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Citizens Home Loans of America


Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know how large a mortgage I can afford?

How do I know if I qualify for a mortgage?


How do I decide which type of mortgage is right for me?

What is the difference between a fixed-rate loan and an adjustable-rate loan?

How should I decide if refinancing my mortgage is a good idea?

I am a Veteran and I need to know if I am better off with a VA or Conventional Loan.

How does a “reverse mortgage” work and how can I get one?

What is streamline refinance?

What is an FHA loan?

Can I still get a home loan if I have bad credit?

What is a FICO credit score and why is my score important?

What types of houses qualify for FHA loans?


Isn’t it harder for houses to qualify for an FHA mortgage than a traditional mortgage?

What are the requirements for a USDA Rural Development loan?

Is it a good idea to get pre-qualified for a home loan?



How do I know how large a mortgage I can afford?


For a general guideline, you can purchase a home with a value of up to two or three times your annual household income. But the amount of the loan you qualify for will also depend upon a review of your credit history and the amount of a monthly payment you can afford, based on your other expenses. Citizens Home Loans of America offers a number of options that can help you achieve the dream of homeownership at a price you can afford.

How do I know if I qualify for a mortgage?


There are many different kinds of mortgages available, and qualification requirements vary. Please see our online mortgage calculator to get some initial information about the loan you may need. Our team of loan officers will work closely with you to help you choose the loan that is right for your needs.

How do I decide which type of mortgage is right for me?


You may have a number of options available to you, based on your specific financial needs, and your best strategy is to work with your loan officer to guide you to the choice that is right for you.

What is the difference between a fixed-rate loan and an adjustable-rate loan?


With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest changes periodically, based on an index of economic factors. The monthly payments on an ARM can fluctuate up or down as economic conditions change. With today’s low interest rates, we generally recommend that you should choose a fixed rate loan.

How should I decide if refinancing my mortgage is a good idea?


Refinancing can reduce your monthly mortgage payments and reduce your interest rate but it may extend the years it takes to repay your loan and add some upfront loan closing costs which can be rolled into the new loan amount. Your Citizens Home Loans of America loan officer can you help you decide the pros and cons of refinancing based on your current mortgage.

I am a Veteran and I need to know if I am better off with a VA or Conventional Loan.


VA Loans have many benefits not offered by conventional loans, especially for first-time home-buyers with little or no money for a down payment. Unlike conventional loans, VA Home Loans do not have private mortgage insurance requirements. Additionally, VA Loans usually have lower rates than conventional loans and are not subject to the closing costs associated with conventional loans. Our team of loan officers can help you decide which choice is best for your specific needs.

How does a “reverse mortgage” work and how can I get one?


Reverse mortgages are a special type of home loan that lets homeowners convert the equity in their home into cash. They can give older Americans greater financial security to supplement social security, meet unexpected medical expenses, make home improvements, and more. Our team of loan officers can review your financial situation and help you decide if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

What is streamline refinance?


If you now owe more on your home loan than the value of your home – in other words, you are upside down on your mortgage – this may be the right option for you. This refinancing option is considered streamlined because it allows you to reduce the interest rate on your current home loan quickly and often without an appraisal. If you currently have an FHA-insured loan, you may be eligible for an FHA streamline refinance. Our team of loan officers can help you decide if this is the right option for you.

What is an FHA loan?


An FHA loan is a real estate mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Since the FHA insures these mortgages, Citizens Home Loans of America can work with you even if you have had credit problems or you have debt-to-income ratios that are higher than normally allowed for a conventional loan.

Can I still get a home loan if I have bad credit?


“Bad credit” is a very misleading term. We’ve worked with many people who described themselves as having “bad credit” but who are now homeowners. If you’re concerned about your credit score and your ability to qualify for a home loan, please contact our team of loan officers who will work with you to review your current financial situation and your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

What is a FICO credit score and why is my score important?


A “FICO score” is simply a numeric summary of the information in your credit reports that represents your potential credit risk. A higher FICO score means that you are a lower credit risk and you will probably be approved at better rates and terms than if your FICO score is lower. If you have a low score, you could be approved with less attractive interest rates or be declined for a mortgage by many lenders. At Citizens Home Loans of America, we can often help you purchase a home even if you have a lower FICO score. Our team of loan officers can review your financial situation and help you qualify.

What types of houses qualify for FHA loans?


All of the following qualify: single family houses, duplexes, triplexes, 1-4 unit primary residences, Planned Urban Developments (PUDs), approved condominiums, double-wide manufactured homes, and modular or pre-cut housing.

Isn’t it harder for houses to qualify for an FHA mortgage than a traditional mortgage?


If a home is in good enough condition to qualify for a traditional mortgage, it will generally also qualify for an FHA mortgage.

What are the requirements for a USDA Rural Development loan?


Citizens Home Loans of America works with the Unites Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) for loans for first-time buyers in rural areas within our service area of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Loans can be provided for many types of houses in qualifying areas. Our team of loan officers can help determine if your house would qualify for a Rural Development loan.

Is it a good idea to get pre-qualified for a home loan?


Getting pre-approved for a loan is one of the best steps you can take if you are considering purchasing a home. We recommend that you start the pre-approval process long before you actually bid on a home. Sellers will be more willing to negotiate a favorable sales price for you if they know you already have been pre-approved. A pre-approval means you already have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed, and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount – and that means an easier sales process for the seller.

Citizens Home Loans of America is an approved lender of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage programs. As an authorized program sponsor of the Federal Housing Administration, Citizens Home Loans can begin processing your application immediately.
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