Mortgage FAQ’s

A mortgage is a loan that requires the borrower to pledge real estate as collateral. If the agreed upon payments aren’t made, the lender can foreclose on the collateral. Typically, you can get a mortgage to purchase a home or to refinance a property you already own. There are many types of mortgage loan programs, so feel free to contact BrickWood Mortgage to find out which home loan works best for your situation.

A pre-qualification is a document issued after the mortgage company reviews all pertinent financial information and checks credit. After reviewing this information, a pre-qualification document suggests that the company believes the buyer will qualify for a mortgage. A pre-approval takes it a step further and is issued after the lender’s underwriter reviews documentation verifying the stated financial information. With this in mind, the pre-approval is more detailed and normally holds more weight with real estate professionals and sellers.

Among other things, FHA loans generally require a 3.5% down payment, a 580 credit score, and a debt-to-income ratio no higher than 45%. Alternatively, VA loans allow eligible veterans to qualify with a debt-to-income ratio of up to 55% and no down payment. 

In some cases, borrowers can qualify with a credit score of 550, and can even qualify for multiple home loan programs. Generally, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan programs have stricter requirements. Call BrickWood Mortgage today to see if you qualify for a home loan and ensure that you choose the best mortgage for your situation.

We work with all types of credit scores.  If you are buying a primary residence, a 580 credit score is recommended, but some of our clients can get approved down to a 500 credit score.  We even offer loans for buyers with no credit scores, through our nontraditional credit program.  In most cases A 740 credit score will qualify you for the best interest rate with the lowest closing costs available.

Qualifying first time home buyers are only required to put down a 3% down payment.  FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment.  You will need a 20% down payment to avoid mortgage insurance with traditional loan programs.

A Conventional mortgage is any mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the government. FHA (Federal Housing Administration), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and VA (Veterans Affairs) loans are all government-backed or insured programs and are therefore not conventional loans.

No, a 20% down payment is not required to purchase a home. USDA and VA loans require $0 down payment, and FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment. Therefore, it’s important to get personalized advice from a reliable service like BrickWood Mortgage before making any big decisions.

The best answer to this question is to call BrickWood Mortgage. There are several factors that go into this equation (including credit, income, debt, assets) and the best way to find out for sure is to get prequalified by Brickwood Mortgage.

Every situation is different. If you can afford the payment, and paying less interest over the life of the loan is important to you, a 15-year fixed mortgage is a great option to consider.

The lender will send you a locked Loan Estimate within 3 business days of locking the rate. Within this, it will clearly state that the rate is ‘locked’ through to a specific date.

You should always start with a mortgage broker to find out how much house you can afford before shopping for houses with a realtor. By opting for a mortgage broker first, the realtor then has more information to work with on the other side.

Each loan program has its own unique requirements, so there’s no universal rule. Some require two years of tax returns while others require no income documentation at all. You generally need at least two months of bank statements to source the money needed for closing. Call BrickWood Mortgage today to see which documents are needed for your next mortgage.

Everyone’s situation is different – there is no single best mortgage program for everybody. Our most popular loan is the Fannie Mae Conforming 30-Year Fixed Mortgage. Call BrickWood Mortgage to discuss your situation and goals to find out which home loan is best for you.

Absolutely, you will find first-time buyer home loan programs. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused by the whole process, don’t be afraid to reach out to BrickWood Mortgage for assistance.

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage without a credit score because there is a non-traditional tradeline loan program for individuals that do not have a credit score. Here, the lender will verify acceptable credit history on accounts with recurring monthly payments in lieu of actual credit scores.

In South Carolina, we refer to ‘escrows’ as the account set up to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance. The borrower funds the escrow account at the loan closing and then pays 1/12 of the taxes and insurance every month with the regular monthly mortgage payments. The lender will pay the property tax and homeowners insurance bills when they arrive out of the escrow account.

Above all else, don’t do anything that would impact your approval during the loan process without discussing it with your Mortgage Loan Officer first. This includes changing jobs, opening a business, taking out debt, getting your credit pulled, missing payments, depositing cash, borrowing money, transferring money, or anything else that would change information stated on your loan application.

The two most important questions are:

  • Can I qualify?
  • Will you send me a written estimate?

What Our Customers Are Saying

James Albaugh

Paul Hankins is an absolute mortgage rockstar! I can’t begin to explain how grateful and thankful that I was to have this guy working on

John Echeveste

Paul worked wonders to get us into our new home. Brickwood worked very quickly and efficiently to help us purchase a home under tight time

Herman Tolley

We were very pleased with Paul.He is a super nice man.He was very helpful.He took us through the whole process without hitch.Again,a very nice experience.