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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions? We can help! You will find the answers to several frequently asked mortgage questions below.

Be sure to visit our Mortgage Glossary

FAQs

The pre-approval process is much more complete than pre-qualification. For pre-qualification, the loan officer asks you a few questions and provides you with a pre-qual letter. Pre-approval includes all the steps of a full approval, except for the appraisal, escrow and title search. Pre-approval can put you in a better negotiating position, much like a cash buyer.

Usually people refinance to save money, either by obtaining a lower interest rate or by reducing the term of the loan. Refinancing is also a way to convert an adjustable loan to a fixed loan or to consolidate debts. The decision to refinance can be difficult, since there are several reasons to refinance. However, if you are looking to save money, try this calculation:

  1. Calculate the total cost of the refinance
  2. Calculate the monthly savings
  3. Divide the total cost of the refinance (#1) by the monthly savings (#2)

This is the "break even" time. If you own the house longer than this, you will save money by refinancing.

Since refinancing is a complex topic, you may want to consult a mortgage professional.

A rate lock is a contractual agreement between the lender and borrower. There are four components to a rate lock: loan program, interest rate, points, and the length of the lock.

A mortgage broker counsels you on the loans available from different wholesale lenders, takes your application, and processes the loan which involves putting together the complete file of information about your transaction including the credit report, appraisal, verification of your employment and assets, and so on. When the file is complete, your file will be sent to the lender, who "underwrites" the loan, which means deciding whether or not you are an acceptable risk.  The Mortgage broker is doing the processing work for the eventual lender, which entitles them to a lower wholesale cost.  They then add their markup to give you a retail quote.

Not necessarily. In fact, if you are a reasonably astute shopper, you will probably do better dealing with a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers do not add any net cost to the lending process, because they perform functions that would otherwise have to be done by employees of the lender. Furthermore, because mortgage brokers deal with multiple lenders -- in a typical case, 25 to 30, sometimes more -- they can shop for the best terms available on any given day. In addition, they can find the lenders who specialize in various market niches that many other lenders avoid, such as loans to applicants with poor credit ratings, loans to borrowers who do not intend to occupy the property, loans with minimal or no down payment, and so on.

Both income and assets are disclosed and verified, and income is used in determining the applicant's ability to repay the mortgage. Formal verification requires the borrower's employer to verify employment and the borrower's bank to verify deposits. Alternative documentation, designed to save time, accepts copies of the borrower's original bank statements, W-2s and paycheck stubs.

It is the list of settlement charges that the lender is obliged to provide the borrower within three business days of receiving the loan application.

A loan eligible for purchase by the two major Federal agencies that buy mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A mortgage larger than the maximum eligible for conforming purchase by the two Federal agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It is a charge by the lender, expressed as a percent of the loan amount; e.g., "2 points" means a charge equal to 2% of the loan balance. Paying discount points on a loan buys the rate down.

This is the process of determining whether a customer has enough cash and sufficient income to meet the qualification requirements set by the lender on a requested loan. A pre-qualification is subject to verification of the information provided by the applicant. A pre-qualification is short of approval because it does not take account of the credit history of the borrower.

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Customer Reviews

"Jim went above and beyond to make my sure deal went through. Not only was he a true professional, but he also gave me a great rate and and super fast service. I will use Jim everytime and will highly recommend him for your purchases."
- D Desousa

"My wife and I have used Isle Pacifica Mortgage three times over the past 15 years or so to refinance residential loans. On each occasion, Jim was professional with many resources at his disposal. Over the years I recommended Jim to several close friends, all of whom had the same positive experience, and I would not hesitate to recommend him in the future."
  - Michael Specht