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How to find the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers
September 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM
How to find the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers

It can be confusing to buy your first home. There are a lot of hoops to jump through that are meant to determine if you can handle the financial burden of the home as well as protect the lender. Because the process for buying a house is so different from most other things in life, it’s important that you work with the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time home buyers. At Mortgages By Jill, we can help you make informed decisions when choosing a lender and buying your home. To get started, we’ve included six questions you can ask to make sure you’re working with the right people.

What kind of credit score do I need to get a mortgage?

The simple answer to this question is that it depends on several factors. These include the type of loan you’re getting, how much money you want to put down, and how much you’re willing to pay in interest. The better the credit score you have, the better your chances of getting a low interest rate. So, if you feel like your credit score could use some work before buying a home, it’s probably not a bad idea to pay off some debts before you look to buy.

What interest rate can I get?

It’s not uncommon for buyers to get interest rates that are going to be around 3.0%. The final rate that you get from your lender will depend on the final property value, the amount of the loan you apply for, the term of the loan, and your credit score. We can work together to find a loan that works best for your budget and meets the needs of the home you plan to buy.

Do you offer a mortgage rate lock?

A mortgage rate lock is an important part of buying a home because it ensures that the rate you were given at the time you started closing on your house won’t change. For instance, if you started buying a home today and were offered a 3.05% interest rate on the loan but it takes 60 days to close on the loan, you could see an increase in your rate to 3.25%. While this feels like an insignificant increase now, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars more in your loan every year. Locking your mortgage rate is a great way to make sure that you get the rate you were initially offered.

Can you do prequalification or preapproval?

When you’re shopping for a home, you can quickly narrow your search by getting a prequalification or preapproval. Doing prequalifications and preapprovals sound like they’re the same process but they are somewhat different. The principle behind them is to make sure that you do qualify for the cost of a home you’re looking at buying, but the processes are slightly different. A prequalification is much less formal and the lender will simply ask for financial information to provide you with an amount you qualify for. Preapprovals require official documentation of W-2s, bank statements, tax returns, and more to provide you with a more accurate number.

How much of a down payment do I need?

Whether or not you need a down payment depends entirely on the type of loan you’re getting and the size of the loan you’re applying for. Many lenders will require some type of down payment as evidence that you’re serious about buying the home. This means that you have a significant amount of money invested and are considered less likely to default on the loan. A 10% down payment is not uncommon but 20% can improve your chances of getting approved for a loan and even help you get a lower interest rate.

Reach out to speak with a lender

If you’re looking for the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers, get in touch with us at Mortgages By Jill. Our team can help you get started buying your first home and securing a mortgage. Give us a call at 336-740-9098 or send a message with your inquiry. We look forward to being a part of your home-buying experience.

4 specialty home loans with Greensboro mortgage companies
August 17, 2021 at 5:00 AM
A mother and father looking at a board game while their young child stands in front of them, looking ready to play. Image accompanies a blog post on specialty home loans people may qualify for by working with Greensboro mortgage companies.

Thinking of buying your first home or an additional property? Before you start looking up Greensboro mortgage companies, it’s important to have a general understanding of the different types of specialty home loans you may qualify for. This could be the difference between getting approved for a loan and missing out on the house of your dreams!

Here at Mortgages By Jill, we’re dedicated to providing education along with high-quality mortgage lending services. Below, you’ll find some information on a few different specialty home loans.

What is a specialty home loan?

If you aren’t able to qualify for a conventional home mortgage, you may find that a specialty program can help you secure a loan. Specialty home loans are available to certain professions, such as doctors, veterans, firefighters and other first responders, and more. They can also apply to unique situations, such as being a first-time homebuyer or wanting to add energy-efficient features to a home.

Types of specialty home loans

Medical professional loans

Medical professionals often carry significant student loans or other debt that can affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage. Luckily, there are physician loan programs designed especially for them. These types of loans typically come with a very low down payment, with no private mortgage insurance required.

You don’t necessarily need an “MD” by your name to qualify for this type of loan, either — dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, and a range of other medical professionals may qualify.

VA loans

This type of mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you’ve served or are serving in the military, you automatically qualify for a VA loan. That means veterans, reservists, active-duty personnel, and even family members can qualify. Typically, VA loans don’t require a minimum credit score or down payment.

FHA loans

An FHA loan is offered through the Federal Housing Administration and is designed to help homebuyers who have limited funds for down payments. This program is available to people of all income levels and allows for a co-applicant to improve your chance of qualifying for a loan. You will still need a credit score of at least 500, however.

FHA mortgages can require a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, but the downside to these is that you’ll have to pay the mortgage insurance premium — which can be thousands of dollars.

USDA rural housing loans

It may come as a surprise, but an estimated 97 percent of U.S. citizens can qualify for a USDA home loan. These loans are offered through the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. As you might guess, the program is designed to encourage more people to move to non-urban areas.

If your income is low to average for your area, this program is a great option — namely because you can secure up to 100 percent financing! That means no scrambling to cover a large down payment. Other benefits include some of the lowest interest rates on the market, low monthly fees, competitive interest rates and loan terms, and flexible credit guidelines. There is no minimum credit score, although you’ll have to qualify through manual underwriting if you have a score below 640.

Find out what specialty home loans you may qualify for with Mortgages By Jill

When it comes to both conventional and specialty home loans, you can place your trust in Jill Burgess. Jill has been helping aspiring homebuyers successfully apply for loans for over 30 years. In that time, she has personally funded over $2 billion in mortgage loans. If you’re dreaming of buying a home, give Mortgages By Jill a call at 336-740-9068, or reach out through our online contact form. We look forward to helping you secure a home loan that fits your needs.

Little-known facts about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans
July 12, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Little-known facts about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never bought a home or it’s been decades since you have, it can be difficult to learn the ins and outs of home loans. With, you can get expert advice navigating the housing market. From interest rates to qualifications, you can learn more about what it takes to buy your next house. Keep reading below for some facts that you might not know about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans.

Shopping around can save you money

When you’re trying to secure a home loan, you don’t have to take the first loan you’re offered. You can sit down at a bank and they’ll offer you a mortgage with a specific interest rate and term. You can usually hold onto this offer for an extended period of time of as much as six months. Speak with other lenders and work with a mortgage broker to find the best rate for you and your budget. This could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage.

You don’t always need a down payment

You’ll hear a lot of advice that says you need to save somewhere around 20% for a down payment when you buy a home. This is a considerable amount of money and if you’re renting somewhere with a high rent it can take a very long time to get there. A down payment is recommended so that you can buy a larger home than without it and you can show a lender that you’re committed by putting your own money in the pot. While this isn’t the case with all loans, you can still qualify without making a down payment.

Your mortgage broker can help you refinance

Whether you’re looking to get a lower monthly payment from a lower interest rate or want some cash-out for some remodeling, you can reinforce your mortgage. Work with a mortgage broker to find a better interest rate. This will not only give you the option of a lower monthly mortgage payment, but it will also make it easier for you to pay it off much sooner than if you kept your original mortgage.

Paying a little extra goes a long way

You can pay your mortgage off years in advance by making payments even $100 above your minimum monthly payment. This amounts to $1,200 every year and $12,000 over the course of 10 years. You could pay off your mortgage early and save thousands of dollars in interest. However, it’s important to be aware of potential early payoff fees that are attached to your mortgage as banks will often include them to recoup what they’ve lost from years of interest.

Self-employment can make it difficult to qualify

Those who are self-employed often have difficulty getting approved for a loan that they would normally qualify for. This is because they typically write-off expenses so their tax documents show that they’re making less money than they really are. When this is the case, you’re going to want to be able to document your true income to demonstrate to your lender that you are indeed qualified.

Get in touch to learn more

If you have any questions about working with Greensboro mortgage brokers, please don’t hesitate to reach out to We’ve been helping our neighbors secure financing for a home loan for 30 years and will do the same for you. Give us a call at 336-740-9068 or send a message using our online contact form. We’re here for you seven days a week because you never know when you’re going to find the home of your dreams.

5 myths about Greensboro down payment assistance programs
June 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM
5 myths about Greensboro down payment assistance programs

Buying a home can be a time-consuming and expensive process. For some, the prospect of saving money for years to have a large enough down payment to buy a home can seem difficult or even unattainable. Fortunately, there are Greensboro down payment assistance programs that can help homebuyers get the funding they need to purchase a home. At, I know there are some myths surrounding down payment assistance, so I’m here to dispel them.

Myth #1: For first-time buyers only

A first-time homebuyer isn’t necessarily someone who hasn’t ever purchased a home. In fact, to satisfy the requirement of a first-time buyer, you only have to go three years without buying a home. That being said, you don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for down payment assistance. These programs are specifically for buyers and aren’t available for investors. This means that the home being purchased must be a primary residency and cannot be used as a rental property.

Myth #2: It’s difficult to qualify

Qualifications vary based on specific criteria for each program. It can be difficult to qualify if you don’t find a program that’s right for you and your needs. The best strategy for finding a program that you qualify for is to begin searching early in the buying process. Once you find funding that you qualify for, begin the application process as soon as possible so you’re ready when you find the right house.

Myth #3: Programs are no longer funded

The idea that down payment assistance programs are no longer funded is false. There are public and private programs available that make millions of dollars available every year. Additionally, there are tax credits and affordable fixed-rate mortgages that you can look into during your research.

Myth #4: Down payment assistance is for cheap homes

It’s believed that assistance programs are designed to encourage buyers to purchase homes in specific neighborhoods. However, funding is available for those looking to buy homes that range from as low as $200,000 to $700,000 and more. Moreover, studies have shown that more than 70% of homes are eligible for funding.

Myth #5: Programs require long closing timelines

Closing on a home takes time no matter what kind of funding you’re using. Although, there’s a myth surrounding down payment assistance programs that it will bog down your buying time. While this might be true if you put off starting your application, it’s not if you get started right away. The timeline to close on your home is measured based on the date that you complete your application. Get as prepared as you can before you start the buying process and it will all go much smoother for you in the end.

Get in touch to learn more

If you’re considering buying a home and want more information about down payment assistance programs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ve worked with home buyers over the course of 30 years and funded more than two billion dollars in mortgage loans. I’m confident that I can help you find the financing that you need to buy your next home. Get in touch with me at You can reach me by calling 336-740-9068 or send a message using the contact form. I look forward to working with you as you buy your new home.

Steps to getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC
May 11, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Steps to getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC

Buying a house can be a long and stressful process. This is especially true if it’s your first time and you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, Jill Burgess of can help walk you through the process. Our team has put together a list of the steps for getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC so that you can plan accordingly if you’re looking to buy a house.

1. Pre-approval

Before shopping for a house, you have to know what your budget will be. You can, of course, hypothetically browse homes in the areas of town where you would like to be and look at different price ranges. But you won’t know which houses you can realistically afford before going through a pre-approval.

The pre-approval process doesn’t take a lot of time and is designed to make for a smooth home buying experience. A lender will pull your credit report to see your credit history and find a loan amount that you will qualify for. This not only makes it easier to shop within your budget but shows a seller that you are someone who can be considered a serious buyer of a home.

2. House shopping

When you’re shopping for a home, get help from a local real estate agent. They’re going to have inside knowledge of the housing market in the area as well as listings that you might not find on national sites like Zillow. With their insight into the local housing market, you can feel confident that you’re going to find a home that’s within your price range and has what you want. While the national listings are a great place to start, they aren’t going to show you the whole picture or provide you with a comprehensive view of homes in the area where you’re shopping.

Once you find the home that you want to buy, you’re going to make an offer on the home. An official offer comes with contingencies that include completed appraisals, inspections, and loan approval. You will also need to put down earnest money, or a deposit that lets the seller know that you are going to see the sale through to completion. With an accepted offer comes a purchase agreement, which will be signed by both you, the buyer, and the seller.

3. Mortgage application

In order to qualify for and finalize your loan, you’re going to need to provide more information to the lender. Most of it is related to employment and income, but there will be additional information to gather regarding assets and debts. If you have any items on your credit report that might draw negative attention from a lender, be prepared to explain what happened in that specific situation.

While applying for a loan, you’re going to have to choose which is best for you from the following options:

  • Fixed or adjustable
  • Conventional
  • Government-insured
  • Jumbo

4. Underwriting

The underwriter is the person who makes the final decision on your loan. They review all the material that’s provided from your credit history to your income and projected ability to pay back the mortgage. Once a final decision is made, it can either come with a straight approval or an approval with conditions. One such condition could be an explanation of a previous foreclosure or debts going to collections.

After the final approval is made, verification is required that all contingencies are met that were previously agreed upon. A meeting with a title company can now be arranged so you can sign the final paperwork and close the deal on the home.

Get help with

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are looking for a change, Jill Burgess with can help. She has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry and has personally funded more than $2 billion in loans. Give our team a call today at 336-740-9068 or send us a message using our online contact form. We’re here to help you get the right home for you and your family.

Understanding Different Options for Home Loans in Greensboro, NC
April 7, 2021 at 11:00 PM
Home loans in Greensboro, NC.

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s understandable that you’re having a tough time figuring out all the home loan options you can access. Or even if you’re now looking to purchase an additional property, the type of home loan you applied before may not fit your current circumstances.

After funding over $2 billion of mortgages here at Mortgages By Jill, we’ve developed an expert understanding of home loans in Greensboro, NC.

Go through this list and find one that fits your needs and circumstances.

Conventional mortgages

Conventional mortgages are those that lack any kind of backing from the government.

30-year-fixed mortgage

This is the most common type of home loan in Greensboro, NC, and all over the U.S.

Once you take out a 30-year mortgage, your interest rate never changes for the entire life of the loan.

And you’ll also have lower monthly payments than with a home loan covering a shorter repayment period.

You could decide to repay the loan faster by adding to your monthly payments.

15-year-fixed-rate mortgage

This type of home loan is often used for refinancing, and it has an interest rate that is set for the life of the loan.

The interest rate is typically lower than that for longer-term mortgages, but the monthly payments also tend to be higher.

Adjustable-rate mortgage

Adjustable-rate mortgages start with an initial rate that’s fixed for a specified period. Then, after that period, the interest rate is adjusted at agreed-upon intervals.

As an example, a 5/1ARM will have the same interest rate for the first five years. Each year after that, the rate is adjusted annually.

The initial rate, also known as the “teaser rate” tends to be lower than that for most other types of home loans.

Jumbo mortgage

Jumbo home loans are mortgages that exceed a certain amount, which varies from county to county and is adjusted periodically.

A jumbo mortgage can have either fixed or adjustable rates, and it often requires a credit score of 700 or higher to qualify.

The down payment is almost always 10% or more.

Interest-only mortgage

With an interest-only mortgage, you only make payments on the lender’s interest charge. The loan balance or principal amount doesn’t change during the payment period.

Before you can get approved for this mortgage, though, you’ll have to demonstrate to lenders that you own substantial assets or that you have a proven ability to make consistent payments.

Government-backed mortgages

Government-backed mortgages are those that are guaranteed or issued and backed by various departments of government. These include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Agriculture.

FHA mortgage

An FHA mortgage is a home loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. It’s backed by the government and meant to help borrowers on lower incomes purchase homes.

Unlike other types of home loans in Greensboro, NC that require down payments of 20%, FHA mortgages can stipulate down payments as low as 3.5%.

VA mortgage

A VA mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and you automatically qualify if you’re a serving member of the military or a veteran.

There’s typically no down payment required for this type of loan.

USDA mortgage

This type is issued by the US Department of Agriculture. There’s no down payment on most properties,

However, this option is subject to income limits and value caps on properties.

Let Mortgages By Jill help you decide on options for home loans in Greensboro, NC

Jill Burgess has been helping aspiring homebuyers like you apply for mortgages for over 30 years. Whether you’re still trying to figure out the right type of home loan or you need an expert to help you apply, let Jill help. Get in touch today by calling (336-740-9068), or leave a message to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways to Get Down Payment Assistance You May Not Know
March 2, 2021 at 10:30 PM
Down payment assistance can help get you into your first home faster.

When you’re ready to buy your own home, saving up a down payment can be a daunting task. Conventional wisdom says you should put down at least 20% of a home’s cost for manageable monthly payments, better interest rates, and to improve your LTV Ratio. For many families, putting away a significant amount of cash, including enough to cover closing costs and the first few months of mortgage payments, can be a genuine struggle.

There are down payment assistance programs (DPAP) available to help you get initial cash to make an offer on your dream home, just like these five.

#1. Community Partners Loan Pool North Carolina

The CPLP program is a second, 0 percent interest, and deferred second mortgage approved alongside a North Carolina Home Advantage mortgage. It doesn’t require a monthly payment–you repay it either when you sell your home or at the end of your mortgage.

  • Get up to 20% of the purchase price, up to $30,000.
  • Combines with other DPAP grants and loans.

There are some guidelines and requirements for applicants:

  • Credit score over 640.
  • Less than 43% debt load.
  • Income at 80% or less of NC median income.

I can help you establish if you qualify for the CPLP and sign you up for the required eight-hour class.

#2. NC Home Advantage Mortgage

The Home Advantage Mortgage is like the CPLP. It’s a second, concurrent mortgage with 0 percent interest and deferred until the end of the first mortgage’s terms. The Home Advantage differs in that it’s forgiven after year 15 if you don’t sell your home.

  • Provides payment help up to 5% of the loan amount.
  • First-time buyers and military veterans can get up to $8,000.

Veterans and first-time buyers can combine their DPA with the Home Advantage Tax Credit, saving them up to $2,000 in taxes each year.

#3. Greensboro Housing Connect

This $10,000 down payment assistance is for first-time homebuyers. It’s restricted to those buying a home in Greensboro. It provides an additional $5,000 for those buying a home in a city’s designated redevelopment area.

  • Five-year, 0 percent, forgivable loan as long as you remain in the home.
  • Only approved for fixed-rate 15- or 30- mortgages.

Applicants must complete an eight-hour course and meet specific income requirements to qualify.

#4. High Point City Wide Home Buyer Assistance Program

This program is specifically for low- to middle-income families purchasing homes within High Point city limits. The house can’t exceed 95% of the median purchase price, and the buyer must meet specific income requirements.

  • Buyers must put $500 towards the home purchase and have less than $10,000 in liquid assets.
  • The High Point program assists with both the down payment and closing costs.

The maximum amount awarded to applicants is $5,000 with a three-year deferment and 3% interest for five years.

#5. Good Neighbor Next Door Program

There are enormous opportunities for down payment assistance and significant money off the list price of a home for individuals in certain professions. If you’re a firefighter, EMT, K-12 teacher, or law enforcement officer, you qualify for the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

  • 50% off the list price for FHA loans on foreclosed homes owned by the HUD.
  • Buyers must live in the house for 36 months to qualify.

Participants in the program get early access to The HUD Store with current listings of available properties.

Apply for a mortgage with Jill Burgess to learn more about down payment assistance opportunities.

I work with down payment assistance programs at the state and local level to help first-time homebuyers get into their dream homes. As a preferred loan officer for North Carolina Finance Authority, I’m uniquely qualified to help home buyers navigate the complicated path to homeownership.

Buying your first home is possible, even if you don’t have perfect credit or tens of thousands in savings. Get in touch to get connected to down payment assistance resources or apply for a mortgage today.

Why do jumbo loans matter?
February 3, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Why do jumbo loans matter?

If you’re looking to buy or build a large home, you might be in need of a jumbo loan. At Mortgages By Jill, I can help you find out if this particular type of loan is right for you. Keep reading to learn more about jumbo loans and why they matter to you.

What’s a jumbo loan?

Mortgage loans that are larger than what is typical for the area and exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Because a jumbo loan is established by the local market, the limit loan will vary from state to state and there’s a maximum percentage that the loan can be used to finance your build. At Mortgages By Jill, I can help you get 95% financing and up to $3 million. Even with the financing limit, there is still a down payment required to qualify for your loan, which is typically about 20%.

Are lenders at risk?

The short answer is yes. Lenders are at tremendous risk with jumbo loans because they are not backed by Fannie Mae (FNMA) or Freddie Mac (FHLMC), which are government-sponsored organizations that provide security for lenders. Jumbo loans are not supported by these organizations because the limits are outside of limits that are insured.

Are interest rates higher?

Despite the tremendous risk for lenders, jumbo loan interest rates are not typically much higher than a traditional mortgage. In fact, if you have a high credit score you could qualify for a lower interest rate with a jumbo loan.

Are there special considerations for a jumbo loan?

Lenders might have different standards to qualify for a jumbo loan, but a few things to think about when considering a jumbo loan are:

  • What do your cash reserves look like?
  • Do you have a steady income?
  • Are you prepared for underwriting?

Cash reserves

Remember, lenders are not insured by the FHFA with jumbo loans and are at risk of losing out on large amounts of money if you default on your loan. Before you qualify for a loan, your lender might want to see that you have large cash reserves so you can continue to pay on your loan should there be a change in your steady income. Six to 18 months of payments are typically what a lender might want to see in your account.

Consistent income

As with any loan, a lender is going to want to make sure that you have income and the ability to continually pay on your loan. While consistent income is necessary, those who aren’t considered high income (more than $200,000 a year in North Carolina) aren’t likely to qualify.

Manually underwritten

A lender who is providing you with a jumbo loan will want to take an in-depth look at your finances. This means they’ll go through your income, debts, property details, and assets with a fine-toothed comb. This can take time, which means securing your loan can take longer than usual.

Is there a minimum credit score to qualify?

You will need to have a very good credit score to qualify for a jumbo loan. A minimum credit score can vary from lender to lender, but a minimum score of 680 is typical. Additionally, lenders will want to see a low debt-to-income ratio that comes in at around 40%. This means that your bills account for about 40% of your monthly income.

Get a loan from Mortgages By Jill

If you’re in need of a jumbo loan, get in touch with the team at Mortgages By Jill. I can help you get the financing you need for your new home or commercial project. Give me a call at 336-740-9068 or send a message using my online contact form after business hours. I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Mortgage options for new businesses in Winston-Salem, NC
January 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Mortgage options for new businesses in Winston-Salem, NC

If your new business is looking for a way to obtain funding, Mortgages By Jill can help you find the right financing option. While financing can be an issue for new businesses, we can help you learn more about how to get a mortgage in Winston-Salem, NC as well as which type is best for you. Keep reading to learn more about available options.

Permanent loan

What is it?

A permanent loan is typically a long-term loan that comes with a term of at least five years but 25 years is typical. These loans typically come with the lowest available interest rates. This type of loan is most similar to a residential real estate loan as it doesn’t come with any additional risks.

How do you qualify?

Qualifications require that a business owner hold a credit score above 700 as well as sustain one or more years in business. A debt 1.25 debt service coverage ratio is also required.

Hard money loan

What is it?

A hardy money loan is a fast way to get money for a property purchase or renovation. While most loans and mortgages are granted based on the borrower’s credit score and repayment history, a hard money loan is valued based on the value of the property. As with all mortgages, there are pros and cons to hard money loans. While this is a convenient and flexible method of borrowing, you will likely end up paying more in interest over a shorter period of time than other options. However, a hard money loan could be right for you and your business if you’re in a pinch.

How do you qualify?

In order to qualify for a hard money loan, you must have previously completed at least one to three commercial projects. Additionally, you, as the business owner, must have a FICO credit score of at least 600.

SBA 7(a) loan

What is it?

SBA 7(a) loans can range in amounts from $50,000 to $5 million. This funding can be used to buy or expand a business or purchase capital for operation. An SBA 7(a) loan offers the flexibility of the borrower to use the funding for these tasks, while other loans do not. However, you will find that a down payment and interest rate are not as friendly to the business owner.

How do you qualify?

An SBA 7(a) loan qualification requires a personal FICO score of 680 and above as well as at least two years of operation and two years of stable cash flow. A minimum 10 percent down payment is also required. Your business must have between 10 and 1,000 employees and own 51 percent of the existing building as well.

SBA 504 loan

What is it?

When a business owner obtains an SBA 504 loan, it’s important to have an understanding of the necessary requirements for using funds. An SBA 504 loan can be used for purchasing real estate and equipment, each of which come with their own fixed terms of 20 or 25 years for real estate and 10 years for equipment. Furthermore, this loan offers amounts from $125,000 up to $20 million with a fixed interest rate.

How do you qualify?

To meet qualification standards for an SBA 504 loan, the business owner is required 51 percent owner occupancy in an existing building as well as a 10-year minimum economic life on any financed equipment.

Get in touch with Jill

Get started finding the right mortgage option for your new business today. Get in touch with Jill Burgess and the rest of the team at Mortgages By Jill so we can help you get approved for your mortgage in Winston-Salem, NC

How to get mortgages for people with bad credit
December 3, 2020 at 7:00 AM
How to get mortgages for people with bad credit

Are you wanting to buy a home but have bad credit? Don’t let your credit score slow you down, because there are ways people just like you get mortgages for bad credit every day. In fact, most homebuyers don’t have perfect credit. More than 60 percent of homebuyers have a credit score that falls between 700 and 800. Mortgages By Jill offers information and resources to help you know the best things you can do to get a mortgage and fulfill your dream of owning your home.

How low is bad credit?

If you’re unsure where your credit score falls on the spectrum, a score between 580 and 669 is considered fair, while anything below 580 is poor. Anything above 670 is classified as good, very good, or excellent. If you’re concerned about your credit score, there are still options out there for you. Specific types of loans and lenders require a minimum credit score. For homebuyers who have credit below 600, your best options would be to ask your lender about FHA and USDA loans. FHA loans require a minimum credit score of 500, while USDA loans have no minimum requirement. However, a lender may have its own minimum score requirement. VA loans do not require a minimum score as well, so be sure to ask your lender about what it takes to meet the specific requirements for these loans.

Know your options

Like any other major decision you make in life, it’s important to do your research and figure out what options are available beforehand. Know your credit score and understand the options that are available to you. It’s also to gain a strong understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re looking to get a mortgage with bad credit, be aware that you’re much more likely to get handed a high interest rate. While your mortgage broker can help you get the lowest available rate, you’re likely not going to get a rate as low as somebody who has a better credit score.

Save for a large down payment

A great way to show a lender that you’re in this mortgage for the long run is to save a large down payment. Putting at least 10 percent down on your home is a good place to start. This means that if you’re looking to buy a home that costs $150,000, you’ll want to save at least $15,000. Does this take time? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Lenders like to see that buyers have a personal investment in your purchase, so you’re more likely to get approved for a loan with a sizable down payment.

Pay down debt

The best way to get a home loan with bad credit is to improve your credit. You can do this by making a concerted effort to pay down your debts. Something that lenders consider when approving or denying mortgages is your debt-to-income ratio. By paying down your debts and improving your ratio, you’ll be much more likely to get approved for the loan for which you’re applying.

Get a cosigner

There are times when you simply haven’t had a chance to improve your credit. Maybe you’re young and have not had any debt yet, but you are in a place financially where you can afford to buy a home. Get a cosigner to help. A cosigner gives a lender peace of mind that there’s a lower risk of defaulting on your loan.

Contact Mortgages By Jill

Jill Burgess of Mortgages By Jill has funded over $2 billion in mortgage loans over her 30-year career. You can be confident that Jill knows the necessary steps that need to be taken to ensure that you get a home loan. She is familiar with lenders in the Greensboro, NC area who will fund mortgages for bad credit. Call Mortgages By Jill at 336-740-9068 today or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Why Should I Work With a Loan Officer Near Me?
November 17, 2020 at 10:30 PM
A loan officer is your partner in finding home financing and can help you secure a mortgage.

If you’re just beginning your journey to homeownership, you’re probably overwhelmed with questions. What’s a loan officer? Do I need one? Are there any loan officers near me? The path to securing a home mortgage isn’t always straightforward. Think of a loan officer as your guide to financing your home purchase.

Loan officers are the human face of financial institutions. They meet with clients, evaluate their eligibility for financing, and find the right loan to help them buy a home. Even if you’re not in a traditional situation, a loan officer can help you get financing or on the path to future approval.

What does a loan officer do?

A loan officer represents a financial institution, like a bank or credit union. Loan officers use their comprehensive understanding of the loan application process to help clients find the best financing options. While much of the mortgage application now takes place online or digitally, a loan officer is the bank’s human face. They’re ready with answers to whatever question you might have as you choose a loan and apply.

It will probably be a loan officer who does the initial screening for your application to determine your eligibility for different mortgages. There’s not a one-size-fits-all loan for homebuyers. A loan officer assesses your finances, credit history, and down payment to find the best financing product for your situation.

As a preferred loan officer with North Carolina Finance Authority, I’ve helped countless clients with unique financial and credit situations to find the best financing for their homes over the last three decades.

How do I apply for a mortgage with a loan officer?

If you’ve tried to tackle a mortgage application alone, you know personalized, experienced help is invaluable. A loan officer works with you on the application to ensure everything is accurate and in order before sending it to the bank’s underwriter. It’s the underwriter who determines the applicant’s credit eligibility and approves the application.

Unfortunately, getting approved for a mortgage is just the start of the paperwork. A loan officer collects all the necessary closing documents. Every mortgage has different paperwork requirements, and it can vary by city and state. Your loan officer will make sure everything is in order for closing, as they’re familiar with the various requirements.

What kinds of loans can a loan officer find me?

You may not realize the various financing options the first time you walk into a bank to apply for a mortgage. If it’s your first home, there’s greater flexibility for the required credit history and down payment. If you’re a veteran, first responder, or teacher, there are even more options. Here are a few types of mortgages a loan officer might consider for you:

  • Medical professional mortgages
  • First time home buyer programs
  • Portfolio loans
  • Community partner loans
  • FHA loans

You don’t have to know the different requirements for these financing options because a loan officer has extensive knowledge about various programs and their applications.

If you’ve been dreaming of buying a home for a while, it’s worth it to make an appointment with a loan officer to discuss your options. You may be closer to homeownership than you think.

Are there loan officers near me?

I work with clients throughout the Triad of North Carolina with offices in Winston Salem and Greensboro. As a loan officer, I’m familiar with loan programs in cities across North Carolina, including High Point, Raleigh, and Charlotte. However, location doesn’t restrict my services. Many of my past clients, even out of state, get in touch when they’re ready to upgrade their homes. I’m always available by appointment to answer questions about the loan application and home buying process.

Do You Meet VA Loan Eligibility Requirements?
October 19, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Find out if you meet VA loan eligibility

Buying a home is one of the most exciting times of our lives, but it’s not always a simple process. In fact, it rarely is. However, VA loans help streamline the process for veterans and their families to get the homes they deserve.

If you’re exploring a VA loan, it’s important to understand VA loan eligibility requirements and determine whether or not you meet each requirement. Learning more about your qualifications can help speed up the process before reaching out to a lender or mortgage specialist. I’ve helped many veterans get the funding they need for their homes, and I can do the same for you. Here’s what you need to know about VA loans.

Who qualifies for VA loans?

Any military service veterans, including active-duty members and reserves, may qualify for a VA loan. Some eligible family members may also qualify. However, veterans must also have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and meet their lender’s minimum credit and income requirements.

Those eligible for a VA loan must meet one or more of the following:

  • Minimum 90 days’ consecutive active service during wartime
  • 181 days’ active service during peacetime
  • Six years’ service in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Marriage to a veteran who died during service or due to a service-related disability

Why is a COE required?

While COE’s are required, you do not need to have one before you apply for your VA loan. Do remember, though, that your COE confirms with your lender that you qualify for a VA loan and its benefits. Most lenders can look up your COE via the VA’s system, through which roughly two-thirds of COEs are brought up and issued.

Veterans have three common ways by which they may get a COE for their loan, including:

  • Through a VA-approved lender
  • Online application via the VA’s portal
  • By mail with a VA Form 26-1880

While the timeline of getting your COE is quick, you’ll need to provide specific documents depending on your type of service. For National Guard and Reserves, NGB Forms 22 and 23 are required. Other veterans must most often provide DD Form 214. However, other documents may be required as well.

Why choose a VA loan?

VA loans come with several benefits, including no VA-mandated minimum credit score, removing one of the most challenging barriers for many first-time homebuyers, and those who may have had trouble getting loans in the past.

Eligible applicants also benefit from no down payment requirements, removing another substantial hurdle for homebuyers of all backgrounds and circumstances. Additionally, any down payments made may come from a gift or grant. VA loans are also more accessible as they offer flexible income, debt, and credit requirements, and come with both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options. VA loans also do not require mortgage insurance.

Benefit from a VA loan from Mortgages by Jill

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, are fixing up your home, or buying a new one, VA loans help make the process much simpler, and get veterans the homes they deserve with less red tape than other types of loans impart.

If you have questions about your VA loan eligibility or you’re ready to get started and approved for your VA loan, reach out to me today.

VA loans cheat sheet: What to know
September 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
This is an image of a service member who bought a house with VA loans.

Buying a house is exciting, but it can also be a complex and stressful process. You will likely need a loan, but how do you know which is right for you? How do you go about getting a loan? If you’re a current or former military service member, you may qualify for a VA loan. Here’s your handy VA loan cheat sheet to help you find out if it’s the right option for you.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a type of loan offered through the Veterans Administration for eligible military service members. The loan can help you buy, build, or improve a home.

Who qualifies for a VA loan?

Eligible service members, including veterans, reservists, and active duty personnel, plus eligible family members, may qualify for a VA loan.

Benefits of getting a VA loan

VA loans offer a variety of benefits.

  • There’s no down payment required
  • Your down payment and closing costs may come from a gift or grant
  • Available options allow flexibility in income, debt and credit requirements
  • There’s no requirement for mortgage insurance
  • Loans are available in fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options

Types of VA loans

When it comes to VA loans, there are a number of different loan types available.

Purchase loan: A purchase loan can help you get better lending terms when seeking a loan to buy a house.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL): The NADL program helps Native American veterans as well as veterans married to a Native American receive a loan to purchase, build, or improve a home on federal trust land.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): If you already have a VA-backed home loan, you may be able to qualify for a VA-backed IRRRL to help reduce or stabilize your monthly payments.

Cash-out refinance loan: A VA-backed cash-out refinance loan allows you to take cash out of your home equity in order to pay for other needs, such as school costs, paying off debt, and more.

How to get a VA loan

Interested in getting a VA loan? There are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to do so. First, you’ll need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for one on the VA’s website, through the VA’s Web LGY system, or by mail.

Next, depending on which type of loan you’re seeking, you’ll need to work with a private mortgage company, such as Mortgages by Jill. I’ll help you through the loan process.

Before a loan can be given, I’ll request a VA appraisal of the house, which will give me more information about its market value, and I’ll look at your income information and credit score. If you qualify for the loan and your application is accepted, we’ll discuss the next steps for getting you into your new home.

About Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill

In my 30 years of experience, I’ve helped a number of people become homebuyers by personally funding more than $2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. In addition to VA loans, my company offers a variety of other loan types and programs, including programs for first time homebuyers, medical professionals, community personnel, and more. I know how big of an impact having your own home can make, and I’m passionate about making that a reality for residents in North Carolina and beyond.

There’s a lot to consider when applying for a loan. Mortgages by Jill is here to make the process feel less overwhelming. Click here to learn more or apply for a loan today.

5 Things You Need to Know about Lot Loans in North Carolina
August 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
lot land ready for development in north carolina

Many homeowners want to explore various options when developing their forever home. Questions come up like, “Is it best to purchase a turnkey home?” or “How much would it cost to renovate an older home?”

One question that comes up is “Should we purchase land and build our own custom home?” However, lot loans in North Carolina can involve quite a bit more than you’d expected.

That’s why you need a loan officer with experience in lot loans. I’m here to help guide you through five things you need to know about lot loans, so you can decide if buying land in North Carolina is the right choice for you.

1. Not all land is lot land

If you’ve found an area of land that you like, you’ll want to be sure you know what kind of land it is. You need to find out if this is lot land or raw land. Lot land is more suitable for residential development for several reasons. It typically has access to utilities, septic systems, and roads.

2. Lot land is more financially viable than raw land

Raw land is not usually ready for residential development. This is because raw land is typically not surveyed or zoned for boundaries. So can be many more risks involved to bring the raw land up to code. Since lot land is ready for development, banks are more likely to offer lot loans for a more secure investment.

3. A lot loan down payment depends on land usage

Just the same as a business investment, banks will determine the down payment for a lot loan based on the use of the land. Banks can see immediate return on investment for an existing home, whereas building a new home on land can lead to many unexpected hurdles. This is another reason why raw land is less favored by banks, and lot land is a safer investment.

4. The better the land, the lower the cost

If you are looking to build your dream home, you’ll want to find the highest quality property to build it on. There are many reasons for this, one being that better quality land typically requires a lower down payment. This is because it will take less time to get residential property onto the land. So be sure to review all the information about the land once it has been zoned and surveyed.

5. There are various loan options available for lot loans

Here is another reason why it’s important to work with a loan officer. Since there are several different aspects involved in financing land, there are several loan options to review. There are home equity loans, HSDA loans, credit unions, and seller financing to name a few. All of these loans should be carefully considered. Working with a loan officer will help make sure you find the best option for your land.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to learn about land loans. By all means, don’t let this discourage you from your dream of building your own custom home on a unique property. But it’s best if you work with a loan officer with experience in the area. You’ll have access to an invaluable resource throughout the process, so you can feel confident in your investment.

When you work with me, you’ll be working with a loan officer who cares. I have experience in helping clients obtain lot loans in Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities throughout North Carolina. And with 30 years of experience, I promise to help you find the best option as you plan for your future.

Contact me today to start building for your future.

The Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Expert in Winston-Salem, NC
July 15, 2020 at 4:00 AM
get the Winston-Salem, NC, home of your dreams with a mortgage expert's assistance

When it comes to selecting a mortgage expert to help you finance your Winston-Salem, NC, home, taking the time to find someone with the right experience and expertise is essential. Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or this your second or third home, unrivaled guidance can make a huge difference.

For 30 years, people have turned to me to help them get the loans they need to move into their homes. In that time, I’ve funded more than $2 billion to help individuals and families finance their homes—and helped them understand their options before reaching a decision that works best for them.

Here’s how I can help you get the loan you need.

Offering Expert Advice to My North Carolina Neighbors

In the past three decades, I’ve had the privilege of guiding North Carolinians through the often complex process of exploring, choosing, and getting approved for a loan. My experience extends beyond Winston-Salem; I’ve helped homeowners in Greensboro, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities get the loans they need.

My 30 years of experience working across the state (and outside of it) has given me the opportunity to see countless unique situations and to understand how to best provide guidance to ensure you get the right loan for your situation. These diverse circumstances have helped me better understand individuals’ needs and, while each case is unique, see where ceratin situations overlap and apply those learnings to others’ cases.

When you reach out to me for your 30-minute consult, I’ll get the chance to learn more about your financial circumstance and personal needs. This helps me understand which loan(s) may be best for you.

I especially enjoy helping first-time homebuyers understand the lending process, grants, down payment assistance, and special financing options so they can experience the pride and peace of mind that comes with owning a home.

But first-time homeowners and others alike have several options. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans help future homeowners of all income levels receive the financial assistance they need to own their home. These loans are great for you if you anticipate owning a lower-priced home with a small down payment or do not have much cash upfront for either the down payment or closing costs.

But for those who need significant financial assistance, I can help you get a jumbo loan. These loans are perfect for those who need up to $3 million to secure the home of their dreams.

I’m also proud to help those who serve our communities get the financial assistance they need to own their homes. Through medical professional mortgages and community partners loans, I can help healthcare professionals, law enforcement, firefighters, educators, and first responders receive the assistance required to get the home they deserve.

Let’s Get You into the Home of Your Dreams

I understand that no two potential homeowners have the same financial situations, personal wants, needs, or dreams. But in my 30 years of experience, I’ve come to understand that, no matter a person’s background or financial situation, everyone deserves a home—and I’m proud to help my Winston-Salem, NC, neighbors get the funding they need to move into theirs. Reach out to me today to take the first step to get the loan that’s right for you.

Jill Burgess’ Top 3 Tips For Buying Your First Home
June 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM
I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

Buying a home for the first time can be an intimidating process. There are countless different types of available loans, eligibility can be multi-tiered and complicated, and the whole experience can quickly go from exciting to stress-inducing. That’s why I’m committed to demystifying the complex aspects and putting your perfect home within your reach.

Here are my top 3 tips for buying your first home.

NC Home Advantage Mortgages

An NC Home Advantage Mortgage has the potential to make a dramatic difference in your first home-buying experience. Through this 30 year fixed rate loan, you can receive down payment assistance up to 5% of your total loan amount. Better yet, that’s without having to pay any interest. It can be used in association with FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loans.

As a result, money saved through an NC Home Advantage Mortgage can be reallocated to furniture, moving, and other associated moving costs.

Down Payment Assistance

There are multiple available forms of down payment assistance for purchasing your first home in North Carolina.

For instance, you might qualify for the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program if you meet the following conditions:

  • Be a first-time home buyer.
  • But a new or existing house as a primary residence.
  • Meet specific income limits.
  • Receive no more than 20 percent of the purchase price in DPA.
  • Complete a HUD-approved 8-hour, in-person homebuyer education course.
  • Secure a fixed-rate, 15- or 30-year mortgage.

Similarly, NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment provides $8,000 in down payment assistance. You could qualify for up to $30,000 of down payment assistance depending on the specifics of your circumstances as a first-time home buyer.

As a mortgage expert for 30 years, I can help narrow down your options and ensure you receive the most possible assistance.

Core City Homebuyer Incentive Program

The Core City Home Buyer Incentive Program provides financial benefits to homebuyers in particular areas of Core City. This is done in order to increase income diversification in the area.

The program provides $5,000 of assistance via a 5-year loan at 0% interest, forgiven at 20% per year. This is provided that your property sales price does not exceed $200,000 and is located in the Core City or Springbrook Meadows.

Don’t neglect to consider these kinds of incentive programs when choosing your new home’s potential location. It could make a dramatic difference for your budget!

Contact Mortgages By Jill Today

These aforementioned tips could potentially save you thousands of dollars, but they’re only a small fraction of my knowledge on mortgages. From the High Point City Wide Home Buyer Assistance Program to the Good Neighbor Next Door Program, there are multiple routes towards buying your first home— but only one of those paths is the right path for you.

If you want my expertise on your team, contact Mortgages By Jill today to schedule a consultation. Let’s find your dream home together without breaking the bank.

What You Didn't Know About First Home Mortgages
May 11, 2020 at 4:00 AM
first home mortgages

If you're like most first-time buyers, you need a home loan, or mortgage, to finance your first property purchase. However, if you've never applied for a home loan before, the whole process can seem daunting and overly complicated. Don't worry. It's actually much more straightforward than it looks! Here's what you should know about first home mortgages and why it's easier to apply for a home loan than it seems. 

You Don't Need a Certain Down Payment

I'm not sure why so many people believe that they need to make a 20% minimum down payment on a property, but it's simply not true. Sure, you might secure lower interest rates if you make a higher down payment, but you can still qualify for a home loan with as little as a 3% down payment. 

Down Payment Assistance Is Available 

Struggling to save up for a down payment? Don't worry! This is common, and there are various down payment assistance programs on offer to help you out. I'm familiar with all the home incentive and down payment assistance products available across the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area, and I can advise you on everything, from your eligibility right through to making your initial application.  

Shopping Around May Save You Money

When you're looking for a first home mortgage, you should do two things: do your research and speak with a professional loan officer. Shopping around is the only way to ensure that you understand all the loan options available and find the one best suited to your unique circumstances. And, by working with an experienced loan officer like me, you'll get all the support you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options. 

Support Exists for Low-Income Buyers

Even if you're a low-to-moderate-income buyer, it's still absolutely possible for you to secure a home loan. There are numerous support programs available, including High Point's City-Wide Homebuyer Assistance Program and USDA loans. Whatever your financial situation, you deserve a shot at joining the property ladder, and I'm here to help you take that first step. 

Bad Credit Isn't Fatal

Seriously – a less than ideal credit rating is no reason to give up on finding a home loan. Although it's true that a better credit score makes it easier to secure a mortgage, there are financing options out there for every first-time buyer. Government-insured loans such as Federal Housing Administration (FDA) loans only require minimal down payments, and they are open to applicants with pretty low credit scores. I can talk you through all the options available in your specific circumstances.

Some Cities Have Their Own Incentive Schemes 

Some cities, such as Greensboro, offer down payment assistance to first-time buyers who want to purchase a home within the city limits. These incentive schemes encourage new homeowners to get on the property ladder – the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program, for example, pays up to $10,000 towards closing costs and your down payment!

Ready to Apply for Your First Home Mortgage?

Don't let the first home mortgage application process stress you out – instead, let me help you secure your dream home! With over 30 years' experience in personal finance and home loans, I'm perfectly placed to support you through each step of the mortgage application process, from shopping around for the best deal to signing the final contract. To find out more about home loans and my service offerings, contact Mortgages by Jill today. 

A Brief History Of Home Loans
April 14, 2020 at 4:00 AM
We are your resource for information about home loans and mortgages.

You’ll often hear the term “mortgage” used in conversation, and especially when discussing the market crash of 2008. If you’re looking to buy your first home, you will be more acquainted with the concept and must familiarize yourself with how a mortgage works. A mortgage is a loan that you take out when you are buying a home. Over the course of a set period of time, you will pay off this loan through a series of routine installments. Americans have been taking out and paying off mortgages for decades, but when did this become common practice?

Loans have been in society practically since the beginning of recorded history. The loan industry covers more than just home loans and can be used to purchase a wide variety of different assets. However, home loans are particularly significant because they provide middle and lower class citizens with the opportunity to purchase homes that they would otherwise not be able to afford. Initially, mortgages were issued exclusively by banks and were not readily accessible to all citizens. Only a select few were able to successfully file for a loan until Fannie Mae instituted under President Roosevelt changed the mortgage market and its influence is still significant today. Since then, receiving approval for a mortgage is far more common.

After the 2008 market crash, mortgages unjustly received a bad name. However, the market today is back to normal and precautions have been established to prevent any sort of mishap. Citizens may now safely take mortgages out with the full confidence of the lender as long as your credit score is good. To ensure that all those receiving mortgages fully understand the dynamics of what they are signing up for, lenders provide intricate details to educate the lendee in hopes to avoid misinformation and ultimately prevent another crisis.

Mortgages by Jill is the professional, personal, and passionate office that over the impressive span of 30 years has personally funded 2 billion dollars worth of mortgage loans. Jill is uniquely devoted to her clientele, whether they be first time buyers or previous clients looking to move into a larger home. It takes a professional with the adequate experience Jill boasts to help you navigate the rough terrain of the mortgage world, and see you safely through the process. As a result, Jill will protect your money, assets, and your home. Please get in touch with us today and learn how Jill’s unique services can help you!

Can You Get a Home Loan With Bad Credit in Greensboro?
March 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM
home loan bad credit greensboro.jpg

You may have been monitoring your credit score on one of those credit websites and worried your scores are too low. You may have a bad credit score because you had financial issues in the past, and conventional lenders might not consider you. However, there are still several ways you can secure a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro.

Try a Credit Union

First, you should consider a credit union. They offer services similar to banks, but they're owned by members and are not-for-profit institutions. They're more likely to look past your bad credit history and may consider factors like your character as well. Look for credit unions that are linked to your life in some way. Perhaps your local community or employer has a credit union, and there are special ones for professions like teachers and the military.

Get a Co-Signer

If you'd prefer instead stick with a conventional bank, consider asking a family member or friend to be a co-signer on your home loan. The lender will calculate rates based on the person with better credit. Just know that your co-signer is doing you a huge favor. The loan payment information is recorded on both of your credit scores. So if you default or you're late, you'll hurt their credit, too.

Leverage Your Assets

Some lenders will offer what's called a secured home loan in which you borrow against things you own. These things can either be physical stuff, like another house, car, or boat, or, in some cases, assets like stocks. Secured home loan amounts are determined based on how much equity you have in the underlying asset, so another home is the collateral most likely to be approved. Know that if you default on the loan, however, you lose that asset.

Improve Your Bad Credit

There are a few other options, like unsecured loans, personal loans, and peer-to-peer lending. But perhaps the best tip is to improve your bad credit. Pull your free credit report and learn where you stand. Make smaller payments, like half a payment every two weeks instead of once a month, and do it on time. Don't close any credit cards and other accounts, like store accounts. Having a lot of available credit that you don't use helps your score, as does an account with a long history. Debt consolidation can also help. It takes three to six months of good credit behavior to boost your score, but the effort is worth it.

Consider Credit Repair

There are a lot of credit repair agencies that will take you on as a client. It may be anywhere from a three-month process to a six-month process. Sometimes it's up to a 12-month process, depending on how much credit you have on the bureau and if there are errors to be removed. It is possible that you paid off a loan, for example, but it still shows on your report. So, you are better off trying to clean your credit before purchasing a home versus going in with a bad credit score. This is because your credit score will affect the interest rate that you're going to pay over a 15- or 30-year period.

Want to learn more about how to get a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro and how you can make yourself a more attractive loan candidate for that dream home you've always wanted? Reach out today to Mortgages by Jill at 336-740-9068. Or simply fill out our handy contact form, and we'll get back to you. We can't wait to hear from you!

Jill Burgess | Your Trusted Loan Officer in North Carolina
February 28, 2020 at 5:00 AM
jill burgess loan officer.jpg

About Jill Burgess | Loan Officer 

Whether securing a loan for homebuyers, helping rescue at-risk pets, or participating in community projects, I'm all in! Nothing makes me happier than a job well done, especially when helping people purchase the home of their dreams.I'm happy to say that I am a preferred loan officer with the North Carolina Finance Authority. Proudly, I'm also a 5-star rated mortgage professional. I know the housing market and loan products available for every home buyer, from first responders to the self-employed, and everyone in between. This extensive knowledge allows me to make your home buying experience easy.I've funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. I want to bring that loan officer experience to you! 

Products and Services 

There are dozens of mortgage products and home buying incentives available to home buyers in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area. I know them all. Best of all, I demystify the mortgage process. Here's a list of current products and services available through Mortgages by Jill:Medical Professional Mortgages: a loan program designed to accommodate medical professionals' circumstances, covering specifics such as time on the job, student loan debt, and downpayment requirements.First Time Homebuyer Programs: specialty loan products and downpayment assistance programs designed to build neighborhoods through homeownership. Portfolio Loans: Yes! I can help you secure a mortgage with loans retained at our institution. These loans give us greater flexibility for borrowers who don't fit the standard mold.The Ameris Edge Jumbo Loan: this product is designed for primary and secondary home purchases up to $3,000,000. Community Partners Loans/FHLB: these loan programs support our first responders, teachers, and other helping professionals be homeowners with special financing, downpayment, and purchasing requirements. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans: federal mortgage products designed to help buyers of all income levels who have limited funds for down payments. USDA Rural Housing Loan: special mortgage products for homebuyers in rural areas that assist with up-front costs, closing costs, and downpayment requirements.Veterans Administration (VA) Loans: these loan products are designed to help eligible service members become homeowners. Products offer flexibility and assistance with the downpayment, closing costs, and insurance requirements.Conventional 97 Loans: a loan product designed for first-time homeowners with limited funds for their downpayment. These loans allow for a 3% downpayment, and a 97% loan-to-value loan ratio. Click here to learn more about the products offered at Mortgages by Jill!

What Sets Jill Apart as Your Mortgage Loan Officer?

I know the people, places, and loan products that help home buyers have a drama-free home buying experience. My roots are in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem areas of North Carolina, but my reach extends nationwide.  With 30 years and 2 billion dollars worth of experience, I've surely helped someone exactly like you find a way to their dream home. That's why I'm a 5-star loan officer know for bringing friendly, professional expertise to every detail of the home buying experience. I know mortgages, I know North Carolina, and I'd love to get to know you!

I'm looking forward to working with you!

Are you ready to start the application process? Great! Click here to apply.Want to talk a bit first? Even better! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.Welcome to Mortgages by Jill, where your mortgage experience is personal, professional, and dedicated!

5 Top Benefits Offered by USDA Loans in Greensboro Winston Salem, Point North Carolina
January 24, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by Ameris Bank Mortgage Services

If you’re one of those people who’s been renting their place for seemingly forever, you might want to look into the possibility of finally owning a home through USDA loans. These loans, which are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are part of the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program.

USDA loans are designed to benefit potential home buyers with low-to-average income for their area. They come with several benefits you won’t see in other loan programs. Let’s take a closer look at each one of those benefits below:

1. Zero down payment

One of the greatest draws of the USDA loan program is that it enables homebuyers to receive 100 percent financing. Most applicants have no trouble qualifying for most types of loans. However, the ability to gather enough funds for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles for first-time homebuyers – a difficulty you won’t encounter with a USDA loan.

With Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, borrowers need to have at least a 3.5 percent down payment. For most conventional loans, on the other hand, a 5 percent down payment is required, at the minimum. This makes USDA home loans more accessible to borrowers. 

2. Competitive interest rates and loan terms

Although actual interest rates tend to vary for every lender due to specific factors, such as your credit standing and prevailing market conditions, the USDA guarantee offers some reassurance that participating lenders will offer some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Moreover, you can qualify for a USDA loan with the usual mortgage terms; that is, 15 years or 30 years.

3. Low Monthly Fees

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a requirement for conventional loans if the borrower is unable to provide a 20 percent down payment. Moreover, even FHA loans are known to have high annual mortgage insurance fees.

A USDA loan won’t have a PMI as it uses two different fees instead. These fees comprise the upfront guarantee fee (1 percent of the total financed amount), which needs to be paid once the loan is closed, and the annual fee (0.35 percent of the current loan balance), which is actually lumped into your monthly mortgage payment. It’s also good to know that the USDA loan funding fee is the lowest of its kind among all government-backed loan products.

So, if you have a $200,000 mortgage, for example, the upfront funding fee would be $2,000, and the 0.35 percent annual fee would be calculated at $58 per month. An FHA loan of the same amount would cost you $3,500 upfront (1.75 percent) and $139 per month (0.85 percent annual fee).

4. Flexible credit guidelines

If you think your less-than-ideal credit history might disqualify you for a USDA home loan, you might want to check for certain. While a minimum credit score of 660 is required by the majority of typical lenders, 720 is usually the minimum if you are to qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Fortunately for you, to qualify for a USDA home loan, there is no minimum credit score. But, to avail of the USDA's automated underwriting system, you need to have at least 640 or a higher credit score. Those with credit scores lower than 640 qualify for USDA loans through manual underwriting.

5. Millions can qualify

The majority of U.S. citizens can qualify for a USDA loan, or an estimated 97 percent of the country. Of course, the goal behind this provision is to encourage population growth in non-urban areas. However, note that the USDA definition for what a rural area is, is quite broad. In simple terms, it can be any area with a population below 35,000.

Ready to discuss your options with Ameris Bank Mortgage Services?

If you are seriously considering applying for a USDA loan, Ameris Bank Mortgage Services is here to help.

We can provide expert advice and guide you throughout the entire process.

Trends to Watch With FHA Loans in 2020 - From Ameris Bank, Your Loan Connection Experts
December 17, 2019 at 5:00 AM
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With interest rates still exceptionally low, employment levels exceptionally high, and conditions overall favorable, the US housing market should enjoy a strong year in 2020.

Along with the economic optimism and performance, signs point to a year of increased activity from the Federal Housing Administration in helping qualified individuals get into the homes they want. FHA loans provide many with their best opportunity to get into a new home. 

At Ameris Bank, we proudly partner with the FHA to help as many of our clients as possible get into the home of their dreams at a reasonable price. 

What the Federal Housing Administration Does

The FHA, an agency of the Department of Housing and Urban Development,  works to provide qualified borrowers with low interest loans. Established as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal era reforms, the FHA is one of the largest providers of mortgage loans in the world.

FHA, however, does not directly lend money. It works with private sector lenders who dedicate themselves to great client service daily. FHA assists both lenders and borrowers by insuring loans, making them less risky for providers and more accessible for buyers. 

Why Clients Desire FHA Loans

FHA loans offer buyers a number of benefits and advantages not found in an uninsured loan. For example, buyers only need a 3.5 percent down payment. It's our experience that this is much lower than is typically requested in a non-insured loan.

Lower credit scores also do not always disqualify those seeking a loan. If you have a credit score as low as 500, you may still qualify for a loan, with a deposit of 10 percent or more.

The FHA’s loan program aims to help those who have negative credit marks, but still have the ability to pay off a loan. Along with USDA, Veterans Administration, and other programs, they help a number of capable individuals achieve home ownership that would be otherwise impossible.

<h3>Loan Limits Expected to Rise in 2020</h3>

Growth in the housing market has pushed prices of single family homes higher. To respond to that development, FHA low-cost area home loan limits rose from just under $315,000 to approximately $332,000. Loan limits for higher cost area residential properties will rise from $727,000 to about $767,000

The differences in these numbers reflect the huge disparity of housing costs seen in different parts of the country. Homes that sell for hundreds of thousands or even millions in markets such as San Francisco or suburban Washington DC bear much lower prices in more rural and economically struggling urban regions.

FHA Housing Applications Will Continue to Grow Over the Next Year

As FHA interest rates continue to hover around 4 percent, many have sought to take advantage before conditions change. We feel this is a smart move. 

Loan applications for not only new home buyers, but also refinancing, continued to rise in the last weeks of 2019. Refinancing applications grew by nearly 30 percent. Purchase applications declined slightly toward the end of the year, but remain five percent ahead of the same levels from this time last year. 

With so many incentives for using FHA loans to purchase or refinance a home, it’s no wonder why we have seen growth in applications.

Reach Out Today

We invite your to learn more about FHA and other helpful federal loan programs available through working with Ameris Bank. Our staff understands that these programs are complex and will answer any questions about them and how we help clients obtain them. We can also set up an appointment to get your application started.

Call or message us today. Let us be your first step toward financing the home of your dreams. 

Ameris Bank Offers Customized Mortgage Services For You
November 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We understand that finding ways to finance a house purchase can be overwhelming, frustrating, and exhausting.

A first time home buyer I particular feels the pain of uncertainty. Which mortgage services and programs will provide the best value? Which will cost the least in the long term? How can I best position my credit score while preparing for getting a loan?

What most home buyers need from a mortgage lender, besides the loan, is patience, understanding, and thoughtful education on the process.

Ameris Bank believes in a comprehensive approach to client services. We want to make sure that you achieve your lending goals as much as possible.

Our Mission

Over the past three decades, we have earned a reputation for using the three Ps to provide elevated client service.

This means taking a personal, professional, and passionate approach to making sure that our clients get the best possible mortgage services solutions from Ameris Bank. We not only work with home buyers to get them great terms through us, but also connect clients with helpful government assistance programs when they qualify.

Our Range of Mortgage Services

We have worked to create a number of loan packages designed to help as many categories of home buyers as possible.

For those seeking out upscale homes for residence and investment, we offer jumbo loans up to $3 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a number of special loan packages for first time home buyers. Many of these include financial assistance in the form of grants, down payment assistance, and special financing plans.

First time home buyers can also take advantage of a number of incentive programs. Those who are currently in the military or have left the service can qualify for VA on loans. Others can take advantage of USDA programs that help reduce burdens on first time home buyers. From FHLB comes assistance for those who serve the community as first responders and in other key positions.

Most people buying their first home have little knowledge about the many government programs designed to make it easier to obtain a loan. Our commitment to client services includes educating you on all of the options for which you may qualify.

Many buy housing not for their own use, but as revenue generating investments. We have options for investors looking to build their portfolios.

We take our commitment to engaging our clients very seriously, as we help them get what they need from the lending process.

Our Dedication to Client Service

Client service starts with a conversation. At Ameris Bank, we do not push loan packages that serve our needs more than the client’s. We speak with clients, determine their wants, their needs, and their financial situation.

After establishing the groundwork, we then work to connect the client with the best possible loan package. We can also advise on how to improve credit scores to the point at which clients may qualify for better rates or certain programs.

At Ameris Bank, we give the needs and concerns of clients top priority.

Reach Out Today

Looking to purchase a new house, but feel overwhelmed by an avalanche of information and questions? Call Ameris Bank today. We can set up an appointment to go over all of the information that you need to prepare for applying for a loan, as well as the options for which you may qualify.

When you work with Ameris bank on home financing, you get peace of mind that allows you to focus on the fun of finding your next home.

Your introduction to
October 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Securing a mortgage or finance against your home doesn't always have to feel like a struggle. At, I have 30 years of experience in helping my clients secure finance. With a strong success rate, I always deliver a personal service using my passionate approach. As an Ameris Bank Mortgage Services representative, I'm here to show you why you should choose me for your next mortgage or loan.

Securing billions of dollars for people throughout the area

Over my 30-year career, I've secured billions of dollars for my clients throughout Salem, Winston, Greensboro, and other areas of North Carolina. Alongside my team, I provide a service that's professional, personal, and passionate.

As a mortgage broker, I know that dedication is the key to helping my clients succeed. Whether you're a first-time buyer, trying to build your portfolio, or someone else, I'll personally commit myself to help you find your mortgage.

With years of experience behind me, I know that reliable communication is the key to success. When you turn to, you'll enjoy my consistent approach to communicating with my clients.

Finding down payment assistance solutions

Depending on the type of mortgage you're searching for, you may need a significant downpayment. As you may already know, finding a downpayment often means saving the money yourself or asking a family member for assistance.

As a preferred loan officer in the North Carolina Finance Authority, I work with a variety of downpayment assistance programs. Depending on your circumstances and the reason for your mortgage, I may be able to provide you with downpayment assistance. As a result, using brings you closer to your property ownership dreams.

Securing niche loan products

When you're looking for a niche loan product, such as a jumbo loan, you need a professional with plenty of experience. At, I combine my professional experience with the support of a strong team.

Whether you need a jumbo loan or a LTV product, I'm here to help. Using my experience, I can bring you closer to your financial dreams. Additionally, I always act in your best interests. As a result, when you seek advice from, you're getting an honest opinion that'll help you protect your future.

Working with specialist groups

When you fall into a specialist group, such as being a veteran, it's always advisable to seek specialist advice. At, I can provide the advice you're looking for.

In some circumstances, veterans can access preferential rates for the mortgages and loans they're seeking. However, it isn't always to find these rates, especially when you don't know where to look for them. Using my professional background, I can find the rates and services that individuals such as veterans and medical professionals seek. 

Faster closing periods than when you go it alone

At MortgagesByJill, our entire team understands how frustrating long closing periods are. Sometimes loans and mortgages take a while to close because financial institutions don't have the right information to hand. In other cases, they're not communicating clearly enough. No matter what the reason for a long closing period is, it can make life more difficult for you as a customer.

With my experience in the financial industry, I ensure no stone is left unturned. As a result, every application I submit features all the required information the first time around. My approach makes it easier for you to enjoy a quick close. In some cases, this can happen as soon as 21 days after the initial application.

If you need a mortgage or loan and you're looking for help, come to To learn more about what I can do for you, call 336 740 9068.

Doctor and First Time Home Buyer Loan
October 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The Doctor and First time Home Buyers Loan

Considering a mortgage is one of the most important financial decisions one could make. You dedicate a lot of time and resources into building your career. You deserve to live a peaceful and happy life without worrying about your finances.

One of the common and safe assets one could have is their house. You could get a secure loan against your house. There are different types of mortgages you could avail of. The type of mortgages varies depending on the type of borrowers like a veteran, medical professionals, or people belonging to rural areas.

Mortgages for Medical Professionals

Doctor mortgage or Medical professional mortgages are specifically designed for medical workers. These kinds of loans have fewer restrictions compared to other kinds of loans. A decent credit around 700 or more then that could help get a loan with no or very less down payments.

There are several advantages of physician loans, with one being that you could present the offer letter as proof of income even if you have not started your job yet.

Who qualifies for a Doctor Loan?

There is no difference between a physician mortgage loan and doctor mortgage loan; both are the same things. Generally, they are referred to as doctor loans.

Following are the professions or jobs that come under the category of doctor loans:

· Licensed Medical Professionals

· Medical Physicians

· Dentists

· Pediatrics, Optometrists are also offered Doctor Loans by some lenders

If you are a medical professional in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, High Point areas of North Carolina, and considering a doctor loan, you have a chance to avail the expertise of Jill. With years of experience, she will help you draw out a suitable plan according to your needs.

Why Are Physicians Mortgages Special?

When we come across doctor or physician loans, we notice that these loans are different from other kinds of mortgages that are offered to other professionals. One of the major reasons is that doctors or physicians make a lot more money than other professions. Plus, the added benefit of job security.

The lenders have a keen interest in observing how much you make from your profession. When it comes to doctors, besides making good money, they also have opportunities for loan forgiveness that is offered by state programs.

Doctors also have fewer default rates as compared to other professions. Reportedly doctors have a default rate of just .2% vs. the 1.2% default rate of the average consumers.

Major Benefits of Physician Loan Programs

Very Low or Zero Down payment: As compared to other professions, doctor loans have very less or zero down payment in some cases, depending on the lender.

NO PMI: There are no private mortgage insurances required

High Loans: Lenders could allow loans up to $850k/$1.5 Million

Employment Contract: If you are starting a new job, the employment contract may be enough proof to prove your income and get started with the process.

The expenses of Mortgage:

Total Sum of mortgages is not just about the monthly payments. There are few expenses besides monthly payments.

Interest: Interest is based on the interest rate, the loan balance, and loan repayment terms.

PMI: PMI is a fee that is to be paid until reaching 20% of equity.

Buy your home using Medical Professional Loan

Buying your own home is a dream of almost everyone, but over time, it is becoming more and more difficult. If you are someone who has recently graduated, buying a home for you might seem impossible. The overall expenses of education combined with family expenses makes it very difficult to have enough savings to buy a home.

The professional medical loan is designed in such a way to make home-buying easy while keeping in view the needs and demands of your profession. The professional medical loan allows you to close home faster than other traditional ways of mortgages. Factors like student loan debt, total job experience, and the down payment are considered in medical loans.

If you try to handle all the things related to loan on your own, you might end up missing some important points. An expert could help you in this regard. Jill Burgess, from Mortgages by Jill, is an experienced financial advisor when it comes to professional medical loans.

Jill understands the needs properly and will work out a great plan for you according to your needs. Her knowledge and expertise will make sure that the overall process runs smoothly, and your finances are in good hands.

There is a good opportunity for Medical professionals residing in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem areas of North Carolina to get connected to an expert like Jill, who properly understands the needs of Medical professionals.

First Time Home Buyer Loan

Financial decisions are all about deciding between the need and wants. The purpose that leads you to go get a loan should be clear and precise, so you don’t end up spending too much on wants instead of on your needs.

Buying a home is one of the most difficult financial decisions. A lot of people, paperwork, and signatures are involved. It is quite difficult for a first time home buyers to go through all this process. There is a lot of information that could confuse you in making your decision.

We will try to cover the basics of buying your first home. The current real estate trends might tempt you to go for a big purchase that might be not so good for your overall financial goals.

The first step is the decision where you want to live. The costs of places vary a lot. There are some tools available online that you could use to estimate the costs of living in differing areas. The second major step is understanding what you could afford based on your financial decisions. Then the factors like credit score come into play. The higher the credit score is, the more are the chances of getting a better interest rate. Saving for a down payment is also one of the necessary features of buying a new home.

Top Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Pay of Debt: If you are under debt and still considering buying a home, you might need to reconsider your decision. Owning a house has its expenses when you own a house; you are responsible for all the maintenance, bills, and other expenses. Adding that cost to your previous debt would make things difficult for you.

Building up emergency-funds is one of the solutions to get out of this problem. If you enter your new home with only a mortgage on your hands and a good amount of emergency funds, that means you have prepared yourself well for the future decisions.

Save Down Payment: To avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), you need to save for a down payment of at least 20% or more.

Some of the mortgage options with no down payment include:

VA Loans: VA loans help the veterans to buy a home with no down payment. The main issue with VA loans is that if in future the market trends change, you may end owning way more than the market value of your home. Also, these kinds of loans come up with a bunch of fees, and interest rates are higher as compared to other forms of loans.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): In ARM Loans, the initial interest rate is less, but the lenders could adjust the rate to transfer the risk of rising interests to you.

FHA Loans: FHA mortgage could be availed with just 3.5% of down payment. But you have to pay the mortgage insurance premium as long as the loan is there. That might be thousands of dollars.

Get home in Your Price range:

The online world had made it easy to buy homes. You could select the house as per choice. You could select one based on your needs and price range and could ask a real estate agent to have a look at the house yourself. An expert real estate agent could help you choose the best house as per your needs.

Contact an Expert

If you are somewhat confused about all the plans and their details. You might need an expert to help you out. Also, these plans have different terms and condition depends upon your state.

Apply for First time home buyer Grants

There are several first time home rants that one could avail. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a lot of beneficial loan programs for both first-time buyers and even repeat buyers.

There are a number of programs, and it is difficult to choose one. Ideally, you will need to talk to an approved lender. We at MortagegsByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess. Jill’s experience that spans around three decades could help you select your plan. If you want to get all the information before making an important financial decision, feel free to get a consultation from Jill and make your dreams come true.

Jill Burgess Delivering Mortgages to Medical Professionals in the Triad and Beyond!
October 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Jill Burgess joined Ameris Bank Mortgage Services in 2017. Having worked with the management team in previous companies, she was familiar with the team and the support given by Ameris Bank.

In a short time, she has established herself in the market as the go to person for mortgages for medical professionals-more commonly known as doctor loans. However, her program is not just for doc tors. She caters to a wide variety of medical professionals in Greensboro, Winston Salem, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington. Given that Ameris Bank is headquartered in Atlanta, she is even servicing customers in surrounding states because of her loyal customer base and referral business.

Doctor loans provide special financing to medical professionals. The current roles being serviced are MDs, DO's, osteopaths, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists (including residents and fellows). These programs allow for 100% financing. Typically, SunTrust has been the dominant player in the North Carolina Market for Doctor Loans. But they have been unable to match the service levels offered by Jill Burgess in Greensboro and she has gained traction in the market with her loyal customer base and dedication to her craft.

Working with physicians at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Charlotte, are just a few of the hospitals in the area. She also works with Medical Professionals though out North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.

Down Payment Assistance Programs
September 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
first time home buyer mortgage

First-Time Home Buyer Grants In NC

Looking to own a home in North Carolina? Then, it’s important you remember that you don’t have to spread yourself thin and erode your finances while trying to do it all by yourself.

First time home buyers in NC are entitled to something commonly known as First-Time Home Buyer Grants, and this affords first time home buyers a wonderful opportunity to acquire houses without overly straining their pockets.

But it doesn’t just stop at that. One of the good things about the first home buyer loan is that, even as it sounds like something for only the first-time buyers, people who have owned homes before are not excluded.

That is, even though you have owned a home before, you can still get first home buyer grants provided you meet certain easy-to-meet requirements. If you meet the maximum income limits and are looking to acquire a property that is not too expensive -- and one that you have been renting for the last three years -- you could be eligible for the grant, which is really the government’s way of assisting people who want to own homes in NC.

Of course, you have your questions -- How does it work exactly? How much do you get? And will you rue the decision to take the grant for the rest of your life being that you will be looped into insanely high monthly payments on a house because you took government money?

Well, for starters, the answer is definitely “no” for the last part. And here are other important things you should know about the first time home buyer grants.

How Does One Apply For First Time Home Buyer Grants

The first thing you must know is that there are several different First-Time Home Buyer Grants available in NC, and we shall explore them.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a number of loan programs with unique benefits for both first-time home buyers and repeat buyers. And one of these programs could help you buy a home sooner.

But even as there are a number of programs to choose from, you’d have to go through basically the same process when applying for any of those grants.

Ideally, you’d have to talk to an approved Lender (we at MortgagesByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess, who throughout a storied career spanning three (3) decades, has personally funded no less than 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans).

After the loan applicant makes contact, lenders would generally look for the following information from the loan application:

· If the applicant exceeds the $87,500 maximum income limit for the whole state. Typically, USDA Home Loans NC goes higher than that depending on the household income. But with the First Time Home Buyer Grant program, people who are on the application are the ones being looked at. This usually makes it easier to qualify for.

· If the applicant has a minimum credit score of at least 640, because this is based upon the middle credit score, you will be home and dry if you had 3 scores that looked like 622, 641, and 649. And that's because at least two of those exceed the 640-mark.

· If the applicant has been renting, or living with parents, or schooling for the last three years.

After all these are determined, and provided you meet the basic requirements for the First Time Home Buyer Grants, we as your lender will determine which mortgage program is best suited to your needs, and how much grant you qualify for.

Note This:

The government-sponsored grants are generally called “mortgage grants” due to the fact that there is no interest charge, there are no payments to be made, and there is ‘monkey on your back’ in the form of an expected repayment of any of the money you receive for the down payment.

These are some of the perks that come with the grant, and it holds true, except for cases where the beneficiary moves out of the property or refinance before the dates assigned by a specific down payment assistance program.

“Forgivable loan” is a common way of referring to this down payment assistance program. As part of the provisions of the program that best suits the loan hopeful, a portion of this down payment assistance will be forgiven on a schedule that will be shared by the lender (that’s us) when the applicant (that’s you) applies for the loan.

Such funds are made available to lenders like us through the NCHFA, but interest rates vary from lender to lender depending on the rates set by the NCHFA.

Mortgage Programs That Support First Time Home Buyer Grants

Only down payment and closing costs are covered by the First-Time Home Buyer Grants. Any type of mortgage loan can be accessed using the grants, though each of the mortgage programs comes with a fair share of perks and quirks.

Having said that, it is completely true that you get any of the FHA Mortgage, VA Mortgage Loan, USDA Home Loan, or even a Conventional Loan, using the First-Time Home Buyer Grants.

Note The Following:

· The grants can be used for a down payment.

· The First-Time Home Buyer Grants can also be used to cover Mortgage Insurance, PMI or a VA Funding Fee, or to pay for closing costs.

· The grants can be used together with a seller paying closing costs and/or a gift you might receive.

What Grants And Programs Are Available In NC?

There are three different First-Time Home Buyer Grants that one can access;

· First, there is a grant that provides first-time homebuyers with 3 percent, which can be used for closing costs or a down payment on a Conventional Loan or an FHA Loan. Another program allows 5% in down payment grants for all Government Loans.

· Additionally, there is an $8,000 down payment available in every county in NC, though a limited offering. This is the newest of the bunch and does come with guidelines that slightly differ from both the 3% and 5% grants on the subject of income caps.

This new grant can also be put to use as payments for closing costs on programs that do not require any down payment such as the USDA Home Loan or the VA Loan.

· NCHFA also offers a Conventional Loan Grant Program which comes with the requirement of a down payment of 3%, while supporting closing costs from a gift, savings, or the seller. It's arguably the most flexible of all the programs, and it comes with low PMI rates.

And what’s more, the grants are available for homes that you qualify for, which implies that there is no maximum sales price for the program.

In any case, when using the grant as a down payment on an FHA Loan application, there are some restrictions -- you will have to make do with the maximum FHA Loan for the county in which the house you are buying is located.

Moreso, a USDA Home Loan application in NC, does come with additional income limits that are determined by the USDA Loan limits within the county where the house in question sits.

Mortgage Tax Credits Available for First Time Home Buyers

Besides the Grants, you could also get something called “Mortgage Tax Credit” in NC. This is especially available to people who have not bought a home in the last three years.

Tax credits are often associated with the tax deductions that come with owning a house. But a tax credit is preferable in that it comes straight off what you owe in federal taxes, whereas a deduction merely decreases your basis for taxation.

The rationale behind the program follows from the thinking that persons who are paying less in federal taxes can use the additional income to take care of any extra costs incurred in the process of buying a home.

Across NC, the maximum sales price for the Mortgage Tax Credit is $250,000, but there are also varying income cap requirements from county to county.

How Can One Benefit From The Mortgage Tax Credit Program?

Just like the First-Time Home Buyer Grants, Mortgage Tax Credits are provided to those who qualify for it at the time of closing.

Of course, there is some paperwork involved, and perhaps some waiting too due to the additional underwriting time (it has to go to the agency to get approved).

But provided you meet the basic requirements for the first time home buyer grants -- that is, you gross a yearly income of less than $87,500, you have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45 percent, and the house you are buying is somewhere in NC, then you have strong claims to the money.

But remember, not all lenders offer this program and the money is not yours to have if you go ahead to buy a house before applying for the mortgage tax credit or the First-Time Home Buyer Grants in NC. You are only eligible if you apply for the tax credit at the time of buying the house in question, not after.

Mortgages for Medical Professional - Doctor Loans
September 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
medical professional loan mortgages

Mortgages for Medical Professionals

Special loan programs for medical professionals in Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, and Winston Salem, NC, Charlotte, NC, High Point, NC, Wilmington, NC

Medical professionals dedicate their time and career to caring for others. If you are a medical professional in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, High Point areas of North Carolina, you have a new highly rated choice for your mortgage needs! You can benefit greatly from mortgages designed specifically for medical professionals. The Medical Professional Loan from Ameris Bank offers a unique loan solution to meet your needs and reward your service to your community.

Medical professionals have unique financial needs.

You probably had to take out considerable student loans for your medical education. Even if you do not face high loan debt, you incurred countless costs throughout your training and as you established your career. It is also possible that student loan debt has affected your ability to qualify for a home loan or find a mortgage rate that is manageable for you and your family.

In the past, only doctors or dentists were able to access specialty home loans for physicians. These mortgages often excluded their student loan debt from the rate or based the mortgage rate on income-driven repayments. However, these benefits are no longer limited to medical professionals with “MD” by their name. Generous underwriting guidelines can be applied to a wide range of medical professionals and offer unique mortgage solutions to fit your financial needs.

What is a Medical Professional Loan?

You can access medical professional mortgages at any stage of your career, including residency and growing your practice. This type of loan can help you reach your goal of home ownership despite student loan debt. Ameris Bank offers this specialty style of mortgage for medical professionals who need a flexible approach to underwriting guidelines. This loan also considers time on the job and flexibility around your down payment.

There are many benefits of the Medical Professional Loan.

You can receive up to 100% financing and private mortgage insurance is not required. Loans can be granted in amounts up to $1,500,000 depending on your need and qualifications. The following medical professionals can qualify for a Medical Professional Loan. These categories also include residents and fellows.

· MDs

· DO’s

· Osteopaths

· Dentists

· Pharmacists

· Veterinarians

· Physician assistants

· Chiropractors

· Podiatrists

· Optometrists

With a Medical Professional Loan, you can close on your loan before your employment start date. You will just need to have an employment contract with a start date within 60 days of closing. This loan can help you find a home during or after school or your medical training without requiring significant time on the job. You can stop worrying about saving extensively after graduation and focus on growing your career or your practice while owning your own home.

The Medical Professional Loans from Ameris Bank are available to medical professionals in the following states.

· Alabama

· Florida

· Georgia

· North Carolina

· South Carolina

· Tennessee

How do you qualify for a Medical Professional Loan?

In addition to meeting the professional requirements above, there are a few other stipulations for qualification. The loan must be for a primary residence only. You will also establish a relationship with Ameris Bank in the form of a personal checking account. You can use this account to set up mortgage payments from the account to auto-draft monthly.

The program is limited to medical professionals who are not more than 10 years out of their residency or fellowship. There may be other requirements for eligibility based on your specific circumstances, but your loan professional can assist you with all qualifications.

Make home buying possible with a Medical Professional Loan.

If you are recently out of school or close to graduation, home buying may seem impossible. For medical professionals caring for themselves or their family, finances are often a source of stress or concern. However, a Medical Professional Loan can make home buying possible and reduce the financial strain on your family.

Enjoy a loan that is designed for you and your profession. Close on your home faster than other traditional methods and benefit from the flexibility of a loan that considers your student loan debt, time on the job, and down payment.

Jill Burgess from Mortgages by Jill understands the unique needs of medical professionals. She will work with you to find a Medical Professional Loan that aligns with your circumstances. Her knowledge and expertise make the entire process as smooth as possible and provide the satisfaction of knowing your finances are in good hands. Medical professionals in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem areas of North Carolina can also benefit from having a qualified loan expert in their area who understands Medical Professional Loans. Launched
September 11, 2019 at 6:00 PM
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Jill is pleased to announce the launching of her new branded website to better serve her clients! Ameris Bank Mortgage Services in Winston Salem, and Greensboro continue to see exceptional growth each month!

How the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates
August 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

How the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates

Buying or renting a home can lead to confusion, anxiety, and frustration. Many homebuyers do not understand how mortgage rates are calculated, but they often feel the impact of increased mortgage rates. While mortgage rates can be frustrating, so can rises in rent costs. If you are looking to buy a home or debating between buying and renting, it is important to understand how the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates.

What is a mortgage rate?

When you borrow money to purchase a home from a lender, such as a bank or financial institution, you will also agree to a mortgage interest rate. The mortgage interest rate is the amount of money you pay in addition to the loan principal, and it directly impacts your monthly payments. With the costs of homes being in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, even a slight increase in the mortgage interest rate can send your monthly payments through the roof. On the other hand, lower interest rates can provide the break some potential home buyers need to purchase their first home.

There are so many factors that go into determining the mortgage interest rate at any given time. Some of these factors are controlled by the borrower, such as credit score, down payment, and property location. Other factors rest with the lender, such as the loan type, loan term, and interest rate type. Many home buyers also look at the Federal Reserve as a determining factor for mortgage rates. But, how big of a part does the Federal Reserve play in setting mortgage rates?

The Federal Reserve does not set mortgage rates.

This is a common misconception among home buyers when it comes to mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve actually sets the Federal Funds rate, which is an overnight lending rate for banks and other financial institutions. A higher Federal Funds rate means that it is more expensive for banks to borrow money from other financial institutions.

Short-term adjustable-rate mortgages and variable interest rates are most directly impacted by the Federal Funds rate. These rates will rise or fall based on the decisions of the Federal Reserve. If a bank has to pay a higher rate to other banks in order to borrow money, they typically pass that additional cost on to their clients as well. Consumers may experience the following when the Federal Funds rate increases:

· Increased interest rates on lines of credit

· Higher interest rates on auto loans

· Possible higher interest rate on mortgages

The Federal Reserve does impact mortgage rates, to some degree.

An increase in the Federal Funds rate alone is not enough to directly cause an increase in mortgage rates. Again, the Federal Reserve is not responsible for setting mortgage rates. However, that does not mean their decisions are isolated from mortgages.

Whenever the Federal Reserve lowers the Federal Funds rates, borrowers utilizing variable-rate loans get the most benefit. Their home equity lines of credit or adjustable-rate mortgages can become less expensive. The results will likely not be instant, but some benefit will come over time.

Fixed-rate mortgages are aligned with market rates.

The Federal Reserve’s decisions can send a message to lenders and home buyers. Whether they lower or raise Federal Funds rates, can be perceived as the Fed promoting growth in the U.S. markets or not. This decision can indirectly impact mortgage rates in some way as markets react.

The Federal Reserve typically lowers interest rates if they perceive that the economy is slowing or may slow in the near future. Lower rates encourage businesses to invest and consumers to spend. The goal of lowering rates is to propel economic growth. However, sometimes the Fed feels that the economy is growing too fast. In order to combat this, they raise interest rates in an attempt to slow financial decisions.

While mortgage rates may not receive a direct hit from the Federal Reserve, home buyers do. Their businesses could prosper or suffer based on the Fed’s decision. They may have more money to save for a down payment, thus lowering their overall mortgage rate. Or, buyers could have less than usual and be unable to make higher monthly payments. The Federal Funds rates impact the following things that play into home buyer’s decisions.

· Credit card rates

· Savings rates

· CD rates

· Home equity line of credit

· Short-term adjustable rates

· Auto loan rates

Lower rates encourage spending and can make it easier for potential home buyers to achieve their goal of home ownership. Higher rates can lead to decreases in spending and significant financial cuts. People on a tighter budget are less likely to commit to a mortgage loan and high interest rate.

Slight changes in interest rates make big changes in cost.

Homes are expensive. The loan principal for a home is already a major cost but factoring in the mortgage rate can raise monthly payments significantly. An increase as small as 1% in mortgage rates can lead to more than $100 extra per month on mortgage payment. If mortgage rates are up, people tend to delay purchasing a home. They fear they cannot maintain the monthly payments, or they do not have enough for a down payment large enough to reduce their rate. Either way, home ownership and purchasing decreases.

When home buying decreases, people may opt to continue renting a home instead of buying. This pattern of behavior can drive up the cost of rent due to increased demands. Higher rent leads to more financial strain and frustration and can actually cause consumers to research purchasing a house again.

Rent spikes can also cause a decrease in the cost of a home. With so many people choosing to rent instead of buy, people selling their homes may lower the cost in order to attract buyers. While mortgage rates may still be high, a lower loan principal can greatly reduce monthly payments.

In short, mortgage rates follow a weird and complicated cycle.

The Federal Reserve may have some impact on mortgage rates, but there are more factors than we can count that determine rates. A home buyer’s down payment, credit score, home location, and more can all raise or decrease their mortgage rate. There are also a wide range of factors controlled by the lender and determined by the current housing and rental markets that affect interest rates.

Overall, home buyers should research current mortgage rates and shop around to find the right lender and rate for their budget. A mortgage expert, such as Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill, can help you navigate the difficulties of mortgage rates. She can understand your unique loan situation and determine the best cost of action to meet your financial needs.

Brought to you by: Ameris Bank Mortgage Service / MortgagesWinstonSalemNC

Ameris Bank Completes Legal Merger with Fidelity Bank
July 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
blog 2 post jill site.jpg

In December of last year, Ameris Bank announced its plan to merge with Fidelity Bank headquartered out of Atlanta, Georgia. This announcement marked the beginning of an incredible new chapter in the history of both Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank. We are pleased to share that Fidelity Bank has merged with Ameris Bank. We look forward to their transition to Ameris Bank’s systems and signage in November of this year.

The culture and banking philosophies of Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank are in sync—we are like-minded community banks with similar core values, a passion for excellent customer service and a belief in the power of our communities. At this time, customers will not notice any changes. Fidelity Bank will continue to operate normally, as a division of Ameris Bank. Our customers remain our number one priority, and we are making every effort to minimize any impact they may feel.

We welcome Fidelity Bank customers and colleagues to the Ameris Bank family! As we begin this exciting new chapter, below are some important things we would like our Fidelity Bank customers to know:

  • Access will not be interrupted. Customers are to continue to bank as normal. Fidelity Bank customers are to continue using their Fidelity Bank branches, checks, debit cards, credit cards, ATMs, online and mobile banking. At this time, Fidelity Bank accounts, loans, pricing, terms and conditions remain unchanged. All mortgage loans currently in process, and the timing and instruction for making any Fidelity Bank loan payments, will continue as normal.
  • Continue to contact your local representative or branch with account questions or concerns. Fidelity Bank’s operating systems, accounts, services and signage will transition to Ameris Bank in November 2019. In September, Fidelity Bank customers will receive more information in preparation of this transition. Until the transition occurs in November, Fidelity Bank account assistance is only available at Fidelity Bank locations.
  • Our goal is to make the transition to Ameris Bank a smooth one. Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank will keep all our customers fully informed well before any changes occur. We ask that Fidelity Bank customers ensure their mailing address, phone number and email address are up to date, so we can reach you with valuable communication.

Do you have accounts at both Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank? FDIC Deposit Insurance is $250,000 per depositor per ownership category. However, if you currently hold accounts at both Fidelity Bank and Ameris Bank and the combined total deposits exceed $250,000 per ownership category, you are subject to the special FDIC insurance rule. This rule indicates that because of the transition of the Fidelity Bank branches, deposits will be considered separately insured, as if the two banks are still operating separately, for at least six months and possibly longer for certificates of deposits (CD). For more information about FDIC insurance coverage please contact us or visit

To learn more about the financial aspects of our merger with Fidelity Bank, please click HERE or visit the investor relations portion of our website to find the financial press release and SEC filing. Customers may call Fidelity Bank at 404.248.LION (5466) or the Ameris Bank Customer Care Center at 866.616.6020 with questions or concerns. For all account inquiries, Fidelity customers should continue to contact their Fidelity Bank representative.

Again, welcome Fidelity Bank customers and colleagues!

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