FAQ

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Mortgage

Will an inquiry about my credit affect my credit score?

An abundance of credit inquiries can sometimes affect your credit scores, since it may indicate that your use of credit is increasing. But don’t overreact! The data used to calculate your credit score doesn’t include any mortgage or auto loan credit inquiries that are made within the 30 days prior to the score being calculated. In addition, all mortgage inquiries made in any 14-day period are always considered one inquiry. Don’t limit your mortgage shopping for fear of the effect on your credit score.

What is a credit score and how will my credit score affect my application?

A credit score is a number that is calculated by comparing your credit history with millions of other customers as a way to determine creditworthiness. Scores are based on data that is reported each month by your creditors about the balances you owe and the timing of your payments. Information is compiled by credit bureaus and converted into a number to help a lender to determine the likelihood that you will repay the loan. It is calculated by the credit bureaus, and not a lender.

Some of the things that affect your credit score include your payment history, your outstanding obligations, the length of time you have had outstanding credit, the types of credit you use, and the number of inquiries that have been made about your credit history in the recent past. Scores range from 300 to 850. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the risk that your payments won’t be paid as agreed.

Your credit score is just one of the pieces of information that we’ll use to evaluate your application. Financial institutions have been using credit scores to evaluate credit card and auto applications for many years, and mortgage lenders have been using credit scoring to assist with loan decisions as well. Using credit scores from all three credit bureaus to evaluate your credit history allows us to quickly and objectively evaluate your credit history when reviewing your loan application. However, there are many other factors when making a loan decision and we never evaluate an application without looking at your total financial picture.

I’m nervous about providing personal information online. Is this site secure?

We use leading-edge technology to ensure that all customer information is safe. We protect our customers by using a combination of security measures that are among the best in the e-commerce industry. All customer information is encrypted using Secured Socket Layer (SSL) technology supported with digital certificates. This means that loan application information is safe and secure as it travels over the Internet. We use leading firewall and network security technology to protect our internal computer systems from unauthorized access. Our customers can be confident that personal information is completely safe and private during the application process and beyond.

If I apply for a mortgage, where will the closing take place?

We use a nationwide network of closing agents and attorneys to conduct our loan closings. For your convenience, we’ll schedule your closing to take place in a location near you. We’ll deliver our loan documents and wire transfer your loan funds to the closing agent or attorney ahead of time to allow plenty of time to prepare for your closing.

What’s the difference between a fixed and a variable rate?

A fixed rate does not change over the life of the loan. A variable rate, also known as an adjustable or floating rate, is adjusted periodically and is usually based on a standard market rate outside the control of the bank, such as the prime interest rate. These rates often have a specified floor and/or ceiling, called a cap or a collar, which limit the adjustment.

Can I apply for a mortgage loan before I find a home to purchase?

Absolutely! Actually, applying for a mortgage loan before you find a home may be the best thing you could do! Apply online now and you could get pre-qualified in minutes. Or, take it a step further by providing requested documentation and we can issue an official pre-approval. You can use the pre-approval letter to assure real estate brokers and sellers that you are a serious, qualified buyer. A mortgage pre-approval also gives more weight to any offer that you make.

When is the best time to lock in a mortgage rate?

Changes to mortgage interest rates are as hard to predict as the stock market. Nobody can really know for certain when they’re going to change or whether they’ll go up or down — and they may even change several times within a single day. If rates are on an upward trend, then you’ll want to consider locking the rate as soon as you are able. But before you lock your rate, talk to your Loan Officer for help in choosing the right rate lock period for your situation.

How quickly can you close my mortgage?

The time to close may vary depending on property and borrower circumstances, but we typically close the majority of home purchase mortgages and refinance transactions in 40 days or less. Speak with one of our experienced Loan Officers about your specific situation and we’ll work with you to meet your closing date.

How is First Internet Bank different from a traditional bank?

In some ways, First Internet Bank is very much like a traditional bank. We offer a full range of banking products and services (checking, savings, credit cards, CDs, mortgages, commercial loans and more). But the most obvious difference between First Internet Bank and traditional banks is that we don’t have any branches. Without a costly branch network to support, we have lower operating costs than traditional banks — and we pass those savings on to our customers in the form of better rates and lower fees!

If you’re wondering how to make a deposit without a branch, there are multiple options for making deposits to your account. You may also be wondering how you get access to your accounts to manage your money. We’ve built an extremely powerful website that puts account information and transactional capabilities at your fingertips.

With our online banking site and mobile app, you can complete online (or on your phone) most of the transactions that traditional banks make you complete in person at the branch. And you’ve already found the “DIY way” to get answers to any questions you may have — the FAQs on our website! But for those questions that require a personalized response, our team of professional, knowledgeable Relationship Bankers are available (outside of typical “bankers’ hours”) to assist you by phone at 1-888-873-3424, chat or email at bank@firstib.com.

How are interest rates determined?

Interest rates fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including inflation, the pace of economic growth and Federal Reserve policy. Over time, inflation has the largest influence on the level of interest rates. A modest rate of inflation will almost always lead to low interest rates, while concerns about rising inflation normally cause interest rates to increase. Our nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, implements policies designed to keep inflation and interest rates relatively low and stable.