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What is an adjustable rate mortgage?
How much money will I save by choosing a 15-year loan rather than a 30-year loan?
Is there a fee charged or any other obligation if I complete the online application?
Are there any prepayment penalties charged for these loan programs?
What is your Rate Lock Policy?
Tell me more about closing fees and how they are determined.
What is title insurance and why do I need it?
What is the maximum percentage of my home's value that I can borrow?
Tell me more about home equity loan closing fees and how they are determined.

An adjustable rate mortgage, or an “ARM” as they are commonly called, is a loan type that offers a lower initial interest rate than most fixed rate loans.  The tradeoff is that the interest rate can change periodically, usually in relation to an index, and the monthly payment will go up or down accordingly.  You can get a lower rate with an ARM in exchange for assuming more risk.  For many people in a variety of situations, an ARM is the right mortgage choice, particularly if your income is likely to
increase in the future or if you only plan on being in the home for short amount of years.


A 15-year fixed rate mortgage gives you the ability to own your home free and clear in 15 years. And, while the monthly payments are somewhat higher than a 30-year loan, the interest rate on the 15-year mortgage is usually a little lower, and more important - you'll pay less than half the total interest cost of the traditional 30-year mortgage.

However, if you can't afford the higher monthly payment of a 15-year mortgage don't feel alone. Many borrowers find the higher payment out of reach and choose a 30-year mortgage. It still makes sense to use a 30-year mortgage for most people.

Who Should Consider a 15-Year Mortgage?

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage is most popular among younger homebuyers with sufficient income to meet the higher monthly payments to pay off the house before their children start college. They own more of their home faster with this kind of mortgage, and can then begin to consider the cost of higher education for their children without having a mortgage payment to make as well. Other homebuyers, who are more established in their careers, have higher incomes and whose desire is to own their homes before they retire, may also prefer this mortgage.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a 15-Year Mortgage

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage offers two big advantages for most borrowers:

  • You own your home in half the time it would take with a traditional 30-year mortgage.
  • You save more than half the amount of interest of a 30-year mortgage. Lenders usually offer this mortgage at a slightly lower interest rate than with 30-year loans - typically up to .5% lower. It is this lower interest rate added to the shorter loan life that creates real savings for 15-year fixed rate borrowers.

The possible disadvantages associated with a 15-year fixed rate mortgage are:

  • The monthly payments for this type of loan are roughly 10 percent to 15 percent higher per month than the payment for a 30-year.
  • Because you'll pay less total interest on the 15-year fixed rate mortgage, you won't have the maximum mortgage interest tax deduction possible.

Compare Them Yourself

Use the "How much can I save with a 15 year mortgage?" calculator in our Resource Center to help decide which loan term is best for you.


There's no cost at all for completing our application. Once you submit your application you will receive disclosures in the mail, at that point if you wish to proceed you can send us a check in the mail and send back your early disclosures.


None of the loan programs we offer have penalties for prepayment. You can pay off your mortgage any time with no additional charges.


We currently do not lock rates. However, if a rate does decrease you may ask for the current interest rate.


A home loan often involves many fees, such as the appraisal fee, title charges, closing fees, and state or local taxes. These fees vary from state to state and also from lender to lender. Any lender or broker should be able to give you an estimate of their fees, but it is more difficult to tell which lenders have done their homework and are providing a complete and accurate estimate. We take quotes very seriously. We've completed the research necessary to make sure that our fee quotes are accurate to the city level - and that is no easy task!

To assist you in evaluating our fees, we've grouped them as follows:

Third Party Fees


Fees that we consider third party fees include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, the survey fee, tax service fees, title insurance fees, flood certification fees, and courier/mailing fees.

Third party fees are fees that we'll collect and pass on to the person who actually performed the service. For example, an appraiser is paid the appraisal fee, a credit bureau is paid the credit report fee, and a title company or an attorney is paid the title insurance fees.

Typically, you'll see some minor variances in third party fees from lender to lender since a lender may have negotiated a special charge from a provider they use often or chooses a provider that offers nationwide coverage at a flat rate.


Fees such as document preparation fees are retained by the lender and are used to provide you with the lowest rates possible.

This is the category of fees that you should compare very closely from lender to lender before making a decision.

If your loan is a purchase, you'll also need to pay for your first year's homeowner's insurance premium prior to closing. We consider this to be a required advance.


If you've ever purchased a home before, you may already be familiar with the benefits and terms of title insurance. But if this is your first home loan, you may be wondering why you need another insurance policy.

The answer is simple: The purchase of a home is most likely one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. You, and especially your mortgage lender, want to make sure the property is indeed yours: That no individual or government entity has any right, lien, claim, or encumbrance on your property.

The function of a title insurance company is to make sure your rights and interests to the property are clear, that transfer of title takes place efficiently and correctly, and that your interests as a homebuyer are fully protected.

Title insurance companies provide services to buyers, sellers, real estate developers, builders, mortgage lenders, and others who have an interest in real estate transfer. Title companies typically issue two types of title policies:

1) Owner's Policy. This policy covers you, the homebuyer.


2) Lender's Policy. This policy covers the lending institution over the life of the loan.

Both types of policies are issued at the time of closing for a one-time premium.

Before issuing a policy, the title company performs an in-depth search of the public records to determine if anyone other than you has an interest in the property. The search may be performed by title company personnel using either public records or, more likely, the information contained in the company's own title plant.

After a thorough examination of the records, any title problems found can be cleared up prior to your purchase of the property. Once a title policy is issued, if any claim covered under your policy is ever filed against your property, the title company will pay the legal fees involved in the defense of your rights. They are also responsible to cover losses arising from a valid claim. This protection remains in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property.

The fact that title companies try to eliminate risks before they develop makes title insurance significantly different from other types of insurance. Most forms of insurance assume risks by providing financial protection through a pooling of risks for losses arising from an unforeseen future event, say a fire, accident or theft. On the other hand, the purpose of title insurance is to eliminate risks and prevent losses caused by defects in title that may have happened in the past.

This risk elimination has benefits to both the homebuyer and the title company. It minimizes the chances that adverse claims might be raised, thereby reducing the number of claims that have to be defended or satisfied. This keeps costs down for the title company and the premiums low for the homebuyer.

Buying a home is a big step emotionally and financially. With title insurance you are assured that any valid claim against your property will be borne by the title company, and that the odds of a claim being filed are slim indeed.


The maximum percentage of your home's value depends on the purpose of your loan, how you use the property, and the loan type you choose, so the best way to determine what loan amount we can offer is to complete our online application!


We typically offer specials on our Home Equity Loans. If you have any questions about fees, please contact one of our Personal Bankers- they would be happy to help!