House Buying Guide

Things to consider before buying a house and applying for a mortgage

Review your credit first

At least three months before you go to your first open house, you should review your credit report. In addition to your credit reports, it’s also critical to see your credit score.

You’ll need your credit score to be in great shape if you want the best rates. A 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission found 5 percent of consumers had errors on their report that could result in less favorable loan terms. Bottom line: You want to identify and correct any errors before you apply for a mortgage. And if your credit score needs improvement, you can try these tips for raising it fast.

ONYX Direct in partnership with Certified Credit Agency provides customers who want to get pre-approved for a mortgage a free three-month membership to iTrackMyCredit that allows you to obtain your credit report, check your FICO score, constantly monitor your credit file for any adverse changes, and guard you against identity theft by scanning 3rd party databases. If you do discover an error, we can help you fix it.  It does take some time to do that though.

Get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved is one way to avoid the heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a house you can never buy. It may also give you an edge if yours is not the only offer for the same property. A seller will feel more confident selecting a bid from someone with a mortgage pre-approval rather than a person who hasn’t even begun the process.

Apply to start the process. Application is free and it takes only approximately 12 minutes.

Shop around for the best rate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says nearly half of mortgage borrowers don’t shop around, and that’s a big mistake. Seasoned shoppers search for the best deals on electronics, furniture and cars, but some fail to look for a better mortgage rate.  Our goal is to provide you with the best mortgage rate in the marketplace. If for some reason you find a better offer, please let us know.

Review your options for a down payment

Not having a down payment stashed away can sink your prospects of getting a mortgage. You generally need to have a down payment of between 3 and 20 percent to qualify for a conventional loan.

If you are short on cash, please talk to one of our Underwriting Coordinators, as most of our loan programs allow you to use your 401K, gift from a family member or employer, sale of a documented asset, etc. as well.

Find a good realtor

There are many benefits of using a Realtor that is experienced and knowledgeable. If you need help finding one; let us recommend several names in the area you are looking to buy. We constantly maintain a certified independent network of Real Estate Companies and Realtors. Not affiliated to ONYX Direct.

As an added benefit for using one of the Realtors from our certified list, you will receive a 0.5% credit that you can use to pay for your closing cost. On a $500,000 purchase, that’s $2,500 more in savings.

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Disclosed rate assumes a $300,000 rate and term refinance loan on an owner-occupied single family residence, minimum 740 FICO credit score, 60% loan to value with no subordinate debt. If these factors are not met, you may still qualify for a loan but higher rates may apply. 5/1 ARM is fixed for the initial 5 years. The fully indexed rate is in effect for the remaining 25 years and can change once every year for the remaining life of the loan. Rate is variable and subject to change after 5 years. Subject to underwriting approval. Not all applicants will qualify.
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