What do I need to bring when meeting with my mortgage officer?

Mortgage Agreement

You have found the perfect new home, put in your offer and you’re ready to start your loan.  Congrats! This is where we come in.  The Lafayette Community Bank mortgage team has over 80 years of combined experience, and we are your local experts at getting the loan done.  We take being a community bank seriously, which means we look for ways to help make your loan experience better each and every day.  We partner with you and your realtor to work effectively and quickly, and in that partnership there are a few things we will need from you.  If you know this ahead of time and get these documents to us at the beginning, we should have smooth sailing from there to handle your mortgage so that you can focus on the move.  Here is a list of what you need to bring to our loan officer, and we will take care of the rest:

  • Most recent 30 days of paystubs
  • Most recent 2 years W2’s
  • Most recent 2 months of bank statements
  • Most recent 2 years tax returns, including business tax returns if self-employed
  • Your ID
  • Signed purchase agreement for your new home
  • And last, work on getting your new home owners insurance in place quickly

Every situation is different, but these are the basics to get the ball rolling. Now we are ready to begin, and we look forward to seeing and helping you soon!

Sincerely,

The Lafayette Community Bank Mortgage Team

www.lafayettecommunitybank.com

What is a HELOC and why should I have one?

helocHELOC’s have become over the last couple of decades a lending staple for consumers that own their primary residence for many reasons. What the heck is a HELOC, you ask.

First, let’s clear up what a HELOC stands for. HELOC is an acronym for Home Equity Line of Credit.   A HELOC is a consumer loan line of credit product that is typically secured by a primary real estate residence. Most often a HELOC is secured by a 2nd mortgage and the line amount is determined on the value of your home less the amount owed on your existing 1st mortgage and the repayment ability of the homeowner. The line is typically available for any discretionary spending needs of the homeowner and the amount available to use depends on the level of repayment by the borrower. Many HELOC’s require monthly payments of just the accrued interest due on the amount owed.

Now, the big question. If I’m a homeowner with equity in my home, why do I need a HELOC? While everyone’s situation is unique and their specific needs change over time, here is a bullet point list of the benefits that makes the HELOC such an attractive product for most homeowner’s.

  • Let’s leadoff with the big one. Currently, all interest paid on a HELOC that is secured with a mortgage on your residence is tax deductible.   No other consumer debt product that offers discretionary spending through a line of credit offers this important benefit. Credit cards do offer benefits for short term discretionary spending needs if you are planning on paying the incurred debt off quickly, but for your purchases with a longer repayment schedule, the tax deductibility feature offers a huge potential benefit.
  • The HELOC typically has an interest rate that is usually much lower than most credit cards. The rate is typically variable, just like most credit cards, and like most credit cards the interest rate usually is tied to a bank or national prime rate.   Due to the tax deductibility feature of the HELOC, your actual tax affected rate can be even lower.
  • Once approved, a HELOC can be used for any discretionary spending needs. Depending on the amount available, it is always there for that home improvement project, that new car you have been putting off buying for a couple of years, or helping to pay that large student tuition coming up in the fall for your college-bound child. You will not receive a phone call from your credit card company asking about the purchase, or even worse, have the credit card cancel the purchase due to concerns about possible card fraud due to the significant size of the transaction.

If you have an interest in learning more about a HELOC and how it may meet your specific financial needs, your lending team at Lafayette Community Bank would happy to sit down with you at your convenience. We offer highly competitive terms on all of our consumer loan products and always strive to determine the best loan product that meets your financial need. Call any of our convenient banking centers and ask to speak to one of our many loan specialists today!

How do I improve my credit score?

credit-scoreThis little three digit number can really affect your budget. Lenders use this score to determine the terms of credit they may extend to you. Auto and homeowner’s insurance companies, and phone companies use credit scores to decide to do business with you.   The higher the credit score the lower your costs may be. The credit score is also called the FICO score after the company, Fair Isaacs Corporation, which developed the system of analyzing the information contained in your credit report.   The information analyzed includes your payment history, the number of delinquent debts you may have, your total existing debt, and the length of time you may have had the accounts opened.

If you want to improve your score, your journey begins with obtaining a copy of your credit report. Review the report for accuracy and immediately dispute the errors. Get current on all of your accounts and stay current on all your accounts. Past due amounts and late payments negatively affect your score. Pay down revolving accounts such as credit cards so that the balance of the account is no more than 30% of the credit limit. Do not close inactive accounts. Do not pay for your credit report (you are entitled to one free each year) and do not pay someone else to improve your credit score for you. Do visit www.consumer.ftc.gov and click on the “Money and Credit” tab. You will find instructions on how to obtain your free report and how to dispute any errors you find.   There is a wealth of information on this consumer protection site that can help you improve your credit score.

Community Corner: Wintek Corporation

Wintek & Fiber Hotel 05 15 14-crop

In business since 1973, Wintek Corporation is the only locally owned and operated fiber optic service provider in Tippecanoe County. They deliver high-speed, dedicated fiber optic Internet and data services to businesses in Lafayette, West Lafayette, and surrounding areas. Owners Travis Bailey, Oliver Beers, and their 12 employees are proud of their customer-focused, local support that allows them to deliver cutting-edge services and a no gimmicks approach to sales.

Lafayette Community Bank has worked with Wintek for the last several years to finance many of their large fiber optic investments that bring high-speed connectivity to our area. We can thank them for providing free Internet service for the downtown public Wi-Fi network that is managed by the City of Lafayette, and for supporting many other non-profits and events with their discounted rates, creativity and innovation. We are proud of this company’s commitment to making our community a great place to live, work and play.