Colorado Mortgage Tips: Why Work With a Local Lender

Buying a home in Colorado is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime. Unless you have just recently won the lottery or have a very generous rich uncle, you will need to qualify for a mortgage. When you begin to research lender options, knowing how to choose can be difficult. What is the difference between a local lender, mortgage lender, mortgage banker or credit union? And what do those variations mean to you as the consumer?

Working with a local Colorado lender that comes recommended from your real estate agent, friend or next door neighbor carries a lot more weight than one you randomly find online. In fact, a recent study shows that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, like and trust.

Why Work with a Local Lender

  1. You can look them in the eye – Sitting across from your lender while they explain the loan process is very different than trying to track someone down that’s across the country. How uneasy does it make you feel when you call to ask a question only to find out that the person you’re talking to isn’t even qualified in your state to answer that question?
  2. They can’t hide rates or fees – When you’re sitting face to face with someone, it’s very difficult to hide behind a computer screen. Working with a local lender allows you to go through every detail of the loan with a real person, not someone on the other end of a phone line.
  3. They should will show up at your closing – I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked by a real estate agent or buyer “what are you doing here?” when I show up at closing. It’s my duty to make sure you’re taken care of from beginning to end and that includes attending your closing. How can a National Lender answer last minute questions or handle any final needs of your closer when they’re half way across the country?
  4. The best rates possible – Contrary to what national lenders may tell you, a local mortgage lender will be able to offer you the lowest interest rate; lowest fee’s and best customer service available. Just because they’re smaller doesn’t make them less effective.
  5. Your best interest is a VA loan – Many mortgage companies are filled with loan sales representatives that will sell you a loan product regardless of whether or not it’s in your best interest. They are only interested in the numbers game and it has nothing to do with what numbers work best for you. They worry about their bottom line, not which loan program is right for your family. Working with a local lender ensures that they have an established reputation within the community. And if it’s not a positive one, well – you’ll find this out through word of mouth research.

Need a great local lender that will work hard for your best interest? Contact us today!

Colorado VA Loan Requirements And Eligibility

Colorado Veterans with active duty service (who were not dishonorably discharged) during World War II and later periods are eligible for VA loan benefits. World War II (September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947), Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955), and Vietnam era (August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975) veterans must have at least 90 days of service.

Colorado Veterans and active duty military personnel who served during peacetime must have had more than 180 days of active service. Veterans of enlisted service starting after September 7, 1980, or officers with service beginning after October 16,1981, must in most cases have served at least 2 years.

The VA does not require that Colorado Veterans have a certain credit score in order for approval. The actual mortgage lenders, however, are allowed to set their own standards for VA loan requirements.

Changing economic conditions and increased losses due to loan defaults have motivated lenders to limit who they will lend to.

Since early 2010, most VA lenders in the U.S. have tightened their lending and credit score requirements, making home financing harder to come by for those with credit issues or other criteria that makes their loan more risky.

As a result, getting a loan without a down payment is more difficult, though one of the few remaining options for 100% financing is a VA loan. Major lending groups have generally resolved to set the minimum credit score requirement at 620.

To learn more about this, our article Credit Score Requirements For VA Mortgages is a great place to start.

There are three specific pieces of documentation a lender will need to determine your eligibility:

  • A DD214 for discharged veterans.
  • A statement of service for active military personnel.
  • A certificate of eligibility (COE) to determine you have VA entitlement.

Because each lender has different qualifying guidelines, the next step is to contact your lender to find out if you meet their VA loan requirements such as minimum FICO/credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios, and find out what your county’s maximum loan amount is.

Your VA lender can help you attain your certificate of eligibility on your behalf.

Lastly, if you have either had a divorce, filed bankruptcy, or had a previous home go into foreclosure, you are not immediately disqualified from a VA loan, although there are some additional restrictions.

You can find more information regarding these topics in our articles titled Divorce And VA Loan Eligibility, Does A Bankruptcy Mean I Can’t Get A VA Loan? and Can I Get A VA Loan If I’ve Had A Recent Foreclosure?

 

Colorado Va Loan Requirements and Eligibility

FHA vs VA: What Are the Benefits

FHA home loan programs and VA home loan programs are very similar; they both attempt to give access to affordable home loans to the American people. The biggest difference between the two is that VA home loan programs have been created for America’s veterans of the armed forces. But between the two, would-be home buyers are served. Where one program may not be the best for a borrower, the other program fills in.

VA Home Loan Facts

VA home loan programs are made for qualified veterans as part of the benefits extended after serving in the military. But in order to qualify for a VA home loan programs, a veteran must meet specific criteria:

•A veteran must have a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

• A veteran must have good credit (usually for the past two years) and an adequate credit score.

• A veteran must have enough income to repay the loan.

• A veteran must meet debt-to-income requirements as outlined by the VA home loan programs.

• The home must be used as a residence after closing or renovations are complete

Some other individuals also have VA home loan programs available to them, including:

National Guard or Reserve members who meet specific requirements. Widowed spouses of servicemen who died in duty, who have not remarried. U.S. citizens and their spouses who served with an Allied country during World War II.

VA Home Loan Benefits

• No down payment loans

•Good fixed and adjustable interest rates, regardless of credit history

• Lengthened and flexible terms of 15-30 years or more

• No prepayment penalty

• Assistance during financial hardship

•Protection and warranty against discrimination and poor buildings

But some who have just limited time in the armed forces or who cannot qualify for VA home loan programs may still be able to work with the FHA home loan programs. Also, those with no military experience can work with the FHA home loan programs.

FHA Home Loan Facts

For those who can’t take advantage of the VA home loan programs, there are FHA home loan programs available. While the FHA home loan programs do not have many advantages over the VA process, there are some. With the FHA programs, more than half of the loan is insured, a benefit not available in the VA, which should be considered by veterans.

FHA home loan programs are similar to VA loans in many other ways, aside from the insured benefit.

FHA Home Loan Benefits:

• Low down payment

• Federal security, which can mean better terms from lenders

• Flexible terms

•Adjustable payment options

• Good interest rates and affordable payments

• Refinance options for existing loans

Qualifying borrowers can benefit from either the VA home loan programs or the FHA home loan programs. By meeting the requirements of each program, borrowers can make their home ownership goals a reality with good terms and through these good programs.

 

 

 

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