FAQ: Home Financing – Presented by Ameris Bank

Ameris BankWhether you are a first-time home buyer or ready to refinance, we know the road to home ownership is bound to bring many questions to mind. Ameris Bank has mortgage products designed to meet your needs and is dedicated to keeping the process as simple as possible for everyone to understand.

Many Essex Homes customers choose to use Ameris Bank Mortgage Services because they are the absolute best at what they do, constantly providing exceptional customer service with well trained, empowered employees.

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions from Ameris Bank borrowers:

  1. Is there really a difference from one lender to another?
    Yes, the differences between lenders affect the variety and type of loan products offered, qualifying standards such as minimum credit score required, servicing of the loan and even the length of time needed to process the loan.
  1. How much do you recommend people save for a down payment on their first home?
    This depends on how much you want to pay for the home and how much money you have available. Some mortgage programs require little to no down payment. Consult a mortgage lender to determine how much you can borrow, what your monthly payments will be and what loan options fit your needs. Then start saving to ensure that you have enough available funds for your down payment and closing costs. The more money you can put down on your home initially, the more you save in interest paid over the life of the loan. If you can put at least a 20 percent down payment on the home, you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance.
  1. What does it mean to lock-in a mortgage rate?
    Locking in an interest rate means that the lender is promising you a certain rate, at today’s price, for a specified period of time. This time frame can range from 15 days to four months or longer. The advantage is that if interest rates go up during the loan application process, you will not be penalized. Once you lock your loan with a lender, you are committed to that particular lender until the lock expires, the loan closes, it is withdrawn or declined.
  1. What size down payment should I expect with an FHA loan?
    The minimum down payment with an FHA loan is 3.5 percent.
  1. How long does it take to process a loan?
    With Ameris Bank, a loan can be closed in as little as 15 days, but industry standard is 30 to 45 days.
  1. What might delay the approval and/or closing of a loan?
    Changes regarding employment and/or assets during the loan process can delay the approval of and/or closing of a loan. Timeliness in providing required documentation to your lender and securing homeowners insurance can also affect your closing date. Lastly, always be honest and upfront about your financial situation with the loan officer so they can be sure to find the program that fits your needs.
  1. What are the best ways to save?
    Ameris Banks has great mortgage calculators to help you determine how much you need to save. Consider starting small by saving $20 or $25 per paycheck and placing it into a savings account. If you are planning to purchase a home in the next six months to a year, pay special attention to protecting your credit score to make sure you make all monthly payments on time. Missed or late payments on your credit report can potentially lower your credit score and may make you ineligible for a loan up to 12 months or more from the date of the late/missed payment.  Other items lenders consider on a credit report are the amount of credit the borrower has available and the amount of credit used. Ultimately, lenders want to see that you have a high amount of credit available but only use a small portion of it – this is called the debt-to-available-credit ratio.

Ameris Bank values integrity, respect, teamwork, honesty and high standards to be able to bring peace of mind to their communities one person at a time. To learn more about Essex Homes, visit www.essexhomes.net.

The information voiced in this material is for general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All loans subject to credit approval.