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Getting a Mortgage

You’ve decided it’s time to make the move into a house that’s all yours. ESL expert guidance and our wide-range of mortgage solutions will help open the door to a positive experience throughout your journey.

Things to Think About When Considering a Mortgage

  1. Start with your budget: Compare income and expenses and figure out how much you can afford for your monthly payment and down payment.
  2. Do some research: Learn about mortgage options through reliable sources such as certified professionals and trusted websites. You may be eligible for free homeownership counseling or even grants to help make home buying affordable. Visit our step-by-step guide to help you prep, beginning to end.
  3. Compare rates and costs: Check out current ESL mortgage rates.
  4. Know where you stand & get preapproved: Your credit reports, scores, and financial health are keys to mortgage eligibility. Visit Budgeting and Managing Credit to learn more about where you stand.
  5. Apply for the loan: Once you feel your finances are in order, you can apply for the mortgage.
    • When it comes to finding the right place to obtain a mortgage, it’s important to go with a trusted source. Asking friends and family members is a good start, but it’s also important to do your own research. As always, it’s essential to compare options before making a final decision.
    • The process of closing a mortgage loan will likely take 30-40 days. During this time it is important to recognize that changes to employment, income, and liabilities may impact your ability to close. Your income, employment, and credit are checked throughout the process. As a result it’s important to ensure a consistent credit profile. Try not to make any large purchases, like a car, or new appliances and furnishings for your home. Large deposits or withdrawals from your bank accounts may require explanations and documented proof of source.

Understanding Mortgage Fees & Costs

The cost of a mortgage can typically be broken into three categories: rates, points, and fees:


  • Percent interest that is charged for the loan.
  • Rates will vary depending upon amount borrowed, type of mortgage, term, and credit score.
  • Types of rates include fixed or variable.
  • APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Takes into account the rate, points, and fees averaged over a year.


  • Option of prepaying some of the interest on your mortgage in return for a lower interest rate.
  • The cost of one point is equal to 1% of the mortgage amount. For each point purchased, the interest rate is typically reduced by .125% to .25%.
  • It’s best to ask for the actual dollar amount you will have to pay for points. Paying points can potentially save you more in the long run.


  • Costs that are paid for various activities in loan processing and closing.
  • Examples of common fees include origination, broker, transaction, settlement, and appraisal. Some fees are paid when you apply and some when you close on the loan.
  • Fees may vary by lender and type of loan.

The components of your mortgage payment include:

  • Principal and interest from your loan.
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)—which may be required for some loans.
  • Taxes and homeowners insurance (If escrowed).

Which Type of Mortgage is Right for You?

  • If you anticipate your income will remain the same, it may be better to consider a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • If interest rates are expected to increase significantly, a fixed-rate mortgage may be a better route.
  • An ARM may be a good choice if low payments in the short term are your main goal.
  • If you don't plan to live in the property long enough for the rates to rise, an ARM could be a good option

Take a look at the mortgage calculators in the Resources & Tools section for additional guidance.

Types of Mortgage Loans

When it comes to mortgages, there’s a number of mortgage loan types to choose from. There are mortgage loans aimed to assist first-time homebuyers as well as construction loans appropriate for those building a new home. Visit our Mortgage Solutions page for an overview of mortgage options offered by ESL. Our team of Business Development Mortgage Originators can help you every step of the way to answer questions, help you find the right options, and streamline the process from beginning to end working closely with the area’s local realtors, home builders, and attorneys.