Frequently Asked Questions
  • What information is needed when I apply?
    To start, we need your name, address, zip code, financial goals, and so on. Start with our quick online application, or give us a call.
  • Will applying for a mortgage affect my credit?
    Mortgage credit checks are considered inquiries and may have a small impact on your credit score. However, there are no fees associated with this inquiry.
  • What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval?
    Pre-qualification is an estimate of what you may qualify for. Pre-approval requires a credit check and considers your income and debt, so you're receiving a more accurate picture of the amount of home you can afford.
  • How is my interest rate determined?
    There are several considerations that go into your interest rate, including credit score, loan program, loan to value, and debt-to-income ratio. Though rates aren't negotiable, if your current rate is 1-1.5% higher than market rates, lower it.
  • What is the difference between interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR)?
    The interest rate is the cost your pay each year to borrow money for your mortgage. The annual percentage rate (APR) includes your interest rate and prepaid finance charges, such as points, mortgage broker fees, and other charges.
  • What is loan-to-value (LTV) ratio?
    This is the amount of the mortgage lien divided by the property's appraised value, as a percentage. With a low LTV, you are viewed as less risky and therefore may qualify for lower interest rates.
  • What is a loan estimate?
    A loan estimate outlines the mortgage loan amount, interest rate, origination and other fees, closing costs, loan terms, expected monthly payment, property taxes, and insurance. Its purpose is to help mortgage applicants easily compare different offers.
  • What is MIP?
    MIP stands for "mortgage insurance premium." It's purpose is to protect lenders in case of defaults on all FHA loans. MIP is paid for by borrowers via an upfront payment and monthly premiums.
  • What is PMI?
    If you make less than a 20% down payment with a conventional loan, you're required to carry private mortgage insurance (PMI). It's typically a monthly premium added to your mortgage payment.
  • Do you charge loan origination fees?
    There are no upfront fees. However, you will be required to pay standard third-party closing costs and other applicable fees.
  • Are appraisals necessary if I have a home inspection?
    Appraisals take home value into consideration while inspections look at the overall home condition. If you are financing your home purchase through a mortgage, then a home appraisal is almost always required. If you are purchasing a home with cash or refinancing your mortgage, an appraisal may not be needed.
  • What is escrow?
    Mortgage escrow accounts ensure that homeowners' property taxes, fire and hazard insurance premiums, mortgage insurance premiums and other escrow items are paid on time.
  • How much are closing costs?
    Closing costs vary based on the property you buy, the loan you choose, and the region you live in. They tend to include inspection fees, appraisal fees, escrow deposit, title insurance, loan discount points, and homeowner's insurance. Your lender will disclose exact figures prior to closing.
  • Why is my payoff amount different than my principle balance?
    Payoff amount is higher because it includes any interest you still owe (interest accumulates daily). If you're considering loan payoff, contact your lender for the most accurate payoff amount.
  • How much money will I need for a down payment?
    This depends on the cost of your home and the type of mortgage you choose.Great news, though - we have programs that require very little down including FHA loans and - if you are buying in Colorado - CHFA loans. Talk to a mortgage consultant about your best options!
  • What are the costs within my mortgage?
    Most loans cover: principal (repayment of amount borrowed), interest, homeowners insurance, and property taxes.
  • What if I have bad credit? Can I still buy a home?
    Though it can be challenging, you may still be able to buy a home. Interest rates will be higher, so shop around for the best deal. Or, take a little bit of extra time and do what you can to repair your credit before your home purchase. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • How do I know which loan program is best for me?
    In working with our experienced mortgage consultants, you can trust you'll review the programs that make financial sense for your life. Conversations are simple, straightforward, and honest. We're here to guide you. Visit our loan programs page to learn more about program benefits.
  • When should I lock in my interest rate?
    While mortgage interest rates rise and fall for a variety of reasons, they generally don't move much. Lock in once you've found the right property.
  • Do I need homeowners insurance?
    Most lenders will require you to have homeowners insurance, so long as you have a mortgage balance.
  • What is earnest money?
    Earnest money is a deposit on the home you're interested in purchasing. It helps fund your down payment and shows the seller you're serious about your offer.
  • What happens at closing?
    This is the final stage of the home loan process where documents are signed and recorded. Regardless if you're finalizing a home purchase or refinancing your mortgage, you will receive a closing disclosure outlining the final details of your loan. If you're buying a home, you'll take over home ownership. If you're refinancing your loan, there is a three day rescission period after closing. This allows you to change your mind after documents are signed, though it also means your loan will not be funded until three days after the documents are signed. For further details, see our mortgage loan closing process.
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