Getting a mortgage while getting divorced is never easy. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that your questions are the catalyst for your success. So, the more the merrier!
As part of our commitment to being a helpful resource, we’ve rounded up a few of the more common questions below.
We realize these may not scratch the surface – so if there’s a question we haven’t covered – simply GET IN TOUCH with us directly to ask us anything!
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Can I refinance my house before the divorce is over?
- It depends. First, there must be no court-imposed restrictions. If you need child or spousal support income to qualify for a new loan – you’ll also need to wait. And, if your spouse is on title to the home, they will need to agree to allow you to refi. If all the stars align, then a pre-divorce refinance is a great option!
Can I purchase a new house before my divorce is over?
- It depends. First, there must be no court-imposed restrictions. Also, if you need child or spousal support income to qualify for a new loan – you’ll need to wait. Otherwise, a pre-divorce purchase can be a great option.
NOTE: When purchasing a new home while still legally married, keep in mind that your spouse will be required to sign a quitclaim deed prior to closing. This will allow you to claim sole title to the new property.
How much do you charge?
- Our clients are often pleased to learn that our services don’t cost anything! That’s right, no hourly fees, no flat fees – just good, sound advice.
So how do we get paid? Great questions. Lenders pay us for bringing them business (remember, we’re brokers). Every lender pays us the same amount, so our only incentive is to find a lender that can do your loan at the best market rate possible!
How long does it take to get preapproved?
- We know you need answers quick. That’s why we’re committed to exceptionally fast turn-times. Once we have the details needed for an initial assessment, we aim to provide your preapproval letter within 24-48 hrs depending on the complexity of your case.
What do I do once I am preapproved by you?
- If you’re divorce is already finalized, then we’re ready to start the loan process when you are. Otherwise, pass the preapproval along to your attorney, mediator, the Judge, or your spouse. They want to know that you’re prepared, and this gives them the peace of mind that you’ve done your part.
Come back to us when you have the green light to apply. Or, follow up with new scenarios for us to assess at any time.
Will you be able to handle my loan from start to finish, or do you just give advice?
- We love to give advice – it’s our specialty. But funding loans is our business. Not only will we manage your mortgage process from start to finish, but we deal directly with the banks on your behalf – so you never have to!
What types of loans do you offer?
- We’re a full-service mortgage brokerage, so our product offerings are extensive. Some of these options include:
Fixed rate and Adjustable Rate Loans
Fully amortized and Interest Only options
Terms spanning from 10 to 40 years
Asset depletion loans
Qualified and Non-Qualified Mortgages
Why do I need a ‘divorce mortgage’ specialist?
- Simply put, specialists can make things happen. A divorce mortgage specialist knows every bank guideline that could come into play given your individual circumstance. Not only do they provide the foundation for getting your loan approved (despite overly strict lending criteria!), but they will develop creative workarounds that ensure your divorce won’t impact your loan qualifications. We will position you in the best possible light!
NOTE: A big part of making things happen includes foreseeing potential roadblocks, which only a specialist is likely to recognize.
What if I am planning to sell my house?
- Selling is a common solution for settling disputes around the house. Moving forward, do you have plans to purchase a new home in the future? It’s not too early to get prepared.
What do you qualify for now? What will you qualify for in 1 year, or 2 years?
Whatever your plans may be, the sooner you can prepare for the future, the better.
Does my attorney need to be involved in the process?
- It’s totally up to you. Some clients prefer to involve their attorney, and others do not. In any event, we work extremely well with attorneys. We speak their language, and our goal is to facilitate an expeditious process with positive results. We’re always happy to involve anyone that you give us permission to involve.
Rates and Products
Does it benefit me to shop around before committing to DMA?
- That’s the beauty of working with DMA. We are a full-service brokerage, meaning we do not work with any one particular lender. We do the shopping for you, and then we match you with the best available lender & rate.
Interest rates change every day, so how do I know what my rate will be?
- Your interest rate will move up and down with the market until you decide to ‘lock’ the current rate. Once you ‘lock’ the rate, it is protected for anywhere between 30-60 days depending on the amount of time needed to complete the process. A rate lock is always advised in order to protect you from market fluctuations.
What are the most common types of loans?
- There are two different loan category’s – Conforming and Jumbo. Your loan amount will determine which category you belong to.There are several product types including 10/15/20/30 year fixed rate loans, or 5/7/10 year adjustable rate loans. Fixed rate loans are fixed for the entire term of the loan. Adjustable rate loans are fixed for a shorter specified period of time, and then become adjustable after the fixed rate period expires.
Should I do a fixed rate loan or an adjustable rate loan?
- There are benefits to both products, depending on your specific situation. Divorce Mortgage Advisors can assess your current scenario and advise you on whether a fixed or adjustable rate product is right for you.
What are ‘points’, and when should I pay them?
- When you pay a discount point, you are essentially paying part of your interest to the lender up front. This will lower your interest rate—as well as your monthly payment—over the life of the loan. One discount point is always equal to 1% of the loan amount. For example, one point on a $100,000 loan would require payment of $1,000 at closing. Generally speaking, the longer you plan to remain in a property or hold your mortgage, the more advantageous it is to pay points. There is no requirement to pay discount points; whether or not you decide to pay points is completely up to you.
How long does it take to get pre approved?
- Once we receive all of the documentation that we need, we commit to a 24-hour turnaround with your preapproval. If you are diligent about providing the info we request, then we can quickly get you the answers you are looking for.
How do I start the application process?
- Taking an application can be done over the phone in 10 minutes or less. You should reach out to us to confirm once you are ready to lock your rate and move forward with next steps.
How long does the entire loan process take?
- This can vary lender to lender, but generally, the process takes anywhere from 30-60 days, start to finish. DMA has a proven track record of closing loans faster than expected, and your DMA advisor will keep you informed of status throughout.
I have a ton of paperwork, is there a streamlined option with less documentation?
- Our goal is always to make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible. However, lenders in today’s world require a full file including income, assets, credit, etc. If a ‘reduced documentation’ loan ever becomes available, you will be the first to know.
Fees and Costs
How much do your services cost me?
- Working with DMA is completely free. We do not charge anything for your analysis or mortgage application. DMA is paid directly by the lender that originates your mortgage. Every lender pays us the same – so getting you the best rate is the only incentive we have to use any particular lender.
Do I pay anything up-front?
- You are not required to pay anything up front. All 3rd party closing costs are paid at closing once you sign the final loan doc package.
What are the typical closing costs for a new mortgage?
- Closing costs vary depending on the size of the loan and the type of transaction. As a general rule of thumb, closing costs can be anywhere between $2500-$4000. You should check with your DMA advisor to obtain an accurate fee quote prior to applying.
I have heard about lenders issuing credits for closing costs, how I get one?
- Remember, you don’t get something for nothing. In other words – if you want a lender credit for closing costs, you will have to accept a higher interest rate. If you want a lower interest rate, you will have to be prepared to pay additional closing costs. Your DMA advisor can help with the cost comparison and explain your various options.
How does DMA differ from a bank lender?
- We work for you, not the bank. Therefore, our goal is to do all the leg work up-front and then find you the best lender to work with. This helps save you the time of going through the same process over and over with various lenders. We also offer you creative solutions to getting approved, something that a bank lender will never do.
I already did an appraisal on my property, can you use this one?
- Although appraisals related to your divorce as valuable, they are not accepted by bank lenders. Every lender has their own appraisal management company that borrowers are required to use for mortgage purposes.
I already have my credit report, do you need to pull a new one? I’ve heard it will hurt my credit score, is that true?
- Similar to the appraisal process, every lender needs a credit report run by your mortgage professional. A credit inquiry is only a soft hit on your credit, meaning that it is temporary and has a very minimal impact on your score – if any at all.
I don’t want my spouse knowing my personal information, how do I ensure complete privacy?
- There’s nothing that DMA takes more serious than your privacy. We have processes and procedures in place to ensure everything is fully confidential. We don’t relay any information to 3rd parties without your verbal or written consent, and we respect your desire to keep everything private.