Low Mortgage Payments
Question Your Way to Success

If you're serious about lowering your mortgage payments, it's necessary to ask for more than a simple interest rate quote! In other words, learn how to qualify lenders by asking the right questions. Start with my introductory ice breakers and then move on to qualifying questions because... knowing what to ask is the secret to affordable house payments!

Step One on Your Path to Low Mortgage Payments

Feeling nervous about contacting a lender? I've created ice breakers for you to get the initial conversation headed in the right direction. These scripts will help you define your goals to a mortgage originator.

Kate's Refinance Ice Breaker:

The Easy Path to Low Mortgage Payments
I am thinking about refinancing. I bought my house two years ago and have an adjustable rate mortgage. I owe (fill in your amount) on my mortgage and I think my home is valued around (fill in your amount). One of my goals is to get a fixed rate mortgage. Do you have a moment to answer a few of my questions?

Kate's Home Buying Ice Breaker:

I plan on buying a house in the next few months. I'm a first time home buyer. I have saved (fill in your amount) for my down payment. I can afford approximately (fill in your amount) for a monthly house payment. My personal information is ready. Do you have a few moments to spend with me?

Step Two on Your Path to Low Mortgage Payments

It's a given that you want the best mortgage rates and competitive closing costs. Who wouldn't? But how do you go about choosing a competent mortgage originator who will treat you fairly and make sure your loan closes on time? You ask questions! You qualify your lender! That's how!

Initial Information

Remain organized while you're comparing various lenders. Start a separate file for each loan representative and jot down this basic information.

  • Date of conversation
  • Name of the mortgage company
  • Mortgage originator's name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Text address (phone number)
  • Website address (URL)
  • Physical office address
  • Ask if they are a mortgage company, bank, or brokerage

Tip: Your conversations will be more productive with a little preparation. For getting your ducks in a row, use Kate's Mortgage Information Planner.

Questions to Ask About Closing Costs, Points, and Fees

Ask these questions about closing costs and good faith estimates.

Tip: How to reduce your mortgage closing costs.

Questions to Ask Before Locking In a Mortgage Rate

How can you be sure you will get your desired interest rate if you don't ask these questions about locking it in.

Tip: To learn how to avoid mistakes in the rate lock process, go to Borrowers Ask Kate About Locking Mortgage Rates.

Questions to Ask About Loan Programs

Not all mortgage programs are created equal. Here are some programs you may encounter while shopping for a mortgage.

Tip: Discover your inner homeowner savvy by asking Kate about mortgage programs.

Questions to Ask About Credit History, Credit Reports, and Credit Scores

Another factor that contributes to lowering your mortgage payments is the health of your credit. Ask these questions.

Tip: Learn my secret to improving your credit score.

Questions to Ask About Fixed Rate Mortgages

Ask these questions regarding fixed rate mortgage programs.

  • What type of loan programs do you offer that have fixed rates?
  • Can the interest rate ever adjust? If so, how often? (Yes, it's worthwhile asking!)
  • Do the monthly house payments remain fixed for the entire term of the loan? If not, when and how often can they change?

Tip: Discover peace of mind with the best fixed rate mortgage.

Questions to Ask About Adjustable Rates (ARM)

Introductory rates (teaser rates) end at some point during the term of an adjustable rate loan. So ask these questions.

Tip: Avoid surprises with your adjustable rate mortgage by understanding key documents.

Questions to Ask About Prepayment Penalties for Early Pay Off

Known for negatively impacting low mortgage payments, ask these questions about prepayment penalties.

Tip: Go here for prepayment penalty help.

Questions to Ask About No-Cost Refinancing

If you've been offered the option of a no-cost refi program, ask these questions.

  • What are the benefits to a no-cost refinance?
  • Will my new principal balance increase? If so why?
  • Do you require an upfront deposit?
  • Will there be any lender fees, loan fees, mortgage fees, points, or 3rd party fees?
  • How much higher is the interest rate compared to a traditional refinance?
  • Are there any drawbacks that I should know about?
  • Are there restrictions to taking cash from my equity?
  • If so, does it matter how I use the cash?

Tip: How to know if your mortgage refi is worth the cost.

Questions to Ask About Company Policies

Lastly, understanding company policies are important. In other words, not all mortgage companies are created equal.

  • Do you provide updates during the home loan process?
  • Do you oversee my loan while it is being processed?
  • Are you available to help me during business hours?
  • If you go on vacation, who will fill in for you?
  • How soon will I be able to review my appraisal after it is completed?
  • Do you require verbal verification of employment from past employers?
  • How long does your office take to process loans from application to closing?
  • Will you review the final paperwork with me before I sign the documents?

Tip: If you are self-employed, own a corporation, or receive commissions, ask if the institution is experienced at analyzing tax returns.

Assistance a Click Away

Haven't found what you're looking for? Here's the solution! Go ahead and Ask Kate for answers.

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