Go to https://myaccount.caliberhomeloans.com
and click on the 'Don't have an Account?' link under Account Help.
You will need your loan number and social security number.
Once you’ve completed your My Account registration, you can:
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Please include your loan number on all correspondence.
Note: See the Secure Email Steps doc for more detailed instructions.
Delays can occur depending on the way your bank sends your online bill payment to us. There are three ways that your bank may do this.
Watch the video that explains the process of how your online bill pay payment works: https://vimeo.com/250651249
Watch the video that explains the process of how your online bill pay payment works: https://vimeo.com/250651249
You have several options for making your next loan payment, which will not affect the recurring payments you’ve scheduled. You can:
You have three options for making monthly loan payments:
You can choose from several convenient payment options, including:
One-Time Monthly Payments from your bank account or debit card:
Recurring payments from your bank account:
Yes! Write your Caliber account number on a check, cashier’s check or money order payable to Caliber Home Loans and send it to the address below. Please allow seven to ten days for your payment to arrive.Caliber Home Loans, Inc. P. O. Box 650856 Dallas, TX 75265-0856
Yes, Caliber offers two pay by phone options:
Here are details of each portion of a typical loan payment:
Principal: This is the portion of your payment that gradually reduces the balance that you borrowed.
Interest: The interest you pay is the cost of borrowing money. If you have a fixed-rate loan, this will not change unless you refinance. If you have an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM), your loan’s rate will adjust up or down at scheduled times – in accordance to the terms of your note.
Taxes: Most loans require an escrow account and will collect one-twelfth of your annual property tax amount in this account with each mortgage payment.
Insurance: Since your annual homeowner’s or hazard insurance premiums are only paid once a year, they’re considerably larger than most monthly bills. An escrow account that’s attached to your loan makes your tax and insurance premiums easier to manage as you pay 1/12th of each bill every month.
Mortgage Insurance: This is different than homeowner’s insurance, and is usually due if you bought your home with a small down payment. This is because most loans with less than 20% equity require Mortgage Insurance, or MI to protect your lender in case of default.
Phone Payments (IVR or CSR):
Escrow is an odd term, but it’s easy to understand. At Caliber Home Loans, we use escrow accounts to make your life simpler and to protect you from sudden, unexpected large expenses. Here’s how it works.
Your mortgage loan finances the actual purchase of your home. However, as the homeowner, you must cover other costs in addition to the mortgage itself. That’s why almost every mortgage loan comes with an escrow account. Think of it as a sort of savings account to make sure you can cover those additional costs.
What are those other costs? There are two:
Your monthly Caliber Home Loan payment consists of payment on the principal of your loan and interest charges, plus, in most cases, payment into your escrow account. The escrow portion of your monthly payment is calculated to include the funds needed to pay for taxes and insurance when they come due. These tax and insurance payments happen automatically. You do not have to keep track of these items. All you do is make your monthly mortgage payment and everything is taken care of. When the tax and insurance bills come due, your lender pays them on your behalf from the escrow account.
We establish your escrow account at the time you close your loan. Your escrow account does not require any costs that you would not otherwise have to cover as the homeowner. The escrow account makes sure you do not miss critical tax or insurance payments. In fact, the escrow account will protect you from late fees, liens on your property, or even foreclosure. And by paying into your escrow account a little each month, you avoid having to produce one big lump sum at the time the bills are due.
Sometimes, the escrow portion of your monthly payment will change. This occurs when property tax rates or insurance premiums fluctuate from one year to the next. We will conduct an analysis each year to make sure that you are paying in enough to cover the bills. Any surplus at the end of the year is applied to the next year’s expenses.
Your escrow account begins with an upfront balance when you close your loan. Part of your closing will likely be depositing money to cover the first year of taxes as well as the first six month of insurance premiums. Years later, you may have the option to remove your escrow account when your loan balance has dropped to below 80% of the home’s value.
To summarize, an “escrow account” is a protection for your peace of mind. With expenses for taxes and insurance covered, all you have to focus on is that one monthly payment.
At Caliber Home Loans, we strive to make everything about your mortgage experience as simple and clear as possible. We always look for ways to streamline the process, eliminate paperwork wherever possible, and require as little of your time as possible. Our passion is for the homebuyer. We’re here to navigate you to the best loan that works best for you so that you can savor the joy of home ownership.
In general, the short answer is yes.
Your escrow account is essentially a savings account set up to cover taxes and insurance costs related to the home you’re buying.
There are two times you’ll set up an escrow account:
Escrow Account When You Make an Offer
When you make an offer, you will deposit earnest money into an escrow account. This is considered a “good faith” gesture that you are serious about your offer. This deposit is typically to between 1% and 5% of the purchase price. The deposit is intended to protect both you and the seller. After all, things can happen to throw the sale into question. For example, the home may not pass inspection or may not appraise for the asking amount. Or you may not be approved for financing or you have second thoughts and back out of the deal.
If the sale breaks down on your end, the deposit goes to the seller. If the sale breaks down on the seller’s end, the deposit will be refunded to you. Usually, the sale goes through and the deposit money is applied toward your closing costs.
Escrow Account When You Close the Loan
When you close on your loan, the ongoing escrow account is set up to collect the funds needed each year to pay for property taxes and home insurance. Your monthly payment includes money dedicated to the escrow account and is calculated to save enough to cover the year’s expenses.
You may not have an escrow account for the whole life of the loan, however. FHA and USDA loans require an escrow account for the life of the loan. Some loans give the homeowner the option of removing the escrow account once the mortgage loan balance has dropped below 80% of the home’s market value. In that case, the monthly payment would be reduced as the funds would no longer be collected for taxes and insurance. However, the homeowner becomes responsible for paying those expenses in full and on time. In this scenario, the homeowner would need to make sure funds were on hand, including the large annual property taxes.
Although most conventional loans not federally insured do not require an escrow account, the lender may be allowed to require one. At Caliber Home Loans, we highly recommend one, as it makes managing expenses easier for you and protects you from having to cope with large annual bills.
If you made a down payment of less than 20%, you may be required to take private mortgage insurance (PMI). This protects you from certain late fees, liens against your property, and even foreclosure if you miss these specific payments. The account helps ensure the bills are paid on time and that you have sufficient funds to do so. Your escrow account may also gather funds during the year from your monthly payments to cover this additional insurance.
If You Don’t Have an Escrow Account At Closing
If you do have an escrow account set up at closing, you will have to prepay the first year of property taxes plus six months’ worth of home insurance premiums.
Whatever type of home loan you choose, we are here to help you understand all the steps involved and to navigate you through the process. All the jargon of the financial world can be confusing, but we will make it clear and help you make sound, responsible decisions.
An escrow account is an account that’s set up to collect funds for paying your annual property taxes and/or homeowner’s insurance premiums. Other items like mortgage and flood insurance may also be included.
Confused by escrow? Watch our videos to learn more about what your escrow account is for, and how often we review it. ESCROW EXPLAINED: https://vimeo.com/231872654
Typically, the funds in an escrow account pay for:
An escrow account doesn’t pay:
A surplus less than $50 will remain in your escrow account.
A surplus greater than $50 will be mailed to you in the form of a check if your loan is current in status when the escrow analysis is completed.
Yes. Deposit your escrow surplus check into your own account first. When making your next monthly payment, add the surplus funds for your escrow.
**For your security, please do not endorse the check to return it. This incurs risk if the check is lost or stolen before it is delivered to Caliber Home Loans.
To request that we cancel your escrow account, print and complete the Escrow Removal Authorization Form.
Remember to include your account number and the signatures of all borrowers on your loan. Please allow 30 days from the date of our receipt to receive a response letter.
To request an escrow account, you can:
Print and complete the Escrow Agreement Form
Please allow approximately 45 days to process. Once approved, Caliber will inform you of your monthly escrow payments by mailing you an Escrow Analysis Statement.
Your loan can be analyzed more than once on an annual basis. Below are several examples of reasons why this may occur:
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, closing costs may take you buy surprise. These are additional out-of-pocket expenses that cover of a number of fees involved in the mortgage loan process. Closing costs generally amount to from 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price. These expenses are on top of the sale price you negotiated with the seller.
Closing costs can include:
Some of these costs are upfront, before the property is officially sold, while others are paid at the time when you close on the sale and the loan. You will also probably have to establish an escrow account to fund your tax and insurance payments. Usually, you will need to prepay the first year of property taxes and home insurance premiums at closing.
The seller also covers some closing costs, including:
How to estimate what your closing costs will be.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for estimating your closing costs. That’s because the costs are set by state, county, and municipal authorities. These legal requirements can vary greatly. You can’t assume the closing costs in one locale will be similar to those in a different community. Fortunately, you can get a good idea what yours will be by using an online closing cost calculator. Better yet, consult with a real estate agent or lender familiar with the area. Their local expertise can be very important.
Federal law requires lenders submit a closing disclosure at least three days before your closing. This disclosure will state the exact amount of the closing costs you are required to pay.
How to reduce your closing costs.
Most closing costs are unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to reduce them.
Just don’t make the mistake of cutting corners. For example, don’t skimp on owner’s title insurance just to save money. This insurance protects you in case there is an undisclosed lien on the property or if the previous owners failed to pay the property taxes.
There’s one other resource to help you plan for closing – your Caliber Loan Consultant. Our goal is to make buying a home as painless and uncomplicated as possible. We are committed to helping you navigate the process by providing transparent, honest, and straightforward service. Use our branch locator to find your nearest consultant.
No. If you have an escrow account, Caliber will pay your property taxes for you with the funds you’ve already deposited in your escrow account.
If your loan does not have an escrow account, you will need to arrange payment directly with your county or parish tax office/assessor.
Watch our video to learn more about property taxes. PROPERTY TAXES EXPLAINED: https://vimeo.com/268821373
Sometimes it will take several weeks for your tax assessor to inform Caliber that you’ve paid your taxes. If this happens, you can send us proof of your recent tax payment. This can be a copy of the receipt from your tax office, or a copy of both sides of your cancelled check.
Please write your account number on each copy before mailing it to:
Caliber Tax Department
P.O. Box 9203
Coppell, TX 75019-9210
You may also fax your proof of payment to 817-826-1258.
Supplemental tax bills may be issued during your first year in your new home. These are issued when your property’s new assessed value is higher than its previous value. These are not included in escrow accounts as they are not issued every year, so you will need to make arrangements to pay it.
If you can’t pay your supplemental tax bill by its due date, please do one of the following:
Caliber’s Tax Department
P.O. Box 9209
Coppell, TX 75019-9218
Please be sure to write your Caliber loan number on the exemption before sending it to us. If your exemption has lowered your tax bill by more than $500, we may send you a revised escrow analysis. Otherwise, your account will be analyzed annually according to our state schedule.
Your HOA payments are not part of your escrow account. If you’re having difficulties and would like a one-time disbursement for the delinquent HOA payments, send the delinquency letter with an explanation of your financial difficulties to:
You may also mail these to:Caliber Home Loans, Inc.
Contact our Loss Draft Department at 1-866-940-2335 to discuss details of your claim with one of our insurance specialists. They will be able to tell you how to handle the claim funds. You can also upload all of the required claim documents or track the progress of your claim by accessing www.insuranceclaimcheck.com/calib.
Watch a short video about the Loss Draft Process here!
Once a bill is received from your insurance company, payment will be issued within 21 days of the due date. This time frame allows for mailing and posting by your insurance company for the new term. To view recent insurance payments made on your loan, follow the steps below:
To view recent insurance payments made on your loan, login to your account and select Payment History from the menu.
This will depend on the payee on the check.
If the check is made out to Caliber Home Loans and you have an escrow account, send it to Caliber Home Loans Escrow Dept., P.O. Box 650856, Dallas, TX 75265-0856. This will prevent a future escrow shortage and also informs us that you’ve switched insurance companies.
If the check is made out to you, you may deposit it to your account. We recommend that you transfer these funds to your Caliber escrow account when making your next monthly payment to prevent a future shortage.
If you do NOT have an escrow account, keep the refund! It’s yours.
Your insurance company must provide you with a reason why your coverage was cancelled. You may contact your current insurer and ask that they reinstate coverage, or shop for new coverage from another insurer.
It’s important that you renew your homeowner’s insurance as soon as possible, as your home loan requires it. If your home becomes uninsured, Caliber will have to purchase insurance for you and bill you for it. Insurance purchased by a lender may be more expensive than your previous coverage, and may not provide you with your preferred level of coverage.
If you did not pay your insurance premium because you’re having financial difficulties, please call Customer Service at 800-401-6587 to discuss your options.
Lender Placed Insurance (LPI) is insurance coverage obtained by Caliber on your property when your retail policy has canceled or non-renewed and Caliber has not received proof of insurance from your retail carrier. If you received a lender placed insurance notice from Caliber but have your own policy, please forward proof of insurance to Caliber. Write your loan number on your insurance policy’s declarations page and send it to Caliber Home Loans, P.O. Box 7731, Springfield, OH 45501-7731. You may also fax it to 937-525-4120 or update your insurance information online at: www.mycoverageinfo.com/Caliber.
Watch a short video about the Lender Placed Insurance here!
This is a clause in an insurance contract that entitles an IDD mortgagee (Caliber Home Loans) to be reimbursed for damage or loss to the property. This protects your lender (Caliber Home Loans) so we can ensure the damage is completely repaired and the property is brought back to its original state. An insurance claim check will have two payees - Caliber Home Loans and the borrower - on the check.
Please use the following Mortgagee Clause for Caliber Home Loans:Caliber Home Loans, Inc.
Mortgage insurance is NOT the same as homeowner’s insurance. Mortgage insurance makes it possible for lenders to offer financing with low down payments, as it protects them against non-payment. Your mortgage insurance costs may be added to your monthly loan payments, or you may pay it at closing.
If you have a conventional loan, you may be required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI), while FHA loans may require you to pay Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP). PMI and FHA MIP are paid monthly. USDA fee is paid annually.
If your mortgage is a single family, primary residence when the balance of your mortgage is first scheduled to reach 78% of the original value of the secured property (based solely on your initial amortization schedule), your monthly PMI costs will be removed from your loan. PMI also terminates automatically at midpoint of your contract terms as long as your loan is current.
Want to learn more about why you have Private Mortgage Insurance on your loan? View our PMI video for more. PMI EXPLAINED: https://vimeo.com/231872640
If you have a loan with private mortgage insurance, we follow HPA guidelines and will auto-terminate when your loan to value reaches 78% based on your original amortization schedule. However, you have the right to request PMI removal at any time.
If you have questions or would like to appeal your eligibility, please contact Caliber Home Loans at 1-800-401-6587 or send a written request to Caliber Home Loans Inc. PMI Department, P.O. Box 272556, Oklahoma City, OK 73137-2556. Please allow 30 days for us to complete our review.
The USDA Single Housing Guaranteed Loan Program is a type of mortgage loan created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide zero-down-payment and low interest guaranteed mortgage grants to low- and moderate-income home buyers in rural areas. This type of loan is also often referred to as a USDA rural development loan.
The USDA launched the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program in 1991 to extend affordable mortgage financing access to millions of low- and moderate-income families in rural areas. Over the years, the look, feel, and population growth rates of rural areas have changed. As a result, so have the requirements for borrowers to be eligible for the program.
Defining eligible rural areas
Eligibility for the USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program depends on what areas the USDA deems to be “rural.” While the USDA originally created this program to provide low-interest homeownership opportunities to families in remote areas in the countryside as opposed to crowded cities and towns, the landscape has changed over time.
Population densities have shifted. People from highly-populated urban areas have expanded into what were once underpopulated outlying rural areas – blurring the line between what is defined as “urban” versus what is defined as “rural.”
The USDA’s qualifications for a “rural area” include at least one or a combination of the following characteristics:
*A metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is classified by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a region with at least one urban area with a population of 50,000 or more. It’s also defined as a region with a city and additional surrounding communities linked by social and economic factors.
Location is key when checking your eligibility for a USDA single family housing guaranteed loan.
For example, imagine you want a loan to build a home in the small town of Azle, Texas. In the 2010 U.S. census, Azle recorded a population of only 12,000 people. This (along with other factors) made it small enough to meet the USDA’s definition of “rural.”
However, anyone familiar with the community knows it’s been absorbed by the rapidly-expanding metropolis of Dallas/Fort Worth. After all, Azle is also only 33 miles from downtown Fort Worth. Commuters are increasingly flocking there because they find it an attractive and affordable real estate alternative. It’s close enough to the urban hotspots but is still considered rural.
How can you find out if the property you’re looking at is in an area that meets the USDA’s criteria for this loan? Check the USDA map of eligible properties here.
Additional eligibility requirements
Location and population aren’t the only eligibility factors for this loan program. Other main requirements include:
No down payment or credit score required
You read that right. There is no credit score requirement to secure this loan. You simply need to demonstrate readiness to take on a mortgage debt and the ability to manage it. In fact, you don’t even need to make a down payment. This loan is so flexible, it can be structured to work with or without a down payment. It’s designed to accommodate your financial situation.
Get the essentials
This loan can be used for essential household equipment including ovens, ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, a/c systems, and more. There is also allowance for repair work or site preparation costs such as driveways and fences. Luxury items, vanity projects, and unnecessary additions and projects are not covered in this loan program.
How we can help
You could qualify for all the benefits of a USDA single family housing loan and not even know it. Your Caliber Loan Consultant can help you discover if and where you qualify.
We offer one of the most extensive portfolios of mortgage products and services, including a treasure trove of expert experience, insider market knowledge, and up-to-date data to help every client find their best option.
Think you’re eligible? Contact a Caliber Loan Consultant now to find out.
Our ability to cancel your MIP depends on several factors, including when it was originated, the amount of your down payment, your loan term, and your loan’s current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. In addition to the information stated below, there are more requirements that are needed for MIP termination.
If your loan was originated between January 1, 2001 – June 2, 2013 and
If your loan was originated on or after June 3, 2013 and
A payment can be reported as 30 days past due if it is not received within the calendar month in which the payment is due. Although February only has 28 days, or 29 days in a leap year, if you do not pay February within the month, you can still be reported as 30 days past due.
Always be careful when making mortgage payments as the end of the month nears, especially on weekends. Be sure to allow time for your payment to post.
You may dispute information that Caliber furnished by submitting a dispute directly to Caliber by one of the following:
A payment can be reported as past due if it’s received 30 or more days after your due date, even if you’re paying off your mortgage. It’s a good idea to make your payment as usual and we’ll send you a refund check if you overpay.
Your closing date may not be the day we receive your payoff. It may take additional time for your closing or title agent to send us your payoff funds.
The good through date on your payoff quote is the expiration date on the amount indicated to completely pay off your loan. It doesn't provide an extended grace period to make your normal payment.
When your credit score is low, the dream of home ownership can seem like an impossible one. You’re not alone. More than 30% of Americans have credit scores below 670, which is often the minimum score required to qualify. Loans with the most competitive rates require at least a 675.
However, there are things you can do to improve your chances of making your dream come true, even with less-than-perfect credit. If you follow the advice below, you’ll step into the mortgage lender’s office with more confidence and better odds of success.
Take actions to improve your chances of loan approval.
Do your homework. Knowledge is your friend.
Bad credit doesn’t exclude you from all mortgages, but some types of mortgage loans will be harder for you to qualify. On the other hand, two federally funded programs, FHA and USDA home loans, are friendlier to people with poor credit and have easier minimum requirements. But watch – often loans with lower qualifications come with stricter limits or other stipulations such as requiring mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.
FHA Loans and bad credit.
You may qualify for a 3.5% down payment with a credit score of 580.
VA Loans and bad credit.
VA loans have a minimum 580 credit score requirement. They offer several advantages for borrowers with bad credit:
Conventional Loans and bad credit.
What are called conventional loans are loans not insured by the federal government. They require a minimum credit score of 620. Conventional loans that also conform to the criteria set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have additional requirements. USDA loans also require a credit score of at least 620.
Know where to look for your loan.
Private lenders, credit unions, and community banks will have more flexibility in what they can offer to a borrower with poor credit. Regulated institutions, such as large banks, must follow a stricter guideline and so may not have as many loan options to offer you. Remember, though, that the leniency of a private lender usually comes with a cost, such as higher interest rates or a higher minimum down payment.
Save up for a larger down payment.
This may take longer than you’d like, but it’s the smart way to go. The worse your credit, the higher the payment you’ll have to make anyway. Plus, anything less than a 20% down payment will require the expense of private mortgage insurance. Having more cash in hand tells lenders that you’re serious and improves your chances of being offered a better rate.
Get good advice.
Reach out to a Caliber Loan Consultant. At Caliber Home Loans, our passionate goal is to bring the dream of homeownership to as many people as possible. And that includes people with bad credit. Mortgages is all we do. Let Caliber put you on the path to home ownership, no matter what your credit score is.
Your income is one of the primary factors mortgage companies to determine if you qualify for a loan. For every mortgage loan, there are minimum income requirements and maximum debt limits that must be met in order to qualify. No question about it, for people with low income, this presents a difficult barrier to homeownership.
But it can be done. In fact, there are some mortgages designed to work for you.
Low income qualification varies by location, so there is no hard and fast income amount that determines eligibility. Typically, the minimum requirement is based on your income in relation to your other financial obligations. Most lending companies require your housing costs take up less than 28% of your pretax income and your debt payments take up less than 36%. They have limits on how much of your monthly income goes toward debt (this is called your debt-to-income ratio, or, DTI). A DTI of 45% or less is a pretty standard threshold. Higher ratios may be allowed for people with higher credit scores and for loans carrying private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Low income status does not have to exclude you from owning your home, and it shouldn’t force you into a less than ideal mortgage.
Before you search for a home, do research on your loan.
Common mortgage programs best suited low-income homebuyers.
Get good advice.
Make sure all your homework is on the right track. Reach out to a Caliber Loan Consultant for a fuller picture of what the possibilities are for you. At Caliber Home Loans, we’re passionate about bringing homeownership to as many people as possible. We know low income borrowers face plenty of challenges, but we go above and beyond to help everyone realize their dream with a workable, financially responsible loan. We offer many mortgage loan options. We likely have one that’s right or you.
Going through a foreclosure is a brutal, depressing experience. It damages your credit and your confidence. With patience and effort, you can recover, overcome the past, and own a home again. It will take time. It will take work and discipline. If you take the right steps, you will demonstrate you are ready to take on a mortgage loan.
Steps toward owning a home again:
When you’re ready to purchase a home again, look at all the options.
Different types of mortgage loans have different requirements for people who went through a foreclosure. They also have different waiting periods from the time of the foreclosure. Here are the main types of loans and their waiting periods.
These loans require a three-year waiting period that begins when the foreclosure case has ended. Typically, that would be from the date your home was sold. If your foreclosed loan was through the FHA or the VA, you will be ineligible for another federally insured loan until you have repaid the government.
Conventional Loans from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
These loans require a seven-year waiting period. The longer wait is because they are not backed by the federal government. However, the wait period can be shortened to just three years if you meet the following requirements:
Conventional Loan from Private Lenders.
Because private lenders set their own terms, there is no set waiting period. They vary. But usually shorter waits require a larger down payment and higher interest rate.
Be Pre-Approved Before You House Hunt.
We recommend you secure pre-approval for a loan before you begin your search for your new home. The pre-approval process will demonstrate that you have come through the foreclosure setback and are now ready to be a homeowner again.
Your 1098 may show that no taxes were disbursed for one of the following reasons:
Caliber is required to disclose to the IRS if/when we cancelled in full or a partial amount of the debt. This could have been due to one of the following:
To request relief under the SCRA, a servicemember or spouse must provide us a written request with a copy of the servicemember’s military orders by one of the following:
There is no requirement under the SCRA, however, for a servicemember to provide a written notice or a copy of a servicemember’s military orders to Caliber in connection with a foreclosure or other debt enforcement action against real estate. Although there is no requirement for servicemembers to alert Caliber of their military status in these situations, it still is a good idea for the servicemember to do so.
A mortgage refinance is when a homeowner replaces their existing mortgage with a new one. Your original loan covered the purchase price of your home. A refinance loan is a new loan that pays off the balance on that original loan. The refinance loan is almost always a smaller loan. You’ll no longer make payments on the original loan and begin new payments on the smaller refinance loan.
Several reasons refinance can be a good move.
Refinancing your mortgage is way of taking full advantage of your greatest asset, your home. Refinance can make it possible for you to reduce your expenses or to put the equity you’ve built up in your home to good use. Depending on circumstances, it can be a great move.
Here’s how refinance can be a positive move:
When is it right to refinance?
It’s a matter of timing. If you answer yes to any of these questions, the time might be right.
Some factors to remember.
Most lenders will require that you have maintained your current loan for at least one full year before you can apply to refinance.
A refinance loan requires almost all the same costs, fees, and paperwork as your original mortgage. It’s basically the same process and with the same requirements, like credit scores and financial history. You can expect it to cost between 3% and 6% of the remaining principal, and you will probably pay up to 2% or more in closing costs. These fees can include:
Don’t make the refinance decision alone. Reach out to your Caliber Loan Consultant and let them guide you through the numbers so you can make a smart decision.
If you want to reduce your interest rate, lower your monthly payment, turn some of your equity into cash in hand, or go from an adjustable rate to a fixed one, refinancing your current loan with a new on makes great sense. In fact, some homeowners refinance more than once over their time in their home. (Most lenders require a six-month “seasoning” period between refinances.) But refinance is the right move for everybody.
Consider these points before refinancing your home:
Sometimes the numbers don’t add up in your favor.
Be sure and do the math before you pull the trigger on a refinance. Consider these scenarios and, if they apply to your situation, work out the numbers before you opt to refinance.
Reducing the monthly payments seemed like a good idea….
…but thanks to the additional closing costs and fees of a refinance, the money you may save on your payments might be eaten up in the process. Be sure closing costs are part of your financial calculations.
Cashing out equity for investment money…
…is only a good idea if you can be sure that the cash you are taking out will earn more than what you’ll spend in refinance costs and mortgage payments.
Saving money for a new home…
if you plan to move within the next two to five years, refinancing may not save you anything. Because of closing costs and fees, it will take you several years to realize any potential savings. If you move within that time, that’s simply money lost.
Extend the terms of your loan at a lower interest rate…
This sounds like a no-brainer but the numbers may not add up. Yes, you’ll pay a lower interest rate each month, but you may actually pay more interest overall over a longer period of time with a longer loan. Calculate the total cost of the loan with those added interest payments.
Consolidate credit card debt into my mortgage….
Hmm. It’s certainly tempting to get out from under high-interest debts with a low-interest mortgage. But here’s the rub: if you can't make the payments on this new loan, you will lose your home.
You can get many of the benefits of refinance without refinancing.
Consider these options below. If they work for your situation, then you can realize the upside of a refinance without incurring the closing costs or extending the life of your mortgage.
Make a calculated decision to refinance or not.
Use the Caliber Home Loans refinance calculator to estimate what a refinance would save or cost you. Be sure to look at all your options. Calculate your break-even point to see when the costs you incur equal the savings. Divide your mortgage closing costs by the monthly savings of your new mortgage payment; this is the number of months you’ll need to recoup any expenses.
Refinance loans happen years after the home purchase. They exist to help homeowners like you reduce your monthly costs, shorten the length of your mortgage, tap into cash for important life events, and fund home repairs and improvements. Most refinance loans are shaped by the equity you’ve built in your home – but some require no home equity at all! Let’s take a look at how home equity effects what’s possible in a refinance.
Home equity starts with an appraisal.
The size of your home equity often determines what your refinance loan looks like. Your equity directly impacts how low the new monthly payment can be or determine how much cash you can take out of your home. To determine just how much home equity you really have, you need an appraisal on your home.
Why an appraisal? Because home equity is the appraised value of your home minus the balance remaining on your mortgage. Let’s say your home’s current appraisal is $250,000 and you have $200,000 left to pay on your mortgage. Take the appraised value, subtract the mortgage balance, and the remainder is your home equity. In this example, that would be $50,000.
Notice that the appraised value may change after you purchase your home. If the real estate market has been strong, your home may appraise for significantly more than what you bought it for. All that extra value is additional equity you have in your home. On the other hand, if the market has been weak, your home may appraise for less than you bought it for. In that case, you would have less equity. In the worst cases, you might be “underwater,” which means your home’s appraised value is less than what you owe. But even in those painful situations, a refinance may still be possible.
Home equity makes a difference.
The most standard refinance is with a conventional loan. For these loans, if your equity has reached 20% of the appraised value, you may not be required to carry private mortgage insurance (PMI). If that’s your situation, then you’ve just lowered your monthly expense even more.
There are two other ways home equity impacts your refinance. The more equity you have, the lower your interest rate. The more equity you have, the more money you can take in a cash-out refinance loan. With those loans, your cash-out is directly limited by how much equity you have in your home. The cash amount often cannot exceed 80% or 90% of your home equity.
You may still refinance with little to no home equity.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer loans for people with minimal home equity. If you qualify, you may be able to secure refinancing with as little as 3% equity. The Veterans Administration also offers refinancing with a VA loan, which requires zero home equity.
There are other factors that will impact your ability to refinance, and these vary by the type of loan and by the lender involved. Your credit score is almost always a consideration. Plus, lenders may look at the percentage of your pre-tax income that goes to paying off debt including mortgage loans, personal loans, credit cards, etc.
Find the loan that works for you.
It always makes sense to have your Caliber Home Loans, Inc. Loan Consultant review your situation. With their knowledge of the constantly evolving market and experience with thousands of homeowners like you, they can bring you all the options you qualify for, present the pros and cons, and guide you every step of the way. They’ll make it simpler, clearer, and easier to navigate. Let us help you get the greatest benefits possible from refinancing your home!
While most home loans require a down payment, the amount varies by lender, loan type, and credit score. A good rule of thumb is to plan for at least 6% down if you’re a first-time homebuyer. However, other loan types may require as little as a 3% down payment. Note that down payments of 20% or less on conventional loans will require private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Buying your first home is huge. It’s probably the biggest single purchase you’ve ever made and coming up with all the funds to make it happen can be daunting. So, if you’re wondering if there are ways to make all this a little easier, the answer is, yes.
Caliber Home Loans offers programs designed to help provide homebuyers with less-than-ideal financial circumstances an opportunity to achieve their dream of homeownership.
Possible assistance for first-time homebuyers include:
Not all of these programs may be available in your area, but it is definitely worth your time to find out if you qualify for financial assistance.
Government programs for first-time buyers.
The good news is local, state, and federal governments offer programs to help first-time buyers secure their loans. Often, they offer insurance to the lender because first-time buyers are considered risky. Many programs offer the lender insurance to protect them for taking on that risk. The most common programs include:
Caliber Home Loans offers a growing portfolio of financing options designed especially for first-time homebuyers. In fact, we’re one of the top-rated private mortgage companies in the country because we offer many unique solutions and deliver a high level of personal support and attention. Our Loan Consultants can walk you through all the options and help you find the best loan for your situation. With Caliber, you can move ahead with confidence.
In terms of interest rates, Caliber Home Loans, Inc. offers two types of mortgage loans: those with fixed rates that never change and those with adjustable rates that can go up or down over time. Both types offer the home buyer benefits. Which kind is right for you? Let's take a deeper look.
A fixed rate is predictable and reliable.
The one thing you can say about a fixed-rate mortgage is that you always know what the principal and interest portion of your monthly payment will be. Whether you have a 15-year loan or a 30-year loan, these costs are virtually the same in the first year, the fifth year, the tenth year, and on and on. The only thing that can change are any escrow amounts to cover insurance and taxes.
Fixed-rate loans are popular because they are unaffected by increases in market interest rates. With a fixed rate, your loan's interest never varies, staying predictable and steady, month after month. If market rates drop, you can always refinance your old fixed-rate loan for a newer one at a lower rate. Both the interest rate and the principal loan about will be lower, so it's a double win. You can also lower your monthly payment by making a special payment against the principal of the loan.
Here's how adjustable rates work.
With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest rate changes annually after an initial period of three to ten years of a fixed interest rate. Usually, these loans begin with lower initial interest rates than fixed-rate loans. The most common ARMs have initial periods of three, five, seven, or 10 years. For example, with a 5/1 ARM, the interest rate remains fixed for the first five years, then adjusts to the market rate each year thereafter. If the market rates change significantly during the initial period, your monthly payment could go up or down when the initial period ends. The market drives the direction of the change. Although there is a cap on how much your interest can increase in any single adjustment, there is a risk that your monthly payment could go up significantly over the life of the loan.
Many first-time homebuyers find ARMs attractive as they offer lower initial interest rates. If you do not expect to live in your first home a long time, then you can take advantage of the lower rate before you move on to your next home. The lower initial interest rates can also help first-time buyers qualify for a larger loan.
There is a loan that's right for you.
Lean on your Caliber Loan Consultant in choosing the type of loan that's best for you. Our Loan Consultants have helped thousands of first-time homebuyers navigate these critical decisions. They know the questions to ask. They know the possibilities and opportunities. Our goal is to help you make the wisest, smartest decision possible in becoming a homeowner.
It's called a monthly mortgage payment, but it includes more than payment on the loan itself. Yes, it will include a portion to help pay off the principal loan amount, but that's just for starters. It will also include interest and will likely include property taxes and homeowner's insurance, as well. It may also include private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Your monthly payment is based on these six things:
This is called the principal amount of your loan. It's the purchase price less the down payment. So, if you bought a house for $300,000 and your down payment was $15,000, then your principal is $285,000. That's the amount you are borrowing.
Your interest rate is the percentage of your principal that you are charged each year. For example, if your interest rate is 5%, then you're paying 5% of your principal each year.
Knowing how many years your loan runs tells you how many monthly payments will be made. Most loans are for 15 years or 30 years. Simply multiply the years by 12 months, and you'll know how many monthly payments you can expect to make over the full life of the loan. For example, a 15-year mortgage equals 180 monthly payments.
Most homebuyers choose to let the lender manage and pay their property taxes. If you choose this, your monthly payment will include an amount set aside to pay your property taxes. This money is actually saved by the lender in an escrow account for you and the lender pays the taxes when they are due. You don't have to keep up with it. At the end of the year, you may have to pay a bit extra or be given a refund for any escrow dollars left over. Please note that many loans require handling taxes through an escrow account and do not give the homebuyer the option of paying them directly.
Almost every first-time homebuyer will be required to take homeowner's insurance to cover the cost of repairing damages from storms, water leaks and much more. You will have different policies to choose from. Generally, the lower the deductible, the higher the monthly premium. Whatever you choose, your lender will factor it into your monthly payment. Like taxes, the money is saved in your escrow account and paid to the insurance company as it is due. Some loans give you the option of paying the insurance directly, in which case these costs are not included in your monthly payment.
It is not unusual to be required to carry PMI if you made a down payment of less than 20%. As with homeowner's insurance, your PMI costs are added to your monthly payment and placed in escrow. Once you have paid off 20% of your principal loan amount, you may no longer be required to carry PMI.
Let Caliber crunch the numbers.
For the best estimate of what your monthly mortgage payment will be, get with your Caliber Loan Consultant. They can make sure you've got the right numbers and factor in all the details. They can also advise you if you may be exempt from some costs. They do this every day. Use our expertise. You'll have the best answer possible.
The largest payment you'll likely make on your home is the first one. That's the down payment. It's a percentage of the total purchase price. For example, a 5% down payment on a $400,000 home would be $20,000. The larger the down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment should be. So how much should you save? There's no single answer. It all depends on the minimum down payment requirement.
What is the minimum down payment?
Most loans require a minimum down payment, but the amount they require varies according to your lender, the type of loan you're applying for and your credit score. In fact, some government-backed loans require no down payment at all!
Let's look at some examples.
See if paying more than the minimum makes sense for you.
For some buyers, this is the way to go. A larger down payment can:
Plus, if your loan requires private mortgage insurance, a large down payment may eliminate that requirement.
How much should you save? You decide.
As you can see, there is no single answer that works for every first-time homebuyer. The type of loan you're applying for, the cost of the home, and your credit score will determine the minimum amount required. Beyond that, it's all in your court. You should assess your financial situation and realistically determine what is possible or desirable for you. A larger down payment will lower your monthly payments but that may not work for you right now. It might leave you in a tight a financial bind.
Let Caliber help you calculate.
For starters, use the Caliber Home Loans Mortgage Calculator to see how much the size of the down payment will impact your monthly payment. Then work up a monthly budget using that monthly payment number. Make sure you allocate some funds for things that may come up, like repair work and unexpected expenses .
Make as informed a decision as possible. Connect with your Caliber Loan Consultant. Let them shop around for you and compare different types of loans that you may qualify for. See if there is an especially attractive mortgage rate available. At Caliber, we say we are driven by a passion for helping people realize their dream of homeownership. We mean that sincerely and we walk the walk. Our goal is to put you in the home you dream of with as few problems and expenses as possible. We've got the knowledge. Put it to work for you!
A jumbo loan is a home mortgage for a higher amount.
Choosing this type of loan
One of the most important parts of buying a home is determining the kind of mortgage you need. At the very least, this part can be overwhelming – especially if the amount you need to finance is higher than the average home.
Say you’re in the process of buying your dream home, and it’s much more expensive than average. You need to find a loan that allows you to finance it without breaking the bank. A regular loan amount might not be an option because the home value exceeds the normal Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan-servicing limits. You may find yourself in this position if you’re buying a luxury home, a home with expensive amenities that drive up the cost, or a home in a pricier neighborhood. This is when you may need to opt for what’s called a jumbo loan.
Jumbo loans, often referred to as jumbo mortgages, are home loans specifically for amounts that exceed the conforming limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the United States government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Why use a jumbo loan?
Jumbo loans are a lot like conventional mortgages, but they have more built-in support for the risks that come with making a high-price property purchase. Jumbo loans are not only used to finance primary residences – they are also popular for financing investment properties and vacation homes.
For many people (whether they’re first-time homebuyers or experienced investors), housing can be a smart investment. Most borrowers that take out jumbo loans have good credit, and they often leverage the money they get in return and put it back in their investment or business – ultimately growing their wealth and financial health over time.
Preparing to get a jumbo loan: What to expect
If you want to apply for a jumbo loan, make sure that you’re prepared to undergo the vetting process by having all your financial documents on-hand.
Qualifying for a jumbo loan
The vetting process for jumbo loan applicants is based on the same formula as other mortgages, but with stricter requirements. Here is a list of what lenders consider and the requirements you must meet:
How to find jumbo loan limits by area
You can access the FHFA map for details about each area’s requirements by state here.
Need more help?
At Caliber Home Loans, Inc., we’re here to help you make informed decisions when financing a new home. If you need help deciding if a jumbo loan is right for you or want to get started, contact a Caliber Loan Consultant today.
If you want to renovate or remodel your home but don’t have the cash to pay for it out of pocket, home renovation loans are a smart way to get your home improvement project funded and on track. Whether you’re adding a new room to your home, redoing your kitchen, or replacing your roof, home renovation loans can help you finance the cost of your upgrades.
There are several types of home renovation loans to choose from. Many of them require a minimum credit score and either a minimum amount of home equity in your home or a minimum down payment.
To determine if a home renovation loan is right for you, ask yourself these four questions:
Question 1: Will the remodeling be worth it?
Have a clear picture of what changes you want to make to your home. Do your research and get a good idea of what it will cost. Will the renovation increase your home’s value? If so, you may recuperate the renovation loan costs when you sell your home. If it will have little impact on your home’s value, then the project – and taking out a loan – may not be worth it.
Question 2: Can you handle another loan payment?Remember, the renovation loan is not tucked into your monthly mortgage payment. It will become an additional monthly bill on top of your current mortgage payment. Remember that you’ll be paying on the loan long after the project is finished. So, you need to be sure that this is what you want and that you’re prepared to make the payments.
Question 3: How much will you need to borrow?
When determining how much you need to borrow for your home renovation, make sure your factor in labor costs, inspection fees, permits, and architectural or engineering services. The materials used are just the beginning.
Question 4: Can you qualify for a lower interest rate?
Many times, your interest rate is impacted by your credit score and the amount of equity you have in your home. You can calculate your equity by subtracting how much you still owe on your mortgage from your home’s current market value. The higher your credit score and the greater the equity you have often make lower interest rates available to you. Use the Caliber Home Loans Loan Calculator to estimate your down payment amount, interest rate, and payment amounts. This will give you an idea of what to expect before you take out a home renovation loan.
Remember: A home renovation loan is not a home equity loan.
You may be saying to yourself, “this sounds a lot like a home equity loan.” Although your home equity plays an important role in a home renovation loan, home equity loans and home renovation loans are not the same. And the difference is important. First, interest rates for a renovation loan are typically higher than interest rates for a home equity loan. Second, the interest paid on a renovation loan can’t be claimed as a tax deduction.
Two common renovation loans:
Fannie Mae® HomeStyle® renovation loan The HomeStyle renovation loan offers loan amounts up to 75% of the home plus renovation costs. This loan can be used for improvements on your current home or for repairs on a home you are purchasing. Requirements:
FHA 203(k) loan
It’s easy to see the appeal of the 203(k) loan. You can qualify with a lower credit score, plus it offers a lower minimum down payment and lower interest rate. Like the HomeStyle renovation loan, the funds go into an escrow account. Requirements:
Ask your Caliber Loan Consultant about special federal programs for home renovations on Title I loans and on energy efficient mortgages. These may work for you. You can also opt for a cash-out refinance loan on your home and use the cash payout to fund your renovation work.
At Caliber Home Loans, we bring years of experience dealing with every kind of home renovation financing in the market. We know how to navigate all the government programs, plus we have an expansive portfolio of loan options to meet your needs. We apply all that knowledge with one goal: To help you attain the home of your dreams in a way that truly works for your unique situation.
To get started on your home renovation, contact a Caliber Loan Consultant today.
You fell in love with your new home, and then you lived in it. Over time, things have started to look worn and frayed. The kitchen no longer excites you the way it used to. You wake up one day and your bathroom feels cramped and outdated. You keep catching yourself daydreaming about all the ways you could make your home feel new again. You don’t want to sell your home, but you want to make some changes. Sound familiar? Fear not. It’s completely normal.
Whether you bought and fell in love with your home but feel it needs some updates or you’ve just purchased a new home that has a ton of potential but needs some work to make it your own, home renovations are the answer. However, they can be costly.
If it’s time for you to look into a home renovation but you don’t have the cash in hand to pay out of pocket, you can use your home itself to make it happen. There are three popular ways to use the equity you’ve built in your home to finance a renovation project.
A cash-out refinance lets you replace your existing mortgage with a new home loan based on the amount you still owe on your home. In short, you take your original home loan amount, subtract the money you’ve paid so far against the principal, and then start a new mortgage on the remaining amount. The difference between the original amount and the new amount comes to you as a lump cash payment you can use to fund your renovation, consolidate your debt, or fulfill other financial needs.
NOTE: You’ll have to pay closing costs again and the term of the mortgage starts all over. It could be another 15, 20, or 30 years. Make sure you don’t use the cash payment to run up debt you won’t be able to pay off.
If you don’t want to start your mortgage term all over again and you can handle an additional monthly loan payment, a home equity loan may be the best option for you.
A home equity loan is a separate loan based on the equity you have built up on your home. Typically, you can borrow up to 80% of that amount. Home equity loans are sometimes referred to as a “second mortgage,” as they become a second monthly payment. You may have up to 15 years to pay this loan off and many lenders cover the closing costs for you.
NOTE: You’ll need to pay closing costs and fees, which can range from 2% to 5% of your loan amount. You’ll also have two mortgage payments instead of one, so be prepared for that extra home-related payment.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) gives you the greatest flexibility. Essentially, a HELOC works like a credit card that borrows against the equity of your home. Once you set up your line of credit, you don’t have to begin using it right away. You can also use it in whichever way you see fit. Fund a renovation project or pay for a vacation – it’s all up to you. Plus, when you pay back charges, the money returns to your equity – making it possible for another even larger line of credit.
NOTE: Interest rates vary and lines of credit usually come with annual fees.
Ways to plan ahead and include renovation in your first mortgage
Some people purchase a home with specific upgrades or remodeling in already mind. In these cases, you can fold renovation costs into your mortgage at purchase. Here are three of the most common ways to do that.
These mortgages are designed for first-time homebuyers. They allow you to add expected renovation costs to your mortgage loan principal. These loans require a down payment as low as 3.5% but give you only six months to get the work done. You’re required to use a licensed contractor for renovations, so the money cannot be applied to DIY projects.
The HomeStyle renovation loan is similar to the 203(k) loan but it gives you more freedom with how you spend it. The 203(k) Loan can be used only for non-luxury projects, while the HomeStyle loan can be used to add a pool, a hot tub, or just about anything else. These loans require a minimum 5% down payment.Requirements to get this loan:
Choose the loan that works best for you
Now that you have an overview of how you can finance your home renovation, the next step is to determine which works best for you. Caliber’s Loan Consultants are standing by ready to help you make your choice. They’ll show you the pros and cons of each option and the cost in dollars and cents. Contact a Loan Consultant now to start turning your home into your dream home.
The following loan products are not eligiblefor a recast:
* Caliber Portfolio loans originated after 7/24/18 are limited to one recast during the life of the loan.
** A recast fee is not applicable in all states.
**Please reference your id and loan number on the wire instructions.**Company id: Caliber Home Loans, Inc.
These types of transfers are:
Login and submit a request through your Account Management/Message Center. You can upload required documentation in PDF format.
Please note that required documents may differ based on the state of the property, the transfer type or your specific situation.
Once a Successor request is received, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the mailing address acquired from the potential Successor. The letter will include the list of documents required to be confirmed on the account. Notice: You can submit the required documentation, which will be used to prove your ownership interest in the property, one of several ways. Please see below.
If the submitted documents are confirmed, the Successor will be added to the loan as a confirmed Successor in Interest and notified as such. This will not, however, impact credit reporting for that individual, unless they wish to assume the loan.
Confirmed Successors in Interest are entitled to the same protections and notifications as the original borrower, under Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Regulation X and Truth in Lending Act Regulation Z. These regulations can be found at ConsumerFinance.gov.
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|*Closing cost offer available to customers who apply for a new purchase loan. Only available for single family primary residences and existing Caliber customers. Credit provided at closing. The offer is nontransferable and can only be used by the intended recipient. Advertised discount can only be applied toward payment of closing costs up to a total amount of $1,000 subject to product underwriting guidelines. Any portion of the discount amount not used toward closing costs will be waived.
|**A pre-approval does not signify that all underwriting requirements have been met. Actual terms, including interest rate, are subject to change without prior notice and may vary based on eligibility criteria. All products are subject to credit and property approval. Not all products are available in all states or for all dollar amounts. Please contact Caliber for additional details.
|***The lock will be honored up to 75 days total. Your rate is protected for up to 30 days to shop for a home. Once you identify a property, your rate will be locked for an additional 45 days. All rate lock extensions are subject to Caliber’s standard rate lock extension fees All rate lock extensions are subject to Caliber’s standard rate lock extension fees. Not available for all loan products. Please contact Caliber for additional details.
|****Caliber agrees to pay the borrower the amount of the earnest money deposit (up to $5,000) following the home loan closing, if the loan does not close on or before the contract closing date due to a delay caused by Caliber. Void if there are any material changes to income or assets. Offer requires 30 business days from Caliber’s receipt of purchase contract to closing date. Other requirements include: Minimum 700 credit score, owner occupied purchase transaction. LTV and property type restrictions may apply. Available only through the Caliber Retail Channel. Payment may be subject to reporting for tax purposes. Please contact Caliber for additional details.|