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FAQs - Purchase a Home Application

Ready to purchase a home? We’ve broken the entire experience into simple steps with great information. Check out GTE Financial’s Home Buying 101 for more tips and hints!

See our Application Guide for step-by-step help through the application.

Do I have to be a member in order to apply?

No. Anyone can apply for a GTE Financial home loan; you do not need to be a member first! If you decide to finance with GTE, and you are not already a member, you will become a member of the credit union with your mortgage and completion of a membership application.

Should I talk to a Mortgage Specialist before applying?

Most of our applicants actually start an online application without having talked to a GTE Financial Mortgage Specialist first. This website is one big resource, outlining how a mortgage and home purchase works from start to finish. But, of course, if you have questions, you can always call our 24 hour Mortgage Application Department at 1.888.871.2690 ext. 40407 or visit a Community Financial Center, conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay.

When I ‘Apply For a Loan’ what am I actually doing?

When you ‘Apply for a Loan’ online, it is the first step to getting a mortgage with GTE Financial. Using our online application, you can actually receive an immediate credit pre-approval on your loan at the end of the online application. Your loan is then subject to underwriting, a fancy word for "fact-checking", as well as verification. You will receive paperwork via your email and within our online application system that will verify your approved status for a certain amount and a certain loan option. You can show these documents to the seller and your agent, proving you are credit pre-approved for financing with GTE Financial.

Does it cost money to apply for a loan?

No. There are no costs to filling out the online loan application and receiving a credit pre-approval. Only once you decide on a home and put in a contract are there fees associated with processing your loan to cover items like ordering an appraisal, title report and flood certification.

How long does the online application take?

This can vary a bit depending on how comfortable you are with the information you need to provide. If you’ve already purchased a house, it will probably only take you about 30 minutes. For first time home buyers, it may take an hour or so.

What information will I need to have to apply?

Below is a list of some basic information and documents you may want to find and organize prior to applying:

  • Current address and social security number.
  • Name(s), and work number(s) of employer(s) for the past 2 years.
  • Monthly income for you and your co-borrower, for example a spouse. You’ll want to have your most recent pay stub(s) that shows a year-to-date income, showing bonuses, commissions and overtime income for the past 2 years. A good source for finding this information is on your tax return.
  • If you are self-employed, you will need the last 2 years’ personal tax returns (Including K-1s) as well as the last 2 years’ tax returns for the type of business you own:
    • Sole Proprietorship (Schedule C)
    • Partnership (Form 1065)
    • Corporation (Form 1120 or 1120s)
  • Check out your credit report to make sure it’s accurate.
  • Lenders will look at your current payment history. It’s usually best if you do not have a late payment within the last 12 months. If you have credit history problems, make sure you have documentation, which can be a written explanation of late payments, bankruptcy (petition and discharge papers), defaults, judgments and/or liens.
  • Know what assets you may have available to you, which really means what other money do you have available to you. For example, Bonds, Certificates of Deposit, Checking Account, Gift Not Deposited, Mutual Funds, Other Non-Liquid Assets, Retirement Funds, Savings Account and Stocks.
    • Know any liabilities or debt that you may have, such as a car loan, credit card debt or even a mortgage for your current home. As a tip, it is usually best to not make big purchases near the time you applying for a home loan.
    • If you currently own, how much you owe on your house.
    • How long you realistically plan on staying in your new home. This information will help you determine the best loan for you. If you plan on living in your home for less than 10 years, you may want to consider an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, which will have a lower initial Annual Percentage Rate than a Fixed Rate home loan. Fixed Rate loans will have a higher APR; however, if you value stable payments and plan to be in your home for more than 10 years, you may prefer a loan that will have a consistent rate for the entire term.
    • Know about how much you are able to spend on a home.
    • Put together some initial calculations for much you would be able to put towards a down payment. Usually, loans require 15% to 20% down. However, for qualified home buyers, it can be significantly less.
    • Know an approximate location for where you’d want to buy your new home, including City, State and Zip. You do not need to have an actual address yet.
Once I start an application, do I have to finish it all at once? Or, what if my application closes for some reason?

When you begin an application, you are essentially creating a loan account with a login and password. If you need to step away from the application or if your computer goes down for some reason, you can always log back in and pick up where you left off. Once you finish the application, you can login and check the status of your loan or send emails to us via our integrated emailing system that keeps everything complete within your application.

Why would I want to apply online and be credit pre-approved?

Pre-approval is an important step prior to even shopping for a home. Many sellers won’t take an offer or even negotiate with you if you haven’t been pre-approved for a loan. You may even have a hard time getting a REALTOR® to show you homes unless you’ve been approved for financing; approval indicates you a serious buyer. Pre-approval could be the difference between getting the home of your dreams and losing out to someone who has already been approved for a mortgage. Additionally, knowing how much a financial institution will lend you for a home loan can help when starting your search – that approval is based on an analysis of your income, assets and debts; it’s a great gauge of what you’ll actually be able to afford in the long run. When you start looking at houses, you’ll have a solid price range to work from.

If I apply and get pre-approved, can I change my ‘Loan Type’ and my loan amount?

Yes. Let’s say you’ve been pre-approved for a $150,000 loan, but you end up finding the home of your dreams for $190,000, which you can still afford. Simply contact a GTE Financial Mortgage Specialist, and they can walk you through getting approved for the $190,000 mortgage. So, no worries! All you are doing is getting credit pre-approved for an initial amount and an initial loan option, all of which can change later on. There is no obligation to move forward on the loan you were initially pre-approved for; however, if you change the parameters of your loan, you will most likely need to re-apply, which can add to your timeframe. It’s best to try and be as accurate as possible early on.

What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval?

Below are some key differences. With GTE Financial, our process enables you to be credit pre-approved!

  • Pre-qualified:
    • Getting pre-qualified for a loan provides you an estimate of how much you can get financed for. Pre-qualification serves more as a guide to you of what a lender may require.
    • It is based on information you provide your lender about income, your assets and your liabilities, or debt.
    • This is not an official loan approval.
  • Pre-approved:
    • With GTE Financial’s loan application online, you can receive an instant credit pre-approval versus pre-qualification.
    • Pre-approval adds a few simple steps to the beginning of the loan process, including reviewing your salary and credit information.
    • The lender then checks your assets and pre-approves your capability to get a loan - a very useful tool to use, especially in a competitive housing market.
    • When you find your dream home, you can present the seller with your pre-approved loan document, showing them you are a serious buyer.
How do I decide on a loan if I don’t know what house I am buying yet?

One of the major questions that comes up when starting the home buying process is how much can I afford per month. Even if you don’t know the exact home you want to buy yet, you probably have an idea of how much you can allocate towards a monthly mortgage. You probably know a lot more than you think, like can you afford a 15% down payment for example, or whether you need a very low entry payment to make this work or that you absolutely want your payment to stay the same for the entire term of the loan. These are all examples of factors that can help you decide what loan is best for you and what you can afford prior to finding the specific home you want to purchase. List these factors out and then give our free calculators and loan comparison tool a try. They can help determine which loan may be right for you. And remember, even if you’ve selected a loan and been credit pre-approved, you can always apply for a different loan type and term later on if needed.

I am asked to select a loan type and amount in the online application. How do I pick the right one?

Selecting a loan is probably the most daunting, yet one of the most important, steps in the online application process. When you are asked to select a 'Loan Type', for example a 30 Year Fixed mortgage, our system will recommend loans to you based on information you provided in previous steps. You can review the details of a loan, monthly mortgage and even compare loans on this page. Although you will need to select a loan, you can change your 'Loan Type' and even the amount of your loan with a GTE Financial Mortgage Specialist later on; however you may have to go through another approval process, so the more accurate you can be with your loan selection early on, the better.

After I complete an application what happens?

Once you complete all of the necessary steps, your loan application may receive an instant credit pre-approval online or your application may require further review. You will be emailed paperwork verifying your approved loan status. These documents are the ones you can show your REALTOR® and sellers to verify that you are pre-approved for financing. No matter what happens, a GTE Financial Mortgage Specialist will call you to follow-up.

What are the top tips when applying online?

Below are our top hints to read before staring the application process.

  • YOU CAN’T REALLY MESS UP! If you don’t know an answer or you get stuck in the application, no problem. You can call and speak with a GTE Financial Mortgage Specialist at any time at 1.888.871.2690 ext. 40407.
  • Try and be as truthful and accurate as possible so that your loan application will be correct! Otherwise, you may be doing this over again.
  • In order to apply online, you will be creating an account, which will allow you to login to your application account at any time to finish your application or to check the status of your application.
  • Please record and save your Login ID and Password.

If you need a home loan, GTE Financial is ready to lend! Learn more about our smart home loan solutions for today’s buyer and owner.

Do I need to be a member to apply for a loan?

No. Anyone can apply for a loan with GTE Financial; you do not need to be a member first.

If I close on a loan, do I still need to apply for membership?

When you finance your loan through GTE Financial, you become a member with a simple application.

How do I know if I am eligible to join?

Please click here to learn more about joining GTE Financial. If you want to join our credit union, there’s definitely a way! We have very open eligibility.

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