Frequently Asked Questions


How can you offer such low rates?

Is there a fee or any obligation if I apply?

What happens after I apply?

What supporting documentation is required?

How quickly can you close my loan?

What is your rate lock policy?

Are any fees collected when I lock?

What if rates drop after I’ve locked?

What happens if the loan process takes longer than my lock period?

Can I choose a different program or rate after I’ve locked?

Can I relock my rate if I cancel and reapply?

Can I lock on what I see showing on your instant rate quote engine?

Should I lock or float my rate?

What is an escrow/impound account?

What are included in your closing costs? What are pre-paids?

Why do you charge a Lender Fee?

Should I pay discount points?

What is a rebate/credit?

When will I hear from someone after my inquiry or application?

Can I prepay the loan without a penalty?

What is your minimum credit score requirement?

Do you have any programs that don’t require income documentation?

Can I apply before I find a property and get pre-approved?

Should I consider a loan with private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

What is the minimum down payment required on a purchase mortgage?

What is the maximum percentage of my home’s value that I can borrow on a refinance loan?

What is the maximum debt-to-income ratio allowed?

Is paying off an existing second mortgage or home equity line considered cash out?

Can I keep my existing second mortgage or home equity line and refinance my first mortgage?

If my loan application isn’t pre-approved, does that mean you can’t provide me with financing?

Can Empire of America finance the purchase of a property through a short sale?

Am I able to refinance a property that was recently listed for sale?

What is the difference between a conforming loan, a super conforming loan and a jumbo loan?

What is an ARM?

What is a subordination agreement?

What is a three day right to cancel?

What is title insurance and why do I need it?

What is prepaid interest?

What is the difference between a Rate and an APR?

Application & Processing

What are some tips for completing the online application?

What do I do if I can’t retrieve or print out the electronic disclosures, or have some other problem with them?

What if I’m not sure about the property value, sales price or amount I want to borrow?

What should I do if I’m not sure about the annual real estate taxes?

I’m selling my current home to purchase this home. What type of documentation will be required?

What will be required if I withdraw money from a 401(K) account for my down payment?

Is a gift from someone else an acceptable source of my down payment?

Why do you need information about other properties I own?

What debt do you include in my debt to income ratio?

I have student loans that aren’t in repayment yet. Will those be counted in my debt to income ratio?

Will my overtime, commission, or bonus income be considered when evaluating my application?

Will my second job income be considered?

How will you verify income on a self-employed applicant?

I am retired and my income is from pension or social security. What will I need to provide?

Do I have to provide information about my child support, alimony or separate maintenance income?

I have income from dividends and/or interest. What documents will I need to provide?

How will rental income be verified?

How should I complete the application if I am relocating to a new job that I haven’t started yet?

How do I complete the application if I was in school before obtaining my current job?

What if my homeowner’s insurance is up for renewal?

What is a credit score and how does it affect my application?

Will the inquiry about my credit affect my credit score?

How do I dispute an item on my credit report?

What if my credit score is too low?

What steps should I take if I become a victim of identity theft?

How can I obtain a Free Credit Report?