Category: Refinancing Mortgage Guidelines
What is the Welcome Home Program?
The Welcome Home Program (WHP) offers grants to fund reasonable down payments and closing costs incurred in conjunction with the acquisition or construction of owner-occupied housing by low- and moderate-income homebuyers. The grants are limited to $5,000 per homebuyer and Members are subject to an aggregate limit of $200,000 per offering. All funds are reserved for specific homebuyers purchasing specific homes and cannot be transferred to other homebuyers or to other homes. Welcome Home funds will be available for reservation on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:00 AM ET on March 1, 2018, and will remain available until all funds have been reserved.
Who Can Use the WHP?
The FHLB has established a set-aside of Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds to help create homeownership. These funds are available to Members as grants to assist their mortgage loan applicants in the home buying process. This is our most widely used program, ideally suited to the needs of community lenders and their customers.
What are the Program Requirements?
Below is an abbreviated list of program eligibility requirements:
- The total income for all occupants must be at or below 80 percent of the Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) limit for the county and state where the property is located. The FHLB has an Income and Affordability Workbook to assist in determining household income eligibility.
- Homebuyers must contribute at least $500 of their own funds towards down payment and/or closing costs.
- WHP applicants do not have to be first-time homebuyers. However, all first-time homebuyers are required to complete a homeownership counseling program.
- WHP grant funds are intended only for homebuyers who qualify for the first mortgage based on their own merit. Co-signors and co-borrowers are not allowed unless they will occupy the home as their primary residence and their incomes are included in determining eligibility.
- WHP grant funds may be used in conjunction with other local, state and federal funding sources and with the FHLB Cincinnati’s Community Investment Cash Advance Programs.
- The Member who reserves the WHP funds must originate the first loan, but the loan may close in the name of a third party.
- The interest rate for the first mortgage may not exceed 7.50 percent.
- The interest rate for the second mortgage may not exceed 11.00 percent.
- Only second mortgages provided by formal organizations, community development financial institutions, housing finance agencies, non-profit organizations, etc. are acceptable.
All eligible property assisted with WHP funds is subject to a five-year retention mechanism (Retention Agreement), which may require the household to repay all, or a portion, of the subsidy, if the home is sold or refinanced within five years from the closing of the transaction.
How Do I Apply?
Reserving WHP Funds
Homebuyers must apply with one of our Member institutions. Click here to search our Member Directory.
Members may reserve funds via the Welcome Home Program link through the FHLB’s Members Only portal by submitting an online Reservation Request with supporting documentation. Instructions for accessing Members Only may be found here.
The FHLB will perform a preliminary review of the Reservation Request and the documentation submitted to determine eligibility of the homebuyer, availability of funds in the program, and availability of funds for the Member. If any of the information is incomplete, additional documentation or information may be required. Note: The Reservation Request will be denied upon receipt if a fully executed loan application is not included.
Written notification will be provided to the Member as to the homebuyer’s eligibility. Submission of a Reservation Request does not constitute an approval of funds. Funds are reserved only upon written notification of approval from the FHLB.
Please allow four weeks for the FHLB to review the Reservation Request and supporting documentation.
Disbursing WHP Funds
Welcome Home funds will only be disbursed after closing. The FHLB has some general guidance and specific instructions that Members and Closing Agents should use in closing mortgages using Welcome Home funds. Funds will be disbursed only to the extent they are required to fill the gap for down payment, closing costs, and counseling fees.
Members may submit a Request for Payment of Reserved Funding with supporting documentation via the Welcome Home Program link through the FHLB’s Members Only portal. Submission of a Request for Payment of Reserved Funding is not an approval of funds disbursement. Once the Request for Payment of Reserved Funding has been reviewed and approved, funds will be disbursed to the Member.
In the event the FHLB determines that funds were used for an ineligible expense, the grant will be reduced by the amount of the ineligible expense unless the household brings adequate funds to the closing to cover the amount of the ineligible expense. Under no circumstances will cash back to the homebuyer be permitted.
Please allow four to six weeks for the FHLB to review the Request for Payment of Reserved Funding and supporting documentation.
Additional Information and Technical Assistance
Documentation requested by the FHLB must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any documentation requiring an original signature must be mailed to:
Welcome Home Program
P.O. Box 598
Cincinnati, OH 45201-0598
For more information or assistance, please contact the Housing & Community Investment Department at (513) 852- 7680 or toll-free (888) 345-2246 or email us at email@example.com.
For assistance with Members Only, please contact the Service Desk at 800-781-3090.
Where do buyers begin?
Haley Newton, a loan officer with Starkey Mortgage in Sherman, said the first step in the buying process is not finding a house, rather it’s getting qualified for a home loan. Buyers need to first find out how much house they can afford and if they can actually purchase a home.
“A lot them want to know what the first step is, and many people believe that the first step is finding a house, but that’s actually the second step,” Newton said. “You want to get qualified with a local lender to know what you’re pre qualified for, and then go out and find a house, which is the hard part.”
What documents do buyers need to provide to get qualified and pre approved?
qualification is typically the quick and easy initial step and approval is a more involved process. The qualification process starts with an application, which most lenders have available online, though Newton said buyers can call a lender or meet them in person to fill it out. After buyers fill out an application, which covers the buyers’ finances and history, the lenders will verify the information for preapproval and that requires the supporting documents.
“Once they’re prequalified, we’ll give them a list of documents they need depending on their application,” Newton said.
The list typically calls for pay stubs from the last 30 days, tax returns for the last two years, bank statements for the last two months, W-2s, IDs and Social Security cards.
Jeremy Lewis, branch manager of Grayson Home Loans, said sometimes the lender may require divorce decrees and documentation to indicate other income depending on the buyers’ situation. After approval, Lewis said he usually gives the buyers a call, and they figure out a loan program that best fits the buyers.
How much do buyers need for a down payment?
Short answer: It depends on the loan.
Lewis said the down payment is often the main concern for buyers, and it’s not a set amount. Depending on the loan type and what programs the buyers are eligible for, the down payment can be as little as zero down. Loans from the Federal Housing Administration, Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture each have a set of stipulations that include the percentage required for the down payment.
“It depends on the loan type they’re going with — whether it be a conventional loan, an FHA loan, a VA loan or a USDA loan, it will determine what they’re going to have to place down — what their initial investment is going to be,” Lewis said. “There are still those out there out there that think they have to put 10 to 20 percent down, which is not correct. They can, in certain programs, put as little as zero down.”
Newton said there are down payment assistance programs in the state that can help cover the amount needed. These programs are income based and are capped anywhere from $55,000 to $75,000 depending on the program.
What’s the deal with closing costs?
In addition to a down payment, buyers also need funds to cover the closing costs. Lewis said the closing costs depend on the loan amount as a higher loan amount is going to cost more. About half the closing costs are directed to building the buyers’ escrow account, and the other half is a combination of fees for items such as the title and appraisal.
“Closing costs are another piece of the puzzle they’re going to have to come up with,” Lewis said. “However, in a Texas residential contract, you can ask the sellers to pay a certain percentage, depending on the loan type, for your closing costs.”
Buyers can negotiate with the sellers and ask that the seller pays a portion of the closing costs, which if the buyers qualify for a down payment assistance program, the initial costs can be very low.
“If you’re able to use the down payment assistance programs in addition to requesting the seller to pay some of their closing costs, they can actually get into a home with little to nothing down,” Newton said.
What is an escrow account?
“It kind of works like a separate checking account, and the purpose of that account is to pay the yearly tax bill that comes due every January, and their insurance premium that’s due once a year depending on when they closed on their home,” Newton said.
The initial money put into the escrow account is part of the closing costs, and Lewis said homeowners then add to it monthly when they make their house payments. The account is for buyers to put back money so property taxes and insurance are covered.
“Say when their tax bill comes due in January, there will be plenty of money in the account for them to pay their taxes, so that way they’re not coming up $2 to 3 to 5,000 all at once to pay their tax bill,” Newton said.
Can buyers purchase a home with a bad credit score?
Newton said buyers don’t necessarily need the best credit in order to get a home loan, and she noted that first-time home buyer programs have recently lowered their credit score requirements.
“A lot people around here they don’t necessarily have bad credit, they just don’t have a lot,” Newton said. “They don’t use their credit.”
Newton said lenders will work with buyers and give them steps to take over 60 to 90 days to boost their credit score to where they can buy a home.
“It can be intimidating but we can walk them through it,” Newton said.
Buyers should consult with local lenders, and Lewis said he guides buyers through the process so they know what to expect.
“There’s so many different moving parts to a loan anymore,” Lewis said. “I try to keep everyone versed and ready for what’s to come in the process and what to expect.”
Senior Loan Officer
(NMLS#57916)American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle, Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40223
text or call my phone: (502) 905-3708
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The view and opinions stated on this website belong solely to the authors, and are intended for informational purposes only. The posted information does not guarantee approval, nor does it comprise full underwriting guidelines. This does not represent being part of a government agency. The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the view of my employer. Not all products or services mentioned on this site may fit all people. NMLS ID# 57916, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Mortgage loans only offered in Kentucky.
All loans and lines are subject to credit approval, verification, and collateral evaluation and are originated by lender. Products and interest rates are subject to change without notice.
Joel E Lobb
email us here
Kentucky FHA, VA, USDA & Rural Housing, KHC and Fannie Mae mortgage loans.
A Complete Guide to Closing Costs. Complete Guide to Closing Costs A Complete Guide to Closing Costs Types of Closing Costs Let’s talk briefly about the types of closing costs you mi…
Credit Scores Needed To Qualify For A Kentucky Mortgage Loan Approval
Government Mortgage Products available to Kentucky First Time Home Buyers in 2014
KENTUCKY FHA MORTGAGE LOANS
- Min FICO 600
- Non-Occupant co-borrowers allowed
- 100% Gifts Allowed from family members
- Manual UW allowed but must keep debt to income ratios at 29/41% respectively and have a verifiable rent history ox30
- Non-credit qualify Streamlines No income or credit report required
KENTUCKY VA MORTGAGE LOANS
- Min FICO 620
- Manual UW
- 100% Cash Out and Zero Down Payment Home loans. Must have COE
- IRRRL OR KENTUCK VA STREAMLINE REFINACE
KENTUCKY RURAL HOUSING AND USDA RURAL HOUSING LOANS
- Min FICO 620
- 100% Max LTV, no money down financing.
- Manual UW but must have debt to income ratios of 29 and 41% respectively with a verifiable rent history 0x30
- 100% Gift Funds allowed
Kentucky Conventional Housing Loans
- 95% Financing available
- Lower mortgage insurance premiums than FHA and max loan is about $100k higher in Kentucky for A Fannie Mae Loan vs. FHA Loan
Do you have an existing Louisville Kentucky VA Home Loan or conventional loan that you are interested in refinancing? While interest rates are still low, there are many advantages to refinancing now in order to get a lower interest rate, take cash out of the equity in your home, consolidate credit, or make home improvements. If you are interested in refinancing with a Kentucky VA Loan, the VA has programs that can assist you. Below are some questions other people have asked about the Louisville Kentucky VA Refinancing programs. Follow the headers to find information about Louisville Kentucky VA Refinancing. If you cannot find an answer here, a VA Loan Specialist can be contacted online or by phone to answer all your refinancing questions.
- What is an Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL)?
- Do I have to be eligible for a lower interest rate in order to qualify for a VA IRRRL?
- If it is called an Interest Rate Reduction Loan, why does the VA allow me to refinance my ARM to a higher interest rate?
- Can I refinance with the VA if I am already using my Loan Guarantee entitlement with my current mortgage?
- What out-of-pocket expenses will I have when refinancing?
- Do I have to use my current lender to refinance?
- Do I have to go through the credit check and appraisal process again when refinancing?
- Do I have to get another Certificate of Eligibility?
- What fees does the VA charge for an IRRRL?
- Does the VA have any requirements for me to get an IRRRL?
- Can I include the cost of home improvements in my IRRRL?
- Can I take cash out of an IRRRL?
- What is a VA Cash Out Refinancing Loan?
- What can I use the cash I take out of my home for?
- Can I consolidate debt with a Cash Out Refinance Loan?
- How much cash can I take out of my home equity?
- I am delinquent on my current mortgage. Can I still get a VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan?
- How much does the VA guarantee my loan for with a VA Cash Out Refinance
- Was your question not answered?
An IRRRL is the VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, also known as a VA Streamline Refinance. An IRRRL is a loan that refinances your existing VA Loan into a new VA Loan with a lower interest rate, or from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) into a fixed rate mortgage. A Certificate of Eligibility is not required for an IRRRL.
Not necessarily. In order to qualify for an IRRRL, the VA requires you to obtain a lower interest rate if you are going from a one fixed rate mortgage to another fixed rate mortgage, but if you are going from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage, the VA will allow you to refinance to a higher interest rate.
If it is called an Interest Rate Reduction Loan, why does the VA allow me to refinance my ARM to a higher interest rate?
Since you are refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate mortgage the interest rate may be higher initially, but you will save money over time. With adjustable rate mortgages you may get a lower interest rate than a fixed rate mortgage for the first few years, but after that your interest rates increase and you are paying higher rates than you would with a fixed rate mortgage. This is why the VA allows you to refinance into a higher fixed rate of interest on your mortgage before your adjustable rate on your current mortgage increases.
Can I refinance with the VA if I am already using my Loan Guarantee entitlement with my current mortgage?
Yes. As long as you are refinancing your VA-guaranteed mortgage, then you can use this program to get more favorable loan terms and save money over the long run. If you’re ready to get started with your VA Refinance, contact a VA Refinance Specialist now.
None. The VA allows you to finance all closing costs associated with refinancing into your new mortgage. Your lender may have some fees, but you will need to consult them to find out what they expect you to pay up front, if anything.
No. If you want a new lender, you can choose from any mortgage lender on the VA-approved lender’s list. Make sure that you shop around for your refinancing loan. By going to several lenders, you will get more offers and you can choose the best loan terms for you and your family. Be careful of lenders that try to deceive you into thinking they are the only lender that can finance a VA IRRRL. The VA has a long list of approved lenders, and you should shop around.
The VA does not require another credit check and appraisal because it has already approved you for the loan guarantee in the first place. However, lenders usually do require a credit check and appraisal when refinancing because they need to make sure you are still credit worthy and the property still has a higher market value than their maximum loan amount. For more information about this, check out VA Appraisal, Qualification and Approval FAQ’s.
No. You have already been approved by the VA for your home loan guarantee, and refinancing does not require a Certificate of Eligibility.
The VA only requires a 1.5% funding fee of the value of your new loan. There are no other fees involved with the VA. If a lender tries to tell you that the VA charges extra fees you should contact the VA to see if something has recently changed and, if not, you should find a new, ethically responsible lender.
The VA has the following eligibility requirements for an IRRRL:
- You must be refinancing an existing VA Loan into a new VA Loan in order to use this program.
- You need to certify that you have been occupying the property. For your original loan you had to sign an agreement stating you would be the primary occupant of the home, and now you will have to sign an additional agreement saying that you have been the primary occupant.
- You cannot take more out on your new loan than what you currently owe. The loan can be more only as a result of fees and closing costs being financed into the mortgage.
You are allowed to include up to $6,000 in your refinancing loan for the purpose of energy efficient home improvements. Any other home improvements are not eligible.
No. An IRRRL from the VA is only for the purposes of obtaining a better interest rate on your mortgage loan in order to save you money over time.
This is the type of refinancing loan the VA offers for those Veterans who want to take cash out of the equity in their homes. You must be refinancing an existing VA Loan in order to use the VA Cash Out Refinancing Program.
Anything you want. Make sure you consult your lender to see if they have any restrictions on what you can use the money for.
Yes. As a matter of fact, many lenders prefer that you do consolidate all of your debt into your new loan because it makes you less of a credit risk for them.
Your home’s value is on a Certificate of Reasonable Value, and you are allowed to take up to 90% of this amount. On top of this you are also allowed to finance the VA funding fee and include up to $6,000 for energy efficient home improvements.
This depends on your lender. The VA allows it, and many lenders will also allow you to refinance as long as you are financially able to make the new payments. If you are a delinquent on your current mortgage because of excess debt, the lender will probably require you to consolidate that debt into your new mortgage loan in order to lower you interest rates on your unsecured debt and give you a more affordable monthly payment.
The highest amount the VA will guarantee a Cash Out Refinance mortgage for is $36,000.
Still have questions?
More information on refinancing options is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs or by contacting your VA Regional Loan Service Center.
- Louisville VA Streamline Refinance (mylouisvillekentuckymortgage.com)
- VA Loan Frequently Asked Questions – Military VA Loan Information – MilitaryVALoan.com (militaryvaloan.com)
- VA Loan Frequently Asked Questions – Military VA Loan Information – MilitaryVALoan.com (militaryvaloan.com)
- Closing Costs When Buying or Refinancing a Home for A Louisville Ky Home Mortgage (mylouisvillekentuckymortgage.com)
- VA Loan Benefits – VA Home Loan Benefits – MilitaryVALoan.com (militaryvaloan.com)
- Kenucky Mortgage Interest Rates (louisvillekentuckyvamortgage.blogspot.com)
- Updated Guidelines for HARP 2.0 Refinance of Louisville Kentucky Mortgage Loans (mylouisvillekentuckymortgage.com)
- FHA Refinancing to Avoid Foreclosure (streamlinerefinance.net)
- KHC Mortgage Interest Rates (louisvillekentuckyvamortgage.blogspot.com)
- Substantial Aspects Throughout Mortgage Brokers – A fundamental Investigation (interestratescanada542.typepad.com)
If you are a homeowner who was lucky enough to buy when Kentucky mortgage rates were low, you may have no interest in refinancing your present loan. Perhaps you bought your home when rates were higher. Or perhaps you have an adjustable rate loan and would like to obtain different terms.
Should could you refinance your Kentucky Mortgage Loan? This page will answer some questions that may help you decide. If you do refinance, the process will remind you of what you went through in obtaining the original mortgage. That’s because, in reality, refinancing a mortgage is simply taking out a new mortgage. You will encounter many of the same procedures and the same types of costs the second time around.
Refinancing can be worth while, but it does not make good financial sense for everyone. A general rule is that refinancing becomes worth your while if the current interest rate on your mortgage is at least two percentage points higher than the prevailing market rate. This figure is generally accepted as the safe margin when balancing the costs of refinancing a mortgage against the savings.
There are other considerations, too. Such as how long you plan to stay in the house. Most sources say it takes at least three years to realize fully the savings from a lower interest rate, given the costs of the refinancing. (Depending on your loan amount and the particular circumstances, however, you might choose to refinance a loan that is only 1.0 percentage points higher then the current rate. You may even find you could recoup the refinancing costs in a shorter time.)
Refinancing can be a good idea for homeowners who:
- Want to take advantage of lower rates. This is a good idea only if you intend to stay in the house long enough to make the additional fees worthwhile.
- Have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and want a fixed-rate loan, to have the certainty of knowing exactly what the mortgage payment will be for the life of the loan.
- Want to convert to an ARM with a lower interest rate or more protective features (such as a better rate and payment caps) than the ARM they currently have.
- Want to build up equity more quickly by converting to a loan with a shorter term.
- Want to draw on the equity built up in their house to get cash for a major purchase or for their children’s education.
If you decide that refinancing is not worth the costs, ask your lender whether you may be able to obtain all or some of the new terms you want by agreeing to a modification of your existing loan.
In deciding whether to refinance an ARM you should consider these questions:
- Is the next interest rate adjustment on your existing loan likely to increase your monthly payments substantially? Will the new interest rate be two or three percentage points higher than the prevailing rates being offered for either fixed-rate loans or other ARMs?
- If the current mortgage sets a cap on your monthly payments, are those payments large enough to pay off your loan by the end of the original term? Will refinancing a new ARM or a fixed-rate enable you to pay your loan in full by the end of the term?
What Are The Costs of Refinancing?
The fees described below are the charges that you’ll most likely encounter in refinancing.
- Title Search and Title Insurance
This charge will cover the cost of examining the public record to confirm ownership of the property. It also covers the cost of a policy, usually issued by a title insurance company, that insures the policy holder in a specific amount for any loss caused by discrepancies in the title to the property. Be sure to ask the company carrying the present policy if it can re-issue your policy at a re-issue rate. You could save up to 70 percent of what it would cost you for a new policy.
- Lender’s Attorney’s Review Fees
The lender will usually charge you for fees paid to the lawyer or company that conducts the closing for the lender. Settlements are conducted by lending institutions, title insurance companies, escrow companies, real estate brokers, and attorneys for the buyer and seller. In most situations, the person conducting the settlement is providing a service to the lender. You may want to retain your own attorney to represent you at all stages of the transaction, including settlement.
- Loan Origination Fees and Discount Points
The origination fee is charged for the lender’s work in evaluating and preparing your mortgage loan. Discount points are prepaid finance charges imposed by the lender at closing to increase the lender’s yield beyond the stated interest rate on the mortgage note. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. For example, one point on a $100,000 loan would be $1,000. In some cases, the points you pay can be financed by adding them to the loan amount. The total number of points a lender charges will depend on market conditions and the interest rate to be charged.
- Appraisal Fee
This fee pays for an appraisal which is a supportable and defensible estimate or opinion of the value of the property.
- Prepayment Penalty
A prepayment penalty on your present mortgage could be the greatest determent to refinancing. The practice of charging money for an early pay-off of the existing mortgage loan varies be state, type of lender, and type of loan. Prepayment penalties are forbidden on various loans including loans from federally chartered credit unions, FHA and VA loans, and some other home-purchase loans. The mortgage documents for your existing loan will state if there is a penalty for prepayment. In some loans, you may be charged interest for the full month in which your prepay your loan.
Depending on the type of loan you have and other factors, another major expense you might face is the fee for a VA loan guarantee, FHA mortgage insurance, or private mortgage insurance. There are a few other closing costs in addition to these.
In conclusion, a homeowner should plan on paying an average of 3 to 6 percent of the outstanding principal in refinancing costs, plus any prepayment penalties and costs of paying off any second mortgage that may exist. One way of saving on some of these costs is to check first with the lender who holds your current mortgage. The lender may be willing to waive some of them, especially if the work relating to the mortgage closing is still current. This could include the fees for the title search, surveys, inspections, and so on.
The information contained in this page is intended to help you ask the right questions when considering refinancing your loan. It is not a replacement for professional advice. Talk with mortgage lenders, real estate agents, attorneys, and other advisors about lending practices, mortgage instruments, and your own interests before you commit to any specific loan.
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