Buying Your First Home? Understanding the Mortgage Loan process

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This is Part 1 in a series to help you buy a home.

Are you ready to become a homeowner?

I look forward to walking you through the different steps on the path to homeownership with the goal of finding you the best loan program for your financial needs.

I will be discussing your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), mortgage loan options and programs, fixed-rate versus adjustable-rate loans, conforming versus non-conforming loans, government programs like VA and FHA loans, and jumbo loans, which require more documentation. And finally, we’ll discuss how much of a down payment you are comfortable making. Your available assets and funds for a down payment will affect what loan programs you qualify for.

Generally, your FICO credit score will be a number between 300 and 850. The higher your credit score, the better. Your score is calculated using your payment history, outstanding balances, length of your credit history, the number of credit inquiries, and types of credit history (student loans, credit cards, etc.). Helpful hint: Free credit report companies use a different algorithm when determining your score.  Most free credit score offers are used to capture your information to sell you something else and leading you to believe that your scores are 30-50 points higher than the credit report used by your mortgage company.  Consult your Mortgage Planner to help you plan your next home loan.

That wraps it up for now.  Please email me at if you have questions.

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Tony Garshnick
Tony Garshnick believes in faith, family and a rock-solid financial foundation. He helps individuals and families across the Carolinas realize the American dream of home ownership in a thoughtful and responsible way. Tony is a mortgage planner with his eye on clients' overall financial picture as much as their home loan. He is also passionate about helping those who make their communities and their country better. In his free time, Tony volunteers at his church and enjoys being with his wife and two daughters.