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Mortgage FAQs

Frequently asked questions are sorted into general categories.  Please be sure to visit the Mortgage Glossary page for clarification of any terms that may be unfamiliar to you.

                         Application                               Appraisals & Inspections

                         Title Work & Closing              Fees & Closing Costs

Application 

Is there an application fee?

Yes.  There is a $30 application fee.  The application fee is a non-refundable, out-of-pocket fee. 

Can I be pre-approved and obtain a pre-approval letter?

Yes.  You should submit a complete application in order to be pre-approved and obtain a pre-approval letter.  Pre-approvals are good for only 90 days, so you will want to be actively shopping for a new home and ready to purchase before requesting pre-approval.  If the pre-approval expires, you will be required to re-apply.  

Can I lock my rate right away, and should I?

Partners Financial will normally request that you lock a rate only after the loan request has been approved and the satisfactory appraisal showing sufficient value has been received.  However, if you are applying for a first mortgage, you can request that your rate be locked once you have submitted your completed application, paid the application fee, and in the case of pre-approvals for purchase, you have provided us with the settled-upon property address.  Partners Financial will lock both your rate and points and there is no fee to lock.  Rates are normally locked for 45 days.  If the lock expires before you make it to closing, the rate will be subject to change. 

Once you lock your rate, your loan officer will do everything necessary to ensure that the loan progresses toward closing in a timely manner.  However, it will be your responsibility to ensure that you provide all requested documents, information, and decisions to your loan officer as soon as reasonably possible.  It will also be necessary to ensure that you obtain any requested inspections such as appraisals and pest inspections as soon as they are requested.  

Partners Financial cannot anticipate whether interest rates will go up or down during the loan-processing period.  So, any decision about whether to lock or not should be based on your own evaluation of the market.    

For more information about rate locks, please click here to view the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Guide to Mortgage Lock-Ins.  Your browser will be directed the Federal Reserve Board's website. 

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Appraisals & Inspections

Will I get a copy of my appraisal?

Yes.  Partners Financial will provide a copy of your appraisal to you as standard practice.  You will not need to submit a written request to receive a copy. 

Can I choose my own appraiser?

No.  Partners Financial has an approved appraiser list from which the appraiser must be chosen.  Neither the borrower nor your loan officer or any other party involved in mortgage loan production may choose the appraiser.  Partners Financial has an internal appraisal order desk and only specific employees may choose the appraiser from the approved appraiser list. 

Can I submit my most recent appraisal to have it considered instead of obtaining a new appraisal?

No. The appraisal must be prepared by one of Partners Financial's approved appraisers and must be prepared specifically for Partners Financial Federal Credit Union.

How much does the appraisal cost and when do I pay for it?

The appraisal cost is a non-refundable, out-of-pocket expense.  For properties local to the Richmond area, the cost is approximately $350.  For properties located outside of the local area and properties in states outside of Virginia, the cost is approximately $400.  Once you have received your loan approval, the appraisal fee will be due.  The loan approval will be conditional pending a satisfactory appraisal showing sufficient value being received.  The appraiser cannot be engaged until the appraisal fee has been deposited.  

What if my home does not appraise for the amount I hoped for?

Your loan officer will work to find any other available options for you (for example, a lesser loan amount) and will contact you to discuss them with you.  If there is not sufficient value for other options or if the appraisal determines that the property is not in satisfactory condition to offer other loan options, the loan process will end.  You will receive a copy of the appraisal to review.  Please remember that the appraisal fee is non-refundable. 

What other inspections are required?

For first mortgage loans, Partners Financial requires a Mortgage Pest Inspection.  There may be well/septic inspections required as part of a purchase transaction.  Your loan officer will notify you if it is determined that a survey is required.   

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Title Work & Closing 

Can I choose my own title company?

We have a very qualified, efficient, and cost effective title company we can recommend.  However, you can choose your own title company if you prefer.  Let your loan officer know as soon as possible that you will be choosing your own title company.  Please provide your loan officer with the company’s name, address, phone number, fax number, and the name and email address of a contact at the company. 

Can I choose my own closing attorney or settlement company?

We have a very qualified, efficient, and cost effective settlement agent we can recommend.  However, you can choose your own settlement agent/attorney if you prefer.  Let your loan officer know as soon as possible that you will be choosing your own agent/attorney.  Please provide your loan officer with the company’s name, address, phone number, fax number, and the name and email address of a contact at the company.  

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Fees & Closing Costs 

Is there an application fee?

Yes.  There is a $30 application fee.  The application fee is a non-refundable, out-of-pocket fee. 

Are there prepayment penalties?

No.  Partners Financial does not charge prepayment penalties. 

What points will I be required to pay?

For fixed rate first mortgages and second mortgages, Partners Financial charges a .50% origination point (1/2 point).  There are no points charged on HELOCs.  Partners Financial does not charge discount points. 

Can I roll the closing costs into my new mortgage loan or must they be paid out of pocket at closing?

Qualified applicants can usually roll closing costs into the new mortgage loan as long as there is sufficient value in the home to allow for this and loan-to-value maximums are not exceeded.  Please be sure to let your loan officer know as soon as you submit your application whether or not you want to have the closing costs rolled into your new mortgage loan.    

Are there any costs that cannot be rolled into the new mortgage loan?

The application fee, the appraisal fee, and any pest inspection fee (if required) are all out-of-pocket, non-refundable fees that cannot be rolled into the new mortgage loan. 

Does Partners Financial require that I escrow for taxes and insurance?

Qualified applicants can request that escrow be waived.  Partners Financial retains the right to deny requests for waiver of escrow and certain federal regulations require that loans meeting specific criteria cannot have escrow waived.  Borrowers requesting waiver of escrow will generally receive a .25% higher interest rate on their loan than borrowers who choose to escrow.  

Are there other closing costs?

Yes.  The costs will vary from loan to loan.  Partners Financial provides a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs within 3 business days of receiving a completed mortgage application.  The Good Faith Estimate provides a detailed estimate of the closing costs specific to your loan request.  Your loan officer can provide more details regarding closing costs.  

Should I use the APR as the best way to determine which lender has the lowest rate and fees?

The APR should not be confused with the actual rate.  Your monthly payments will be based on the actual interest rate, the amount you borrow, and the term of your loan.  

The APR is a figure designed to express the cost of credit as a yearly rate.  Some, but not all, closing costs are required to be used in calculating the APR.  

You can use the APR as a guideline when shopping for a mortgage loan.  However, since not all closing costs/fees are included in the calculation and since lenders vary widely with regard to how they interpret certain fees, you should be sure to compare actual rates and total fees as well. 

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**The information contained on this page does not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to extend credit.  Eligibility for any available mortgage programs can only be determined once a completed application has been submitted and a review of each applicant's credit score, credit history and overall creditworthiness has been completed.**

Partners Financial Federal Credit Union - NMLS# 460266
P.O. Box 2980, Henrico, VA  23228
Office:  (804) 649-2957 Ext. 306
Toll Free:  (800) 321-5617
Fax:  (804) 261-4181
mortgagedept@partnersffcu.org
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