Getting a Mortgage

How long does it take to get a mortgage?

After you submit all the required paperwork and documents to us, it typically takes 30 days to close on your mortgage. However, closing times vary based on many factors, so check with your Home Loan Advisor early in the process to better understand when you can expect to close.

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

A pre-approval is a written commitment from a lender for a specific loan amount that will be available to you when you decide to make an offer on a house.

How do I get a pre-approval letter?

After you submit an application for a loan, a loan officer will contact you to review your application. If you are pre-approved, the loan officer will typically email you the pre-approval letter.

What steps should I take before I apply for a pre-approval?

Before you apply for a pre-approval, you’ll want to check your current credit report to verify that all information is correct, and to see if there are any improvements you want to make to your credit to boost your chances of qualifying for a better rate.

Once you’re ready to apply, gather the following information from all applicants to get the process started quickly:

  • W2 forms for the last 2 years
  • Pay stubs for the last 1 to 3 months
  • Personal tax returns for the last 2 years
  • Social Security Number
  • Monthly debt and living expenses
  • Deposit account and asset information held by financial institutions other than Navy Federal

Can I buy a home if I have less-than-perfect credit?

Yes, you can buy a home even if you have less-than-perfect credit. For more information on which product is best for you, call us at 1-888-842-6328.

How is my mortgage interest rate determined?

Navy Federal takes into account many factors to determine your mortgage interest rate, including, but not limited to:

  • Your credit score
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Type of loan you are applying for
  • Loan amount
  • Loan term
  • Property location
  • Property type
  • Market conditions based on the U.S. economy

What is the difference between an interest rate and an annual percentage rate (APR)?

The interest rate is the cost you pay each year to borrow money, expressed as a percent. An APR includes the interest rate plus other costs such as mortgage insurance, discount points and some closing costs and loan origination fees.

What is a rate lock and when should I lock?

A rate lock means the interest rate on your loan won't change as long as you close within the specified time frame and there are no changes to your application.

Navy Federal offers a Freedom Lock guarantee. If rates go up, your rate stays the same. If rates go down, your rate drops. To take advantage of Freedom Lock, you must contact your loan officer to re-lock at the lower rate, a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days prior to settlement/closing. Your loan must close within sixty (60) days of the initial lock.

Freedom Lock is available for new applications on purchase loans at no additional fee, with a maximum interest rate reduction of up to 0.25%.

What if I find a lower rate with another lender?

Navy Federal offers a rate match guarantee. If you find a better rate at another lender, we’ll match it. And if we can’t, we’ll give you $1,000 after you close with the competing lender. To qualify for our rate match guarantee, you’ll need to lock in your rate with us before you submit your rate match request. We’ll need a Loan Estimate from the competing lender that is dated and received within three (3) calendar days of locking in your interest rate with us. Loan terms on the competing loan must be identical to the terms of your Navy Federal loan.

If we can’t match the competing rate and you qualify to receive $1,000, you must provide a signed executed copy of the final Closing Disclosure from the competing lender and a copy of your final mortgage note within thirty (30) calendar days of your loan closing. Once approved, $1,000 will be automatically deposited into your Navy Federal account within thirty (30) days of receiving the necessary documentation.

What fees should I expect?

Common types of mortgage fees include origination fees, application fees, credit report fee, appraisal fees, processing and underwriting fees. Navy Federal does not require an application fee. Applicable fees will be listed on your loan estimate form, which you'll receive after applying for a mortgage.

What is a Loan Estimate?

A Loan Estimate is an industry-standard form that we'll give you after you apply for a mortgage. It provides you with important information about your loan, including the estimated interest rate, your monthly payment estimate and expected closing costs. Because these line items are estimates, certain costs may change between the original Loan Estimate and your closing date.

How are closing costs calculated?

Closing costs are comprised of various fees, which vary by lender, location, and loan type. They typically amount to 2% to 4% of your home’s purchase price. Common fees include appraisal fees, property taxes, mortgage insurance and title fees. They are identified on your Loan Estimate. Because these fees are estimates, certain costs may change between the original Loan Estimate and your closing date.

Can closing costs be rolled into the mortgage loan?

Yes. For most loan types, Navy Federal allows you to roll closing costs into your loan. How much you can roll in may depend on the type of loan you have. If you are purchasing a home with a VA loan, you cannot roll closing costs into the mortgage, except for the funding fee. Your loan officer can provide you with more information.

How do I pay my closing costs

You’ll need to provide closings costs through a wire transfer or cashier’s check, or have the funds transferred directly from your Navy Federal account. For closing costs under $1,000, a personal check may be accepted. Be prepared to have closing costs available up to two (2) days before your closing date.

Do I need a real estate agent?

It’s a good idea to use a real estate agent when you’re buying a home. Navy Federal can match you with a top-performing agent with expertise in your area through our RealtyPlus® program. You can also get rewarded cash back when you use this program to buy or sell your home.1

Mortgage Loans, Rates and Features

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

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same for the life of your loan. With an adjustable rate, your loan begins with a fixed rate for a specified period of time and then adjusts higher or lower based on an index.

What are discount points?

Discount points are optional fees you can pay directly to Navy Federal at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. Depending on how long you plan to be in your home, it might make sense to pay these points and obtain a lower rate.

What is private mortgage insurance (PMI)?

PMI is insurance that a buyer pays to protect the lender in case your loan ends up in foreclosure. Though most lenders require PMI, Navy Federal offers many loan products that don’t require PMI, which can keep your monthly payment lower.

Does Navy Federal offer construction loans?

Navy Federal does not offer funding for new construction. However, once construction is complete, you can refinance your funding into a mortgage loan with Navy Federal.

Do I need a down payment?

Not always. Several of our mortgage loans are available to qualified applicants with little or no down payment.2

How do I show that I’m eligible for a VA loan?

You’ll need to provide a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for your COE through the Department of Veterans Affairs, or your loan officer can help obtain it for you.

Managing Your Mortgage

What makes up my mortgage payment?

Your monthly mortgage payment to Navy Federal typically includes payments to principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Depending on the specific terms of your loan, you may have the option to pay for taxes and insurance separately.

What is an escrow account?

An escrow account is an account managed by the lender to pay the property taxes and hazard insurance on behalf of the homeowner. When you take out a mortgage with us, we set up an escrow account and collect an additional amount with your monthly mortgage payment sufficient to cover the taxes and insurance when due. It saves you time because we assume the responsibility of paying these bills on time, and helps you spread out these costs over the entire year.

Can I pay extra towards the principal on my loan?

As long as your loan is not delinquent, you can pay extra toward the principal of your loan anytime. When making your payment online, select the “Additional Principal and Escrow” option and enter the amount you wish to pay.

How do I pay off my mortgage?

The balance due listed in your account will cover the majority of your loan. However, it is often different than your pay-off balance. For example, if a bill is due (such as an insurance payment) additional interest, escrow charges or fees may still be due. Your payment would need to cover all of these costs to get to a zero balance.

To receive a total pay-off quote for your loan, please contact us at 1-888-842-6328.


1 The cash-back bonus is offered in most states and is available for individual sales and purchases of property; offer limited to one cash-back bonus per property with no limit on the amount of times you may use the program. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the cash-back bonus. The program is not available in IA or outside the U.S. Cash-back bonus is not available in AK, LA or OK. In KS and TN, a gift card with preloaded points that are ready for spending at specified retail establishments after closing will be issued. State regulations in KS limit the dollar amounts and the type of incentive. In MS, NJ, and OR, a commission reduction may be available at closing. Please check with the program coordinator for details. This is not a solicitation if you are already represented by a real estate broker. The cash-back bonus is only available with the purchase or sale of your home through the use of a program-referred and -approved real estate agent. The size of your cash back award depends on the value of the property you are buying or selling. Obtaining the full $8,000 cash back award requires transacting in a property valued at $1.75 million or greater. To calculate the size of you potential cash back, please visit All real estate transactions are negotiable. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions. Standard listing fees apply.

2 May include an additional funding fee, which may be financed up to the maximum loan amount. Product features are subject to approval.