Home Loans & Realty Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions, answered

We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions about our mortgage products and homebuying and selling services, and grouped them by topic to make it easier for you to access the information you need to make informed financial decisions.

 

Find FAQs by topic:
General Questions | Rates, Points and Closing Costs | Fixed-Rate Mortgages | Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARM) | FHA / VA | Jumbo | New Construction | Land | Refinance | Home Equity Loan / HELOC | Home Improvement Loan | Realty | Title Insurance | Appraisal | Back to all FAQs

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  • Am I eligible to skip my mortgage loan payment?
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    Mortgage loan payments are not subject to RBFCU's skip-a-payment program. However, should you need to speak with someone about extending your loan payment for 30 days, please call RBFCU's Collections team at 210-945-3300.

  • Are RBFCU's loan decisions made locally?
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    RBFCU loans are reviewed in-house at both our Austin and San Antonio headquarters.

  • Are there any special deals for first-time homebuyers through RBFCU?
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    No. However, our affiliate company, Domain Mortgage offers Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. This type of loan is ideal for first-time homebuyers seeking a loan with lower down payments and fixed rate loan options. FHA loans are also a great consideration for those who are looking to finance with as little cash down as possible.

  • Can I change my mortgage loan payment due date?
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    No, you cannot. All mortgage loan payments are due on the first of each month. If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments, please call RBFCU’s collections team at 210-945-3300.

  • Can I close my mortgage online?
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    No. While you can do some initial paperwork electronically, the final paperwork requires the buyer’s signature, the seller’s signature and a notary seal.

  • Can I complete an online mortgage application with Domain Mortgage?
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  • Can I complete an RBFCU mortgage application online?
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  • Can RBFCU help me with my purchase contract for a home?
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    A purchase or earnest money contract is between a buyer and a seller. Because RBFCU is not licensed for buyer/seller transactions, we recommend you contact a real estate agent for assistance.

    TIP: RBFCU Services LLC offers homebuying and selling services along with home closings, home appraisals, home and auto insurance coverage and FHA and VA loans through its various affiliates. RBFCU Appraisal LLC and RBFCU Insurance Agency LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of RBFCU Services LLC. RB Mortgage LLC dba Domain Mortgage is principally owned by RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU).

  • Can you recommend a real estate agent?
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    We will be happy to refer you to an RBFCU preferred real estate agent to serve your homebuying and selling needs. Please call 210-880-2476, or you can also submit a form requesting a preferred real estate agent to contact you directly.

  • Could new credit affect mortgage loan approval?
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    While you are in the process of buying or refinancing a home, it is best to refrain from adding new credit, as they can jeopardize your loan approval. It is possible for your lender to pull a new credit report at its discretion to verify whether new credit has been acquired.

  • Does RBFCU charge an application fee or any other loan-related fees to apply for a mortgage?
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    No, there are no fees to apply for a mortgage loan. If you decide to go forward with the mortgage, fees may be assessed at closing. You will receive thorough documentation of the costs you can expect based on your individual loan circumstances, prior to the closing.

  • During the loan application process, will my credit report be pulled multiple times?
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    Your credit report is pulled at the time your application is received and is valid for 90 days. If your mortgage loan does not close within that time frame, a second credit report is pulled for another 90-day cycle.

  • How can I estimate my closing costs?
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    Closing costs on average are 3 to 6 percent of the loan amount. To estimate your closing costs, visit our Calculators page to use the “What will my closing costs be?” calculator.

  • How can I estimate my property taxes?
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    If you multiply the value of your property by 2.5 percent, this will give you an estimate of how much you may pay in property taxes each year.

  • How can I figure out if I qualify for a mortgage loan?
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    Qualifying for a mortgage is based on your debt-to-income ratio: the amount of money owed vs. the amount of money you make. The top number is determined by the new mortgage payment (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance) divided by your gross monthly income. The bottom number is determined by your new mortgage payment, car payment(s), credit card payments, student loans, child support, etc., (if applicable) divided by your gross monthly income. The ideal number should be between 28 and 36 percent, but should not be more than 43 percent for an individual. Debt-to-income ratios can go higher than mentioned. As a first-time homebuyer, you could put down as little as 3 percent, based on your credit score. A general rule of thumb is the better the credit score, the less money you may need.

  • How can I save on closing costs?
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    RBFCU offers lender credits which lowers your fees paid at closing in exchange for a higher interest rate. When you purchase “lender credits,” you receive a higher interest rate. This results in a higher principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment. In addition, there are limits on the amount of lender credits you may receive. This option may be beneficial if funds are limited for closing costs, but you’re willing to pay more interest over the term of your loan. Talk to your loan officer about our lender credit options.

  • How do I check my loan status?
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    For consumer loans, you can check your loan status by signing in to your Online Banking account, then selecting “Application Status” from the next menu. You can also call our Consumer Lending Center at 210-945-3300, press option 3 twice or visit your nearest branch.

    For a mortgage or business loan, please communicate with your loan officer regarding your loan status.

  • How do I choose an appraiser?
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    As the buyer of a property, you do not have to address any appraisal questions. RBFCU will order a property appraisal to assess the true value of your selected property and to protect your interests.

  • How do I finalize my mortgage loan?
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    To finalize your mortgage, a closing will be scheduled for you to sign all the documents at either a title company or any RBFCU branch. If cash is required for your down payment or closing costs, you must either have the funds wire transferred to RBFCU or in the form of a certified cashier's check in the amount needed, made payable to RBFCU.

  • How do I find out my home's value?
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    The estimated value of your home can be found through your county’s tax office through their online website. Upon review of your application, we will determine if an appraisal will be required. If an appraisal is required, we will order this for you.

  • How do I request a payoff amount for my mortgage loan?
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    Your mortgage loan processor will typically request a payoff before the closing is set. However, if RBFCU has issues receiving the payoff information, we will contact you.

  • How does RBFCU determine its interest rate?
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    Interest rates are based on an applicant’s credit history, credit score and loan value. Product rates, which are subject to change, are determined by the RBFCU Volunteer Board of Directors.

  • How does RBFCU use my credit report?
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    RBFCU will use your credit report to review your existing payment history and determine the mortgage loan amount based on your outstanding debt. Some mortgage products also use your credit report to determine what your rate will be.

  • How does RBFCU verify my income if I'm self-employed?
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    For self-employed individuals, RBFCU will require your complete tax returns for the past two years. Also, we will need to know if any IRS extensions were requested and granted. In most cases, only “net” income will be considered when self-employed.

  • How long do I have to accept my mortgage loan offer before the application expires?
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    Each application will be valid for 90 days from the date approved. After 90 days, you must reapply for your loan.

  • How long will it take to complete a mortgage loan?
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    Depending on the type of mortgage you have, it can be funded within approximately 35 days for purchases, and around 45 days for refinancing.

  • How long will it take to get an approval on my mortgage loan application?
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    Upon receiving a completed loan application, you generally will have a decision on the loan request within 24 to 72 hours based on the type of loan.

  • How long will it take to receive my pre-approval?
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    A pre-approval process will typically take within 24 to 72 hours based on the type of loan.

  • How long will my mortgage loan offer and interest rate be honored?
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    Your mortgage loan is pre-approved for a period of 90 days. Your rate is locked in when RBFCU receives either your earnest money contract or an address to the property.

  • How much can the seller pay toward my closing costs?
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    For a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, a seller can pay up to 6 percent of the loan amount. For a conventional mortgage, a seller can pay from 3 to 9 percent, depending on the amount of your down payment.

  • How much flood insurance do I need?
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    If you live in a designated flood zone or you are looking to purchase a home located in a designated flood zone, you will need enough flood insurance to cover all loans against your property.

  • How much homeowners insurance do I need?
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    You will need enough homeowners insurance to rebuild your home in the event of a loss.

  • How much money can I borrow for my mortgage?
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    Qualifying for a mortgage loan is based on your debt-to-income ratio: the amount of money owed vs. the amount of money you make. Your loan amount will depend on your income, the amount of the new payments and current expenses. An individual’s overall debt-to-income ratio should not be more than 43 percent. As a first-time homebuyer, you could put down as little as 3 percent based on your credit score. A general rule of thumb is the better the credit score, the less money you may need.

  • How much money do I need for a down payment?
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    The amount needed for a down payment depends on the mortgage loan product you select. A down payment can range from as little as 3 percent — offered to first-time homebuyers, based on their credit scores — to as much as 20 percent.

  • How often do interest rates change?
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    The RBFCU Volunteer Board of Directors evaluates credit union product rates monthly. While product rates don’t often change, economic factors do change, which can have a direct effect on the product rates set by the credit union board.

  • How soon will someone from Domain Mortgage contact me after I've submitted my mortgage application?
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    Once you submit your mortgage loan application for review, Domain Mortgage will contact you within 24 hours.

  • How soon will someone from RBFCU contact me after I’ve submitted my mortgage application?
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    Once you submit your mortgage loan application for review, RBFCU will contact you within 24 hours, unless it’s a weekend application.

  • How will I be notified if my mortgage loan application is approved?
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    When your application is approved, RBFCU will contact you by phone and leave a voicemail, if available. We will also follow up with an email to your address on file. If we do not have a valid email address for you, RBFCU will mail the required paperwork to your mailing address on file.

  • I am in the process of divorcing my spouse and would like to buy a home. What are the requirements?
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    Before you can begin the mortgage loan process, you must wait until your divorce is finalized, plus an additional 31 days after a judge has signed your final divorce decree. Then, your lender will require a review of the final decree.

  • I don't live near a branch. How do I sign my paperwork?
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    Documents requiring your signature can be sent to you by mail, email, DocuSign (a method of electronically obtaining your signature) or fax. We will notify you if any documents must be mailed back to us with original signatures.

  • My primary home is not in Texas. Does RBFCU offer mortgage financing for property outside of the state of Texas?
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    No, RBFCU only offers mortgage financing for property within the state of Texas at this time.

  • Should I buy a preowned home or a new home?
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    The choice to buy a preowned home or new home is based on your preferences. Some homebuyers like the idea of moving into a preowned home because many household related things are done or can be changed over a period of time. Others, however, like the idea of selecting their wall color, cabinet style, counter tops, flooring and adding upgrades (like adding a covered porch, etc.) right away.

  • Should I lock my interest rate on my mortgage?
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    As soon as your mortgage loan carries an associated address, the interest rate is locked with a one-time, float-down option, which gives you the opportunity to lower your locked rate once, should it drop.

  • What are points?
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    Points, also known as discount points, are fees paid at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate. When you purchase "points," your interest rate will decrease. This results in a lower principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment. While your closing costs will be higher, you will generally pay less in interest. Talk to your loan officer about options for buying down your interest rate.

  • What are the different types of mortgage loans?
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    The most common mortgage loans are conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans.

    Conventional loans are available to all borrowers and are ideal to those with good or excellent credit. This type of loan typically follows conservative guidelines for credit scores, minimum down payments and debt-to-income ratios.

    FHA loans are available to all borrowers but allow for a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price. Monthly mortgage insurance is required for all loans with a down payment that is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

    VA loans are available to military service members, veterans and surviving spouses. Borrowers can receive 100-percent financing and a down payment is not required.

  • What changes the amount of my mortgage closing costs?
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    The loan amount, the down payment and whether or not you are escrowing the loan all affect the amount of your closing costs.

  • What do I need to bring to closing?
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    Please bring a valid ID and the funds for your down payment to your loan closing. You may provide the down payment funds as a cashier’s check or as a wire transfer from your RBFCU account or from a different financial institution. Your loan closer can tell you how to wire transfer funds for your closing.

  • What documents will I need to apply for a mortgage?
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    You may need paystubs for the past 30 days, W2s for the past two years, tax returns for the past two years and financial statements for the past two months. However, the type of mortgage you apply for will determine which documents your loan officer will need.

  • What does RBFCU take into consideration when determining whether to approve my mortgage application?
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    Lenders look at whether you can repay a mortgage loan and will verify your income and check your credit history. Your employer will be contacted to confirm both employment and the term of your employment. Lenders will ask about any down payment and closing costs, will want to know the source of the funds and verify that the funds are available for withdrawal. Finally, lenders will ensure the property you are buying is in good condition and that the estimated sales value is valid.

    TIP: Here’s how you can help yourself: check your credit! You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com and obtain your credit report for free. Once you have it, review it line by line and correct any errors. If you were late making payments, update them and maintain a good payment history. If you have any derogatory items in your credit history, clear them up. Finally, pay down unsecured debt as much as you can.

  • What if I don’t have the necessary funds for a big down payment on a home?
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    As a first-time homebuyer, you could put down as little as 3 percent based on your credit score. A general rule of thumb is the better the credit score, the less money you may need to put down.

  • What is a non-purchasing spouse (NPS)?
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    When married in the state of Texas, your spouse must sign all paperwork that involves a primary residence. His or her signature as the non-purchasing spouse serves as an acknowledgment of the loan process, but your spouse does not become a borrower.

  • What is an escrow account and how does it work?
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    Escrow is an account your lender sets up for you to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance, typically as part of your monthly mortgage payment. Your lender then disburses your taxes and insurance annually, automatically out of your escrow account.

  • What is an FHA mortgage?
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    Administrated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a U.S. government agency, an FHA mortgage is designed to provide low down-payment financing. It is a great option to consider if you are trying to finance a home with as little cash down as possible. FHA loans provide homebuying opportunities for individuals with higher debt-to-income ratios.

  • What is included in my mortgage loan closing costs?
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    Your closing costs may include a loan origination fee, a recording fee, flood determination, attorney fees, underwriting fees, an appraisal, a survey, escrow reserves, homeowners insurance, title fees, a credit report fee and a tax service fee.

  • What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
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    PMI is required by lenders when you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, to protect the lender from losing money if the property ends up in foreclosure. PMI is also required if you refinance a mortgage loan with less than 20 percent equity. Please note: PMI can be canceled. Your lender must automatically cancel PMI when your outstanding loan balance drops to 78 percent of the home’s original value, which can take several years. However, as the borrower, you can speed up the cancellation of PMI by keeping track of your payments. Once your loan balance reaches 80 percent of the home’s original value, you may ask the lender to discontinue the PMI premiums.

  • What is the best loan term for me?
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    Generally, the best loan term is the one that gives you an affordable monthly payment, while keeping your annual percentage rate (APR) as low as possible. This way, you can pay more toward the principal balance of a loan — decreasing the amount owed — instead of more to its interest.

  • What is the difference between a conventional mortgage and an FHA mortgage?
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    While there may be different down payment requirements, the major difference between a conventional and a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan is that the FHA loan follows federal guidelines that a financial institution must follow. Click here to read more about the mortgage products that RBFCU offers.

  • What type of information do I need to complete a mortgage loan application?
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    First, you must submit the application. You can apply online here. Once your application has been submitted, RBFCU will need to verify your income using records like your W-2s, tax returns, paystubs and Social Security or pension reward letters. When you are purchasing a home, RBFCU will need the earnest money contract before we can proceed.

  • What type of mortgage is right for me?
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    RBFCU offers a variety of mortgage loans to serve most financial goals. To determine the best mortgage loan option for you and your family, call our Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 and speak with a mortgage lending representative.

  • What type of property can I finance?
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    You may finance or refinance a primary residence, a rental, a second home or land.

  • What will my mortgage closing costs be?
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    Your mortgage loan closing costs depend on your loan amount, your down payment and whether or not you’ll escrow your loan. If you have any questions, please feel free to call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 and a mortgage lending representative will help you.

  • When do I make my first mortgage payment?
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    While this may depend on what time of month you close on your mortgage loan, your first payment is due one full month after the last day of the month you closed. For example, if you closed on March 15 or March 31, you first payment is due May 1.

  • Where and how can I make my mortgage payment?
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    Your mortgage payment should be made to the company that services your loan. In many cases, your mortgage payment can be made payable to RBFCU. You can make your payment from your Online Banking account, at any RBFCU branch or mail it to RBFCU, P.O. Box 2097, Universal City, Texas 78148-2097. When mailing your payment, please include your mortgage loan number to receive proper credit.

    RBFCU also partners with other companies to service loans. It's important to ensure you make your mortgage payment to appropriate company.

  • Who do I contact if I'm having trouble paying my mortgage?
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    If you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments, please call RBFCU’s collections team at 210-945-3300, and someone will explain your options.

  • Will I receive a coupon book for my mortgage payments?
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    No, RBFCU has discontinued the use of coupons books for mortgage loans. A mortgage statement is generated approximately 15 days before your mortgage payment is due. If you are signed up for electronic statements, the bill will be sent electronically. Otherwise, it will be mailed to the address on record. Your mortgage payment is due the first day of each month. For those months where the first day of the month falls on a Sunday or holiday, please ensure your payment is made or mailed prior to your due date to avoid any late fees.

  • Will my mortgage be sold?
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    Some of our mortgage products are sold, but RBFCU retains the servicing of your loan. As a result, you will not see any difference in our service to you.

 

RATES, POINTS AND CLOSING COSTS

  • What are points?
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    Points, also known as discount points, are fees paid at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate. When you purchase "points," your interest rate will decrease. This results in a lower principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment. While your closing costs will be higher, you will generally pay less in interest. Talk to your loan officer about options for buying down your interest rate.

  • How can I save on closing costs?
    + -

    RBFCU offers lender credits which lowers your fees paid at closing in exchange for a higher interest rate. When you purchase “lender credits,” you receive a higher interest rate. This results in a higher principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment. In addition, there are limits on the amount of lender credits you may receive. This option may be beneficial if funds are limited for closing costs, but you’re willing to pay more interest over the term of your loan. Talk to your loan officer about our lender credit options.

  • Does RBFCU charge an application fee or any other loan-related fees to apply for a mortgage?
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    No, there are no fees to apply for a mortgage loan. If you decide to go forward with the mortgage, fees may be assessed at closing. You will receive thorough documentation of the costs you can expect based on your individual loan circumstances, prior to the closing.

  • How can I estimate my closing costs?
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    Closing costs on average are 3 to 6 percent of the loan amount. To estimate your closing costs, visit our Calculators page to use the “What will my closing costs be?” calculator.

  • How does RBFCU determine its interest rate?
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    Interest rates are based on an applicant’s credit history, credit score and loan value. Product rates, which are subject to change, are determined by the RBFCU Volunteer Board of Directors.

  • How much can the seller pay toward my closing costs?
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    For a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, a seller can pay up to 6 percent of the loan amount. For a conventional mortgage, a seller can pay from 3 to 9 percent, depending on the amount of your down payment.

  • How often do interest rates change?
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    The RBFCU Volunteer Board of Directors evaluates credit union product rates monthly. While product rates don’t often change, economic factors do change, which can have a direct effect on the product rates set by the credit union board.

  • Should I lock my interest rate on my mortgage?
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    As soon as your mortgage loan carries an associated address, the interest rate is locked with a one-time, float-down option, which gives you the opportunity to lower your locked rate once, should it drop.

  • What changes the amount of my mortgage closing costs?
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    The loan amount, the down payment and whether or not you are escrowing the loan all affect the amount of your closing costs.

  • What do I need to bring to closing?
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    Please bring a valid ID and the funds for your down payment to your loan closing. You may provide the down payment funds as a cashier’s check or as a wire transfer from your RBFCU account or from a different financial institution. Your loan closer can tell you how to wire transfer funds for your closing.

  • What is included in my mortgage loan closing costs?
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    Your closing costs may include a loan origination fee, a recording fee, flood determination, attorney fees, underwriting fees, an appraisal, a survey, escrow reserves, homeowners insurance, title fees, a credit report fee and a tax service fee.

  • What will my mortgage closing costs be?
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    Your mortgage loan closing costs depend on your loan amount, your down payment and whether or not you’ll escrow your loan. If you have any questions, please feel free to call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 and a mortgage lending representative will help you.

  • How much are closing costs on an RBFCU mortgage refinance?
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    Your closing costs vary based on your loan amount, the term of your loan and your loan type.

  • Is there a refinance application fee?
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    No, RBFCU does not charge an application fee for any loan, but we would collect closing costs based on the type of loan issued.

 

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGES

  • What if I get a fixed-rate mortgage and then rates go down? Can I refinance with RBFCU?
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    If mortgage rates drop, you may consider refinancing your current mortgage. You may also be able to modify an existing RBFCU mortgage loan for a fee, without submitting a new loan application. To choose the best options, call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 to speak with a mortgage lending representative.

  • Which loan type is better: a fixed-rate mortgage loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan?
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    The choice depends on your financial goals. A fixed-rate mortgage offers the security of an interest rate that does not fluctuate during the life of your loan. So when interest rates are low, many prefer a fixed-rate mortgage. When interest rates are high, an ARM can offer the benefit of receiving a lower rate, which may help you qualify for a larger loan.

 

ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGES (ARM)

  • Does RBFCU offer adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) jumbo loans?
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  • Does RBFCU offer other options besides a 5/5 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan?
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    No, not at this time.

  • Does RBFCU's adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan have a payment cap?
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    No, not at this time.

  • Does RBFCU's adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan have a rate cap?
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    Yes. The rate cap is 2 percent.

  • How many years do I have to pay off an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan?
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    It depends on the type of ARM you get. Currently, RBFCU offers a 5/5 ARM loan, where your interest rate and payment are locked in for the first five years of your term, then adjust every five years after that.

  • I’ve heard that adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans are risky. Is that true?
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    ARM loans offer the opportunity to get into the house of your dreams sooner than you think. At the same time, it is best to understand how an ARM loan works and to ensure it meets your overall financial plans. Call our Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 and speak with a mortgage loan representative.

  • On a 5/5 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan, how frequently can my interest rate and payment increase?
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    An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan is designed to lock in both your interest rate and payment for a designated term. After the initial term has lapsed, your interest rate and payment change. For example, in a 3/1 ARM loan, your interest rate and payment are locked in for the first three years of your loan, then both will adjust every year following your initial term. On an RBFCU 5/5 ARM loan, your interest rate and payment are locked in for the first five years of your term, then adjust every five years after that.

  • What does the 5/5 mean in my mortgage term?
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    The RBFCU 5/5 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan indicates that your interest rate and payment remain the same for the first five years of your loan and later adjust in five-year increments (5/5) thereafter.

  • Which loan type is better: a fixed-rate mortgage loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan?
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    The choice depends on your financial goals. A fixed-rate mortgage offers the security of an interest rate that does not fluctuate during the life of your loan. So when interest rates are low, many prefer a fixed-rate mortgage. When interest rates are high, an ARM can offer the benefit of receiving a lower rate, which may help you qualify for a larger loan.

 

FHA & VA

  • Can I complete an online mortgage application with Domain Mortgage?
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  • Can I have more than one VA loan at a time?
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    Typically yes, but different stipulations may apply. Contact a Domain Mortgage representative to help you before starting the process of trying to obtain an additional VA loan for a property.

  • Can I refinance an FHA loan to a conventional loan?
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    Yes, our mortgage lending specialists can help you determine whether a move to a conventional loan might be advantageous to you.

  • Can I use my VA benefits to purchase a home more than once?
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    Yes, you may be eligible to use your VA benefits to purchase a home more than once. Contact a Domain Mortgage representative to see if you qualify.

  • Do I pay for mortgage insurance on my FHA loan up front or monthly?
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    You have the option to pay your mortgage insurance up front or monthly, depending on your preference.

  • How do I obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to apply for a VA loan?
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    Fill out VA Form 26-1880 (you can get the form here or from a Domain Mortgage representative), contact the VA or one of our representatives can get the form for you.

  • How long does it typically take to close on an FHA or VA loan?
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    The typical turnaround time to close on an FHA or VA loan is 30 to 45 days, and depends on your specific lending situation.

  • How much can the seller pay toward my closing costs?
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    For a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, a seller can pay up to 6 percent of the loan amount. For a conventional mortgage, a seller can pay from 3 to 9 percent, depending on the amount of your down payment.

  • How soon will someone from Domain Mortgage contact me after I've submitted my mortgage application?
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    Once you submit your mortgage loan application for review, Domain Mortgage will contact you within 24 hours.

  • I am a disabled veteran. What documentation is needed to be exempt from VA funding fees?
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    You will need to provide a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Veteran Affairs Department, which will indicate if you are exempt from VA funding fees.

    To obtain a COE, fill out VA Form 26-1880, which you can get online here or from a Domain Mortgage representative. If you need assistance, please contact the VA or one of our representatives.

  • Is there a difference in the appraisal process for an FHA/VA loan?
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    Yes. For Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, we have to go through the VA portal which then assigns your property to an appraiser. For Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, we use a third-party appraisal management company who orders the FHA appraisals for us.

  • What are the costs associated with a VA appraisal vs. an FHA?
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    VA appraisal costs are set by the Veterans Affairs Department (VA). Federal Housing Administration (FHA) appraisal costs are set by the market where the home is located. There could be additional charges depending on the type of loan, etc.

  • What are the different types of mortgage loans?
    + -

    The most common mortgage loans are conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans.

    Conventional loans are available to all borrowers and are ideal to those with good or excellent credit. This type of loan typically follows conservative guidelines for credit scores, minimum down payments and debt-to-income ratios.

    FHA loans are available to all borrowers but allow for a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price. Monthly mortgage insurance is required for all loans with a down payment that is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

    VA loans are available to military service members, veterans and surviving spouses. Borrowers can receive 100-percent financing and a down payment is not required.

  • What is a VA mortgage?
    + -

    Administrated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a VA loan allows qualified service members, veterans and surviving spouses the opportunity to purchase a home with special financing options.

  • What is an FHA mortgage?
    + -

    Administrated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a U.S. government agency, an FHA mortgage is designed to provide low down-payment financing. It is a great option to consider if you are trying to finance a home with as little cash down as possible. FHA loans provide homebuying opportunities for individuals with higher debt-to-income ratios.

  • What is the difference between a conventional mortgage and an FHA mortgage?
    + -

    While there may be different down payment requirements, the major difference between a conventional and a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan is that the FHA loan follows federal guidelines that a financial institution must follow. Click here to read more about the mortgage products that RBFCU offers.

 

JUMBO

  • Do I have to get a jumbo loan if I need more than $548,250?
    + -

    Yes, any loan amount greater than $548,250 is considered a jumbo loan.

  • Does it typically take longer to close a jumbo loan?
    + -

    Typically it does not take any longer to close on a jumbo loan.

  • Does RBFCU offer adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) jumbo loans?
    + -
  • How long does it take to find out if I am approved for a jumbo loan with RBFCU?
    + -

    Upon receiving a completed loan application and any other requested documentation (income/asset verification, etc.), generally, you will have a decision on the loan request within two to three business days.

  • What is a jumbo loan?
    + -

    A jumbo loan exceeds conforming loan limits as established by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA). Currently, loan amounts greater than $548,250 are considered jumbo loans.

  • What is the conforming loan limit?
    + -

    A conforming loan is any loan amount less than or equal to $548,250.

 

NEW CONSTRUCTION

  • Do I have to own my own land to get a construction loan?
    + -

    Yes, RBFCU construction loans are for new construction on property you own, not for construction being completed by a builder (in a new subdivision, etc.). If you are seeking to finance a loan of that type, you may want to consider a traditional mortgage loan. If you are seeking to make improvements to a property you already own, you may want to consider a home improvement loan or home equity loan.

  • Does my builder need to be approved if I want a construction loan?
    + -

    Yes, RBFCU must approve the builder for a construction loan.

  • What does a construction loan include?
    + -

    RBFCU offers a one-time, construction-to-permanent financing program for primary residences. The construction loan period is generally limited to 12 months and upon property completion, modifies into the permanent loan terms. Construction draws are coordinated with the member and builder based on a predetermined draw schedule for work performed prior to closing the loan. Loans are made directly to the member, not the builder.

 

LAND

  • Are there any stipulations on when I have to build on land purchased with an RBFCU land loan?
    + -

    RBFCU does not place building stipulations on land purchased with our land loans. However, you will be subject to any guidelines put in place by the subdivision or property owners' association where your land is located.

  • Are there closing costs associated with my land loan?
    + -

    On average, closing costs for a land loan are around $2,000 but can vary greatly depending on whether you need a survey and appraisal, and which title company you use to close and its associated fees.

  • Can I refinance my land loan from another institution?
    + -

    Yes, you can refinance a land loan through RBFCU from another institution. Please indicate your interest in refinancing when you complete your loan application and our lending specialists can provide you with details regarding your loan and requirements.

  • How much of a down payment should I expect with a land loan?
    + -

    Your down payment will be dependent on a variety of factors, but our land loans typically require a 10 to 20 percent down payment.

  • What are the requirements to build if I get a land loan?
    + -

    RBFCU does not have building requirements associated with our land loans, other than those defined by the subdivision or property owners association where your land is located. 

  • What's the largest piece of land I can buy with a land loan?
    + -

    RBFCU does not have a limit on the acreage or size of the property. However, other factors (use of property, loan to value, etc. ) will determine if a land loan is possible.

 

REFINANCE

  • Can I do a cash-out refinance on my mortgage?
    + -

    The cash-out option is available on primary home (e.g., a home equity loan) loans, investment property loans or second home loans. To find out which option is best for you, contact RBFCU's Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300. A mortgage lending representative will help discuss your available options.

  • Can I refinance an FHA loan to a conventional loan?
    + -

    Yes, our mortgage lending specialists can help you determine whether a move to a conventional loan might be advantageous to you.

  • Can I refinance my land loan from another institution?
    + -

    Yes, you can refinance a land loan through RBFCU from another institution. Please indicate your interest in refinancing when you complete your loan application and our lending specialists can provide you with details regarding your loan and requirements.

  • Can I refinance my mortgage even if I owe more than my home is currently worth?
    + -

    Yes, but you would need to pay the difference between what is owed on your mortgage and your home's current value at closing.

  • Do I have to refinance to the same term of my current mortgage?
    + -

    No, you can shorten the term, keep it the same or extend it.

  • How long does it take to refinance a mortgage loan?
    + -

    Refinancing a mortgage at RBFCU may take up to 75 days and is dependent on several factors, including but not limited to, interest rate environment, loan complexity and third party delays.

  • How much are closing costs on an RBFCU mortgage refinance?
    + -

    Your closing costs vary based on your loan amount, the term of your loan and your loan type.

  • Is there a refinance application fee?
    + -

    No, RBFCU does not charge an application fee for any loan, but we would collect closing costs based on the type of loan issued.

  • Should I refinance my mortgage?
    + -

    If you're trying to determine whether you should refinance your mortgage, use our mortgage calculators to determine what your monthly savings might be at different rate points. A typical rule of thumb is that if you can reduce your current interest rate by 0.75-1% or higher, then it might make sense to consider refinancing move. If you have questions about whether refinancing your mortgage may benefit you, our loan officers can assist you in reviewing the benefits of refinancing.

  • What are the benefits of refinancing a mortgage?
    + -

    Generally, you can refinance a mortgage to obtain a lower rate, which will decrease the amount of finance charges for the remainder of your loan. You can also shorten the original loan term and build home equity much quicker. To see if refinancing is your best option, call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 to speak with a mortgage lending representative.

  • What if I get a fixed-rate mortgage and then rates go down? Can I refinance with RBFCU?
    + -

    If mortgage rates drop, you may consider refinancing your current mortgage. You may also be able to modify an existing RBFCU mortgage loan for a fee, without submitting a new loan application. To choose the best options, call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 to speak with a mortgage lending representative.

  • When should I refinance my mortgage?
    + -

    The decision to refinance a loan can include a variety of factors. Ask yourself how long you plan to stay in the home, and whether or not any associated closing costs will be affordable. Typically, if the closing costs are high, there should be a 1 to 2 percent reduction in the interest rate. However, if the closing costs are minimal, 0.5 percent may still be worth refinancing.

 

HOME EQUITY LOAN

  • Can I get a home equity loan on my vacation or investment property?
    + -

    Texas has unique requirements for taking equity out of your primary residence homestead. The term “home equity” loans refers to lending on primary residences only. However, we may be able to assist you with a different product such as a cash-out refinance using your vacation or investment home as security for the loan. Contact one of our loan officers for additional information.

  • Can I set up automatic payments for my home equity loan?
    + -

    Yes, automatic payments can be set up on a home equity loan.

  • How can I check the balance of my HELOC?
    + -

    The balance of your home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be obtained by signing in to your Online Banking account or by contacting our Mortgage Servicing Team.

  • How do I know if my home equity loan is tax deductible?
    + -

    In some instances, interest on a home equity loan may be tax deductible. Check with your tax advisor for more information.

  • How do I pay off my home equity loan if I sell my home?
    + -

    Upon the sale of your home, the proceeds or portion of the proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off the home equity loan.

  • How long does it typically take to get a home equity loan?
    + -

    It normally takes 45 days to close on a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). RBFCU will do everything we can to close the loan as soon as possible.

  • Is there a limit on how big my home equity loan can be?
    + -

    The maximum amount for a home equity loan will depend on the value of your home and the balance of any other mortgages. The maximum loan to value is 80 percent.

 

HOME IMPROVEMENT LOAN

  • Can I be my own contractor with a home improvement loan?
    + -

    No, our home improvement loans require a contract be executed with a third-party. The contractor cannot be an owner of the property. 

  • Can I build a pool with my home improvement loan?
    + -

    Yes, our home improvement loans can be used to build pools as well as to do other outdoor projects like landscaping.

  • Can I use a home improvement loan to finance an addition to my home?
    + -

    Yes, a home improvement loan can be used to finance a home addition.

  • Can I use a home improvement loan to pay off additional debts or consolidate debts?
    + -

    No, a home improvement loan can only be secure for the improvement contract price. However, a home equity loan or personal loan might fit your needs for debt or debt consolidation.

  • How long does it take to complete the home improvement loan process?
    + -

    Typically, our mortgage loan officers will contact you within three business days following your home improvement loan application. The entire process usually takes about 45 days to complete. 

  • I've already started work on my home. Is it too late to apply for a home improvement loan?
    + -

    Another loan option may better suit your needs. In order to qualify for the home improvement loan, work could be required to cease for up to 30 days. If you are already in process, you may wish to consider a personal loan or home equity loan.

 

REALTY

  • Can RBFCU help me with my purchase contract for a home?
    + -

    A purchase or earnest money contract is between a buyer and a seller. Because RBFCU is not licensed for buyer/seller transactions, we recommend you contact a real estate agent for assistance.

    TIP: RBFCU Services LLC offers homebuying and selling services along with home closings, home appraisals, home and auto insurance coverage and FHA and VA loans through its various affiliates. RBFCU Appraisal LLC and RBFCU Insurance Agency LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of RBFCU Services LLC. RB Mortgage LLC dba Domain Mortgage is principally owned by RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU).

  • Can you recommend a real estate agent?
    + -

    We will be happy to refer you to an RBFCU preferred real estate agent to serve your homebuying and selling needs. Please call 210-880-2476, or you can also submit a form requesting a preferred real estate agent to contact you directly.

  • How can I become a preferred real estate agent with RBFCU?
    + -

    RBFCU is continually looking for talented real estate agents. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and how you can become an agent with us, please contact us at 210-880-2476.

  • How does the RBFCU Member Benefit Program work?
    + -

    To be eligible for commission credit, you must be an RBFCU member, use an RBFCU preferred real estate agent (Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty) and at least one preferred provider* (Domain Mortgage NMLS# 862516, Preserve Title Company or RBFCU Mortgage NMLS# 583215), and notify the RBFCU preferred real estate agent of your interest in the program prior to projected closing date and execution of contract.

    Buying a home

    If you are an RBFCU member and the RBFCU preferred real estate agent that represents the buyer in a transaction receives a commission of 3 percent of the purchase price, you will receive a credit up to 10 percent of the RBFCU preferred real estate agent’s earned commission.

    Here’s an example: If the purchase price of your new home is $300,000 and the 3-percent commission received by the RBFCU preferred real estate agent would be $9,000. You would receive up to 10 percent of that, which is $900.

    Selling a home

    If you are selling a home through one of our agents and you are an RBFCU member, you will earn a credit based on the earned commission of the RBFCU preferred real estate agent. If you are not an RBFCU member, a 6-percent commission will be charged to sell your home.

    RBFCU member benefit program is subject to change without notice.

    *Buyer is required to use RB Mortgage LLC dba Domain Mortgage or RBFCU Mortgage to finance the purchase of the property; Seller is required to use Preserve Title Company for the sale of the property in order to be eligible for commission credit.

  • Is there a cost to list my home?
    + -

    There are no costs associated with listing your home through an RBFCU preferred real estate agent. You'll receive the benefits of working with an RBFCU preferred real estate agent and will only pay for their services once your property’s sale is completed. Contact an RBFCU preferred real estate agent today to get the process started.

  • Should I buy a preowned home or a new home?
    + -

    The choice to buy a preowned home or new home is based on your preferences. Some homebuyers like the idea of moving into a preowned home because many household related things are done or can be changed over a period of time. Others, however, like the idea of selecting their wall color, cabinet style, counter tops, flooring and adding upgrades (like adding a covered porch, etc.) right away.

  • Should I get pre-approved before talking to an RBFCU preferred real estate agent?
    + -

    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you begin the shopping process can be a great idea. Knowing how much you’re able to spend on your home will help your preferred real estate agent work with you to find the perfect home and perfect area for your purchase. If you’re ready to get pre-approved, apply here.

 

TITLE INSURANCE

  • How can I estimate my closing costs?
    + -

    Closing costs on average are 3 to 6 percent of the loan amount. To estimate your closing costs, visit our Calculators page to use the “What will my closing costs be?” calculator.

  • How do I finalize my mortgage loan?
    + -

    To finalize your mortgage, a closing will be scheduled for you to sign all the documents at either a title company or any RBFCU branch. If cash is required for your down payment or closing costs, you must either have the funds wire transferred to RBFCU or in the form of a certified cashier's check in the amount needed, made payable to RBFCU.

  • How do I request title service?
    + -

    To request the services of Preserve Title, you may fax or email us your order, which is usually initiated with the receipt of your earnest money contract or closing instructions from your lender. Our fax number is 210-945-3356 and our email address is titleinsurance@rbfcu.org.

  • What are the benefits of title insurance?
    + -

    For lenders, a mortgagee title insurance policy protects the lender from a loss incurred, up to the loan amount, in financing a piece of real estate resulting from an invalid or inferior lien position. A mortgagee title insurance policy allows the lender to originate real estate loans without having to have a real estate attorney review each loan. For the homeowner, an owner’s title insurance policy protects the owner from a loss, up to the policy limit, resulting from a future claim against their ownership of the property.

  • What benefits do I receive by closing my transaction through Preserve Title?
    + -

    When you use Preserve Title for your closing transaction, you can save both time and money. We offer fast turn-around times for Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Medina, Nueces, Travis and Williamson counties. A low settlement/escrow fee, which does not vary based on loan amount or type. No fee for delivery/courier service. No fee for photocopies of legal documents or deed restrictions.

  • What changes the amount of my mortgage closing costs?
    + -

    The loan amount, the down payment and whether or not you are escrowing the loan all affect the amount of your closing costs.

  • What do I need to bring to closing?
    + -

    Please bring a valid ID and the funds for your down payment to your loan closing. You may provide the down payment funds as a cashier’s check or as a wire transfer from your RBFCU account or from a different financial institution. Your loan closer can tell you how to wire transfer funds for your closing.

  • What is the difference between title search and title commitment?
    + -

    Though each looks for ownership status, judgments and property tax situations, a title commitment becomes a title insurance policy when the loan closes. A title search does not.

  • What is title insurance?
    + -

    Title insurance is an insurance policy that covers the insured party against losses, up to the policy amount, resulting from disputes over the rightful ownership of a piece of real estate property. No title company can guarantee that a purchaser of real estate property is the owner of the property. The title company reviews all recorded documents related to the property and makes a judgment related to the ownership of the property. If they feel comfortable that you should be the owner of the property, the title company will issue a policy covering you against loss if for any reason you are not the proper owner of the property.

  • What will my mortgage closing costs be?
    + -

    Your mortgage loan closing costs depend on your loan amount, your down payment and whether or not you’ll escrow your loan. If you have any questions, please feel free to call RBFCU’s Mortgage Resource Center at 210-945-3300 and a mortgage lending representative will help you.

  • What's the difference between Title Insurance (Mortgagee Title) and Owner’s Title Insurance?
    + -

    Mortgagee Title Insurance is taken in the loan amount and protects the lender. It is important to note the policy is only good on a specific loan. If you refinance, pay off or obtain a new loan, a new policy is required. An Owner's Title Insurance policy is purchased at the time a property is purchased and protects you, the buyer. This insurance policy remains in effect until you sell the property.

  • When can I use Preserve Title?
    + -

    There are several ways to use Preserve Title. When selling property through a real estate agent, instruct the agent to use Preserve Title as your closing agent. When selling a property on your own, include Preserve Title as the closing agent on your contract. When purchasing property, the seller normally chooses the title company to use, but it is still an item you can negotiate with the seller. Inform the seller and real estate agent of Preserve Title's fees and settlement services. When refinancing your property, instruct your mortgage lender to use Preserve Title and ask them to fax their closing instructions to us. When building a home instruct your builder and lender, if applicable, to use Preserve Title as your closing agent. For more information, call us at 210-945-3370. The Preserve Title fax number is 210-945-3356. You may also email us at info@preservetitle.com.

 

APPRAISAL

  • Does the appraiser need to enter my home or rental property?
    + -

    Yes, the appraiser will need to take photos of the main living areas and bathrooms.

  • How do I choose an appraiser?
    + -

    As the buyer of a property, you do not have to address any appraisal questions. RBFCU will order a property appraisal to assess the true value of your selected property and to protect your interests.

  • How do I find out my home's value?
    + -

    The estimated value of your home can be found through your county’s tax office through their online website. Upon review of your application, we will determine if an appraisal will be required. If an appraisal is required, we will order this for you.

  • How long does the appraiser need access to the property?
    + -

    Typically, 45 minutes. This depends on the complexity of the property.

  • How long will it take for an appraisal to come back so I can move forward with the mortgage process?
    + -

    A property appraisal can be completed within two to three weeks from the date ordered. However, the more unique the property — for example, if it includes acres of land — the longer it may take. Please know that your RBFCU loan officer is here to help you through the lending process and can answer your questions.

  • How long will my appraisal process take?
    + -

    The total process takes approximately 8-12 business days to complete. This depends on the time of year, the type and complexity of the appraisal, where the property is located, and whether any revisions to the report are needed.

  • I found online listings that appraise my house at a higher cost. Why is there a difference?
    + -

    Many times the borrower is aware of what other homes are listed for in the neighborhood, but not the actual final selling price.

  • I’m working with another financial institution. Can RBFCU Appraisal handle my appraisal?
    + -

    No. RBFCU will need to order their own appraisal from a list of approved appraisers.

  • Is there a difference in the appraisal process for an FHA/VA loan?
    + -

    Yes. For Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, we have to go through the VA portal which then assigns your property to an appraiser. For Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, we use a third-party appraisal management company who orders the FHA appraisals for us.

  • Is there anything I can do to help the appraiser?
    + -

    It helps to provide a list of any improvements that have been made to the property. Also, please provide a survey if you have one.

  • What are the costs associated with a VA appraisal vs. an FHA?
    + -

    VA appraisal costs are set by the Veterans Affairs Department (VA). Federal Housing Administration (FHA) appraisal costs are set by the market where the home is located. There could be additional charges depending on the type of loan, etc.

  • What happens if the appraised value of my property is lower than the loan amount?
    + -

    Look over your appraisal for any potential errors in the description of your property such as size, quality, condition, energy efficient upgrades, and exterior amenities such as porches, patios, garages, pools, out buildings, etc. Contact your loan officer if you see any significant errors in the report.

    If you are buying a home and the appraisal value is not consistent with the total amount you desire for a loan, you will need to come up with additional funds to make up the difference. Your down payment amount may need to be significantly higher to cover the difference between the two price points.

  • What happens when the appraisal is complete?
    + -

    The appraisal is sent to TrUnion Appraisal Services. Once TrUnion Appraisal Services has completed the quality review process, the appraisal is sent to Underwriting (lender). Provided no revisions are required by either TrUnion Appraisal Services or Underwriting, the appraisal is forwarded to your loan officer. The loan officer will provide you a copy of the report.

  • What is a pre-listing appraisal?
    + -

    A pre-listing appraisal means that a property’s value has already been assessed. However, as your lender of choice, RBFCU will order a new appraisal to ensure your best interests are protected. RBFCU’s lending policy prohibits the practice of using an appraisal ordered by the property’s seller or another financial institution.

  • Who is responsible for the review process of appraisals?
    + -

    Federal regulations require the appraisal process be independent from the mortgage area.

    TrUnion Appraisal Services serves as an unbiased third party and will select a qualified, state licensed appraiser to value your home.

  • Why is an appraisal of my property needed?
    + -

    An appraisal allows the homebuyer to determine how much the property is worth, and how much the lender can lend against it.

  • Why is my appraisal lower or higher than expected?
    + -

    The value of the property is determined by using the closest and most recent comparable sales in the market area. The value of the property fluctuates with the sales that are currently available in the market area.

  • Will it affect the value if the home is in the process of having renovations done?
    + -

    It could, depending on what is being done and what still needs to be completed. Please inform your loan officer regarding the renovations that are in progress and their approximate value.

  • Will renovations affect the value of the home and be reflected in my appraisal?
    + -

    It’s always a good idea to provide the appraiser with information on any renovations or other work you have completed to update your home. It also will depend on the type of upgrades and how they are accepted in the subject’s neighborhood.

Ask RBFCU