Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgages
Get answers to your questions about mortgage loans, M&T's mortgage lending process and learn the important terms you may hear throughout the process.
What are points?
Points (also called discount points) are an amount paid at mortgage closing to lower the interest rate charged on your loan. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. By paying points, you can lower your interest rate and monthly payment amount over the term of your loan. Points vary by loan program and market conditions. Paying points to lower your interest rate is optional.
What is a successor in interest?
A successor in interest is someone who has an ownership interest in real estate property as a result of a transfer from an original borrower/owner.
You may qualify as a successor in interest if the property was transferred to you:
- As a surviving heir, due to the death of a relative or property co-owner
- From a living spouse or parent
- As a result of a divorce or legal separation
- As part of a living trust
Learn more about Successor in Interest >
What is Mortgage Insurance (MI)?
Mortgage Insurance is required on most conventional loan programs when purchasing a home with less than a 20% down payment or refinancing with less than 20% equity. This insurance protects the lender against losses if the borrower does not repay the loan.
How do I apply to be confirmed as a successor in interest?
Once you learn that you have a qualifying real estate property ownership interest, you will need to apply to be a successor in interest and provide us documentation to confirm your identity and your interest. The necessary documentation will vary depending on your specific situation.
You can contact us for documentation information in one of two ways:
- Submit a written request to:
PO Box 1288
Buffalo, NY 14240
- Call 1-800-724-2224 (Monday–Friday 8:30am–9:00pm ET)
Learn more about Successor in Interest >
What is owner's title insurance?
Title is a document that outlines the ownership of a property and the right to use it. Owner's title insurance protects the owner against most unforeseen problems and financial losses resulting from issues related to the property title.
How do I notify M&T of the death of a mortgage borrower?
Please send us with the following documentation:
- A legible copy of the death certificate with a visual seal
- A copy of the Letters of Testimony appointment an Executor of the Estate, if applicable
Documentation can be sent in the following ways:
PO Box 1288
Buffalo NY, 14201
- Fax. 1-866-409-4652
- Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you now have an ownership interest in the property as a result of the death, learn how to apply to be confirmed a successor in interest.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
APR is a calculation expressing the total cost of credit as a yearly percentage. An APR must be provided to the borrower under the Federal Truth in Lending Act. It includes upfront costs (prepaid interest) and any other finance charges associated with obtaining the loan. For this reason, the APR is usually higher than the interest rate on the mortgage note.
What is the Loan Estimate?
The Loan Estimate is a federally required notice that provides details of the cost of obtaining a mortgage loan and the terms of the mortgage loan for which you have applied. This notice includes the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR should not be confused with the mortgage note's (interest) rate, which is used to calculate the loan payment.
Will I receive a copy of my home appraisal?
Yes, the borrower receives a copy of the home appraisal.
How do I know which mortgage program is best for me?
An M&T Mortgage Loan Officer can guide you through the process -- reviewing the mortgage programs available to you and helping to determine how much you can borrow.
What is loan-to-value (LTV) ratio?
LTV is a comparison between the value of your loan and the value of your property, typically expressed as a percentage. For example, if you are borrowing $80,000 for a house that is worth $100,000, your LTV is 80%.
What is debt-to-income (DTI) ratio?
DTI is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward paying housing and debts. It is one way that mortgage lenders measure a borrower's ability to manage monthly payments and repay debts.
For example, if your mortgage payment and other monthly debts equal $1,000, and your monthly gross income is $4,000, your DTI is $1,000 divided by $4,000, or 25%.
What is an escrow account?
An account established to pay property taxes, homeowner's insurance and flood insurance, if applicable. Funds for your tax and insurance payments are collected as part of the monthly payment, and the lender makes payments on your behalf.
What is mortgage pre-approval?
When purchasing a home, it's important to know how much you can afford. With a pre-approval, you'll determine in advance how much you may be able to borrow and the best mortgage options for you. This will help prepare for your future budget. Also, when making an offer, the seller will want to know that you are a serious buyer, and being pre-approved shows that you are.
Why is my credit history important?
Credit history is considered when applying for a mortgage loan. Your credit score, also known as a FICO® score, helps determine the types of home loans you can qualify for and affects your interest rate. To assess creditworthiness, lenders review your score to see how you've handled past credit obligations. This is a good indication of how you will handle them in the future. A higher credit score may help you qualify for a better interest rate and a lower down payment.
By law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year. Visit annualcreditreport.com or contact any of the following credit reporting agencies:
What should I expect during the mortgage process?
There are a few key steps during the mortgage process. Understanding what happens during each step will help you prepare and will make the process go more smoothly.
It's important to know how much you can afford to borrow. Pre-approval will help during your home search and seller negotiations.
Start the Pre-Approval Process >
Your M&T Mortgage Loan Officer will discuss financing options and help you complete a mortgage application when you're ready. After you’ve completed your application, you will receive a Loan Estimate outlining all costs associated with your loan, and your application will be submitted for processing.
Your Loan Processing Team obtains third-party information (for example, a property appraisal) that is required to complete the transaction. The Loan Processor prepares your file for a credit review and decision. Your Loan Processing Team will then contact your Attorney or Settlement Agent to ensure that all parties are working toward the desired closing date.
Your loan file will be reviewed and a credit decision made. If you are approved, you will receive a written Mortgage Commitment that summarizes your mortgage loan and lists any conditions that must be met.
Your Attorney or Settlement Agent provides M&T with the information required to prepare the Closing Disclosure, which you will receive approximately 3 to 7 business days before closing. The Closing Disclosure confirms the details of your mortgage loan including the estimated funds needed for closing. It's important to review your settlement statement and ask any questions you may have prior to closing.
Depending on the state where your property is located, your Settlement Agent or Attorney will confirm the scheduled closing date with you and review the funds needed to close. On the closing date, you will sign your paperwork and complete the loan closing.
After I pay off my mortage, when can I expect to receive my lien release/mortgage discharge?
Your lien release or mortgage discharge will be mailed to the address we have on file 10 business days after the loan is paid in full.
Where can I find information about bank-owned properties for sale?
View more information about bank-owned properties, or call M&T Mortgage Servicing at 1-800-724-2224.
If I mail my mortgage payment or pay at a branch, when will it be credited to my account?
Account payments will be credited to your account on the day received, not the postmarked date.
Payments must be:
- Made in United States Funds (by check or money order paid to M&T Bank)
- Accompanied by an account payment stub (remittance coupon)
- Received at our address indicated on the payment stub by 5pm on any day, Monday through Friday that is not a legal holiday
Payments are not accepted at M&T mortgage origination offices.
At a Branch
Account payments made at an M&T Branch must be:
- Made in United States Funds in cash, by check or money order made out to M&T Bank
- Received by the business day cutoff for that specific location, in order to be credited to your account on the date received
Payments received after the cutoff for that specific location, may be processed the following business day.