Mortgage 101

You’re about to buy your first home and you couldn’t be more excited. This is such an important milestone and you want to make sure you get it right. The thought of a mortgage can be stressful, but don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dream of owning your own house. Here is what you need to know about getting a mortgage:

Loan Types

There are multiple loan types to look into when considering a mortgage. Having options is very beneficial so you can find the perfect mortgage to fit your needs, however it can be overwhelming. Below is a chart with basic information about loan types to get you started. It is okay to still be unsure, that is what your mortgage officer is there for. They are with you every step of the way to guide you through the process and answer any questions you have.

Home Loan TypeDescriptionAvailable Term Lengths
Fixed-rate mortgageLoan that provides a predictable payment schedule by maintaining the same rate for the life of the loan.30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 year
Adjustable rate mortgageLoan that starts with a fixed rate for an initial term, then changes to an adjustable rate.3/1, 5/1, 7/1
VA mortgageFixed-rate loan up to 100% financing for qualified veterans, with little or no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance.30 and 15 year
FHA mortgageGovernment-insured fixed rate loan with low down payment and low interest rate.  30 and 15 year
USDA mortgageMortgage program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; loans with low interest rates and no down payment.30 year
Jumbo mortgageLoan amounts greater than $484,350 with 720 credit score. Call for additional details.30 and 15 year

Documents Required

You’ve researched loan types and are ready to move forward to the next step. What do you need to bring with you when you meet with your mortgage officer?

  • 2 years of W2s and tax returns
  • 1 month of paystubs
  • 2 months of bank statements

Credit Scores

What if your credit score isn’t outstanding? Higher credit scores tend to receive lower interest rates, however you do not need excellent credit in order to get a mortgage. Most mortgage loans require a credit score of 620 minimum.


Mortgage loan rates change frequently. Once you find a rate that you are satisfied with, you can lock it in with your mortgage officer for anywhere from 15 to 60 days. You can view mortgage loan rates at

Now What?

If you would like more details about mortgage loans, contact one of our mortgage officers at the U of I Community Credit Union by emailing or calling 217-278-7700. We are proud to be your financial coach and will work with you throughout the entire process. Because when it comes to serving this community, nobody has more spirit than we do.

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