FAQ
  1. How do I know how much I can afford for a house?
    • Generally speaking, you can purchase a home with a value of two or three times your annual household income. However, the amount that you can borrow will also depend upon your employment history, credit history, current savings and debts, and the amount of down payment you are willing to make. You may also be able to take advantage of special loan programs for first time buyers to purchase a home with a higher value. Give us a call, and we can help you determine exactly how much you can afford.
  2. Will Biweekly mortgage payment save money?
    • Not totally correct. If your interest rate is low enough; you can pay one month ahead of time to save even more. A great idea will be: Use your tax refund. Here is the link: http://www.vlender.com/cgi-bin/calc/biweekly.cgi Plug in your number and see which way to save you more. Please keep in mind, most Bi-Weekly payment will charge you some money to set up.
  3. What is the difference between a fixed-rate loan and an adjustable-rate loan?
    • With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest changes periodically, typically in relation to an index. While the monthly payments that you make with a fixed-rate mortgage are relatively stable, payments on an ARM loan will likely change. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of mortgage, and the best way to select a loan product is by talking to us.
  4. How are index and margin used in an ARM?
    • An index is an economic indicator that lenders use to set the interest rate for an ARM. Generally the interest rate that you pay is a combination of the index rate and a pre-specified margin. Three commonly used indices are the One-Year Treasury Bill, the Cost of Funds of the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank (COFI), and the London InterBank Offering Rate (LIBOR).
  5. How do I know which type of mortgage is best for me?
    • There is no simple formula to determine the type of mortgage that is best for you. This choice depends on a number of factors, including your current financial picture and how long you intend to keep your house. Brighten Lending can help you evaluate your choices and help you make the most appropriate decision.
  6. What does my mortgage payment include?
    • For most homeowners, the monthly mortgage payments include three separate parts: 
    • 1. Principal: Repayment on the amount borrowed 
    • 2. Interest: Payment to the lender for the amount borrowed 
    • 3. Taxes & Insurance: Monthly payments are normally made into a special escrow account for items like hazard insurance and property taxes. This feature is sometimes optional, in which case the fees will be paid by you directly to the County Tax Assessor and property insurance company.
  7. How much cash will I need to Purchase a home?
    • The amount of cash that is necessary depends on a number of items. Generally speaking, though, you will need to supply:
    • 1. Earnest Money: The deposit that is supplied when you make an offer on the house
    • 2. Down Payment: A percentage of the cost of the home that is due at settlement
    • 3. Closing Costs: Costs associated with processing paperwork to purchase or refinance a house
  8. What is a lock commitment?
    • A lock commitment is a written agreement between you and Brighten Lending, entitled a Rate Lock Confirmation, which guarantees a specific interest rate at a particular price based on the loan characteristics selected if the loan closes within a set period of time.
  9. When can I lock my rate?
    • On Refinance transactions, after the loan is approved by Brighten Lending’s Automate Underwriting System (AUS); and Brighten Lending received all requested documents, you may lock your rate by call in and speak to a loan officer to request lock in the rate. 
    • On Purchase transactions, once your application has been submitted and approved by Brighten Lending’s Automate Underwriting System (AUS); and Brighten Lending received all requested documents and you have a fully executed purchased agreement for the house you are buying, you may lock your rate by call in and speak to a Service Representativeto request lock in the rate.
    • Once your loan is locked, you must close and fund within that lock period for your rate lock to be guaranteed. When you choose to lock in your rate, you will be provided with a Rate Lock Confirmation via email or fax from Brighten Lending. Your Rate Lock Confirmation will detail the loan terms you have selected.
  10. On Refinance transactions, after the loan is approved by Brighten Lending’s Automate Underwriting System (AUS); and Brighten Lending received all requested documents, you may lock your rate by call in and speak to a loan officer to request lock in the rate.

    On Purchase transactions, once your application has been submitted and approved by Brighten Lending’s Automate Underwriting System (AUS); and Brighten Lending received all requested documents and you have a fully executed purchased agreement for the house you are buying, you may lock your rate by call in and speak to a Service Representativeto request lock in the rate.

    Once your loan is locked, you must close and fund within that lock period for your rate lock to be guaranteed. When you choose to lock in your rate, you will be provided with a Rate Lock Confirmation via email or fax from Brighten Lending. Your Rate Lock Confirmation will detail the loan terms you have selected.
  11. Can I change my loan rate or loan program once I have already locked?
  12. What happens to my rate if the loan does not fund within the lock period?
  13. How can I check the interest rates Brighten Lending is currently offering?
  14. Who locks my rate?
  15. How long is my rate locked?
  16. Can the rate lock period be increased or decreased after I have selected a rate lock period and locked a rate on my purchase loan?
  17. How is the "Float Down rate option" works?
  18. What are third party fees?
  19. What are closing costs?
  20. Do I have to pay closing costs if I am an existing Brighten Lending customer?
  21. What is an escrow/impound account?
  22. When do I have to carry flood insurance?
  23. Do I need an escrow/impound account?
  24. Will I receive a better rate or price by electing to have an escrow/impound account with my loan?
  25. How long does the loan process take?
  26. Can I choose the appraiser?
  27. Can I receive a copy of the appraisal?
  28. Can I receive a copy of my credit report?
  29. Does Brighten Lending charge an upfront fee/deposit?
  30. What is the loan-to-value ratio (LTV)?
  31. What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
  32. Can I select a higher rate in lieu of paying PMI?
  33. How much will I need to pay for closing costs?
  34. Can I get pre-approved for a mortgage?
  35. How long does it take to get pre-approved?
  36. What is the minimum down payment allowed?
  37. Are rate locks transferable to a different property?
  38. If I am purchasing a home that is still being built and it won’t be complete for more than 40 days from now, when should I lock in a rate?
  39. Should I refinance my home now?
  40. Do I need a new appraisal?
  41. Can I combine my existing first and second mortgages?
  42. Can I refinance if my home is listed for sale?
  43. Can I refinance if my home is currently being remodeled?
  44. Can I remove a borrower from my mortgage through a refinance?
  45. Can I add a borrower to my mortgage through a refinance?
  46. What can I use my cash-out proceeds for?
  47. How much equity can I take out?
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