Most Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgages


Click here to start the pre-approval process. You can also choose to complete a full application if you have already found the home you are looking to buy.

If you have any questions, you can complete the form below to contact a Mortgage Loan Officer, or you can reach out to a member of our mortgage team directly. 

We have several mortgage calculators available that can provide you with an idea of how much money you can borrow. However, to see the actual amount and rate that you qualify for, you will need to have your credit pulled.

You should only start the pre-approval process when you’re fully ready to shop for a home so you don’t prematurely pull your credit. You can speak to an MLO at any time for further guidance. We also offer a Mortgage Savings Account to help you save monthly and earn up to $1,0001 towards your closing costs when you finance your mortgage with HVCU.

You will need your last two paystubs, W2s for the last two years, two months of all bank statements (all pages), and a signed contract of sale for a purchase.

Additional documentation will be required based on your individual circumstance. 

First-Time Homebuyer

Typically the term first-time homebuyer means you haven’t owned a home for 3 years.

The type of mortgage depends on each borrower’s situation. We offer several great options – click here to explore further or speak with a Mortgage Loan Officer for more guidance.

At HVCU, we offer the Homebuyer Dream Program, which  provides up to $10,000 on a first come, first served basis. You can also reach out to the county housing groups where you live to see what grants are available in your area.

Down Payments, Closing Costs, & Monthly Payments

With a smaller down payment, you may have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – an added expense to consider. You also need to look at whether you will have funds after purchasing the home. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and have extra money set aside in case the unexpected happens.

The actual down payment amount can vary depending on what program and type of loan best suits your needs. Some first-time homebuyer programs might require as little as 3% down (or even 0% down), but as a good rule of thumb, you should plan on having somewhere between 5-20% of the purchased price saved. 

Speak with a Mortgage Loan Officer to help you determine what programs and loans are available before you apply.

Closing costs are the combination of various services and fees, which often include realtor commissions, taxes, title insurance, and other requirements necessary to process and finalize your mortgage. These costs can vary greatly from state to state, but are often between 3% and 5%.

Typically most of the closing costs including attorney fees and additional costs required to close the loan are paid at the closing table. Home inspections, appraisals, and credit report fees are paid up front at the time of service.

Buying a house often means changes in your monthly expenses. You’ll want to ensure that you can cover your mortgage payment while still maintaining a lifestyle you’re happy with – whether that means traveling, going to the movies, or weekly dinner dates. In other words, you don’t want to be strapped for cash. It’s important to also consider the additional expenses that come with owning a property: garbage pick-up, utilities, lawn care, heating, snow removal, etc.

It’s not just the purchase price of the house that will impact affordability. With larger homes, there are usually higher expenses associated with utilities, maintenance, and even property and school taxes. Be sure to take all of this into consideration. 

Your Mortgage Loan Officer can work with you to help determine how much fits in your budget. Be sure to consider future plans that may impact the affordability of your payment. You can also get a basic idea of your payment amount by using one of our mortgage calculators.

Working with a Realtor

Yes, you can always make another offer on the same home. You will need to communicate the new offer with the realtor, so the realtor can make that second offer on your behalf.

Usually you would have a realtor contact them on your behalf.

General Mortgage Questions

Not necessarily. An FHA is a great mortgage product – it’s more flexible on certain items such as debt to income ratio (DTI) and credit score. However, property condition is very important with FHA - the home can’t require renovations or have any structural deficiencies. We offer several great options - click here to explore further or speak with a Mortgage Loan Officer for more guidance.

It’s not harder, just slightly different. For example, when you’re self-employed, a lender will normally use a two-year average of the taxable income from your business returns, not the income you declare prior to deducting business expenses.

Yes, it can be. Keep in mind that foreclosed properties often take longer to close and the house may require renovations.

It is usually more expensive to build a new home vs. buying an existing one, and there are more costs associated with construction financing.

Purchasing land can be a great option if your goal is to build a home in the future. We recommend you speak to a Realtor and other builder professionals to gather information that may be helpful in your specific situation.

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If you have questions and would like to speak with a mortgage professional, please complete the form below.

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Important Legal Disclosures & Information

For complaints and inquiries concerning your mortgage or home equity, please share your experience with us. You may also contact the New York State Department of Financial Services Consumer Assistance Unit at 800.342.3736 or by visiting the Department's website at

1APY=Annual Percentage Yield. The APY is 0.02%, effective as of 4/4/24, and is subject to change without notice. Account holder(s) is eligible to receive a lender credit of $1 for every $5 deposited up to a maximum of $1,000 toward closing costs when obtaining a mortgage loan through HVCU. Eligibility requires a separate Primary Savings membership account with a $0.01 minimum balance, a minimum opening deposit of $100, monthly deposits of $100 for a minimum of 10 months, and obtaining approval to close on an HVCU mortgage within 36 months of account opening. The lender credit is limited to one credit per mortgage and borrower may only receive the credit once. Withdrawal requests require the closing of the Mortgage Savings account. The Mortgage Savings account will automatically close and the balance will transfer to the member’s existing Primary Savings account. The closure will occur at the quarterly dividend posting following 36 months and the anniversary date of the original account opening. Lender credit amount is determined when a completed mortgage application is submitted and may be subject to change based on available mortgage programs. Fees may reduce earnings. May be subject to IRS reporting.