Mortgage Frequently Asked Questions: Help
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your common questions to help you buy a home.
How does Chase use my credit report?
Chase uses your credit report to evaluate your mortgage request and determine how you have handled your credit obligations in the past. Get your free credit score with Chase Credit Journey, even if you're not a Chase customer. Once you enroll, you’ll also get email alerts about critical changes to your credit and have access to our score simulator to see how your credit score may be affected by different events.
Can I make payments every two weeks?
Yes. You can enroll in our every two weeks flexible payment option..
With this option, your payments are split into two half payments. During your first month of enrollment, you’ll need to pay both your regular monthly payment plus two half payments. To learn more about this and other payment options, visit our flexible automatic payments page.
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account allows us to pay the required insurance and/or taxes on your property for you. You pay a portion of your taxes and/or insurance premiums as part of your monthly mortgage payment. Then, when taxes and/or premiums are due, we'll pay them on your behalf with the money in your escrow account.
What is an escrow analysis?
Every year, we review your escrow account to make sure there’s enough money in it to cover your taxes and/or insurance premiums. We send you a summary statement of this report, called an escrow analysis. It includes a review of activity in your escrow account during the past 12 months, with projections for the next 12 months.
This helps us determine the amount you need to pay into your escrow account each month, so we can pay your taxes and/or insurance expenses on your behalf for the next 12 months.
How can I review my escrow account?
You can see your escrow information on chase.com. Just enroll or sign in and choose your mortgage account. Then, go to the "Things you can do" menu and choose "Escrow information."
You can view your current Escrow account balance by going to the "Things you can do" menu and selecting ‘Account Details’.
You can also sign up to receive free alerts about your escrow account on chase.com. We’ll notify you when a tax or insurance payment is made from your account.
What causes an escrow shortage?
There are a few reasons why you might not have enough money in your escrow account to meet the minimum balance:
- Your property taxes and/or insurance premiums increased.
- Your taxes were reassessed.
- Your insurance provider(s) changed.
- The due date of your property taxes and/or insurance premiums changed.
- You made fewer escrow payments into your account than expected.
- Your starting escrow balance for the 12-month period was lower than expected due to higher payouts the prior year.
If you have questions about an increase in your property taxes or homeowners insurance premiums, please contact your local tax authority or insurance agent.
Where can I see current mortgage rates?
Our mortgage rates is updated daily to give you the most current purchase rates when choosing a home loan. And our competitive mortgage rates are backed by an experienced staff of mortgage professionals, so you can feel confident that you have the most up-to-date information you need.
Can I buy a home if I have less-than-perfect credit?
We may be able to help you buy a home, even if your credit isn't perfect. Keep in mind that lenders don't just look at your credit history, but also at your ability and willingness to pay in the future. Learn more about Chase programs with flexible credit guidelines.
What is better: a fixed or an adjustable interest rate?
If you plan to be in your home for more than seven years, you may want to consider a fixed-rate mortgage, which offers predictable payments and long-term protection against rising mortgage interest rates. If you plan to be in your home for seven years or less, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) could be attractive. Keep in mind that with an ARM, your monthly payments have the potential to go up each time your interest rate adjusts.
Should I pay discount points?
When you pay a discount point, you are essentially paying part of your interest to the lender up front. This will lower your interest rate—as well as your monthly payment—over the life of the loan. One discount point is always equal to 1% of the loan amount. For example, one point on a $100,000 loan would require payment of $1,000 at closing. The longer you plan to remain in a property or hold your mortgage, the more advantageous it is to pay points. There is no requirement to pay discount points; whether or not you decide to pay points is completely up to you.
Which mortgage and homeowner costs are tax-deductible?
Some types of mortgage and homeowners costs may be tax-deductible: discount points, interest paid on a home loan and property taxes. Consult your tax advisor for advice about your situation.
What should I consider when buying an investment or rental property?
Purchasing real estate can be a lucrative way to invest your money, but it comes with risks and benefits you need to consider to make sure it's right for you. Determine what your primary goal is—do you want cash flow in the short run or to make a long-term investment? One common misconception is that all you have to do is collect rent. There's much more involved, such as regular maintenance, periodic updates to keep your property in high demand and the monthly mortgage payment, especially when you have a gap in tenancy.
What should I consider when buying a vacation home?
Perhaps you want to find a second home to get away for some rest and relaxation. If you're looking for a vacation home, be as invested in this search as you were for your primary home. Consider points of interest nearby and property amenities. Plus, you should determine how much time you plan to spend in the home and how easy or difficult it is to travel to the vacation home. Interested in buying a vacation home?