Mortgage FAQs and Refinancing answers | HSBC
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Mortgages
How do I apply for an HSBC mortgage?
There are a number of ways you can get started with your mortgage application:
What type of refinancing programs does HSBC offer?
There are two types of full documentation refinancing that HSBC offers: Rate/Term Refinance and Cash Out Refinance.
A Rate/Term Refinance allows you to pay off your existing mortgage and include the new closing costs in the new mortgage amount. This type of refinance program can be used to reduce your interest rate, loan term or both.
A Cash Out Refinance allows you to turn the equity you have built up in your home into cash which you can use for a variety of purposes. Many of HSBC's programs allow for cash out.
Does HSBC offer a "Streamline" refinance program?
If your existing loan has a higher than market interest rate, you may be eligible for a "streamline" refinance program at HSBC. Streamline Refinancing allows you to lower your interest rate and monthly payment while providing a minimal amount of documentation. (Cash out at closing is not allowed for any of these programs.)
What are the main types of mortgages?
The most common mortgages are fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.
Fixed-rate mortgages offer the stability of regular monthly payments over a given length of time, or term. Many people feel these are ideal because they make it easy to budget family finances and there is no rate risk.
Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) programs offer you the flexibility of an initial interest rate and payment lower than a standard fixed-rate mortgage. ARM mortgages may also be a great option for homebuyers who do not plan to stay in their current home for a long period of time.
What is a VA mortgage?
The Veteran's Administration (VA) loan program is sponsored by the U.S. Government's Department of Veteran's Affairs. These loans are provided to credit-worthy individuals who have given military service to the United States and have been honorably discharged, or to those who currently serve in one of the branches of the military.
You may be eligible for this loan if you are/were:
- an honorably discharged veteran
- an active duty service member
- an un-remarried surviving spouse of a military service member
- a Reservist, or
- a National Guardsperson
- 0% down payment required
- Gift funds may be used to pay for closing costs
- Maximum loan amount: $417,000 or the geographic VA maximum mortgage limit
What is an FHA mortgage?
FHA loans are government insured loans through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also called HUD. These loans provide an excellent start for first time homebuyers, offering options such as a low down payment or a low closing cost option.
- Low down payment is required
- Your own personal savings are not required to pay down payment or closing costs. Gift funds may be used instead
- You can buy an existing home, or build a new one
- Some geographic limitations apply
What is a SONYMA mortgage?
If you live in New York State and are a first-time homebuyer, SONYMA (State of New York Mortgage Agency) loans may be a great choice for you. Designed to provide affordable mortgage financing, SONYMA loans offer you the chance to buy an existing home or build a brand new one.
- Only a 3% down payment is required for 1- and 2-unit properties
- Your income must meet SONYMA's Household Income Limit requirements
- A secured, down payment assistance loan is available from SONYMA
- The program is only available for New York State properties
What is the CommunityWorks Mortgage Program?
HSBC's CommunityWorks mortgage program has guidelines which allow you to use grant money to help pay for costs associated with closing your mortgage loan. It allows you to apply the grant to both the minimum 3% down payment requirement as well as all of the closing costs. Any extra funds needed to close can then be paid through your own savings, a gift, or a grant from another source.
- Only a 3% down payment requirement for 1-unit properties, including Co-Ops
- Homebuyer education is required
- Borrowers income must be at or below 80% of the median area income or the property must be located in a designated census tract
- Certain income level restrictions apply depending upon property location
- The program is only available in select states
How does my escrow account work?
An escrow account is one that is established to hold separate funds for the purpose of paying bills such as homeowner's insurance and property taxes. HSBC collects the funds to be deposited into the account each month along with your monthly payment and then pays the bill for you when it comes due. This eliminates you having to come up with the additional cash when they are due. By taking the annual amounts charged for homeowner's insurance, property taxes and other annually paid items and dividing them by 12, the escrow department establishes a payment amount that is added to your monthly principal and interest payment. This spreads the cost of those items over 12 months, making it easier to budget those expenses.
How is my homeowners insurance paid?
If you have an escrow account, HSBC will receive your insurance invoice and disburse the appropriate funds from your escrow account. Your monthly billing statement will display any disbursements.
How are my real estate taxes paid?
If you have an escrow account, HSBC will receive your tax invoices and disburse the funds from your escrow account. Your monthly billing statement and year-end statement will display any amounts disbursed.
What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
Private Mortgage Insurance is provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. Private Mortgage Insurance is generally required for a loan with an initial loan to value (LTV) percentage in excess of 80%. In most cases, this will mean that you will have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the value of the home you are purchasing or refinancing.
What is HSBC's First Home Club?
HSBC's First Home Club matched savings program is available for prospective home buyers in New Jersey and New York State. Financed by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, this program allows qualified first-time home buyers to earn $4 in grant monies for every $1 saved over a 10 to 24 month period. As a result, potential home owners can obtain a maximum grant of $7,500 by opening an account at HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and saving $1,875 through regular monthly installments. At the conclusion of the program, the applicant/depositor will have funds totaling as much as $9,375 to go towards the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a home.
When is my due date?
Your mortgage payment due date is listed on your monthly billing statement or coupon. A late charge is assessed if the payment has not been received and processed by the date noted. It is very important that you establish and maintain good credit by making sure your payment reaches us by the due date each month. Late payments can affect your credit record.
How do I make payments?
Registered Personal Internet Banking ("PIB") customers can access and make payments to their mortgage or HELOC account(s) through the HSBC website. You will no longer be able to utilize the transfer function for payments or advances; however, you may still submit online payments using the bill pay function. If you are not registered for PIB, you can access your mortgage or HELOC by registering through the HSBC website.
If you are not currently enrolled in an automatic debit program or equity accelerator program, and would like to enroll, please call 866.435.7085 for more information.
Pay by Mail:
Each month you will receive a Monthly Mortgage Statement with a detachable coupon and return envelope for payments. Simply mail your payment using the coupon and return envelope. Upon receipt and processing of your monthly payment, we will produce and mail subsequent billing statements to you.
Send mortgage payments to:HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
P.O. Box 5443
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
What is the Equity Accelerator program?
Equity Accelerator is an electronic feature you can add to your standard mortgage account to reduce your overall mortgage debt. By breaking your regular mortgage payment into bi-weekly transfers instead of a single monthly payment, you are paying down the balance more quickly, generally saving thousands of dollars over the cost of an average loan.
To learn more about this money-saving program, call Customer Service at 866.435.7085.
How do I pay off my loan?
Whether refinancing, selling your home or just paying off your mortgage, you can request information from Customer Service in two easy ways:
If you're a registered Personal Internet Banking customer, log on and navigate to your mortgage account to view account details including pay-off details.
Request a Payoff Quote by Telephone:
Premier clients can call 866.435.7089
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
What if I don't receive a statement?
If you misplace or do not receive your current billing statement, please mail your payment (with your mortgage account number written on the check) to:HSBC Bank USA, N.A.,
P.O. Box 5443
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
How can I reach a live person who can answer questions about my account?
Contact our Customer Service Department. Our representatives are waiting to assist you.
I am having some payment difficulties. Can HSBC help me?
If you are an HSBC Mortgage Services (former Household Mortgage Services) customer, please visit www.hsbcmortgageservices.com.
We understand that losing a job, divorce, an illness or a death in the family are just some of the things that can cause a delay in paying your mortgage payments. If you are experiencing or have recently experienced a hardship and are unable to keep up with your mortgage payments, contact us. We'll work with you to try to make the best of a difficult situation. Click here to read about payment difficulty options.
How do I know how much I can afford?
Our complimentary mortgage calculator can help you with this question.View payment examples *
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Mortgage and home equity products offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A..Subject to credit approval. Borrowers must meet program qualifications. Programs are subject to change. Geographic and other restrictions may apply. Discounts can be cancelled or are subject to change at anytime and cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.
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