By placing a strong emphasis on residential lending, Evolve has the expertise to identify the best programs and rates available in today’s market, offering competitive rates on all residential products — including FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo and conventional loans. Let us provide a solution tailored to fit your personal financial needs to make buying a new home work for you.
Choose the mortgage that fits your needs
No doubt about it, buying a home is an exciting and important time in your life. But before you enjoy the pleasures of home ownership, it’s so important that you get the home mortgage that works for your particular situation. Whether you choose a fixed-rate or adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), at Evolve Bank & Trust we’ll help you find the home financing product that meets your needs.
Which home loans are right for me–fixed-rate mortgages vs. adjustable-rate mortgages?
How long do you plan to stay in your home? Prefer a consistent mortgage payment? These are just some of the things to consider when choosing a mortgage loan. And based on your responses to these questions, you’ll be better able to pick the type of mortgage that’s best for you—a fixed rate mortgage or an ARM.
As its name implies, a fixed rate mortgage is one where the interest rate on your home loan remains the same throughout its duration. This differs from a loan where the interest rate may change over time, such as an adjustable rate mortgage. Fixed rate mortgages are the most popular form of home loan in the United States largely due to the appeal of a consistent mortgage payment amount over the life of the loan.
In many instances, fixed rate mortgages have higher mortgage payments than adjustable rate mortgages. This is most often because the interest rate remains unchanged for the duration of the loan. Typically, loans with longer terms will have a higher interest rate than loans with shorter terms due to interest rate risk, or the possibility of fluctuating interest rates.
The biggest benefit of a fixed rate mortgage is the fact that the interest rate does not change over time. This allows you to budget your finances and make a consistent, fixed payment over the duration of your loan.
Fixed rate mortgages allow you to lock in an interest rate and principal payment for the entire life of your loan. Your rate and principal payment never increase, even if the market changes – giving you peace of mind.
Fixed-rate mortgage benefits include:
- Fixed mortgage payment over the life of the loan
- Choice from 15-to 30-year terms
- Quick pre-qualification for qualified borrowers
- Lock in your mortgage rate up to 60 days before closing
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a mortgage in which the interest rate may change over time. With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate may change periodically, usually in relation to an index (such as the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR), and payments may “adjust” up or down accordingly. Unlike a fixed rate mortgage, homeowners with this type of home loan aren’t guaranteed the same interest rate for the duration of their loan. The risk of an increasing interest rate is something that borrowers should take into account when considering an adjustable rate mortgage for their home financing.
Because the borrower assumes more risk with this type of mortgage, adjustable rate mortgages offer prospective homeowners some notable benefits.
Adjustable rate mortgages typically offer lower initial interest rates and monthly payments than fixed rate mortgages in exchange for possible future rate adjustments. With an adjustable rate mortgage, the initial interest rate is fixed for a set period, such as 3 to 10 years, and the interest rate adjusts up or down depending on market conditions after that.
Adjustable rate mortgages can be a great option for homebuyers who plan to relocate or move in the future or who expect their income to increase.
Interest Rate Caps
Depending on the type of mortgage selected, interest rate caps offer some protection for homeowners who opt to finance their home with an adjustable rate mortgage. An interest rate cap sets a limit on the amount the interest rate can increase. There are two types of interest rate caps. A periodic adjustment cap limits the amount an interest rate can increase or decrease between two adjustment periods after the first adjustment. A lifetime cap limits the amount the interest rate can increase over the duration of the loan.
Payment caps follow a similar structure as interest rate caps. Payment caps limit the amount the monthly payment may increase from one adjustment period to another, instead of the amount the interest rate can increase.
Adjustable-rate mortgage benefits include:
- Initial period of a fixed mortgage payment followed by periodic adjustments to your monthly payment. Adjustments may increase or decrease—depending on interest-rate fluctuations.
- Choice of fixed initial rates from 1 to 10 years
- Quick pre-qualification for qualified borrowers
- Lock in your mortgage rate up to 60 days before closing
Mortgage Refinancing is a process in which you replace one or more existing loans or debts with a new loan, usually secured by the same assets. The most common type of refinancing is for home mortgages. Before you decide to go ahead and refinance, there are a number of factors you need to consider. There are also options to refinance your reverse mortgage.
Is Refinancing Right For Me?
In most refinancing situations, the borrower does so mainly to reduce the interest cost and replace it with a new lower rate. Before you jump into refinancing, you must determine whether the new loan option will ultimately save you money.
When you purchased your home, there were a number of factors that determined your total principal amount. Credit rating, down payment and the current interest rates were at the top of that list, but these things change over time. It may now be beneficial to refinance with your higher credit score, increase of cash flow and lower rates set by the Federal Reserve.
Benefits of Refinancing
The main goal of refinancing should be to lower your monthly payment, reduce your payment period and save you money!
You can now easily apply to refinance your home mortgage and fulfill that goal. For example, you have a 30-year mortgage you’ve been paying since you bought your first home when you were young, had average credit and the market rates were high. It’s now 10 years later and you are feeling locked into your loan. You have a stable job, a high credit score and the US is in a rate-cutting period. You now have the option to refinance! You can change your payment period to 10, 15, or 20 years, saving you thousands of dollars in interest. Because your refinance rate is lower and on a shorter payment period, you can still have the same monthly payment. This doesn’t mean the refinancing was useless. You are now building equity in your home faster as you cut out interest and are paying more on principal.
Payment Traps: Refinancing Can Help
Adjustable rate mortgages may no longer be attractive and ready for refinancing. At the time, interest rates were low and it was a great loan. However, interest rates may have risen and your payment is now out of hand. Another trap for homeowners occurs when one buys their home with the intention to sell in a few years. They’ve gotten busy or grown attached and are now stuck in an unattractive loan. Refinancing could be the answer for you! You can now switch from your adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage and protect yourself against fluctuating interest rates. You’ll have more security every month and hopefully, a cheaper interest rate!
Some homeowners may have had to pay an extra fee called Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is required for borrowers who cannot pay 20 percent of the loan for their down payment and the amount financed is greater than 80 percent of the appraised value. If your house has increased its value since your purchase and you’ve consistently made your payments, your home equity may now be above that 20 percent. Refinancing may actually get rid of the PMI payments.
What’s the Catch? It Sounds Too Good To Be True
Be careful with the mortgage refinance option you choose. Certain types of refinancing options contain prepayment penalties for early payments as well as closing costs. In some cases, these extra fees may offset any savings you may have hoped to experience from refinancing your home.
VA Home Loan
You served your country. Now let your country return the favor with special financing just for veterans. VA loans reward veterans for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our country in a number of ways.
VA loans are designed to provide long-term home financing to qualified veterans and, in some cases, their surviving unmarried spouses. In many instances, their interest rates can be better than other conventional loans.
VA loans offer a number of advantages over other types of mortgages, including:
- No penalty fee if you pay the loan off early
- No private mortgage insurance requirements
- Less than perfect credit can apply
- VA may be able to provide some assistance if mortgage payment problems arise
In order to apply for a VA-sponsored loan, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Your COE verifies to lenders that you meet the requirements necessary to obtain a VA-sponsored loan. Applying for a COE is straightforward and can be done online, through the mail or through a lender.
Active duty military personnel and current National Guard members or Reservists who have never been Federal active service will need to present a current statement of service in order to obtain a COE.
Veterans and current or former National Guard members and Reservists that have been activated for Federal active service will need to present a DD Form 214 confirming their past service.
FHA Home Loan
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a government entity that offers mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. The FHA provides insurance on mortgages for many different types of homes including single-family and multifamily homes. The FHA is completely funded by its own self-generated income, meaning there is no cost to taxpayers for its operation and services.
FHA insured loans often give potential homeowners the option of making a lower down payment than they would need to make if using a traditional, non-FHA insured mortgage.
FHA loan benefits include:
- Down payments as low as 3.5%
- Loan is guaranteed by the government
- Less than perfect credit can apply
- Energy-efficient mortgages, reverse mortgages, refinances, and renovation loans also available.
FHA loans don’t just benefit the potential homeowner – they also are beneficial for the economy as a whole. They stimulate economic development in the form of expanding tax bases and creating jobs.
In fact, the FHA was created in 1934 as a direct response to difficulties in the housing industry such as unfavorable mortgage loan terms, low rates of homeownership nationwide and widespread unemployment among construction workers
USDA Home Loan
If you thought U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans were just for farmers – think again. Let us educate you about USDA loans and help you take advantage of their many benefits.
We offer USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loans. These loans are designed to help families without adequate housing finance the purchase of a home in a rural area. Applicants may have incomes up to 115% of the area’s median income and must be able to afford mortgage payments, including insurance and applicable taxes. Credit score is also considered in the application process.
The duration of a USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan is 30 years, with an interest rate determined by the lender. No down payment is required, which sets these loans apart from more traditional home loans.
Program guidelines are very specific – but don’t let that stop you from achieving your homeownership goals. Our experienced USDA financing professional will help you navigate through the USDA loan process and determine if you are eligible.
USDA loans offer a number of unique benefits that set them apart from standard home loans. USDA loans require no down payment, so qualified individuals can finance up to 100% of the home’s total purchase price. This makes them one of the more desirable loans available to homeowners.
USDA loan benefits include:
- 100% financing option available
- Great rates and down payment options
- Better terms than a FHA or conventional loan
- Flexible credit guidelines mean less than perfect credit may still qualify
The first step in purchasing a home is to educate yourself about the world of mortgage. Whether you’re refinancing, purchasing your first home, or simply interested in learning more, our Mortgage Knowledge Center is designed to inform you on a variety of topics. Don’t worry, everybody has questions about the mortgage process so you’re not alone. Feel free to browse our Frequently Asked Questions, our “How Do I” and “What is a” sections, as well as our mortgage process overview.
Don’t see an answer or have a question not listed? Contact us at 866.367.2611.
What is a mortgage (or home loan)?
A Mortgage (also called a home loan) is a legal contract made between a lender and a borrower that uses property as collateral to secure the loan. The lender can take possession of the property if the borrower fails to pay the prearranged home loan payments.
What is a mortgage refinance?
Occurs when a borrower uses the money from a refinanced loan to pay off an existing home loan. Borrowers typically do this to extend their home loan period, apply for a lower interest rate, or to use some money out of their equity.
What is a home equity loan?
A home equity loan is a type of loan that allows a homeowner to obtain cash loans based on the present value of their property minus the mortgage amount still left to be paid off. Homeowners often apply for home equity loans to pay for expenses such as home remodeling, debt consolidation, college education, and other long-term investments.
What is a home equity line of credit or HELOC?
A Home equity line of credit or HELOC gives homeowners access to an open line of credit, where only the outstanding balance accrues interest. HELOCs provide flexibility by allowing borrowers access to money on an as-needed basis.
What is a second mortgage?
A second mortgage is a type of mortgage refinancing that allows you to acquire a second loan on your home in addition to your first home loan.
What is a reverse mortgage?
Reverse mortgages are loans that allow age qualified homeowners to transfer some of their home equity into cash. In contrast to traditional home loan mortgages, reverse mortgages do not require borrowers to repay their home loan until the homeowner no longer lives primarily at that residence, although he or she still owns the residence. See the Reverse Mortgage Division page for further information.
What is a mortgage lender?
A mortgage lender is a financial institution that provides prospective homeowners with the funds over a long-term period to pay off their home loan mortgage or assist in the purchase of a home. Borrowers are required to pay monthly installments to their lender which includes principal, interest, and possibly additional lender fees such as insurance premiums, taxes, etc.
What is the difference between a mortgage broker and a mortgage banker?
Mortgage Brokers typically have no warehouse lines, no underwriting ability and are not lenders. Mortgage Bankers actually make the underwriting decisions and close the loans with their own funds. Evolve Bank & Trust is NOT a broker, we originate, process, underwrite and close your mortgage in-house.
What is a mortgage principal?
The mortgage principal is the amount of loan money that a homeowner borrows excluding the interest.
What does APR mean?
Annual Percentage Rate ( APR ) is the percentage used to figure out the total cost of your cash advance loan by taking into account all fees charged by your lender in addition to your loan principal and interest.
What does the word “naviscreen” mean?
Naviscreening is the concept of directly connecting (mortgage) buyers with regionally specific, prescreened, and competent lenders through the simple completion of a universal and secure form.
What is a fixed rate mortgage?
A fixed rate mortgage is a home loan with steady interest rates and monthly payments that do not change throughout the life of the loan.
What is the adjustable rate mortgage?
An Adjustable Rate Mortgage, also referred to as an ARM, has monthly payments that change periodically due to fluctuations in market interest rates.
What is a VA home loan?
VA loans are a special type of home mortgage reserved for active military members and veterans. These home loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and offered by participating approved lenders. VA loans allow eligible veterans and active military personnel to realize their home buying dreams and help existing VA homeowners with money-saving refinance options.
Who is eligible for a VA home loan?
- Active-duty military
- Reservists and members of the National Guard
- Some surviving spouses of veterans
What is a FHA home loan?
FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans are designed to help first-time homebuyers and experienced homeowners alike by providing them with a low down payment option. FHA mortgage insurance serves as protection for lenders in the event of a homeowner defaulting on their home loan.
What is a USDA home loan?
USDA loans are designed to encourage rural land development and growth in rural areas. They were long thought of as just for farmers, but the program has been expanded in recent years to give more people looking to purchase or refinance in a rural area access to the incredible benefits offered by these loans.
Who is eligible for a USDA home loan?
- The property being purchased must be in a rural area as defined by the USDA.
- The property must be owner-occupied. Investment or vacation properties are not eligible for USDA loans.
- You must meet the income restrictions for the county the property is located in. Each county has a maximum income limit defined by the USDA. This maximum income limit depends on the cost of living, median income and other economic characteristics of the county the property is located in.
What is an interest-only mortgage?
Interest-Only Mortgages are loans that require the borrower to pay only interest on the principal in monthly installments for a fixed period.
What is an amortized mortgage?
Amortized Mortgages refers to loans that are paid in installments comprised of both principal and interest, and which is paid off (or amortized) over a fixed period of time.
How do you calculate LTV or loan-to-value ratio?
The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of your home is calculated by dividing the fair market value of your home by the amount of your home loan.
What are lender fees?
These fees usually range anywhere from 2 to 5 percent and may include, but are not limited to, things such as appraisal costs, document preparation, and application costs.
What is the Truth in Lending Act?
The Truth in Lending Act is a federal law that was enacted as part of the Consumer Protection Act. This law requires lenders to reveal all information to the borrower and detail all costs associated with the transaction.