FAQ's - Answers to Mortgage Questions - FAQ's

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

  Will pulling my credit multiple times for a mortgage hurt my credit score?

No. Within a 45-day window, multiple credit checks from mortgage lenders are recorded on your credit report as a single inquiry. This is because other lenders realize that you are only going to buy one home. You can shop around and get multiple pre-approvals and official Loan Estimates. More info from Experian Credit Bureau.

How long does it take to get Pre-Approved for a mortgage?

1 Business Day. Depending on the complexity of your finances, you should be able to receive pre-approval within the same business day. But for some, the process can take up to a week.

 How long do I have to be employed to get a mortgage?

Most lenders want to see that you have stable income coming in to pay for mortgage payments, and they typically want to see at least two years of stable job history for most loan types.

However, our lenders understand that someone who has worked for less than two years might still be perfectly willing and able to repay a mortgage. That's why there are workarounds to the historical two-year employment rule for qualified applicants:

  • You can get a mortgage even if you're just starting your career. You don't always need decades of work experience to get mortgage approval. Sometimes, a lender will approve you on the strength of a job offer alone.
  • Even if you're in-between jobs, you might still get approved for a mortgage. Lenders can approve home loans based on an offer letter for people between jobs or starting at a new company when they move. Having at least one pay-slip helps.
  • You don't need two years of conventional employment to get a mortgage. Many lenders will consider alternative income information for self-employed, contractors, or contract workers.

 Will collections on my credit report keep me from getting a mortgage?

Maybe not. If you have collections on your credit report, which can be a sign of bad credit, you can still get a mortgage approval, depending on the lender, the kind of debt you have, and the mortgage you are applying for. We may be able to structure your loan by paying off any collections and charge-offs on your credit report. If your DTI (Debt to Income Ratio) is within a healthy range, our loan professionals will work with you to structure a financial plan that allows you to clear up the collection items that are delaying loan approval.

 How much is a down payment on a mortgage?

You don't need to put 20 percent down to get a mortgage and some mortgages don’t even require a down payment. A conventional loan down payment could be as little as 3 percent. FHA loans require as little as 3.5 percent, and VA loans and USDA loans have no down payment requirement at all. You can get a conventional mortgage with 3 percent down, but with anything less than 20 percent, you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance and making a larger down payment can get you a lower interest rate.

 What does my credit score need to be to get a mortgage?

The minimum credit score needed for most mortgages is typically around 620. However, government-backed mortgages like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans typically have lower credit requirements than conventional fixed-rate loans and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). With that said, it’s still possible to get a loan with a lower credit score, including a score in the 500s.

 Is flood insurance expensive?

The national average cost of flood insurance is $851 per year, but the amount you pay depends on your location. Florida flood insurance quotes can range from $109 per year to more than $3,000 with an average cost of $716.22. That’s because flood insurance rates are based on a number of factors specific to your home. Some of the most important factors are your home’s elevation, building materials and distance to the coast. The amount of coverage you need and the deductible you choose will also play a role in your flood insurance rate. Flood insurance isn’t required by the state of Florida. But your mortgage lender might require you to buy a policy, especially if you’re in a high-risk flood zone.

Do I need flood insurance in Florida? You typically need flood insurance if the government’s flood zone maps show that your house is located in a zone starting with an A or a V. These zones are usually near the coast or a large body of water, like a river or lake. Flood insurance isn’t required if you’re located in an X, C or a B flood zone. That’s because your home has a lower risk of flooding.  Florida homeowners can look up their flood zone by visiting the FEMA flood map and entering their address.

 How do I figure out how much my monthly mortgage payment will be?

Pathway Mortgage provides a FREE mortgage calculator. This is the most easy to use and accurate mortgage calculator in the industry. You'll be able to figure out your payment like a financial pro. See how much home you can afford. Use this calculator to determine your exact monthly mortgage payment. The payment calculation includes your monthly principal and interest, homeowner's insurance, property taxes, and even your monthly mortgage insurance (if applicable). MORTGAGE CALCULATOR.

 Can I get a mortgage if I had a bankruptcy?

It's possible to buy a home after bankruptcy if you know which steps to take. The exact steps you'll need to take depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed, the specifics of your unique situation and the type of loan you're taking out. First, you'll need to wait until your bankruptcy is discharged or dismissed. But exactly how long do you need to wait?

  • Ch 7 – The wait period for a conventional loan is 4 years however a USDA, FHA or VA loan the wait is only 2 years.
  • CH 13 – The amount of time you need to wait to apply for a conventional loan after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on how a court chooses to handle your bankruptcy. If the court dismisses your bankruptcy, you must wait at least 4 years from your dismissal date before you can apply. If a court discharges your bankruptcy, the waiting period for post-bankruptcy borrowers to apply for a conventional mortgage that meets Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac requirements is 4 years from the date you filed and 2 years from your dismissal date.

Like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, standards are a bit more relaxed for government-backed loans. USDA loans require a 1-year waiting period after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This waiting period is the same whether you get a discharge or dismissal. FHA and VA loans simply require a court to dismiss or discharge your loan before you apply.

 What is the best mortgage for first time home buyer's?

First-time homebuyers have several options when it comes to getting a mortgage and purchasing a home. The majority of buyers look to 3% down conventional loans or no-down payment government-backed loans. There are many programs to choose from and they usually include a mortgage with a better interest rate, lower down payment requirement and other upsides like down payment and closing costs assistance.

  • Conventional – Conventional loans are the most popular type of mortgage, and only require 3 percent down. This makes them an attractive option for first-time homebuyers who might not have considerable savings to draw from. These low-down payment loans include the:
  • FHA – Insured by the Federal Housing Administration, FHA loans allow you to buy a home with a minimum credit score of 580 and as little as 3.5 percent down, or a credit score as low as 500 with at least 10 percent down. If you put down less than 20 percent, you'll pay FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), similar to the insurance you'd pay for a low-down payment conventional loan.
  • VA – The VA guarantees home loans for eligible U.S. military members (active duty, veterans and surviving spouses). These don't require a down payment, though there is a funding fee.
  • USDAUSDA loans don't require a down payment, but you'll need to purchase in a designated rural area and all under area-specific income limits to qualify.
  • Hometown Hero’s (Florida)– The Hometown Heroes program is available to all full-time workers in Florida who earn less than 150% of their county's area median income (AMI). The maximum down payment assistance available to each homebuyer is $35,000, or up to 5% of their first mortgage loan amount. Homebuyers must have a minimum credit score of 640, and be a first-time homebuyer (veterans are exempt from this requirement).