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Homes and Community Renewal

How Do I Apply for a SONYMA Mortgage?

So now that you're interested in a SONYMA mortgage and believe that you may be eligible, how do you apply? Proceed with the following steps:

1) Get Pre-Qualified with a SONYMA Participating Lender

Contact a SONYMA participating lender (click here to see a list of Participating Lenders) and get pre-qualified for a SONYMA loan. Home purchasers armed with a pre-qualification letter from a lender are in a much stronger position when negotiating the sale of a home. It will also provide you with the approximate price range of homes you can afford. If the lender determines that you would not qualify for a mortgage at that time, they can suggest ways for you to improve your ability to be qualified in the future. (Click here to learn more about how to repair prior bad credit.) The lender will need for you to supply, for all loan applicants, the following minimum documentation:

  • information about your work history and what sources of income you have (have copies of your most recent pay stubs available);

  • bank account balances and account numbers, as well as bank branch addresses (have your two most recent monthly bank statements available);

  • information on all outstanding debts (including loans and credit cards, with names and addresses of creditors and account numbers);

  • landlord information including names, addresses and dates of rental;

  • last three years signed Federal income tax returns

  • copy of divorce decree/separation agreement (if applicable).

2) Find a Home and Sign a Contract

Once you find a home in your price range and agree on a price with the property seller, you must execute a contract of sale. Typical things to expect during this process include:

  • Initially, you will probably sign a purchase offer that requires you to pay a good faith deposit of $1,000 or less. The deposit shows that you are serious about purchasing the home. Once the seller signs the offer, it becomes a contract. Make sure the purchase offer gives you the opportunity to review the contract with an attorney. SONYMA recommends that you hire an attorney who specializes in real estate. You might also want to consider finding a real estate attorney on your own and not one recommended by your realtor, the property seller, or other interested party.

  • At minimum, the contract should have clauses that enable you to cancel the contract (and get your downpayment back) if (a) your mortgage application is turned down, (b) an inspection of the property (done by a professional home inspector company hired by you) reveals serious defects with the property, (c) a pest inspection shows a serious termite or pest infestation, or (d) the seller cannot provide you with clear, unencumbered title, etc.

  • Once the final contract is fully negotiated and executed, you will most likely be required to put down a more substantial downpayment - sometimes as high as 10% of the sales price. If you fail to meet the terms of your contract and you do not purchase the home, you may lose this deposit. Note: If the sales contract requires you to pay a higher downpayment than you can afford, SONYMA will allow you to finance up to 97% and as such you can be reimbursed the amount of additional downpayment you made at the signing of the contract.

  • SONYMA will not permit a lender to register your loan with us until they've received a fully executed sales contract (signed by all buyers and sellers).

3) Sign an Updated Loan Application and Lock Your Interest Rate

Before the lender can register your loan with SONYMA and lock-in your interest rate, they will need you to sign a new loan application. The new application will reflect specific information stated in the sales contract such as the address of the property being purchased, the sales price, the loan amount, etc.

4) Stay in Touch with Your Lender and Attorney

Buying a home and getting a mortgage requires cooperation from all sides. Don't assume that no news is good news. Keep in frequent contact with your lender to ensure there is nothing they are expecting from you. If any additional documentation is requested of you by the lender, supply it in a quick and timely manner. Also, touch base with your attorney from time to time to ensure there are no issues from his/her end.

Once the lender completes your loan package, both SONYMA and its mortgage pool insurer must review your loan. The typical SONYMA loan adds about one week to the processing time of a conventionally processed loan.