I didn’t know this years ago, but for me, my late 20s are shaping up to be an extremely exciting time of life. Just in the past year, I started school again and am an MBA candidate. I got engaged. Now, we bought a house! It’s a lot of really expensive, really big decisions, and a ton of organization and planning all at once. Doing all of this at the same time is probably nuts, but for me, it’s just the right time for all of it, however, there are some challenges with buying a home and being an MBA student.
Some people in my class already have homes and families, some are still single, and some are in the same stage as I am. We’re in grad school but not wanting to put our whole lives on hold while that happens. That is the whole reason I chose the Professional MBA program in the first place. This post is for those in the last group.
Finding a mortgage lender is hard. Actually, that’s false, do a google search and thousands of results show up. But finding a good mortgage lender is the hard part. Lenders have to pull your credit, examine your payment and work history, look at your cash and assets to find out how much they can lend you, and make sure you can pay on the mortgage. If you have school loans it shouldn’t be a huge issue, but definitely speak with your realtor and lender ahead of time to make sure buying a home is feasible at this time.
When buying a house, the mortgage lender takes all debt into account. So opening new school loans right before starting our house hunt made me nervous, but once again, I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait. Still, make sure to speak with your mortgage lender about your plans. They’ll be able to advise on the best route forward. The trickiest period will be right before closing. Sometimes it is out of your control, but if at all possible, try not to make large tuition payments out of the accounts your lenders are counting towards your close. It’s also super important to not open any new credit lines during this time, and I imagine new loans should be avoided if possible as well. Each situation will be different, so speak with your Farmers lender to be certain.
Apply For a Mortgage Online with Farmers Bank & Trust
I had the pleasure of visiting one of the Farmers Bank & Trust branches in Prosper, TX. I grabbed some free Starbucks coffee and sat down to speak with Madison, the Mortgage Loan Originator on-site, and Ray the Prosper Market President. They walked me through the lending process and shared some helpful information for you when applying for your mortgage online.
TALK TO SOMEONE IN PERSON
I highly recommend speaking with someone either in person or on the phone before sending all of your information through an online system. Farmers Bank is 100% reputable, but you still want to know who you’re dealing with. We shopped around to 3-4 lenders before choosing and some had different interest rates, some had different fees, and some we just didn’t like the vibe we got from them. You’ll be giving these people a ton of personal and financial information, so you need to feel comfortable with the people handling your details.
MAKE SURE THEY ARE AVAILABLE
You could have made best friends with your lender, but if they aren’t available when you need them, they aren’t a good lender for you. Especially in this Seller’s market, you’ll need information, pre-approval letters, and so much more from your lenders that you need them to answer your call. They could be the difference between making or missing an offer deadline. Farmers Mortgage Lenders aren’t sitting in a corporate office and checking out at 5 pm. They are local to each branch and ready to take your call at a moment’s notice. Madison even told me she gave out her cell number to her clients so they could reach her at literally any time of day!
BUILD YOUR CREDIT TO APPLY FOR A MORTGAGE ONLINE
Farmers Bank has the benefit of being tied to the bank. So, if you need help raising your credit score or building credit from the ground up, you can sign up for their Foundation Credit Card. It starts with a low limit so you can get used to using it and paying it off. Your limit grows as your credit builds. This can prepare you for buying a home in the future.
BUILD YOUR SAVINGS
You’ll need a solid down payment. Your exact down payment will be dependent on the type of loan you go with, but it will typically be somewhere between 3-5% minimum. For example 5% of 300,000 is $15,000. In addition to your down payment, you’ll need cash for earnest money, closing costs, and so much more. You need a good cushion to buy a home and make it through closing, but a good lender will walk you through everything and always be available to answer your questions.
This part is difficult when also paying for school. Your savings can mess with your FAFSA, and you have to make sure your loan officer knows everything so that it doesn’t mess with your mortgage. Both can absolutely be done, but you have to be transparent on all ends and plan extra carefully.
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For mortgage resources and to start your application, visit HERE.