The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of everyone around the world. Schooling is different, more people are working from home and the housing industry is learning to adapt to an almost completely digital world. We’ve all had to show our flexibility in different areas of our lives. Despite the changes around the globe, many are still becoming homeowners, buying, renovating and refinancing home loans during the pandemic.
If you’re interested in becoming a first-time homeowner, learning more about your renovation loan options or refinancing your current mortgage, we’re sharing some helpful information for your process below.
How do I get started?
If you’re interested in becoming a homeowner, the first step is getting in touch with a loan expert in your area! PrimeLending has more than 200 locations across the country. You can connect with a loan expert in your area by visiting www.primelending.com/find-a-branch. Once connected with a loan expert, they’ll help you learn about the loan process and your options.
Are your offices open for in person meetings?
We are open and conducting business during normal business hours. Our services are available via technology and in person, though services vary by location due to various state and county orders. Please contact your loan officer or branch directly for hours, scheduling a meeting, or alternative means for conducting business.
What types of mortgage loans do you offer?
When shopping mortgage lenders, you’ll find that different lenders offer different types of home loans. These can vary in amount, interest rate, term length and payment type. There are conventional loans (not insured by a federal agency) and government-insured loans. Some of the most common home loans include:
- Federal Housing Authority (FHA) — Government-insured by the Federal Housing Authority, this loan is best for clients with limited credit or income. Advantages include a low down payment and easier credit and income requirements.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) — Government-insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, this loan is for eligible past or present service members and their spouses. Advantages include a low down payment, low interest rate and covered costs.
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) — Government-insured by the US Department of Agriculture, this loan is for clients with a limited income in USDA designated rural areas. Advantages include 100 percent financing, eliminating the need for a down payment and assistance for limited income clients.
- 30-year Fixed-Rate Mortgage — A conventional loan offered to long-term homeowners looking for stability. Advantages include a long-term interest rate and monthly payment stability.
- 15-year Fixed Rate Mortgage — A conventional loan for clients looking for stability and speedy payoff. Advantages include interest rate and payment stability, faster equity/payoff and less overall interest.
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) — A conventional loan idea for short-term homeowners and clients with future income growth potential. Advantages include a low initial interest rate.
- Jumbo Loans — A conventional loan for clients seeking higher value. Jumbo loans exceed the “conforming loan limit” set by the federal government, allowing the buyer to reduce the down payment for a more expensive home.
What paperwork will I need to provide?
Be prepared to provide your lender with necessary documents, including proof of income (you’ll need two years of W-2s and paystubs) and assets (two most recent statements), personal identification and credit history. If you are self-employed, you’ll also need to have tax returns available. Be prepared for your home loan expert to request additional information throughout the approval process.
What does the loan process look like?
We offer our customers a straightforward, modernized approach we call Loanplicity®, our award-winning and secure digital mortgage process. Loanplicity allows you to quickly apply online, prequalify* and track your progress wherever you are. Our process breaks down into five easy steps:
- Apply and Gather Financial Documents
- Appraise and Verify Property
- Process and Underwrite the Loan
- Settle In and Relax
Can I still finance and complete a renovation during a pandemic?
Yes! PrimeLending offers 15 different renovation loan products to help you transform any fixer-upper into the home of your dreams. We’ll help you find the right loan to fit your project’s needs. Get more info on our renovation loans here.
Should I refinance my current loan?
Due to historically low rates, many homeowners have taken the opportunity to assess their current loan and consider a refinance. A refinance could mean a lower rate for your loan, a shorter loan term and potentially big savings for you. Interested in learning more? A PrimeLending loan officer can take a look at your options today.
How long will it take to close my loan?
Early in the process, your lender will give you an estimated closing date, but this date is not set in stone. Any number of factors could cause the closing date to fluctuate. Once your loan has been approved, you will be given the “clear to close,” and a final closing date, time and location will be set.
Can I close digitally?
eClose delivers a swift experience every step of the way by allowing borrowers to review all documents and sign most documents on a smartphone, tablet or computer before the official closing. This streamlined approach means fewer delays and faster closings – plus, no more sore hands from providing countless signatures!
What if I can’t make a loan payment due to financial hardship?
If you’re experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be proactive, explore the options available to you and connect with your lender if you think you might miss a payment. Learn more here: Experiencing Financial Hardships? Here’s How To Talk To Your Lender
No matter where you are in your homebuying journey during this time, we’re doing our best to remain agile and help you reach your goals. Have additional questions or ready to get started on the next step? Connect with a PrimeLending loan expert now.
*A prequalification is not an approval of credit, and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.