Mortgage Information and Assistance

Why Get Pre-Approval/Pre-Approved For a Mortgage?

As one of the top real estate teams in the O’Fallon, Shiloh, Swansea, Scott Air Force Base, Fairview Heights and surrounding areas it is part of our job to assist you through the buying process. The most important part of the process is getting pre-approved! Always keep in mind when obtaining a mortgage – Stay in YOUR comfort zone. Figure out what you can afford? You may have a price range in mind, however what happens if you find your dream home in O’Fallon and then apply for a mortgage only to find out you cannot afford your dream home!  When speaking with a loan officer, you may find that you qualify for a 100% loan, or a special grants program, or a conventional, FHA or even maybe a VA loan!  There are so many critical options and it is important to have that letter first!  If you already have it, great — you are ahead of the game!  Be sure to shop around for the best rates.

Who to Contact and Why?

We recommend these lenders for the following reasons:

  • No junk fees
  • Competitive rates
  • No cost pre-approval
  • Personal contact with local loan officer
  • Timely completion of paperwork
  • Smooth hassle free transactions
Barb Cartens
Bank of O’Fallon
901 S. Lincoln
O’Fallon, IL 62269
Patti Dieu
The Bank of Edwardsville
2004 Troy Road
Edwardsville, IL  62025
Doug Shoemaker
USA Mortgage
791 Wall Street, Suite 100
O’Fallon, IL  62269

Questions for All Lenders

  1. What are your rates, terms and fees
    ? (Do they have a flat fee or do they charge you per item?)
  2. Is PMI required? (PMI is Private Mortgage Insurance – Insurance against a loss by the lender in case of a default by the borrower.)
  3. What is the processing timeframe? (How quickly can they turn your loan? I.E. 15 days, 20 days, 30 days etc- important for closing dates)
  4. What concerns do you have about our ability to get quick loan approval?
  5. What do you need from me to do a tri-merge pre-approval? (You always want a lender to do a tri-merge pre-approval so when you find the home you wish to purchase you will be ready to write with no delays)
  6. Explain your underwriting guidelines? (What do they look at and how long will it take)
  7. Explain your escrow requirements? (Escrow – account held by the lender for payment of taxes, insurance and other periodic debts against real property.)
  8. What is your rate lock in procedure? What if the rate goes down before we close? (A lock-in, also called a rate-lock or rate commitment, is a lender’s promise to hold a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you, usually for a specified period of time, while your loan application is processed. You always want your lock in to be in writing as well as any changed to the lock-in rate).
  9. Who services your loan? (The bookkeeping and collection of a loan, it may be done by the lender or by another for the lender.)
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