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Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why should I buy rather than rent?

Owning your own home offers many financial benefits that you don’t get as a renter. You’re building equity over time, and there is both a property tax deduction and a mortgage interest tax deduction. And when you sell your home, there’s a capital gains exclusion of up to $250,000. Over the long term, it’s often less expensive to own rather than rent because of these benefits.

If you’re interested in becoming a homeowner, give us a call at (800) 979-9994 and speak with one of our loan experts today. They’ll review the process with you and address any questions or concerns you may have about homeownership.

What documents do I need to secure a loan?

A list of documents you may need throughout the loan process is available here.

However, it is best to consult an experienced mortgage professional to determine a complete list of documents you will need in order to secure home financing.

Call AmeriCU Mortgage at (800) 979-9994 to speak with one of our licensed experts today.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is a valuation of a property. A qualified professional inspects the property and determines the value based on the size, condition, functionality, and quality. Appraisers also look at comparable homes in the area to determine a fair market value for the property.

How is a home inspection different from an appraisal?

An appraisal is a valuation of a property completed by a qualified third-party professional. The buyer and seller do not participate in the process, and the ultimate goal is to determine a fair market value for the home.

A home inspection is also completed by a qualified third-party professional, but it involves a detailed examination of the property. Unlike with an appraisal, the buyer hires the home inspector and is encouraged to participate in the inspection process. The ultimate goal of a home inspection is to protect the buyer’s investment by avoiding any unexpected repair costs at closing.

How often do interest rates change?

Interest rates can change daily — sometimes more than once a day. Multiple factors influence the change in rate, most significantly supply and demand. When more borrowers are taking out loans, interest rates respond accordingly, and when there’s less demand from borrowers, the opposite happens. Other facts that can affect interest rates include fiscal policy and inflation. At AmeriCU, we’re proud to offer competitive rates to our borrowers.

What does all this mean for you? With rates currently at record lows, now is the perfect time to buy a home. Call AmeriCU at (800) 979-9994 today and have us lock in your rate.

What is an annual percentage rate (APR)?

An annual percentage rate, or APR, is the amount charged annually for taking out a loan. It is expressed as a percentage of the loan principal, including the lender or closing costs and any additional fees. Lenders are required to disclose APR and all other relevant terms of the loans they offer.

For more information about APR, please contact out Customer Service Department at (800) 979-9994.

What is a FICO score?

A FICO score is a score of your credit as reported by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Scores can range from 300 to 850 and are determined by the following factors:

  • Length of credit history
  • Length of time at present residence
  • Credit utilization
  • Late payments
  • Bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc.

Federal law entitles you to one free copy of your credit report each year. Get your free report today by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

What if there is an error on my credit report?

It is important to closely monitor your credit report to ensure all information is accurate. Federal law entitles you to one free copy of your credit report each year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request a copy of your report today.

If you believe there is an error on your credit report, click here for instructions on filing a dispute.

If you believe there is an error on your credit report associated with Towne Mortgage Company, please contact our Servicing Department at (800) 979-9977.

How is my monthly payment calculated?

Monthly payments are usually calculated based on four factors: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

  • Principal is the amount you borrow to purchase a home, before factoring in interest, taxes, and insurance.
  • Interest is an amount charged based on current market rates. Lower interest rates mean a lower monthly payment and vice-versa.
  • Taxes on real estate are due once a year, but they’re often divided into 12 payments, combined with your mortgage payment, and placed in escrow until they’re applied to your annual tax bill. You may opt out of placing the funds in escrow and instead pay your annual taxes in one lump sum.
  • Insurance can involve homeowner’s insurance and mortgage insurance. Homeowner’s insurance covers damage to your property, while mortgage insurance protects the lender in the event of a default. Mortgage insurance is required if you have less than 20% equity in your home.

Sound confusing? That’s OK — we’re here to help. Give us a call today at (800) 979-9994 with any questions or concerns about how your monthly payment is calculated.

Is refinancing a good choice for me?

There are multiple factors that determine whether refinancing is a good choice for you, so it’s a good idea to speak with a mortgage expert as you decide. Whether you’re looking to lower your interest rate, consolidate your debts, or reduce the life of your loan, your loan team at AmeriCU can help you determine if refinancing is the best choice.

Call us today at (800) 979-9994 to discuss your situation and let us help your figure out if refinancing is the best option for you.

Can my loan be sold?

Here at AmeriCU, we strive to be trusted, valued members of the communities we serve. Because of this, we retain servicing for all loans fulfilled on behalf of our credit union partners.

Our borrowers deserve superior service and we ensure they receive it by providing an excellent lending experience for the life of the loan, from application to servicing.