Forbearance

Do I need to make my mortgage payment during this pandemic?

If you are able to make your mortgage payment please do so. Yes.
Anyone who is currently experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 is potentially eligible for assistance.
There are many options for assistance and this varies depending on your personal situation.
Your loan servicer.

After a loan has closed, sometimes Embrace remains responsible for the Loan servicing, and sometimes the servicing responsibility is transferred to another.

If Embrace retained the servicing of your loan, then your loan would be serviced right now by Rushmore Mortgage Services on behalf of Embrace, and you should be making your monthly mortgage payments to Rushmore.

If the servicing of your loan was transferred, then you should contact the company to whom you are making your monthly mortgage payments for further information about your options for COVID relief.

What is the contact information for
Rushmore Mortgage Services:
888.504.6700
Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 6:00PM CST
https://www.rushmorelm.com

REFINANCE

Can you refinance with a Conventional loan?

The answer is yes. You can refinance with a Conventional loan and lower your current mortgage payment, change terms, or convert from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage. The two most important things you’ll need to refinance are a good credit score and a successful appraisal of your house. A rate and term refinance could deliver big savings.
A HELOC and a cash-out refinance both use the equity in your home to get you the cash you need for other expenses. HELOCs work somewhat like a credit card. There is a draw period where you use what you need, when you need it. During the draw period, you are typically making interest-only payments, and the interest rate is usually adjustable.

With a cash-out refinance, you replace your current mortgage with a new mortgage to help with expenses such as tackling home improvements or paying off other debt. With a fixed-rate cash-out refinance, you know exactly what your rate will be and what you will pay each month.

The best option for you depends on your financial need and situation. Embrace does not offer HELOCs, but our mortgage specialists can help you decide.
Refinancing is simply the process of replacing your existing mortgage with a new one with a lower rate and/or better terms. It can help you realize your dreams and it doesn't get any easier than with Embrace Home Loans.
There are many great reasons for refinancing, including:
  • You’d like to lower your interest rate or monthly mortgage payments
  • You need cash, fast
  • You’d like to consolidate debt
  • You’re looking to shorten your payback term
  • You want to switch from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage to create regular, predictable payments
  • You’d like to get a variable-rate mortgage with better terms
Refinancing is usually a much simpler process than buying a home. Typical steps in the process include:
  1. Research the value of your home and check your credit scores.
  2. Gather all needed documents and apply for the refinance.
  3. After your loan is approved, the underwriting process begins—the time for careful review.
  4. Sign your papers and close your loan.
Consolidating your bills by refinancing your mortgage can take other debt such as student loans, auto loans, personal loans, medical bills, and credit card balances and roll them all into one, easy payment.
When you refinance with Embrace, you can get a loan to take cash out, lower your payment, shorten your term, or even do a combination of those, depending on your qualifying numbers. 
When you use the equity in your home to get money via a cash-out refinance, you can use that money for anything you choose. You can pay off your credit cards, eliminate student loans, make home improvements, start a new business, or even put a down payment on an investment property.

PURCHASE

What does it mean to be pre-qualified?

A simple first step in the mortgage process is getting pre-qualified. Embrace Home Loans can pre-qualify you over the phone or online. We’ll go over your information and discuss your goals. Shortly thereafter you’ll get your pre-qualified amount — the amount for which you might expect to be approved for a loan.
Not only will a good score help you qualify for a home loan, but it will also help you get the lowest rate possible. In fact, your credit score is the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your mortgage rate. The higher your score, the lower the interest rate. And on a loan as large as a mortgage, just one percentage point up or down can add up to a significant amount of money.
Your credit score is calculated with a mathematical formula. It uses information in your credit report and compares it to information on tens of millions of other people. The resulting number is a highly accurate prediction of how likely you are to pay your bills. People with the highest credit scores get the lowest interest rates. Your credit score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your credit score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score. Call 800-333-3004 to speak to a Loan Officer to get more information.
Improving your score is not impossible. There are things you can do right now to begin improve your credit score, including:
• Get copies of your credit reports and stay on top of them
• Set up payment reminders and pay your bills on time
• Focus on reducing your debt

Mortgage underwriters are basically interested in two things: can the buyer repay the mortgage and what is the value of the property should the buyer be unable to pay back the mortgage? Knowing this can help you better prepare for the underwriting process.
At closing, you’ll sit down with those involved in your real estate transaction and sign all the legal documents needed to give you ownership of your new place. You’ll also be responsible for paying closing costs, which are typically 3–4% of your home’s purchase price.
Closing costs can be divided into two main categories: the lender and third-parties out of the lender's control. Lender fees include any costs associated with processing your loan, such as prepaid interest,, discount points, origination charge, and any rate lock fees. Third-party fees include fees paid for services performed by parties other than the lender – either imposed by the state or local government, or by the individual vendors that provide the service. They also include pre-payments for taxes and insurance that are placed in an impound or escrow account. Third-party fees include appraisal fees, title service fees, and government recording fees.

HOMEBUYING 101

Why should I buy a home?

Owning your own home gives you a sense of belonging with of your community, and the pride of knowing that you reached your goal of attaining homeownership. Interest payments are typically tax-deductible, and you’ll be building equity each month with your mortgage payments instead of lining your landlord’s pockets.
That’s a question only you can answer, because there are benefits to both. Buying could be a better deal for you if you plan on living in your home for at least three to five years. The type of loan you choose also comes into play. Give our Rent vs. Buy calculator to weigh your options.
Factors to consider include price, interest rates, location, and your financial situation. When interest rates at or near record lows, they aren’t likely to go lower, so waiting for them to drop even more is risky. Only you can determine if you’re ready to buy! Just make sure you have a stable job, and you plan on staying in the home for at least three to five years. You should also have enough money to save for a down payment and closing costs. Use our helpful mortgage calculator to see how much home you can afford.
Everyone's financial situation is different, so it’s important to figure out what you can comfortably afford to borrow, which depends on four factors:
  • Your debt-to-income ratio (your total monthly payments as a percentage of your gross monthly income)
  • Cash you have available for a down payment and closing costs
  • Your credit history
  • The value of the home you’re buying
How much home can YOU afford? Use our handy mortgage calculator and find out!
Loan-to-value (LTV) tells you how much equity you have in your home relative to how much you owe on it and what the house is worth. LTV is important to know when refinancing because it can affect your interest rate and whether or not you’ll need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Getting a home appraisal is a standard part of the mortgage process. Lenders like Embrace will give customers a loan based on the appraisal value of the property they’d like to buy or refinance. Appraisals are conducted by 3rd party companies and are not influenced by Embrace Home Loans. Home appraisals are determined by comparing recently sold, comparable homes in the same neighborhood as your home or the home you are interested in purchasing or refinancing. The appraisal company provides a report to Embrace after the appraisal is conducted.  Quite simply, when you use a home for collateral for a loan, the lender wants an appraisal report to make sure the loan will be guaranteed by the value of the property.
When you first meet or speak with a loan officer, they’ll just want to learn a few basics about you and your financial situation. Once the loan process gets started, you’ll need to provide proof of where you work, your income, any debts you may have, your assets, and how much you plan to put toward a down payment. Our loan officers will clearly explain your mortgage options and answer all your questions so you feel confident in your decision.
The time needed to complete the mortgage process varies by customer and lender because it includes gathering information from a customer, verifying that information, and processing the actual loan. The average amount of time to close on their home purchases is 47 days across all loan types, according to Ellie Mae. Purchase loans generally take longer to close than refinance loans by an average of 12 days. Factors such as the loan type and contract dates can affect closing times.
Short answer — no! It’s actually smarter to get started on the process before you find your dream home. Other lenders offer pre-qualifications. But our Approved to Move™ program gives you much greater bargaining power, because it’s the next best thing to a cash offer, which will make you very appealing to sellers. 
Your mortgage payment may include additional costs like your homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. We can add the monthly portion of each of those accounts to your mortgage payment. That money is held in an escrow account managed by a third party to make sure those costs are paid on time.
The higher your credit score, the better your financing options will be.  But you can get approved with a credit score as low as 640, as long as you meet the other loan requirements.
Actually, yes you can. If you’ve paid off all your debt, it’s possible that you won’t have a credit score when you apply for a mortgage. You’ll just need to supply some additional paperwork so the underwriter can review it personally – it’s a process called manual underwriting, and it might make the mortgage process take a little longer than usual.

EMBRACE

What is the difference between Embrace, my local bank, and a broker?

In short: no middle man. As a direct lender for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and an approved issuer for Ginnie Mae, we underwrite our loans. We are not a broker or a lead reseller and we never take your call and then pass your application off to someone else. Your Embrace Home Loans Mortgage Specialist works directly with you through the entire loan process — from beginning to end. This kind of personalized service means we can truly get to know you, and provide impeccable service that perfectly fits your needs. It also means we can offer better interest rates and terms — all while keeping you completely informed with real-time, up-to-the-minute information regarding your loan. There’s simply no better way to go through the mortgage process.
For more than 36 years we’ve been helping tens of thousands of people just like you purchase new homes, refinance existing mortgages, and consolidate high-interest debt. CONTACT US now to find out how we can help you make your dreams a reality.
Yes you can!  Please use the following link to make payments.  If you do not have an account you must create one the first time.
You can view the status of your loan at any time by logging into our Client Portal. We recommend saving this link in your web browser for future use, but you can always find the link here or in past emails from your Embrace loan officer.
Rushmore Loan Management Services began servicing new loans funded after January 2, 2020. As of March 2, 2020, all existing customers serviced by RoundPoint (on behalf of Embrace Loan Servicing) will be transferred to Rushmore. No need to worry, though — you are still an Embrace customer and Rushmore is just one of our trusted partners.
No; we apologize for any inconvenience. If you had an electronic payment set up with RoundPoint, your electronic payment authorization will not be transferred and you will be required to establish a new electronic payment schedule with Rushmore. You’ll need to contact Rushmore directly to set up your new automatic payment. We apologize for any inconvenience, but truly appreciate your understand during this transition.
No, Embrace doesn’t offer HELOCs, but you can refinance your mortgage to free up the money you need, and you can put toward the same things as a HELOC, like paying down debt.

FINANCING

What does it mean to be pre-approved?

Pre-approval is more involved and carries more weight than pre-qualification.  With Embrace, this process will be as simple and streamlined as possible so you can start finding your new home. We’ll calculate the specific mortgage amount for which you are approved. You'll also have a better idea of the interest rate you will be charged on the loan and, in some cases, you might be able to lock-in a specific rate. With pre-approval, you will receive a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount, allowing you to look for a home at or below that price level. Obviously, this puts you at an advantage when dealing with a potential seller because it’s clear you are very close to obtaining the financing you need.
If you applied for your original FHA home loan prior to June 3, 2013, you may be able to perform and MIP cancellation (also known as MIP Elimination). To understand how much you pay in mortgage insurance on top of your principle and interest, check your monthly mortgage statement or give an Embrace expert a call for a no-obligation mortgage evaluation.
If you’re currently required to carry mortgage insurance, there is light at the end of the tunnel: you don’t have to keep it for the entire length of the loan. You can pay your loan down faster by paying more than the required minimum each month, which will help you build equity in your home faster. Then, once you have at least 20% equity in your home, you can request to eliminate the mortgage insurance premium all together. You can also refinance with Embrace, and if your new loan-to-value (LTV) is below the required threshold, you may not have to pay mortgage insurance on your new loan at all.
High interest rates bring higher monthly payments and increase the overall interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. A low interest rate saves you money in both the short and long term. Sometimes a bigger down payment can help you get a lower interest rate. Keep in mind that the money you pay in interest doesn’t ever go toward paying off the principal, so it’s smart to get the lowest interest rate possible and then pay off your house as quickly as you can.
Rates are complicated and can be tricky to understand. Simply CALL US and we’ll help you compare your rate quotes. We’re happy to take you through estimates line by line — ensuring you know what every item means to you and your bottom line. Comparing mortgage rates can be confusing because there are so many factors — from taxes to title insurance — that contribute to calculating your mortgage payment and closing costs. No one is expected to understand it all from the beginning, but we’ll make sure it all makes perfect sense to you in the end.
Simply put, mortgage insurance is a policy taken out on your loan that protects the lender in the event of default or foreclosure. Of course no one expects to default on their mortgage, but life isn’t always predictable and lenders need assurance that they will get their money back in the event your financial health takes a turn for the worst.

In this scenario, the lender is the beneficiary if you default on the mortgage loan for any reason.
How much money you need depends on the type of loan and the purchase price. We recommend that you have at least 3.5% for a down payment on an FHA loan. You’ll also want to be aware of closing costs, which are typically between 2% and 6% of the purchase price. There are also benefits to putting more down in some scenarios – such as the ability to get a Conventional loan without mortgage insurance if you have a down payment of 20% or more.
A typical monthly mortgage payment includes the principal, interest, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you put down less than 20%. You can pay more on your mortgage each month, but make sure you specify that you want the extra money to go toward the principal only (vs. prepaying interest).
The best way to start any mortgage process is with the help of a lender that's 100% on your side — and that's Embrace Home Loans. Simply call 800-333-3004 or fill out our quick, no-obligation and confidential GET A QUOTE FORM now. Your Mortgage Specialist will start working right away to find your ideal mortgage and will be with you every step of the way. This streamlined, personalized approach means the entire process will be as simple and stress-free as possible. In fact, it can all be wrapped up in as little as 21 days after receiving all your documents. There's just no better way to take the next steps toward a better financial future.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is an insurance policy that protects your lender in case you default on your mortgage. You may be required to purchase it, especially if you plan to make a down payment of less than 20% of your home's purchase price, which means you have a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) greater than 80%. PMI is purchased through a third-party insurance company and paid via your monthly mortgage payments. How much it costs depends on several factors, but once your LTV is below 80%, you can refinance your mortgage to get rid of the PMI.
Paying discount points means you can lower or “buy down” your interest rate (as well as your monthly payment) over the life of your loan. One point equals 1% of your loan amount. When you pay a point, you are essentially paying part of your interest to the lender up front. So if you have the funds, buying down your rate is a good way to reduce the total amount of interest you’ll pay over time.
Think interest rates are on the way up? Then “locking in“ your interest rate before you close may be a great idea. This simply means your lender "freezes" your interest rate—typically between 15-90 days—before you close.
No, but they are very close. The interest rate is how much it costs to borrow the money from your lender. The APR is the total cost of your mortgage and accounts for additional fees like closing costs, origination charges, lender points, and private mortgage insurance (PMI).

LOAN TYPES

Can I take advantage of Embrace’s No Down Payment program if I have owned a home before?

The No Down Payment program from Embrace Home Loans is not exclusive to first-time homebuyers – so if you have owned a home previously, you may still qualify. You do need to have a FICO score above 660+ and be looking to purchase a single-family home to take advantage of this program.
At Embrace Home Loans, we have the loan that's right for you and the expertise to pinpoint precisely which kind of loan that may be. From conventional mortgages — both Fixed and Variable-rate — to easier-to-qualify-for loans like FHA insured, VA or HARP 2, we offer a broad range of options, and will not rest until we find the ideal loan for you.
A second mortgage is a lien taken out on a property that already has another mortgage attached to it. In the case that the loan goes into default, the first mortgage will be paid off first before the second mortgage. Therefore, a second mortgage is typically riskier for lenders and will often come with a higher interest rate. Interest-only payments means that for a period of time, the payments you make on the loan go 100% towards the interest that is accruing on the mortgage. And a balloon payment means that, at the end of the term of the loan, the balance of the mortgage is due all at once.
• Applicants must meet the standard loan program credit qualification requirements.
• The property must meet renovation loan requirements.
• An appraiser’s estimate of what the property value will be with completed improvements must support the mortgage amount.
• Down payment and closing cost requirements may vary depending on the loan type.
Depending on the financing option you choose, improvements can range from basic repairs to minor updates and upgrades to more extensive remodeling and renovations, including bringing severely damaged or neglected properties up to habitable, insurable standards.
Properties that are sold “as-is” often would not qualify for a standard FHA loan. 203(k) loans, however, are designed to improve, update, and modernize the home.
Conventional mortgages are typically underwritten according to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These come in two different types: fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages.
FHA insured loans are mortgages that are insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — which means the government is essentially guaranteeing it will pay the mortgage if you cannot. FHA insured loans require a much lower down payment on a house than most other financers…usually just 3.5%. Plus, qualifying for an FHA insured loan is often easier than qualifying for a conventional mortgage — making it attractive for homebuyers and homeowners alike.
A fixed-rate mortgage is perfectly predictable because you never have to worry about your interest rate or your mortgage payments going up. That means they are easy to budget for over the long term (usually 15 or 30 years). Variable-rate mortgages, also known as adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), are more complicated than fixed-rate mortgages. Their initial interest rate will usually be lower than a fixed-rate mortgage. However, the interest rate of the mortgage will change over time, and as a result, your payments may go up or down accordingly. Many factors, like how long you intend to keep your home, go into determining which is right for you.  An Embrace Mortgage Specialist will help you determine the exact loan that’s right for you based on your unique needs.
VA Loans are specifically for Veterans and are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These loans allow Veterans to buy a home with little or NO down payment and are easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages. To be eligible, you need to have served at least 181 days of active duty or at least 6 years in the National Guard.

With so many mortgage options out there, it can be hard to know how each would impact you in the long run. The most common mortgage loan types are:

  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan
  • Fixed-rate conventional loan
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