FAQ

/FAQ
FAQ2018-11-13T09:50:12+00:00
FAQ

Mortgages have a lot of moving pieces. Explore answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in the mortgage industry.

Begin by Selecting a Category

Mortgages

Will applying for a mortgage affect my credit?

Before you enter the mortgage process, your Loan Officer will need to run your credit to confirm your eligibility. Considered a credit inquiry, this hard credit pull impacts your credit score slightly. Multiple inquiries made within a 30-day period will only count as one inquiry.

What if I don't have perfect credit?

You don’t need perfect credit for a mortgage refinance. If you received an offer letter from us stating that you’re pre-approved or pre-qualified, then your credit at the time we sent you the letter met our minimum credit requirements. Please note that we will still have to order a full credit report, as stated above.

What documents do I need to apply for a mortgage?

For official mortgage approval, you will need to provide:
Pay stubs from the last 30 days
W-2 forms from the last 2 years
Tax returns from the last 2 years If other documents are needed for your unique situation, your Loan Officer will reach out and walk you through the additional requirements.

Are there any application fees?

When you work with Meridian, there is no mortgage application fee. There is no cost or obligation to find out which programs and terms you qualify for.

What are lending fees?

Lending fees and closing costs pay for the processing and funding of your loan. They can include items like: an origination fee, a discount fee, a processing fee, and an underwriting fee. For refinance customers, these costs are rolled into your loan, so you never have to pay them upfront. Closing costs are often different for every customer. They vary depending on loan type, property location, and other factors. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises.

About Our Letter

If I receive an offer letter, am I already approved or qualified for a loan?

If your letter states you are pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan, then you have already passed our initial criteria for obtaining a loan. To receive a mortgage, we must still verify your income, credit, employment history, and any other financial factors.

How does Meridian pre-approve and pre-qualify people?

Meridian has established certain legally-specified criteria, like a minimum credit score, and asked a consumer reporting company for a list of people in the company’s database who meet the criteria.

Did Meridian pull my credit to get my information?

No. We did not pull your credit, and we don’t have a copy of your credit report. We buy credit report data from third party credit companies, and mortgage information is public record. We use these tools to determine your pre-approved loan amount. It is illegal for any organization to pull your credit without your permission.

Refinance

What closing costs are involved in refinancing?

Refinance costs and fees pay for the processing of your loan. They can vary, depending on the loan type, property location, title company, and more. These costs can include: an origination fee, an underwriting/processing fee, title insurance, a title attorney fee, an upfront funding fee (VA loans), upfront mortgage insurance (for FHA loans), and more. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises. Closing costs and fees are typically rolled into your loan, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

How much cash will I need to refinance my home?

There are no out-of-pocket expenses prior to your refinance loan closing. The rest of the fees and closing costs associated with your new loan can be financed into the loan amount, so you have to pay nothing upfront.

Do I need to have my home appraised?

Yes, refinance loans require a home appraisal. At Meridian, we advance the cost of your initial home appraisal. This ensures you will have no upfront costs when refinancing your loan. Please see Notices for more information on our appraisal policy.

What is the $10,000 cash back option?

The $10,000 cash back option is an additional amount of money you can decide to take out of your home equity. This amount (or any customized amount you designate) is added onto your current loan amount when refinancing. Typically, this cash back option is recommended for homeowners who would like to replenish or add to their savings accounts. On average, Meridian borrowers choose cash out amounts of between $10,000 and $15,000.

What is loan-to-value (LTV) and how is it calculated?

Your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of your property that is being financed. For example, if your home value is $100,000 and you obtain a mortgage of $80,000, your LTV is 80%. Lenders have limitations on how much you can borrow against your property. Typically, lenders consider loans with higher LTVs high-risk loans. As a result, most lenders will add Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) payments onto a loan until it reaches an LTV of 80%.

How long will my refinance take to process, and when will I receive my money?

Typically, refinance loans take around 30 to 60 business days to close. You’ll receive your funds within 7 business days from the date you close.

Can I stop making payments on my bills?

No. Keep making your monthly payments on time while we process your refinance loan. Missing a payment can adversely affect your credit score and impact your loan eligibility. If you have special circumstances, please contact your loan officer at 877-878-0100.

Do you refinance manufactured or mobile homes?

Yes. We now refinance manufactured and mobile homes. To get a list of your options, call 877-878-0100 or go to MeridianHM.com/Get-Started.

Can I still refinance if I don’t have perfect credit?

Yes. Most loans require a credit score of 620 to qualify, but we can work with homeowners who have scores as low as 500. If you have a lower credit score, please be aware your options may be more limited.

VA Refinance

What are VA Mortgage Guaranty Benefits?

The VA helps servicemembers, veterans, and their families obtain and manage home loans by offering various services and benefits. These benefits include (but aren’t limited to): lower interest rates and closing costs than conventional loans, an option to cash-out 100% of your home value with no mortgage insurance, grants for disabled veterans to apply for, Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMI), and more.

Am I eligible for a VA loan refinance?

Active U.S. military service members may be eligible for VA benefits (including VA loans) 90 days after completing basic training. Veterans may be eligible for VA benefits after serving at least 2 years of active duty service in a U.S. military branch or at least 6 years in the Guards or Reserves. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses of military members killed in war-time may also be eligible for VA benefits. If you are unsure of your VA eligibility, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration page to learn more or call us at 877-878-0100 to speak with a loan officer.

If I had a VA home loan in the past, can I get another one?

Yes. Borrowers who previously received a VA home loan can apply for and obtain a new VA home loan.

What is the funding fee for VA loans for?

The funding fee is sent to the VA once the loan funds. The fee serves as insurance that helps protect the government against VA mortgage defaults. Some veterans and their spouses are exempt from paying the funding fee, including first-time VA homebuyers, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses.

Am I able to cash out up to 100% of my home’s value?

A special benefit of getting a VA loan is that you can take out 100% of your home’s value when you refinance without paying mortgage insurance. With this extra cash, you can pay off other debts, replenish your savings, or spend it however you wish.

Do I have to pay for the well, septic, and pest inspections, when required?

No. Meridian will pay for VA-required well, septic, and pest inspections for borrowers obtaining a VA loan when the inspections are required.

What are the closing costs for a VA refinance?

Closing costs and fees pay for the processing of your loan. They can vary, depending on the loan type, property location, title company, and more. These costs can include: an origination fee, an underwriting/processing fee, title insurance, a title attorney fee, an upfront funding fee, and more. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises. Costs and fees are typically rolled into your loan, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

Are there special VA mortgage benefits for disabled veterans and surviving spouses?

Yes. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses are exempt from paying the VA funding fee.

Home Purchase

What do I need to buy a home?

First, you need a minimum credit score of 500 or more to qualify for most loan programs. Second, you need two years of consistent employment history, and you need to have been at the same company for at least 6 months. Third, you need to have money saved to make a down payment on a home and pay closing costs. NOTE: Veterans or active servicemembers eligible for VA benefits may qualify for a loan that requires a 0% down payment.

How much should I expect to pay for a down payment and other mortgage costs?

Loans require anywhere from a 3.5% down payment to a 20% down payment, depending on the loan type you qualify for. For example, a $150,000 home would likely require a down payment of between $5,250 (3.5%) and $30,000 (20%). Closing costs and lending fees for a $150,000 loan may average between $3,000 and $7,500. The actual amount depends on the state and local taxes, municipal recording fees, and other costs associated with the home you buy.

Are there any tax breaks or benefits involved with purchasing a home?

In most states, you can write-off a number of costs when you buy a home, including: mortgage interest, property taxes, private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments/fees, and more.

Can I use my IRA retirement funds for a down payment?

Yes, you can use retirement funds to finance a down payment if you are a first-time homebuyer (or haven’t owned a home in the last two years). You can take up to $10,000 out of your IRA without paying the 10% penalty. Taking any more than $10,000 out may incur a fee.

VA Home Purchase

How do I know if I qualify for a VA mortgage?

Active U.S. military service members may be eligible for VA benefits (including VA loans) 90 days after completing basic training. Veterans may be eligible for VA benefits after serving at least 2 years of active duty service in a U.S. military branch or at least 6 years in the Guards or Reserves. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses of military members killed in war-time may also be eligible for VA benefits. If you are unsure of your VA eligibility, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration page to learn more or call us at 877-878-0100 to speak with a loan officer.

Can I have a co-signer/co-borrower with a VA mortgage?

Yes, as long as the VA-eligible individual is listed as the primary borrower, you can have a co-signer/co-borrower.

What is the minimum down payment I can make?

VA home loans do not require a down payment. That means 100% of your loan can be financed, without paying PMI (private mortgage insurance).

Can I use my VA benefits to purchase a home if I’ve used my VA benefits before?

Yes. You can use your VA benefits again, but you may have to pay the VA funding fee.

Can a VA mortgage be used for a second home or income property?

No. You may only use a VA mortgage to finance your primary residence. For second homes or income properties, you will most likely have to use a Conventional Loan.

About Meridian

Who is Meridian Home Mortgage, and are they legit?

We are Meridian Home Mortgage: a mortgage company who specializes in Refinance and Home Purchase loans. Since opening our doors in 2001, we have funded billions of dollars' worth of closed loans. We are a direct lender in over 45 states and a registered mortgage broker in New York. Our teams don’t work on commission. We encourage customer feedback, which is how we gauge our successes and opportunities for improvement. Check out our About Us, Web Reviews, and Google Reviews to learn more about who we are and how we operate.

Is this Meridian Bank?

No, we are not associated with Meridian Bank.

Do you offer HELOCs, second mortgages, or personal loans?

No, we do not offer Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs), second mortgages, or personal loans.

Will applying for a mortgage affect my credit?

Before you enter the mortgage process, your Loan Officer will need to run your credit to confirm your eligibility. Considered a credit inquiry, this hard credit pull impacts your credit score slightly. Multiple inquiries made within a 30-day period will only count as one inquiry.

What if I don’t have perfect credit?

You don’t need perfect credit for a mortgage refinance. If you received an offer letter from us stating that you’re pre-approved or pre-qualified, then your credit at the time we sent you the letter met our minimum credit requirements. Please note that we will still have to order a full credit report, as stated above.

What documents do I need to apply for a mortgage?

For official mortgage approval, you will need to provide:
Pay stubs from the last 30 days
W-2 forms from the last 2 years
Tax returns from the last 2 years If other documents are needed for your unique situation, your Loan Officer will reach out and walk you through the additional requirements.

Are there any application fees?

When you work with Meridian, there is no mortgage application fee. There is no cost or obligation to find out which programs and terms you qualify for.

What are lending fees?

Lending fees and closing costs pay for the processing and funding of your loan. They can include items like: an origination fee, a discount fee, a processing fee, and an underwriting fee. For refinance customers, these costs are rolled into your loan, so you never have to pay them upfront. Closing costs are often different for every customer. They vary depending on loan type, property location, and other factors. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises.

If I receive an offer letter, am I already approved or qualified for a loan?

If your letter states you are pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan, then you have already passed our initial criteria for obtaining a loan. To receive a mortgage, we must still verify your income, credit, employment history, and any other financial factors.

How does Meridian pre-approve and pre-qualify people?

Meridian has established certain legally-specified criteria, like a minimum credit score, and asked a consumer reporting company for a list of people in the company’s database who meet the criteria.

Did Meridian pull my credit to get my information?

No. We did not pull your credit, and we don’t have a copy of your credit report. We buy credit report data from third party credit companies, and mortgage information is public record. We use these tools to determine your pre-approved loan amount. It is illegal for any organization to pull your credit without your permission.

What closing costs are involved in refinancing?

Refinance costs and fees pay for the processing of your loan. They can vary, depending on the loan type, property location, title company, and more. These costs can include: an origination fee, an underwriting/processing fee, title insurance, a title attorney fee, an upfront funding fee (VA loans), upfront mortgage insurance (for FHA loans), and more. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises. Closing costs and fees are typically rolled into your loan, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

How much cash will I need to refinance my home?

There are no out-of-pocket expenses prior to your refinance loan closing. The rest of the fees and closing costs associated with your new loan can be financed into the loan amount, so you have to pay nothing upfront.

Do I need to have my home appraised?

Yes, refinance loans require a home appraisal. At Meridian, we advance the cost of your initial home appraisal. This ensures you will have no upfront costs when refinancing your loan. Please see Notices for more information on our appraisal policy.

What is the $10,000 cash back option?

The $10,000 cash back option is an additional amount of money you can decide to take out of your home equity. This amount (or any customized amount you designate) is added onto your current loan amount when refinancing. Typically, this cash back option is recommended for homeowners who would like to replenish or add to their savings accounts. On average, Meridian borrowers choose cash out amounts of between $10,000 and $15,000.

What is loan-to-value (LTV) and how is it calculated?

Your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of your property that is being financed. For example, if your home value is $100,000 and you obtain a mortgage of $80,000, your LTV is 80%. Lenders have limitations on how much you can borrow against your property. Typically, lenders consider loans with higher LTVs high-risk loans. As a result, most lenders will add Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) payments onto a loan until it reaches an LTV of 80%.

How long will my refinance take to process, and when will I receive my money?

Typically, refinance loans take around 30 to 60 business days to close. You’ll receive your funds within 7 business days from the date you close.

Can I stop making payments on my bills?

No. Keep making your monthly payments on time while we process your refinance loan. Missing a payment can adversely affect your credit score and impact your loan eligibility. If you have special circumstances, please contact your loan officer at 877-878-0100.

Do you refinance manufactured or mobile homes?

Yes. We now refinance manufactured and mobile homes. To get a list of your options, call 877-878-0100 or go to MeridianHM.com/Get-Started.

Can I still refinance if I don’t have perfect credit?

Yes. Most loans require a credit score of 620 to qualify, but we can work with homeowners who have scores as low as 500. If you have a lower credit score, please be aware your options may be more limited.

What are VA Mortgage Guaranty Benefits?

The VA helps servicemembers, veterans, and their families obtain and manage home loans by offering various services and benefits. These benefits include (but aren’t limited to): lower interest rates and closing costs than conventional loans, an option to cash-out 100% of your home value with no mortgage insurance, grants for disabled veterans to apply for, Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMI), and more.

Am I eligible for a VA loan refinance?

Active U.S. military service members may be eligible for VA benefits (including VA loans) 90 days after completing basic training. Veterans may be eligible for VA benefits after serving at least 2 years of active duty service in a U.S. military branch or at least 6 years in the Guards or Reserves. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses of military members killed in war-time may also be eligible for VA benefits. If you are unsure of your VA eligibility, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration page to learn more or call us at 877-878-0100 to speak with a loan officer.

If I had a VA home loan in the past, can I get another one?

Yes. Borrowers who previously received a VA home loan can apply for and obtain a new VA home loan.

What is the funding fee for VA loans for?

The funding fee is sent to the VA once the loan funds. The fee serves as insurance that helps protect the government against VA mortgage defaults. Some veterans and their spouses are exempt from paying the funding fee, including first-time VA homebuyers, disabled veterans, and surviving spouses.

Am I able to cash out up to 100% of my home’s value?

A special benefit of getting a VA loan is that you can take out 100% of your home’s value when you refinance without paying mortgage insurance. With this extra cash, you can pay off other debts, replenish your savings, or spend it however you wish.

Do I have to pay for the well, septic, and pest inspections, when required?

No. Meridian will pay for VA-required well, septic, and pest inspections for borrowers obtaining a VA loan when the inspections are required.

What are the closing costs for a VA refinance?

Closing costs and fees pay for the processing of your loan. They can vary, depending on the loan type, property location, title company, and more. These costs can include: an origination fee, an underwriting/processing fee, title insurance, a title attorney fee, an upfront funding fee, and more. These and all other costs will be presented with your loan options from the start, so there are no surprises. Costs and fees are typically rolled into your loan, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

Are there special VA mortgage benefits for disabled veterans and surviving spouses?

Yes. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses are exempt from paying the VA funding fee.

What do I need to buy a home?

First, you need a minimum credit score of 500 or more to qualify for most loan programs. Second, you need two years of consistent employment history, and you need to have been at the same company for at least 6 months. Third, you need to have money saved to make a down payment on a home and pay closing costs. NOTE: Veterans or active servicemembers eligible for VA benefits may qualify for a loan that requires a 0% down payment.

How much should I expect to pay for a down payment and other mortgage costs?

Loans require anywhere from a 3.5% down payment to a 20% down payment, depending on the loan type you qualify for. For example, a $150,000 home would likely require a down payment of between $5,250 (3.5%) and $30,000 (20%). Closing costs and lending fees for a $150,000 loan may average between $3,000 and $7,500. The actual amount depends on the state and local taxes, municipal recording fees, and other costs associated with the home you buy.

Are there any tax breaks or benefits involved with purchasing a home?

In most states, you can write-off a number of costs when you buy a home, including: mortgage interest, property taxes, private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments/fees, and more.

Can I use my IRA retirement funds for a down payment?

Yes, you can use retirement funds to finance a down payment if you are a first-time homebuyer (or haven’t owned a home in the last two years). You can take up to $10,000 out of your IRA without paying the 10% penalty. Taking any more than $10,000 out may incur a fee.

How do I know if I qualify for a VA mortgage?

Active U.S. military service members may be eligible for VA benefits (including VA loans) 90 days after completing basic training. Veterans may be eligible for VA benefits after serving at least 2 years of active duty service in a U.S. military branch or at least 6 years in the Guards or Reserves. Disabled veterans and surviving spouses of military members killed in war-time may also be eligible for VA benefits. If you are unsure of your VA eligibility, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration page to learn more or call us at 877-878-0100 to speak with a loan officer.

Can I have a co-signer/co-borrower with a VA mortgage?

Yes, as long as the VA-eligible individual is listed as the primary borrower, you can have a co-signer/co-borrower.

What is the minimum down payment I can make?

VA home loans do not require a down payment. That means 100% of your loan can be financed, without paying PMI (private mortgage insurance).

Can I use my VA benefits to purchase a home if I’ve used my VA benefits before?

Yes. You can use your VA benefits again, but you may have to pay the VA funding fee.

Can a VA mortgage be used for a second home or income property?

No. You may only use a VA mortgage to finance your primary residence. For second homes or income properties, you will most likely have to use a Conventional Loan.

Who is Meridian Home Mortgage, and are they legit?

We are Meridian Home Mortgage: a mortgage company who specializes in Refinance and Home Purchase loans. Since opening our doors in 2001, we have funded billions of dollars' worth of closed loans. We are a direct lender in over 45 states and a registered mortgage broker in New York. Our teams don’t work on commission. We encourage customer feedback, which is how we gauge our successes and opportunities for improvement. Check out our About Us, Web Reviews, and Google Reviews to learn more about who we are and how we operate.

Is this Meridian Bank?

No, we are not associated with Meridian Bank.

Do you offer HELOCs, second mortgages, or personal loans?

No, we do not offer Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs), second mortgages, or personal loans.

Any more questions about mortgages and home financing? Our loan officers are here to help.

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