BankFirst Mortgage Services

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1 BankFirst Mortgage Services Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on your new mortgage loan. We understand that it is a difficult process for new home buyers. We ll be happy to answer any question you may have throughout the process. In this Document: Preapproval is an important first step:...2 Here s how to get an actual loan preapproval:...2 Step 1: Check and fix your credit reports...2 Step 2: Assemble your paperwork....3 Step 3: Apply for preapproval...3 Step 4: Start hunting for that dream house...3 Other things to consider:...4 Make sure you have the paperwork...4 Debts and monthly payments...4 Income from your job... 4 Self employed income...4 Sale commissions...4 Disability income...5 Child support and alimony...5 Other income...5 Assets...5 Veterans...6 Down payment assistance...6 Homeowners insurance...6

2 Preapproval is an important first step: You need to make sure you can get a mortgage and know exactly how much you ll be allowed to borrow before you start house hunting. Asking to be preapproved for a mortgage is your first chance to find out where you stand and obtain answers to your questions. You will fill out an application that asks how much you make, how much you ve saved, and how much you owe on everything from cars to school loans to credit cards. We will evaluate that information, check your credit reports and credit scores, and reply with a letter that says you can qualify for a mortgage and how much we can loan. The process is free, except for the cost of the credit report, and being preapproved boosts your credibility with real estate agents and sellers who don t want to waste their time on buyers who may not be able to get financing. Indeed, if you re looking for a good deal and who isn t? you stand a better chance of your offer being accepted if you ve been preapproved. Don t settle for being prequalified. Prequalified means the lender took your word for everything and didn t pull your credit history or scores. It doesn t really say much about your ability to get a loan, and sellers consider it to be meaningless. Here s how to get an actual loan preapproval: Step 1: Check and fix your credit reports. Your credit history reflects how you have managed credit in the past and plays a major part in the approval for a mortgage. You are entitled by law to a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year. Check every entry in the report for accuracy. Then contact the reporting agency to correct any mistakes. Each credit report tells you how to do this. You can t ask the reporting agency to remove legitimate black marks on your credit report, such as missed or late payments, repossessions, foreclosures or bankruptcies. However, incorrect information can be researched with the reporting agency and corrected with the credit bureau. You can attach a written statement to your credit report explaining your side of the story. For example, describe how an illness, injury, or unemployment caused a financial crisis or that a late payment was caused by an online banking error.

3 Step 2: Assemble your paperwork. Use our mortgage checklist to gather all the documentation you ll need for an application. You ll need lots of information from those documents to complete the application. The lender should ask for at least some pay stubs, credit card bills, bank or retirement plan statements. Step 3: Apply for preapproval. Whether you apply in person or online, the information you ll have to provide is the same. You ll be asked: For your street address, e mail address, phone and social security number. If you ve lived at your current address for less than three years, the lender will want to know where you lived before that. If you are buying this home with someone else, they ll probably want to know your relationship to any co borrowers. Whether you currently rent, own or live with family. How many dependants you have. Your annual income. Your occupation, employer and how long you ve worked there. If you ve been with the company for less than two years, it will ask where you worked previously. Your assets what you own and what it is worth. This includes your current home and other property, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts. Your liabilities how much you owe, to whom and how much you pay every month. Whether you have filed for bankruptcy in the last 10 years. Whether you are behind on any bills. Whether you are a first time buyer. Whether you are buying a home as a residence or rental property or, in the case of a duplex or other multifamily unit, both. You should get preapproval in two weeks. The more complicated your finances, the longer it will take. We may ask you to clarify or provide additional information by phone, e mail, fax, or traditional mail. Step 4: Start hunting for that dream house. When you find out how much you can borrow, you re ready to start house hunting. Your preapproval is good for 90 days. We will run another credit check and extend the offer if necessary.

4 Other things to consider: Make sure you have the paperwork When you begin looking for a house, you should also begin looking for all the information and paperwork you ll need to apply for a mortgage. Complete our Mortgage Application Checklist. It s extensive W2s, pay stubs, bank statements, brokerage statements and more. So it s never too early to start a file and fill it up. If you apply in person bring all of these documents with you. We will make copies for our file. When you make the copies, photocopy the back side of any bank or brokerage statements or any other documents that have anything on the back, even if there is nothing important there. Debts and monthly payments We will ask you to list all your debts and how much you spend each month on everything from rent to your current mortgage, to credit cards, car loans and utilities. We will check that information against your credit report, which will not only list all your debts but also show whether or not you re paying your bills on time. Income from your job We need W2s from the last two years as well as the most recent pay stub. If you have more than one job, bring the W2s and the most recent pay stubs from all of them. If you have had more than one job in the last year we will need your beginning and ending employment dates. If one of those pay stubs shows 10% or more of your income came from overtime, we need to know how often you work extra hours. If you routinely boost your pay with overtime, we may be able to add that to your base salary when determining your debt to income ratio and how big a loan you can qualify for. To show how regularly you work overtime, have five or six pay stubs available showing the extra hours and earnings. Self employed income If you are self employed, bring your federal tax returns from the last two years, including all business tax returns. We may also ask for a year to date profit and loss statement. If you have a job and are self employed, you ll need documentation for that. Sale commissions If your income includes commissions from sales, make sure you can explain how the commissions are determined and be able to show where you stand for the year to date. We will need to know what your base salary is, and in sales it can be fairly low. If your commissions double, triple or even quadruple that amount every year, the lender can add that

5 to your base salary and use the larger number to determine your debt to income ratio and how large of a loan you qualify for. Your commissions need to be consistent for the last two years. Disability income We may be able to count disability income if you can prove you ll be collecting it for at least three years. The documentation you ll need depends upon where you live and who you are collecting from: the federal government, a state or agency, or private insurer. You ll also need to document the amount you are being paid each month with a check stub, a photocopy of your most recent check, or a bank statement showing the deposit. Child support and alimony Other income You may be able to count child support or alimony as income if you have the court order mandating the payments and proof that they are actually being made. Since you probably can t get the canceled checks, make copies of the checks and keep bank statements that show the money has been regularly deposited. If one of your children is about to turn 18, child support will usually stop, and we may not be able to include it on your application. The ages of the children and when the support will stop are normally spelled out in the court order. If you receive any other regular income pension, survivor s benefits, an annuity, allowance, an annual bonus, Social Security income, and stock options, even royalties from software, books or music you may be able to count it if you can document it. Use letters or statements spelling out what you are entitled to as well as check stubs, photocopies of your most recent checks, or your bank statements showing the actual deposits. Assets If you have CDs, savings accounts, 401(k)s, stocks, bonds, real estate or anything else of value, you ll need proof of ownership and value. Statements from a bank or brokerage will normally satisfy lenders about stocks, bonds and monetary holdings. For the rest, you will need deeds and other documentation. If you own land or other real estate, it is up to the lender to decide if it is worth what you say it is. If you bring in the appraisal from when you bought it, most lenders should be able to determine its current value. After all, they are in the business. If there have been any unusually large deposits into any of your accounts in the past few months, the lender will often want to know where the money came from.

6 Veterans If you are applying for a VA loan, your lender will want to see a certificate from your local Department of Veteran s Affairs office proving that you qualify. If you are currently in the service either on active duty or in the reserves you will need your military ID and records to show to the VA. If you are a veteran, you will need a copy of your honorable discharge papers. For information about the specific service requirements, call your local VA office or check online with the VA. Down payment assistance If you are receiving down payment assistance from a community based program or a state or county program, ask for the paperwork you ll need for your lender. If you are getting down payment assistance from a friend or family member, you will need a gift letter from the giver stating that the money is not a loan but a gift that does not have to be paid back. If it is a loan, it changes your debt to income ratio and may make a difference in how much you can borrow. Homeowners insurance If you are refinancing an existing loan, you will also need the declaration page of your homeowner s insurance policy. It is from the insurance company and shows the term, the coverage, and what the annual premium is. And finally, don t be surprised if your lender asks to see more. Even after you ve pulled together all of this.

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