Straight-forward answers to common questions about mortgages.
Why use SELFi?
To save money and reach your financial goals sooner. We empower you to shop and compare wholesale interest rates. For refinances, you work with a SELFi Mortgage Coach who guides you through the refinance. For home purchase loans, we match you with a vetted independent mortgage broker. In addition to low wholesale rates, our broker partners have access to loan programs that big banks and lenders do not offer.
This sounds too good to be true, can I trust SELFi?
SELFi is fully licensed corporation. Our NMLS ID is 1724835. We have taken bank-level security measures to keep your information safe. You can read real reviews on our site, Yelp, Google, or Facebook.
SELFi started because we believe banks and brokers charge too much on mortgage refinances and saw an opportunity to help homeowners save more money. In addition to helping homeowners refinance, we help purchase applicants get matched with a vetted mortgage broker.
Is SELFi a direct lender?
No. For refinances, we broker your loan to wholesale lenders that compete for your business like Rocket Mortgage. For purchaes, we match you with a vetted independent mortgage broker that can shop your loan with a network of wholsale lenders, enabling you to obtain a lower interest rate and have access to more loan programs to qualify.
How can SELFi save me an extra $53,629 on my refinance?
When compared to America’s largest lenders, SELFi is able to get consumers lower rates, all costs being equal. The result is an additional $53,629 in savings over the life of the loan. This is additional savings, and does not include potential savings from refinancing. The loan scenario we used to compare assumes a Conventional 30 year fixed loan, in the amount of $453,100, secured by owner-occupied, single family home, primary residence in the state of Florida. The loan assumes a credit score of 740 or higher. The interest rates reflect the average of the lowest rates available with pricing closest to zero points over the course of 1 week in June 2018. America’s largest lenders are defined as Quicken Loans, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. The savings assumes equal monthly payment over the lifetime of the loan. It does not include compound interest.
Does SELFi operate in my state?
Click here on our licensing page for our up-to-date list in the states we operate.
We are working on expanding into more states in the near future. Let us know if you want us to get licensed in your state at hello@SELFi.com
How is SELFi different than LendingTree and Bankrate?
Like other comparison sites, SELFi enables you to compare interest rates online. For mortgage refinances, unlike LendingTree or Bankrate, we broker your loan to wholesale lenders such as Rocket Mortgage. For home purchase loans, we match you with a vetted independent mortgage broker. Our broker network pays us an advertising fee for the introduction. Unlike LendingTree and Bankrate, we do not sell your information to more than one broker which avoids fielding 10+ calls from different lenders, that won’t stop calling.
Rates and Pricing
What is the difference between interest rate and APR?
The APR represents the mortgage interest rate plus any charges.
What is a rate sheet?
What is Pricing?
What are points and credits?
Conversely, credits can be applied towards the closing costs of the refinance. Take enough credits, and all closing costs are covered. This is how you get a No-Cost Refinance. Any remaining credits can be applied towards your new escrow account, prepaid interest, or even the unpaid principal balance.
How does SELFi determine my mortgage rate?
What is the difference between a Wholesale rate sheet and Retail rate sheet?
Wouldn’t I get a lower rate working directly with one of the banks?
How are you able to offer a lower rate with my existing lender than what I was offered working directly with them?
Can I refinance my mortgage if I'm in forbearance?
Conventional: If you’re refinancing on a conventional/conforming loan, you are required to make 3 on-time payments on your existing mortgage coming out of forbearance before applying for a refinance application. V
VA: You can refinance your mortgage as long as you’ve met 212 day seasoning, 6 consecutive on-time payments before you went into forbearance, and you are currently out of forbearance.
How do you offer loan programs that my bank does not offer?
Our marketplace of lenders have different guidelines or requirements for getting a mortgage. We use an algorithm to match your goals to the lender guidelines and interest rates. This results in over 1000 loan programs, whereas your bank may only offer a handful of loan programs.
Which loan programs does SELFi specialize in?
SELFi specializes in and works with lenders that offer:
- JUMBO loan with low down payment
- Non-conforming loans for people who cannot qualify for a conventional loan.
- Conventional loans – cash-out, rate and term, purchase
- Homepossible and HomeReady
- FHA and VA
- Reverse Mortgages
If you are looking another loan program, let us know at hello@SELFi.com
You offer loan programs that banks do not. Isn't that what happened with the housing crisis?
Our marketplace of approved lenders each have their own guidelines, interest rates, and loan programs. Many lenders in our marketplace offer loan programs that traditional banks do not offer, whether it be a lower credit score or less down payment required. The lender makes their own determination based on the performance of these loans. Unlike the loans made leading up to the financial crisis, both SELFi and the lender verify that the borrower has the ability to repay the loan.
Is combining a 1st and 2nd mortgage a rate and term or cash-out refinance?
Combining a first and second mortgage, such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC), is considered a cash-out refinance unless the second mortgage was obtained at time of purchasing the home.
Can my new loan amount be lower than my unpaid principal balance?
When refinancing, your new loan amount is your choice. There are no limitations on how low your loan amount can be, only limitations on how high your loan amount can be. Generally, you cannot receive more than $2K cash-back without the refinance being considered a cash-out refinance.
What exactly does locking mean?
Can I pre-lock?
No. SELFi does not allow pre-locking. Pre-locking means you are locking in your rate before e-signing initial disclosures.
Can I choose a different rate or loan term after locking?
What if I need to break my lock?
How quickly can I lock my loan?
What if my rate lock expires before my loan is complete?
Fees and Closing Costs
Do you offer No-Cost refinances?
Please note, that if your application requires an appraisal, that cost would have to be paid out-of-pocket prior to the loan closing.
How much will my closing costs be?
When am I expected to pay for the appraisal?
After your loan is approved, you are required to pay for the appraisal. The cost is typically around $550 but can vary by county and property type.
When will I be expected to pay fees, if any?
What are third-party fees?
- Appraisal fee: If your loan program requires an appraisal, SELFi will check to see if you qualify for an appraisal waiver. If you do not receive a waiver, an appraisal must be completed to determine the value of your home. Payment of the appraisal is done prior to the loan closing. You will get a copy of the report.
- Credit report: We need to check your credit in order to determine as part of your loan application.
- Flood Certification: This is required to determine if your property is in a flood zone to ensure appropriate insurance coverage.
You can check today’s rates for a quick estimate of the third-party fees.
- Lenders Title Insurance: This fee ensures the lender is protected if someone later makes a claim against the title of your property.
- Recording: A fee charged by your county to officially record the mortgage.
- Escrow/Settlement: The fee paid to the escrow agent for coordinating the handling and disbursement of the funds from the lender.
- Transfer taxes (most states do not have for refinances): While most states do not have a transfer tax when refinancing, some states do such as Florida.
Is there a prepayment penalty if I refinance or sell my home?
What are negative closing costs?
Negative closing costs are when the lender credit exceeds the loan costs. The excess lender credit can be applied towards non loan costs such as property taxes, prepaying interest, homeowners insurance, and even as a principal reduction.
Are there any limitations to negative closing costs?
Yes. If a lower rate exists at the same closing costs then lenders will require you to choose the lower of two rates. For example, if 3.250% is $0.00 closing costs, but 3.190% is also $0.00 closing costs, the lenders will require you to choose the lower of the two rates.
What is included in the monthly payment?
What is an escrow account?
Do I need to have an escrow account?
What happens to my existing escrow account?
Your current mortgage servicer will refund the balance of your escrow account after your loan closes. This typically happens within 3 weeks of closing. This video explains further.
Why is the balance deposited into escrow more than my existing escrow balance?
Second, you may be running an escrow shortage with your current servicer. An escrow shortage is the result of not having enough money in your escrow account to cover the actual amount needed to pay your bills.
Will my escrow increase in the future?
Rates have nothing to do with your escrow payment. We suggest you look at your mortgage payment in two parts – principal & interest, and escrow. With a fixed rate, your principal & interest will never change. Your escrow will likely change annually.
Can I transfer my current escrow account?
Processing your Loan
After I apply online, what are the next steps?
Will I have a point of contact to guide me through the process?
For most loan applications, the processor can expertly answer all your questions. If there are special circumstances regarding your loan application, a SELFi Mortgage Coach will contact you to review your loan and provide unbiased answers and advice.
What documents are required of me for my refinance?
- Recent mortgage statement
- Photo of drivers license
- Homeowners insurance declaration page
- Last two years W-2
- Most recent three pay-stubs
- Last two months bank statements
- Owner’s title insurance (if you have it)
How quickly can I close my refinance?
If you have a second mortgage that needs to be subordinated that will add time to complete the refinance.
How will closing occur?
After your refinance is completed
Will I get to skip any payments?
Click here for a complete answer on going two months without a payment.
How will my loan be serviced after closing?
How do I make my first payment?
Will SELFi help me if there are concerns with the servicing of our loan in the future?
Will my property taxes change by refinancing?
No. Tax assessed values are only used by tax collectors.