Contact Ameristar Mortgage in Madison

   


FAQ - Frequently Asked Wisconsin and Illinois Mortgage Questions

Why should I choose Ameristar Mortgage?
What do I do after I have found the home I want to purchase?

Will Ameristar help me qualify, even if other lenders or banks have turned me down?
What is Ameristar's loan process?
What documents are needed to process my loan?
What's the easiest way to apply?
What counts in the loan application process?
Who's who in the housing business?
What does a mortgage payment consist of?
Who do I contact for status once my loan is in process?
How secure is the information I am supplying to you?
Do you share my information with other companies?
What is the difference between pre-qualifying and pre-approval?
Why do interest rates change?

Why should I choose Ameristar Mortgage?
At Ameristar, mortgages are our business. We take pride in offering you the best service as a lender. With the capability to provide lending services in all of Wisconsin, we are able to extend our superior rates to anyone, anywhere in the state. Our goal is to find you a loan product that matches your needs - plain and simple. We receive no special financial incentives for promoting specific loan programs. Instead, we continually work to bring you the largest selection of products so that you can find what you need. Ameristar will provide you with a free quote and step-by-step details on the simple process of purchasing a new home or refinancing.
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What do I do after I have found the home I want to purchase?
It is time to contact the seller who may be an individual or an representative of a real estate agency. Negotiations can begin for the sale of the property. Once the buyer and seller have agreed on a purchase price and developed sales agreement, it is time for the buyer to apply for a loan.
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Will Ameristar help me qualify, even if other lenders or banks have turned me down?
Ameristar looks beyond the numbers and credit reports. We regard you as an individual. After all, we might see something other lenders have missed. Even if others have turned you down, Ameristar wants to give you the respect and credit you deserve.
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What is Ameristar's loan process?
At Ameristar, we've done our best to eliminate the red tape associated with the loan process. That's why we can pre-qualify you in 24 hours. Here are the steps in our loan process:

Contact an Ameristar loan officer to discuss your individual financial situation by requesting a loan online or calling us. A loan officer will then contact you to assess your situation and determine your financial goals. Based on the information collected and your credit report, your loan officer will quote you an interest rate and the loan amount that you are likely to qualify for. You will then need to supply your loan officer with financial documents for confirmation. Then, after your application is complete, your loan officer will notify you when your loan is approved. At this time an appointment will be made for signing the loan papers. You will receive your funds after 4 days for refinances, same day for purchases following the loan signing.

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What documents are needed to process my loan?
The loan requires certain documents for approval. These may include credit reports, the loan application, an appraisal of the property, income verification, asset verification, and various other documents depending on the complexity of your personal financing situation.
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What's the easiest way to apply?
You can apply online by filling out our online application, or apply by phone. If you prefer, we can fax or express mail you our application package for your review.
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What counts in the loan application process?
Your Income
The amount of income you earn will determine the amount of money you can borrow to purchase your home. For example, if a person makes $5000 a month and spends $1600 on a mortgage loan, including property taxes, mortgage insurance and hazard insurance, the housing expense ratio is 32% (1600 divided by 5000). Normally to qualify for mortgage loans lender may spend a maximum of 33% of their mortgage payments.

Your debts

The lender will look at the monthly debt such as loan payments, charge cards, child support, made monthly by the applicant. The percentage of debts to income is known as the
debt-to-income ratio. A good goal is to spend about 38% of your income on all debts including the contemplated mortgage payment.

Your employment history
It is important for the lenders to see a steady employment in any occupation held by the applicant. Mortgage lenders are more likely to lend money to people who have worked several years at the same job or the same type of job. A Verification of Employment Document will be requested by the lender to verify your work history.

Your credit history
Each borrower has a credit history report that is filed with the Credit Bureau. Lenders receive a copy of your credit history in the loan application process in order to determine your willingness to pay as a borrower. This assessment depends on your credit record, i.e. if you have been late on your various payment obligations.

What is the property worth?
The lender will want to know the value of the prospective home. The loan amount approved will depend on the value of the property to be determined by an appraiser. This appraisal is to ensure that the lender can recover the money he lends, even if you stop making payments. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender has the right to sell the home to pay off the loan -- a process known as foreclosure.

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Who's who in the housing business?
Real Estate Agent/Broker
When you first start looking for a new home, contact a real estate company in the area that you are planning a purchase. The real estate professionals will show you many available houses in your price range that will meet your personal needs. When you decide on a home to purchase, make an offer on the home. The real estate broker will present your offer to the seller. But please remember that the broker is under contract to the seller to represent the seller's interest. When an agreed price has been reached, it is necessary to draw up a sale of contract document signed by both the buyer and seller.

Mortgage Brokers
The mortgage brokerage firm has loan officers who will find the best loan program to suit your financial needs and concerns. The mortgage broker represents numerous wholesale lenders and typically searches for the best program and rates to suite your particular needs.

Loan Officer
The loan officer will be the buyer's liaison to the lender for obtaining a loan.

Lender
Banks, savings and loans, and mortgage companies lend money to home buyers. Your lender will ask you to fill out a loan application form that includes information about your income, employment, and debts.

State or Local Housing Finance Agency
Some government agencies provide valuable housing assistance to low- and moderate-income home buyers and renters. To find out more about these programs, ask your real estate agent or your mortgage broker.

Property/Mechanical Inspector
For a fee, a qualified inspector will examine the home you have chosen from basement to attic. The inspection includes an evaluation of the home's plumbing, electrical work, appliances, the furnace and/or air conditioner, roof, and structural stability. These inspections can save you thousands of dollars in the future, and the knowledge of flaws can help you negotiate a better price on the house.

Appraiser
The appraiser will be hired by the mortgage broker or lender to determine the
market value of your prospective home based on its condition and the selling prices of comparable homes recently sold in the area. This estimate helps the lender decide a reasonable loan amount for the mortgage.

Mortgage Insurer
Mortgage insurance makes it possible for lenders to offer mortgage loan options to buyers with small down payments. If for some reason you can no longer make your payments, mortgage insurance helps cover the lender's losses.

Underwriter
The underwriter works for the lenders in reviewing all the documentation involved with your loan. Once you've applied for the loan and found the loan program appropriate to your needs, the mortgage broker will begin the paperwork to provide all the supporting documents required for the approval of the loan. These shall include employment history, credit reports, the appraisal of the home, verification of employment, the uniform loan application, and other documents.

Attorney/Closing Agent
The attorney or closing agent is responsible for ensuring that all documents have been completed properly including those related to the title search and title insurance. The closing agent will explain all closing documents to you and the seller, obtain your signatures, and record the documents with the appropriate local governments. He or she also will collect the transaction fees and give them to the appropriate parties.

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What does a mortgage payment consist of?
Mortgage payments consist of costs for principal, interest, property tax, hazard insurance, and mortgage insurance (if applicable).

Principal
The principal is the amount of money you borrowed. Each month when you make your mortgage payment, you are paying back a small portion of the principal. The longer the payments are amortized (over 30 years for example), the more the payments go to reduce the principal you owe; over time, interest will become a smaller part of your monthly payment. In the beginning, most of the mortgage payments made to the lender will be interest payments.

Interest
Interest is the cost of borrowing money, usually expressed as an annual percentage of the loan amount - for example 5.875%, 6.50%, etc. Lenders will offer different rates depending on the type of loan program offered.

Property Taxes
These are taxes paid to local governments, usually charged as a percentage of the property value. Your lender collects the taxes through your monthly payments. The amount of tax will vary depending on the location of the home.

Hazard Insurance
This is a contract that protects you from any financial losses on your property that might result from fire, flood, or any other "hazards."

Mortgage Insurance
This is an insurance policy that pays mortgage lenders for part of their financial losses if a borrower fails to fully repay a loan. Mortgage insurance makes it possible to buy a home with a low down payment. Mortgage insurance is only required if your LTV is greater than 80%.

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Who do I contact for status once my loan is in process?
Once we have received your completed application and supporting documentation, you will be assigned to a loan processor. Your processor and loan officer will be collecting any remaining documentation, preparing your application for approval, and clearing your file for closing.
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How secure is the information I am supplying to you?
To maintain security of customer information, we restrict access to your personal and account information to persons who need to know that information to provide you products or services. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal standards to guard your non-public personal information.

If you have any concerns or questions about privacy, security or applying online, please call us at (608) 242-0826. We would be happy to take your application over the phone, via mail or fax.

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Do you share my information with other companies?
The mortgage process involves communicating personal financial data, and we understand the need for a safe and secure environment in which to share this information. We respect the trust you are giving us and do not use your information for any purpose other than to underwrite and approve your loan. We do not share, rent or sell any of the information you provide us.
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What is the difference between pre-qualifying and pre-approval?
A pre-qualification is normally issued by a loan officer, who, after interviewing you, determines the dollar value of a loan you can be approved for. However, loan officers do not make the final approval, so a pre-qualification is not a commitment to lend. After the loan officer determines that you pre-qualify, he/she then issues you a pre-qualification letter. This pre-qualification letter is used when you are making an offer on a property. The pre-qualification letter indicates to the seller that you are qualified to purchase the house you are making an offer on.

Pre-approval is a step above pre-qualification. Pre-approval involves verifying your credit, down payment, employment history, etc. Your loan application is submitted to an underwriter and a decision is made regarding your loan application. If your loan is pre-approved, you are then issued a pre-approval certificate. Getting your loan pre-approved allows you to close very quickly when you do find a house. A pre-approval can help you negotiate a better price with the seller, since being pre-approved is very close to having cash in the bank to pay for the house!

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Why do interest rates change?
Interest-rate movements are based on the simple concept of supply and demand. If the demand for credit (loans) increases, so do interest rates. This is because there are more buyers, so sellers can command a better price, i.e. higher rates. If the demand for credit reduces, then so do interest rates. This is because there are more sellers than buyers, so buyers can command a lower better price, i.e. lower rates. When the economy is expanding there is a higher demand for credit, so rates move higher, whereas when the economy is slowing the demand for credit decreases and so do interest rates.

Mortgage rates tend to move in the same direction as interest rates. However, actual mortgage rates are also based on supply and demand for mortgages. The supply/demand equation for mortgage rates may be different from the supply/demand equation for interest rates. This might sometimes result in mortgage rates moving differently from other rates.

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