Mortgage Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a member to apply for a home loan with Rivermark?
You can apply and be approved for your mortgage prior to opening a membership with the credit union. Your Rivermark membership must be established prior to final loan document preparation.
What are the requirements for Rivermark Membership?
Rivermark Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, not a bank. To join the credit union, you must live or work in one of 11 eligible Oregon counties, or be a qualifying family member of an existing credit union member, and open a regular shares/savings account with a minimum deposit of $5.00.
Where must my property be located to be eligible for a Rivermark home loan?
Rivermark is licensed to provide mortgages on properties in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
What types of home loans does Rivermark offer?
Rivermark offers fixed and adjustable rate options for first-time buyers, home purchases and even refinances.
What is an ARM loan?
ARM stands for Adjustable Rate Mortgage. This is a variable rate loan with an interest rate that will adjust based on pre-determined intervals, index values, and the margin specific to the loan.
What is a fixed rate loan?
A fixed rate home loan has one interest rate that will apply for the entire term of the loan.
What’s the best way to apply for a Rivermark Home Loan?
We provide several options so that you can apply in the way that works best for you.
- Meet with a professional at a branch or by video conference
- Apply online from the security of your own device
No matter how you apply, you will get the same professional service and advice to make your mortgage experience the best it can be.
Is pre-qualification the same thing as pre-approval?
Not at all. With pre-qualification, you provide a general idea of your income and assets that allows one of our Mortgage Professionals to give you an estimate of the mortgage amount you qualify for. It is an indication of what size and type of loan you will be eligible for.
A pre-approval is an actual loan approval. Documentation is gathered, a credit report is reviewed and a credit decision is issued. A pre-approval will be subject to additional conditions that will be satisfied during the loan application process
How do I get pre-approved for a home loan?
Start with a call to one of our Mortgage Team members. They will help you select the product that’s right for you and get you started with the pre-approval process. If you prefer, you may apply online and a Mortgage Loan Officer will reach out to you directly. Upon approval, you will receive a Pre-approval Letter.
Is there a fee for pre-approval?
No, Rivermark does not charge for a pre-approval.
How long does the pre-approval process take? When can I get my pre-approval Letter?
In most cases, we’re able to provide a pre-approval letter to you within 24-48 hours.
There are many items that may come up during the process of a loan. Please feel free to reach out to one of our professionals if you do not find the answer to your question below.
What interest rate will apply to my Rivermark Home Loan?
Interest rates are based on a variety of factors, some of which are loan purpose (purchase or refinance), credit history, loan amount, and loan type. A Rivermark Mortgage Professional will review these factors with you and will be able to give you a good idea of the rates that may apply to your specific scenario.
What does it mean to lock an interest rate and when should I do so?
An interest rate lock is a guarantee of the rate of interest you will pay upon loan closing. The lock guarantees the rate for a specified Lock Period, such as 30, 60, or 90 days. As long as your home loan closes within the lock period, the locked interest rate will apply.
What is the difference between the interest rate and the APR (Annual Percentage Rate)?
The interest rate is used to calculate your mortgage payment. The APR is a broader measure of the cost of your mortgage and includes finance charges that apply to your mortgage. An APR is an effective tool to make apples-to-apples comparisons of mortgage options.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are fees and expenses that a borrower must pay to obtain a mortgage loan and can vary between loan types and even loan amounts.
Closing costs generally include:
- Appraisal Fee
- Credit Report Fee
- Title and Escrow Charges
- Recording Fees
- Origination Fees
- Processing Fees
- Any other costs described in a Loan Estimate.
Your Rivermark Mortgage Loan Officer will provide you with an estimate of closing costs for your specific loan scenario.
What documentation will I need for a home loan?
In general, you will be asked to provide:
- Your name, address and social security number, which is used to obtain your credit report
- Documentation to verify your income, such as Paystubs, W2s or Federal Tax Returns
- Documentation regarding your assets, such as complete bank account statements
- A list of your liabilities (be prepared to provide proof of any debts recently paid off)
- A copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy, or contact information for your insurance agent
What is Mortgage Insurance?
Mortgage insurance reduces the financial risk to the lender if a loss is incurred. Mortgage Insurance is required on most loans where there is less than a 20% down payment (or 20% equity for a refinance).
Is Mortgage Insurance different from Homeowner’s Insurance?
Yes. Homeowner’s Insurance, also called Hazard Insurance, is the insurance you provide to protect your investment from damage or potential loss. Rivermark will require that you have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place prior to closing a loan.
You may want to get several quotes to see if you can save money. Include Rivermark Insurance Agency in your search!
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account is set up to pay certain property-related expenses such as homeowners’ insurance and property taxes. The account is funded from a portion of your monthly mortgage payment. Your property taxes and insurance premiums can change from year to year—and with those changes, your escrow payment could also change. An escrow account is required on loans that have less than 20% equity, and can also be established upon borrower request. This enables borrowers to save towards property taxes and insurance monthly, rather than paying a lump sum when payments come due.
I’ve heard the term “Title and Escrow”. What is that referring to?
Title and Escrow is a common term for two important services in the mortgage process. “Title” refers to Title Insurance, which identifies the property and insures the Lender’s lien position. “Escrow” refers to an impartial third party, typically an Escrow Officer at a Title Insurance Company, who ensures all required documents are executed and funds transferred to complete a real estate transaction.
Can I prepay my mortgage? Are there any fees associated with prepayment?
Yes. You can prepay the principal of your mortgage at any time with no fee.
Will I always make my mortgage payment to Rivermark?
Yes, we currently manage all payments within our Mortgage Department. It’s important to us to maintain a direct relationship with our mortgage borrowers.