Lots of questions. All the answers.

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home loans

How much house can I afford?

A standard guideline is that your monthly housing payment should not take up more than 30% of your pre-tax income.

You’ll need to consider up-front costs like a down payment and application fees, closing costs and ongoing expenses like property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, association fees, private mortgage insurance and repairs (#adulting).

The amount you’ll be able to borrow is based on your income, credit history, size of your down payment, employment and residence history.

How long does it take for my mortgage application to be approved?

Depends! Typically, we can prequalify someone within minutes, and that prequalification is good for four months. Note that this requires accurate information on the application, so make sure you have a clear idea of your debt-to-income ratio and your budget. Once you find a home, your offer is accepted and you get us all necessary paperwork we can approve you within 2-3 business days. From there, our expert real estate loan offers will need about 30-45 days until closing. Rate lock can be set once you have a contract and is set for 60 days.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs typically range from 2%–5% of the home purchase; however, they can vary depending on loan amount, location and property.

Closing costs may include mortgage application fees, mortgage points, attorney’s fees, inspections, surveys, title insurance and title search, escrow deposit and city/county/state recording fees. Your lender will review these with you during your pre-approval meeting.

With our HomeAdvantage program, you can get a Cash Reward to apply to your closing costs. On average, Andigo members receive $1,800, depending on purchase price, which can make a big difference to the bottom line. Ask one of our loan officers for more details.

How important is my credit score and history?

Important. Lenders want to loan to people who are likely to pay them back. A high credit score reflects a strong record of on-time payments. If your credit score is lower than you’d like, confirm your credit info with the three credit bureaus, make all your payments on time and avoid maxing out your lines of credit to give your score a boost.

And it’s not just about the score. Check your credit report for unusual or incorrect activity. Your mortgage lender will help you resolve any issues that might be hiding under the FICO hood.

How big does my down payment need to be?

The larger the down payment, the less you’ll need to borrow and the more equity you’ll have in your first home. A lot of buyers shoot for a 20% down payment, so they can avoid mortgage insurance. However, that’s not always realistic for first-time buyers.

Some lenders have low down payment options that allow for a lower down payment without mortgage insurance. Hello savings!

What’s the first step to the mortgage process?

Pre-qualification first. Dream home second. Before you start house shopping, get pre-qualified for a mortgage online or by calling 847.576.5199, options 3, then option 1. You’ll share details about your income, savings and credit score with your mortgage lender, who will then give you a pre-qualification letter showing how much they can lend — and how much home you can afford. Give that letter to your real estate agent so they can submit it with your offer to the seller when the time comes.

How long does the mortgage application take?

Complete your mortgage application online in about 20 minutes, and we’ll contact you to make sure we’ve got all the information we need and to review next steps. Or, call us at 847.576.5199 options 3,1 to complete the mortgage application with one of our real estate loan officers, even after-hours or on weekends! After the application is completed, we will give you the list of supporting documentation needed for the underwriter review. We will make sure the process is as painless as possible.

What is private mortgage insurance? And why do I have to pay for it?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a policy that protects the lender from losing money if the buyer ends up foreclosing on the property. Home buyers are typically required to pay for PMI when they put down less than 20%.

How do I know which mortgage program is best for me?

That’s where we come in. We have access to a wide variety of loan options, and we will make recommendations based on your needs and goals. Give us a call at calling 847.576.5199, option 3, then 1.

How do I know I am getting the best mortgage rate?

Because we’re a not-for-profit credit union, we’re able to offer better rates than big banks. We consider factors such as your credit history, loan type and loan-to-value ratio to determine which rates are available to you. You can even choose to buy down your rate (called “points”) or increase your rate to offset closing costs.

Will I owe any money at closing?

Yes. Here are the details on what you will owe –

Purchase: closing costs, title fees and the down payment
Refinance: closing costs and title fees

But don’t worry, we can offset some of the cash needed at closing with the loan amount, or our HomeAdvantageTM program. We also have no closing cost mortgage options. Give us a call at 847.576.5199, option 3, then 1.