Answers to commonly asked questions Minimize
At Trident Home Loans, we want you to be comfortable with our entire loan process.  If there is something you don't understand, don't hesitate to e-mail or call us.  We have the answers!


When should I get qualified for my loan?               Answer

What is a rate lock?               Answer

What is a Buydown Option?               Answer

What is a Good Faith Estimate?               Answer

What is an HUD-1 Settlement Statement?               Answer

What is PMI?               Answer

Can I eliminate PMI?               Answer

Can I finance closing costs?               Answer

What is a credit score?               Answer

Can I Improve my credit score?               Answer

Can I dispute a credit score?               Answer


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WhenToQualify
WhenToQualify

When should I get qualified for my loan?

Even if you haven't so much as picked out houses to visit yet, it's important to see your mortgage professional first. Why? What can we do for you if you haven't negotiated a price, and don't know how much you want to borrow?

When we pre-qualify you, we help you determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford, and how much we can loan you. We do this by considering your income and debts, your employment and residence situations, your available funds for down payment and required reserves, and some other things. It's short and to the point, and we keep the paperwork to a minimum!

Once you qualify, we give you what's called a Pre-Qualification Letter (your real estate agent might call it a "pre-qual"), which says that we are working with you to find the best loan to meet your needs and that we're confident you'll qualify for a loan for a certain amount.

When you find a house that catches your eye, and you decide to make an offer, being pre-qualified for a mortgage will do a couple of things. First, it lets you know how much you can offer. Your real estate agent will help you decide on an appropriate offer, but being pre-qualified gives you the confidence to know you can follow through.

More importantly, to a home seller, your being pre-qualified is like you walked into their house with a suitcase full of cash to make the deal! They won't have to wonder if they're wasting their time because you'll never qualify for a mortgage to finance the amount you're offering for the home. You have the clout of a buyer ready to make the deal right now!


You can always use the calculators available on our site to get an idea of how much mortgage you can afford -- but it's important to meet with us. For one thing, you'll need a Pre-Qualification Letter! For another thing, we may be able to find a different mortgage program that fits your needs better.

RateLock
RateLock
What is a Rate Lock?

A rate lock or a rate commitment is a lender's promise to hold a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This prevents you from going through your whole application process and at the end of it finding out the interest rate has gone up.

A rate lock period can vary in length, and longer ones usually cost more. A lender will agree to "hold" your interest rate and points for a longer period, say 60 days, but in exchange the rate and maybe points are higher than with a shorter rate lock period, for example.

There are many ways besides opting for a shorter rate lock period to get a lower rate, though. A larger down payment will result in a lower interest rate than a smaller one, because you're starting out with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate over the life of the loan, but that means you pay more up front. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal.

Closing costs are fees paid by the lender, which the lender in turn charges you to close the loan. Many people pay closing costs when they sign on the dotted line, but a person can also finance their closing costs. Paying closing costs when the loan closes will reduce your interest rate.

Finally, the interest rate a lender is willing to offer you depends on your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. If you have good credit and your income far exceeds your debt obligations, you will qualify for a lower rate

BuyDown
BuyDown
What is a Buy Down Option?

A buydown is a type of financing where the buyer or seller pays extra points (also called discount points) to reduce the interest rate on a loan. Buydowns make it easier to qualify for a loan because they lower a loan's interest rate. They can also allow you to buy more house for your money.

There are generally two types of buydowns: a permanent buydown and a temporary buydown. A permanent buydown lets you pay extra points to get a low interest rate over the life of your loan.

A permanent buydown can be paid by the seller or the builder as an incentive to finalize a sale by creating lower monthly payments. Sellers can also benefit from assisting with a buydown with a difficult to sell property or during slower market conditions. It increases the buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan, therefore, allowing the home to be sold quicker. Plus, a buydown offer is usually less than a price reduction on the home.

In a temporary buydown, you prepay interest in exchange for a lower rate during the early years of a loan. The most common temporary buydown is called 3-2-1, meaning the mortgage payment in years one, two and three is calculated at rates 3 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, below the rate on the loan. On a 2-1 buydown, the payment in years one and two is calculated at rates 2 percent and 1 percent below the loan rate. And on a 1-0 buydown, the payment in year one is calculated at 1 percent below the loan rate. 

A temporary buydown can be a benefit to a buyer whose current income is low but anticipates that it will increase during the next two years. First-time homebuyers who need to purchase all of the furnishings that go into a new home may also find a temporary buydown appealing.

GoodFaith
GoodFaith

What is a Good Faith Estimate?

Appraisal fee is the estimated cost of the appraisal and are only good for 90 days.

Processing fee is the fee we charge to process the loan

Underwriting fee is the fee we charge or are charged to underwrite the loan

Other lender fees are paid directly to our lenders if we broker the loan.

Prepaids show how many months of taxes and insurances will be taken to set up your escrow account.

It’s important to note that prepaids aren’t a cost of refinancing. However, the money has to come from somewhere to cover the amounts necessary to open the account. Temporarily you will be out of pocket this amount until you get the money refunded from the old loan’s escrow account unless you roll it into your loan.

Title insurance is what we are charged for title insurance on your loan. All we require is a lender’s policy for your loan amount. An owner’s policy will give you a 20% discount on the face value it’s amount.

State closing fee and taxes on your loan are what the state charges to record the mortgage. These are usually exact tax amounts. The recording fee varies from $125 to $250

Survey’s are required except on condo’s and town-homes. We can use your old survey less than 10 years old

PMI
PMI

What is PMI?

PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance,  helps you get the loan

Private Mortgage Insurance is a supplemental insurance policy you may be required to obtain in order to get a mortgage loan. PMI is provided by private (non-government) companies and is usually required when your loan-to-value ratio — the amount of your mortgage loan divided by the value of your home — is greater than 80 percent. 

PMI isn't a bad thing — it allows you to make a lower down payment and still qualify for a mortgage loan. In fact without PMI, many of us would not be able to purchase our first home. 

How is PMI calculated?

Your PMI premium is fixed based on plan type (loan-to-value ratio, loan type, loan term, etc.) and is not related to your particular credit history or other individual characteristics. PMI typically amounts to about one-half of one percent of your mortgage amount annually, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the premium payment is usually rolled into your monthly mortgage payment.  On a $200,000 mortgage, you may be paying $1,000 per year for PMI.

PMI2
PMI2

Can I Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance

For loans made after July 1999, lenders are required by federal law to automatically cancel Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) when the loan balance falls below 78 percent of your purchase price — not when you achieve 22 percent equity, which will happen much more quickly with rising property values. (Certain "higher risk" loans are excluded.) But you have the right to cancel PMI (for loans made after July 1999) once your equity reaches 20 percent, regardless of the original purchase price.

Keep track of your principal payments.  Also keep track of what other homes are selling for in your neighborhood.  If your loan is under five years old, chances are you haven't paid down much principal — it's been mostly interest.  But property values in many parts of the country have gone through the roof lately.  And that can earn you 20 percent equity even if you haven't paid down much principal.

When you think you've reached 20 percent equity in your home, you can begin the process of freeing yourself from PMI payments!  You will need to notify your mortgage lender that you want to cancel PMI payments and you'll need to submit proof that you have at least 20 percent equity.  A state certified appraisal on the appropriate form (URAR- 1004 uniform residential appraisal report for single family homes) is the best proof there is — and most lenders require one before they'll cancel PMI.

Can I Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance

For loans made after July 1999, lenders are required by federal law to automatically cancel Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) when the loan balance falls below 78 percent of your purchase price — not when you achieve 22 percent equity, which will happen much more quickly with rising property values. (Certain "higher risk" loans are excluded.) But you have the right to cancel PMI (for loans made after July 1999) once your equity reaches 20 percent, regardless of the original purchase price.

Keep track of your principal payments.  Also keep track of what other homes are selling for in your neighborhood.  If your loan is under five years old, chances are you haven't paid down much principal — it's been mostly interest.  But property values in many parts of the country have gone through the roof lately.  And that can earn you 20 percent equity even if you haven't paid down much principal.

When you think you've reached 20 percent equity in your home, you can begin the process of freeing yourself from PMI payments!  You will need to notify your mortgage lender that you want to cancel PMI payments and you'll need to submit proof that you have at least 20 percent equity.  A state certified appraisal on the appropriate form (URAR- 1004 uniform residential appraisal report for single family homes) is the best proof there is — and most lenders require one before they'll cancel PMI.

ClosingCosts
ClosingCosts

Can I finance closing costs, escrow reserves, or other cash needed at closing?

If you've built up some equity in your home, when you refinance, you may be able to "cash out" some of that equity to pay off credit cards or other revolving debt, improve your home, help pay for college, or anything else you can think of. The same is true of refinancing costs: If you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to roll some of the cash due at closing into your loan.

Some of the "cash needed to close" as it's sometimes called includes settlement costs and fees, prepaid interest, escrow reserves, state or local government charges, or even extra funds needed to pay off your existing mortgage. Some or all of those costs can sometimes be financed as part of your new mortgage loan.

But you have to be careful. It's not always the case that you can borrow up to 100 percent of your home's value. Many loan programs are based on what's called a "loan-to-value" ratio. You may qualify for a very advantageous refinanced mortgage if you borrow no more than 80 percent of your home's value, but may not qualify for the same terms if you borrow 90 percent. We can help you qualify for refinance loan programs for as much as 95 percent of your home's value in most cases, but the lower your loan-to-value ratio (that is, the less you borrow), the better terms you'll generally qualify for.

The bottom line is that in many cases you can reduce your up-front costs for refinancing your mortgage in exchange for higher monthly payments for the life of the loan. But whether, and to what extent, you can do this depends on the value of your home and the amount of your new mortgage, and what options you decide are best for you.

If you've had your current mortgage for a few years, chances are you've built up enough equity to finance cash needed to close and still have a smaller loan balance than your original -- and a balance that will qualify you for a favorable mortgage program tied to your loan-to-value ratio. We can help you decide!

Many people find that it's advantageous to pay the cash needed at closing from checking, savings or money market accounts or from other assets. This is because the less you borrow on the new refinanced loan, the lower your monthly payment will be. But we'll work with you to see if there is an advantageous refinancing program for you based on your ability and willingness to pay closing costs and other fees and the amount you wish to borrow.

We want to make the best loan for you, work for you.

CreditScore
CreditScore

What is a credit Score?

Before deciding on what terms lenders will offer you on a loan (which they base on the "risk" to them), they want to know two things about you: your ability to pay back the loan, and your willingness to pay back the loan. For the first, they look at your income-to-debt obligation ratio. For your willingness to pay back the loan, they consult your credit score.

The most widely used credit scores are FICO scores, which were developed by Fair Isaac & Company, Inc. (and they're named after their inventor!). Your FICO score is between 350 (high risk) and 850 (low risk).

Credit scores only consider the information contained in your credit profile. They do not consider your income, savings, down payment amount, or demographic factors like gender, race, nationality or marital status. In fact, the fact they don't consider demographic factors is why they were invented in the first place. "Profiling" was as dirty a word when FICO scores were invented as it is now. Credit scoring was developed as a way to consider only what was relevant to somebody's willingness to repay a loan.

Past delinquencies, derogatory payment behavior, current debt level, length of credit history, types of credit and number of inquiries are all considered in credit scores. Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or reestablishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

Different portions of your credit history are given different weights. Thirty-five percent of your FICO score is based on your specific payment history. Thirty percent is your current level of indebtedness. Fifteen percent each is the time your open credit has been in use (ten year old accounts are good, six month old ones aren't as good) and types of credit available to you (installment loans such as student loans, car loans, etc. versus revolving and debit accounts like credit cards). Finally, five percent is pursuit of new credit -- credit scores requested.

Your credit report must contain at least one account which has been open for six months or more, and at least one account that has been updated in the past six months for you to get a credit score. This ensures that there is enough information in your report to generate an accurate score. If you do not meet the minimum criteria for getting a score, you may need to establish a credit history prior to applying for a mortgage


ImproveCS
ImproveCS

Can I improve my credit score?

It's virtually impossible to change your score in the time between when most people decide to buy a home or refinance their mortgage and when they apply. So the short answer is, you really can't "on the spot." But there are strategies you can live with to make sure when you apply for a loan your score is as high as possible.

Make sure that the information each of the three credit reporting bureaus has on you is consistent and up to date. Order a copy of your credit report about once a year, and dispute any inaccuracies.

Note: Theoretically, if a series of credit reports is requested on your behalf during a limited amount of time, your score goes down until time passes without any inquiries. Changes in the law though have made "consumer-originating" credit report requests not count so much. Also, a series of requests in relation to getting a mortgage or car loan is not treated the same as a number of credit card requests in a limited time. This is because the credit bureaus, and lenders, realize that people request their own credit reports to keep up with what's on them, and smart consumers shop around for the best mortgage and car loans.

Unsolicited credit card solicitations in the mail don't count against your credit report, so don't worry.

The two main components of your credit score are your payment history and the amounts you owe. Bankruptcy filings and foreclosures, which can stay on your credit report for as long as 10 years, can significantly lower your score. It's never a good idea to take on more credit than you can handle.

Late payments work against you. It's extremely important to pay bills on time, even if it's only the monthly payment.

Don't "max out" your credit lines. Since the size of the balance on your open accounts is a factor, lower balances are better.

It's said that by carefully managing your credit, it's possible to add as much as 50 points per year to your score.

DisputeCS
DisputeCS

Can I dispute my credit score?

Your credit report is a record of your credit activities. It lists all of your credit card accounts and loans, the balances as well as your payment history. It also shows if any action has been taken against you because of unpaid bills such as a lawsuit or bankruptcy filing. Because businesses use this information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance and employment, it’s important that the information in your report is complete and accurate, especially if you plan to make a big purchase like a home. 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is designed to promote accuracy and ensure the privacy of the information used in consumer reports. Under the FCRA, both the credit reporting agency (CRA) and the organization that provided the information to the CRA (usually the credit card company) must correct any errors or incomplete information in your report.


If you do encounter a mistake on your credit report, several steps need to be taken to correct the matter:

1. The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major CRAs: Equifax, http://www.equifax.com; Experian, http://www.experian.com; and TransUnion, http://www.tuc.com.

2 In a written letter, tell the CRA what information you believe to be inaccurate. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position. Provide your complete name and address, identify each item in your report you dispute, and request deletion or correction. Be sure to make copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.

3. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the CRA received.

4. The FCRA mandates that all CRAs reinvestigate the items in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you provide about the dispute to the credit card company. After the credit card company receives notice of a dispute from the CRA, it must investigate, review all relevant information and report the results to the CRA.

5. If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the credit card company must notify all nationwide CRAs so they can correct this information in your file. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.

6. When the reinvestigation is complete, the CRA must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or removed, the CRA cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the credit card company verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the CRA gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the credit card company.

7. In addition to the CRA, you should also write to the credit card company about the error. Again, include copies of documents that support your dispute. If you are correct — meaning the information you disputed is found inaccurate — the credit card company cannot use it again. Further, at your request, the CRA must send notices of corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months.

HUD
HUD

What is an HUD-1 Settlement Statement?

The HUD-1, also known as the settlement statement, is a prescribed form from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This form itemizes all charges imposed on the borrower and all charges imposed on the seller in connection with the settlement of your real estate transaction.One business day before the settlement, you have the right to inspect your HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

The HUD-1 is filled out by the settlement agent who will conduct the settlement. The fully completed HUD-1 Settlement Statement generally must be delivered or mailed to you at or before the settlement. In cases where there is no settlement meeting, the escrow agent will mail you the HUD-1 after settlement, and you have no right to inspect it one day before settlement.

MMW Holdings, LLC d/b/a Trident Home Loans, d/b/a Trident Mortgage is an Equal Opportunity Lender, and is licensed by: the Alabama Banking Department as a mortgage broker, #21149; the California Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lenders Law, license #603H520; the Florida Office of Financial Regulation as a mortgage lender, #MLD192; the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance as a mortgage lender, #23097; the Indiana Secretary of State as a mortgage broker, #65716; the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions as a mortgage lender, #LA-C-01326; the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation as a mortgage lender, #06-20385; the Minnesota Department of Commerce as a residential mortgage originator, #MN-MO-65716; the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance as a mortgage broker, #65716; the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit as a mortgage broker, #MB001422; the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions as a mortgage broker, #109389 and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions as a mortgage broker, #MB-65716.

TEXAS CONSUMER COMPLAINT &

RECOVERY FUND NOTICE

Figure:  7 TAC §80.200(b)

"CONSUMERS WISHING TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A COMPANY OR A RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR SHOULD COMPLETE AND SEND A COMPLAINT FORM TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE LENDING, 2601 NORTH LAMAR, SUITE 201, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78705. COMPLAINT FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT’S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV. A TOLL-FREE CONSUMER HOTLINE IS AVAILABLE AT 1-877-276-5550.

 

THE DEPARTMENT MAINTAINS A RECOVERY FUND TO MAKE PAYMENTS OF CERTAIN ACTUAL OUT OF POCKET DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY BORROWERS CAUSED BY ACTS OF LICENSED RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS. A WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE RECOVERY FUND MUST BE FILED WITH AND INVESTIGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECOVERY FUND, PLEASE CONSULT THE DEPARTMENT’S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV."



Trident Home Loans is also registered with the National Mortgage Licensing System, NMLS #65716

Trident Home Loans is also registered with the Colorado Division of Real Estate
Trident Home Loans is not responsible for any typographical errors or omissions.

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