wire transfer fee or overnight delivery fee.

You’ll also want to factor in the costs of any home repairs or renovations you may need to make before moving in. And don’t forget about your Moving Day expenses! All these additional costs can add up, so be sure to budget for them accordingly.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Mortgage?

The entire mortgage process, from start to finish, can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The timeline will vary depending on the type of loan you're applying for, the lender you're working with, and your own personal circumstances.

Here's a general outline of what you can expect:

  • The first step is to get pre-approved for a loan. This involves submitting some financial information—like your income, debts, and assets—to the lender so they can calculate how much they're willing to lend you.
  • Once you're pre-approved, it's time to start shopping for a home within your price range.
  • Once you've found a home you want to make an offer on, your lender will order a home appraisal to make sure the property is worth what you're borrowing.
  • If everything goes smoothly, the next step is to sign a bunch of paperwork and officially close on the loan.
  • Congratulations! You're now a homeowner.

Of course, this is just a broad overview—in reality, there are a lot of different factors that can affect how long it takes to get a mortgage. But understanding the basics should give you a good starting point as you begin the process.

Can You Get a Mortgage Without a Down Payment?

There are a few programs out there that allow you to get a mortgage without a down payment. The most popular program is called the Veterans Affairs Loan Guaranty Program.

This program is available to veterans and active duty military personnel. If you qualify, you can get a mortgage with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Another program is the USDA Rural Development Loan Program. This program is available to low-income borrowers in rural areas. If you qualify, you can get a mortgage with no down payment and no PMI.

There are also a few state-specific programs that offer mortgages with no down payments. You'll need to check with your state housing agency to see if any of these programs are available in your area.

If you don't qualify for any of these programs, you'll need to save up for a down payment. The minimum down payment for a conventional loan is usually 20% of the purchase price of the home.

So, if you're buying a $100,000 home, you'll need to save up at least $20,000 for the down payment.

This can be a challenge for some people. If you have trouble saving up for a down payment, there are a few options available to help you out. You can look into getting a grant from a nonprofit organization or government agency.

You can also see if your employer offers any down payment assistance programs. Finally, you can talk to your lender about getting an 80/20 loan. With this type of loan, you'll need to put down 20% of the purchase price, but the lender will finance the other 80%.

Can You Get a Mortgage With Bad Credit?

The short answer is yes. With some lenders, you can get a mortgage with a credit score as low as 580. However, most lenders require a credit score of 620 or higher. There are also other factors that lenders will consider, such as your employment history and income. If you have bad credit, there are still options available to you. You can talk to a mortgage broker about your options or look into government-backed loans like FHA loans.

Why Do Mortgage Applications Get Rejected?

The most common reason for a mortgage application to get rejected is due to the applicant's credit score. Lenders use credit scores as a way to gauge an applicant's riskiness. A low credit score means that the applicant is more likely to default on their loan, which is why lenders are hesitant to approve them for a mortgage.

Other reasons why mortgage applications get rejected include:

  • Insufficient income
  • High debt-to-income ratio
  • Lack of job stability
  • Poorly documented financial history
  • Bad or no credit history

Thankfully, there are ways to improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. If you have a low credit score, you can work on improving it by paying your bills on time and maintaining a good credit history.

You can also try to get a co-signer with good credit to improve your chances of getting approved.

Lastly, make sure that you have all of your financial documentation in order so that the lender can see that you're capable of making payments on time.

How Many Months of Bank Statements Do You Needs for a Mortgage?

Mortgage lenders want to get a good idea of how you manage your finances and they do this by looking at how you have handled your bank account/s in the past. They will usually ask to see at least three months' worth of bank statements from each applicant. If you have been self-employed for less than two years, then they may ask to see up to two years' worth of accounts.

The lender will be looking for evidence that you can afford the repayments on the mortgage, so they will take into account things like:

  • How much money is going into your account each month
  • How much money is coming out of your account each month
  • Whether or not you tend to keep a good balance in your account
  • Whether or not you have had any bounced payments or overdrafts

If you have had any problems with your finances in the past, then be prepared to explain this to the lender.

For example, if you went through a period of unemployment a few years ago, but have since been in full-time employment and are now earning a good salary, then this shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

The key is to show that you have learnt from your mistakes and that your financial situation is now more stable.

What is a Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying off debts.

Lenders use this number to determine how much of a risk you are when it comes to taking out a loan.

A higher debt-to-income ratio means you're more likely to default on a loan, so lenders are typically more cautious about approving loans for borrowers with high DTI ratios.

There are two types of debt-to-income ratios that lenders look at: your front-end ratio and your back-end ratio. Your front-end ratio is your monthly housing expenses divided by your monthly income.

Your back-end ratio is all of your monthly debt obligations divided by your monthly income. Most lenders prefer to see a front-end ratio of 28% or less and a back-end ratio of 36% or less.

To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, you'll need to gather some financial information about yourself, including your monthly income and debts. Once you have all the necessary information, simply divide your monthly debt obligations by your monthly income. This will give you your debt-to-income ratio.

If you're not sure what counts as a monthly debt obligation, it can include things like:

  • Student loans
  • Credit card payments
  • Child support payments
  • Alimony payments
  • Car loan payments
  • Personal loan payments

Keep in mind that there are two types of debt: good debt and bad debt. Good debt is typically considered to be debt that helps you make money or grow your wealth, such as student loans or business loans.

Bad debt is debt that doesn't help you make money or grow your wealth, such as credit card debt or personal loans.

It's important to remember that your goal should be to keep your DTI ratio low, regardless of whether the debts you're paying off are good debts or bad debts.

The lower your DTI ratio, the more financially stable you appear to lenders and the more likely you are to get approved for a loan.

If you're concerned about your DTI ratio, there are a few things you can do to improve it. One option is to increase your income.

If you can find a way to bring in more money each month, you'll be able to lower your DTI ratio. Another option is to pay off some of your debts. This will also lower your DTI ratio and make you look more financially stable to lenders.

What is a Good Debt-to-Income Ratio For a Mortgage?

Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying down debts. Lenders use this metric to determine how much of a risk you are when it comes to taking on new debt. A higher DTI ratio means you're using a larger portion of your income to pay off debts, which can make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage or other types of loans.

The ideal DTI ratio is 36%, but some lenders will allow ratios up to 50%. To calculate your DTI ratio, simply divide your total monthly debts by your gross monthly income. For example, if you have $500 in monthly debts and $2500 in gross monthly income, your DTI ratio would be 20%.

If your DTI ratio is too high, you may need to work on paying down some of your debts before you can qualify for a mortgage.

You can do this by making extra payments on your debts each month or by consolidating your debts into one loan with a lower interest rate. If you're not sure how to get started, talk to a financial advisor who can help you create a debt-reduction plan.

Once you have a good handle on your debts, the next step is to start shopping around for mortgage lenders. Be sure to compare rates, terms, and fees from multiple lenders before choosing one. It's also important to read the fine print carefully so that you understand all the costs associated with taking out a mortgage.


About Jermaine Hagan (The Plantsman)

Jermaine Hagan, also known as The Plantsman is the Founder of Flik Eco. Jermaine is the perfect hybrid of personal finance expert and nemophilist. On a mission to make personal finance simple and accessible, Jermaine uses his inside knowledge to help the average Joe, Kwame or Sarah to improve their lives. Before founding Flik Eco, Jermaine managed teams across several large financial companies, including Equifax, Admiral Plc, New Wave Capital & HSBC. He has been featured in several large publications including BBC, The Guardian & The Times.

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