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Your First Mortgage

By Wallace Jones

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

CU Members Mortgage is a division of Colonial Savings F. A., a company whose primary business is as a mortgage servicing company. Colonial Savings is a family owned company formed in 1952. CU Members began in 1982 working only with credit unions to provide mortgage services for credit unions and their members.

What are the basic steps in the mortgage process?

Typically a borrower will apply for a pre-approval before looking for a home. This involves completing an application which would include a credit report and likely some type of online approval. They will be asked to document the information they provide with pay stubs (or tax returns for self-employed borrowers), deposit statements and W-2's.

Do you have any tips for people applying for their first mortgage?

Do your homework. Attend a home buying seminar, do some online research about the area you are looking in. Check out schools, shopping, traffic and other items that may be of interest to you. Parks, churches etc. Ask your family friends or co-workers who may have recently purchased a home about their experience and tips. Make sure when you apply for a loan to pick a lender that you trust. What better place for that than your credit union!

What factors influence a person's mortgage the most if they've never had one before?

There are typically no different qualifying factors for someone whether they are applying for their first mortgage or their fifth one. The overall experience though is so much different for a home loan than auto or other loans. Credit is the most important factor in qualifying. Down payment and closing costs may be more than you think. That is why a first time home buyer needs a good loan officer. Ask questions about anything you don't understand to make sure it is clear. The loan officer originates mortgages all day everyday and sometimes forgets that you have never done this before! Loan officers use acronyms so don't feel bad at all asking about everything!

Is there anything else related to the idea of "Your First Mortgage" that you think should be covered?

Buying a home is an important decision, and again trust in who you are working with (both the loan officer and the Realtor) is very important. Make sure you have those trusted advisers to assist you in the process.

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

Wallace Jones-VP of Training and Business Development-wallacej@homeloancu.com.

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