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Ally Home FAQs
We offer different types of terms to fit both new loan and refinancing needs, but you should speak with one of our licensed home loan advisors to see what's right for you. Once they know more about you and what you're looking for, they'll help you understand all the options. Get Started
No, but it's still a good idea to get one anyway. A home inspector checks the electrical, heating, air and other systems of the house to make sure they're working properly, as well as the foundation, roof, insulation and other areas to make sure the home is structurally sound. If you choose to get a home inspection, experts recommend doing so before you negotiate a final offer.
Yes. When it's time for you to get a home appraisal, we'll introduce you to the appraisal company and set up an appointment.
You'll meet with your real estate agent and closing agent to review and sign your closing documents. Depending on your state, you may also meet with your lawyer, the seller or the title company – but we'll let you know exactly who will be joining you as the day gets closer.
Your rate is based on today's mortgage rates and current housing market, but we also factor in your credit score, property location, loan amount, type and term to get you a personalized, up-to-date rate.
This is when we guarantee a certain interest rate, at a certain price, for a specific amount of time. This provides peace of mind if rates rise during the loan application process.
It makes the most sense to try and lock in your rate once you sign a purchase agreement. This is typically 30-60 days prior to closing.
We understand that sometimes things come up and closing can get delayed. We'll let you know in advance what will happen if it looks like your closing date will need to be moved.
Every situation is different, but it usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to go from application to closing. To learn more about what to expect in each part of the home loan process, see how it works.
Closing costs will vary, but they're typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price. We'll be able to give you a more accurate estimate of closing costs after you tell us more about the loan you're looking for.
Give us a call at 1-855-256-2559 to speak to a Home Loan Advisor or provide your information online and a Home Loan Advisor will call you. After we learn more about what you’re looking for, we’ll go over your options and get an application started.
Every situation is different, but when we review your home loan application, we look at your:
Credit score. This is determined by things like payment history and how long you’ve had credit. We’ll use this number to figure out how likely you are to pay back your loan and what interest rate you'll get.
Debt-to-income ratio. This percentage is your total monthly expenses divided by your gross monthly income.
Down payment. This is the amount paid up front when you purchase a home and isn't part of the loan. The higher the down payment, the less risky you seem to a lender — which could mean a lower interest rate, too.
Employment history. We want to make sure you’ll be able to afford your home, so proof of income is important.
It’s a good idea to get pre-qualified so you know how much you can afford and set a realistic budget. Plus, a letter from us gives you more leverage when house-hunting, putting you in a stronger negotiating position when you’re ready to make an offer.
Give us a call at 1-855-256-2559 and speak to a Home Loan Advisor, or provide your information online and a Home Loan Advisor will call you. We want to learn more about you and what you’re looking for before we get started.
What you should know about getting pre-qualified with us:
A pre-qualification letter lets sellers know you’re serious. If you’re approved, your Home Loan Advisor will email you a pre-qualification letter that shows how much you may be able to borrow. This puts you in a stronger negotiating position when you’re ready to make an offer on a home.
A Home Loan Advisor will check your credit (with your permission, of course). While this may temporarily affect your score, it helps to provide a more accurate amount. Keep in mind, any additional home loan credit checks within 30-45 days are treated as one inquiry, so multiple inquiries during that time won’t impact your score.
There’s no fee or documents needed to get pre-qualified. We’ll only ask for documents if you want to move forward with your application.
Yes. We use DocuSign® to make it easier for you to approve, sign and submit all documents related to your loan. The DocuSign app is available for iPad®, iPhone®, Android™ devices, Windows® 8, Windows® 10 and Windows® Phone devices.
If you don't want to manage your documents online, then we'll send loan documents to your mailing address. When we need documents from you, your loan officer will let you know where to send them.
Whenever you need to review, sign or submit a document, you'll receive an email letting you know what we need and a unique link that will take you directly to your document management dashboard.
Keep in mind, you'll be asked to provide an access code when you log in. This is the last 4 digits of your social security number and 4-digit birth year (without spaces). We may also text you a one-time passcode to log in with, so make sure you have your phone available.
With a fixed-rate loan, your rate won't change and your monthly principal and interest payments will stay the same over the life of your loan.
With an adjustable rate loan, your rate is fixed for the first 5, 7 or 10 years (depending on your term) and may adjust every 12 months based on current market rates after that. You'll likely have a lower interest rate and APR for the initial period of an adjustable rate loan than you would with a fixed rate loan.
You should speak with one of our licensed home loan advisors about your situation. Once they know more about you and what you're looking for, they'll help you decide if it makes sense to refinance. See the difference a new loan can make with our Refinance Calculator or have one of our loan experts call you.
This amount depends on the type of loan you choose -- but the higher the down payment, the less risky you seem to a lender. It's ideal to put down 20% of the home price, but you should speak with one of our loan experts to see what your options are.
If your down payment is less than 20% of the home price, you may be required to pay Private Mortgage Insurance.
Also known as "discount points", this is an upfront fee, calculated as a percentage of your total loan amount, and is paid directly to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. You have the option to choose the number of points and how many you buy when discussing rate options with your loan expert.
Since every loan is different, we won't have a complete list of documents needed until further along in the process, but we'll usually ask for copies of your:
- Most recent pay stubs
- Employment records
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
Other documents we may need:
- Letter of explanation for gaps in employment greater than 30 days
- Proof of other income or assets
- Divorce decree/separation agreement
- Proof of all judgements/liens have been paid in full
- Landlord information to verify rent payments
- Proof of student loan payments
This is when we look at everything you sent us and make a final decision on your loan. It usually takes 2-3 weeks to make sure your documents are accurate and your application is complete. Your loan coordinator will provide an update every few days so you always know where your loan stands.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is a part of the loan payment and protects the lender if a borrower defaults on a home loan. You may be required to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20%.
This is included in your monthly payment to cover your taxes and insurance as necessary. This amount is kept in a separate account and payments are made on your behalf.
This is the amount you pay the day you close on a home and includes any fees charged as part of the home loan process. Closing costs will vary, but it's typically 1% to 2% of the purchase price.
The interest rate is the rate of interest charged on a home loan and can be fixed or variable, depending on which loan you choose.
The APR is a measure of the cost to you for borrowing money, the APR includes your interest rate, points, fees and other charges associated with your loan – that’s why it’s usually higher than your interest rate.
If you have any questions about what's included, you should contact a loan expert at 1-855-256-2559. We’re available Monday – Friday, 8 am – 11 pm ET and Saturday 10 am – 4 pm ET.
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily homes
- Second homes
- Investment homes
A loan is considered jumbo if it exceeds the conforming (standard) loan limits. In most areas, this is $484,350, but varies by location.
We require a minimum 10% down payment on all jumbo loans.
Not always. Sometimes lenders will keep your loan and you can pay them directly each month, but it's not uncommon for them to sell the servicing rights to a loan after you close. This frees up credit lines and enables them to lend money to other borrowers.
When you get a home loan with us, we'll let you know within 15 days of closing who will be servicing your loan and where to make future payments. While you won’t be paying us directly, the terms of your loan won’t ever change and you can always reach out to us if you have any questions.
Yes. Fannie Mae’s HomeReady mortgage program is designed to help first-time buyers and those who have limited down payment funds or unique circumstances.
Standard loan terms. 25-year or 30-year fixed rate terms available.
Flexible down payment options. You may be able to put as little as 3% down with the potential to save on Private Mortgage Insurance.
Homeownership education course. To help set you up for financial success, you’ll need to complete an online education course as a requirement for your loan.
Our home loan experts can help you understand all your options and answer any questions you may have about buying your first home. Request a Call Back
This document provides you with important information, including the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs for the loan. It also gives you information about the estimated costs of taxes and insurance, and how the interest rate and payments may change in the future. Lenders are required to provide you with a Loan Estimate within 3 business days of receiving your completed loan application.
Our Mortgage Playbook has everything you need to know to get your head in the home-buying or refinancing game.
From information on what it takes to get a loan and available options, to understanding common home loan terms, we’ll set you up for success so you can take the next step with confidence.