Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Member First Mortgage and what is your relationship with my Credit Union?
Member First Mortgage (MFM) is a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), wholly owned by 13 leading Credit Unions. We are a full service mortgage lender with an experienced staff, offering expertise in all aspects of mortgage lending, from purchase to refinance to construction. Member First Mortgage partners with Credit Unions across the country to provide mortgage services to their members.
We pride ourselves on our professionalism and personal service, home buyers and homeowners will experience the utmost attention to detail and service in every transaction. Our dedicated team of origination professionals will work directly with you from application to closing, delivering the seamless level of service you expect and deserve. Member service is a priority at Member First Mortgage, our licensed lending specialists are committed to helping you achieve your dream of home ownership.
How do I know which loan program is the right fit for me?
Finding the mortgage program that's the best fit for your personal situation comes together when our experience meets your goals and unique financing needs. Our team of origination professionals is licensed, experienced, and dedicated to finding the right mortgage program for you. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with an MFM Mortgage Consultant.
Can I get advice from an MFM Mortgage Consultant if I’m not ready to apply?
Yes, if you're not quite ready to apply and simply have questions, we're more than happy to help! Contact us today to schedule a meeting with an MFM Mortgage Consultant.
Are there mortgage loan programs available for people with bad credit?
Yes, we offer a variety of loan programs for borrowers with less than ideal credit. Many Government mortgage programs feature flexible credit and qualification requirements, addressing some of the most common obstacles homebuyers face when purchasing a home.
Are there loan programs available with a low down payment or no down payment?
Yes, we understand that saving for a down payment can be difficult, that's why we offer multiple loan programs that feature low down payment or no down payment requirements!
What is an escrow account and why do I need one?
Generally, an escrow account refers to the funds a borrower pays to a lender along with their principal and interest payments for the payment of real estate taxes and hazard insurance. This is also referred to as impounds. The money is held in an account to ensure it is available to the lender when payments are due.
What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and why do I need it?
Private Mortgage Insurance is provided to protect the mortgage lender against losses that might be incurred if a loan defaults. Most often required on Conventional mortgage loans, the cost of Mortgage Insurance is usually paid by the borrower and is most often required if the loan amount is more than 80% of the home's value.
Do I need to find a home before I apply for a mortgage loan?
No, in fact we recommend getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan before you begin your home searching process. Pre-Qualification is often a great place to start because you'll learn exactly how much you are approved to borrow, making the process of searching for the right home much more efficient.
What is the difference between a Fixed Rate mortgage and an Adjustable Rate (ARM)?
A Fixed Rate mortgage loan features monthly principal and interest payments that will remain the same throughout the life of the loan. An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is a loan that allows the lender to adjust the interest rate during the term of the loan. ARM terms can be complex, you may want to consult with a Mortgage Consultant to determine if an Adjustable Rate loan is right for you.
How does my past credit history affect my ability to get approved?
All mortgage programs feature basic credit requirements, including credit score minimums. Your credit score, as well as the information on your credit report, are key factors in determining whether you'll be able to get a mortgage. Errors on your credit report can affect your score, so it's important to check your credit report and correct any errors before applying for a loan. Credit score is only one component in a mortgage lenders decision, other factors include: the amount of debt you already have, your total assets, your current income, how much you have in savings, and more.
What information should I have ready when applying?
When applying for a mortgage loan you'll need to gather a variety of documentation. Your Mortgage Consultant will provide you with specific information on what items are required, but this may include:
• Copy of driver’s license for each borrower
• Most recent pay stub showing year-to-date (at least 30 days) earnings
• W2's- 2 years
• Most recent asset statements covering two full month(s)
• Complete signed & dated Federal Tax Return including all schedules- 2 years
• Most recent 401K/Retirement statement- all pages
• Copy of last mortgage statement (for refinances)
• Purchase agreement signed by all parties (for home purchase transactions)
What is an appraisal and why do I need one?
An Appraisal is a written estimate of the value of a property, prepared by a qualified appraiser. Mortgage lenders will always require a property appraisal before approving a home loan.
The most popular method of appraising a home is the “sales comparison” method. It involves examining recent home sales in the area (often called “comparables” or “comps”) and selecting the ones most like the property being appraised (the “subject property”). The subject property’s condition, construction quality and features are compared to the comps, and its value is adjusted up or down.
There is also the “income” approach which is used primarily when valuing an investment or rental property. The appraiser takes the rental income of either the subject property (if rented) or similar comps, and calculates the price that would provide the rate of return a typical investor would require for a similar property.
How will my taxes be paid?
If you have an escrow account, your monthly mortgage payment will consist of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (P.I.T.I). Using an escrow account, Member First Mortgage will pay the taxes and insurance on your behalf each month.
If you don't have an escrow account, you will be responsible for paying your own property taxes and insurance.