This week we are so fortunate to have trusted mortgage lender, Jason Hudoba of Wintrust here to answer our questions for Featured Vendor Friday!
Team Lucky Duck: How long have you been in the mortgage industry?
Jason Hudoba: I started in the mortgage in 2000 during a time in the industry when there were small mortgage shops set up all over the place. I spent the last three years on the insurance side of the real estate transaction but I came back to mortgages for the relationships. The draw to mortgages was really about being hands on with the client from start to finish in the purchase of their home.
TLD: And what brought you to Wintrust?
JH: As an insurance agent, Wintrust was a preferred referral partner and I built a strong relationship with a mentor there that I could know, like, and trust.
TLD: What sets you apart from other lenders?
JH: I see my role as an educator, especially with first time buyers.
TLD: One thing buyers have a hard time understanding is their credit score. As an educator, can you explain the significance of a score?
JH: Your credit score has a significant impact on everything you do. From your cell phone, to job interviews, to mortgage rates. It’s an indicator of whether or not you’re good risk to lenders. When it comes to mortgages, your score not only directly impacts your ability to borrow money but as what interest rate comes with that.
TLD: How would one find their credit score?
JH: You can pull your credit score for free once a year. However, there’s a lot more to a credit report and your credit can change within a year. It is best to talk with a consultant or lender to understand every aspect.
TLD: And if someone has a lower score, what would you recommend they do in order to qualify for a mortgage?
JH: A consultation is a great idea to help you understand why the score is lower. I can help you strategize how to bring that score up. Maybe you’re looking to go from a 590 to 640 to qualify for a mortgage or maybe you’re looking to go from 640 to 720 to get a better interest rate. There are simple strategies that can raise a score and a consultation will help you find out what strategies work best for your particular situation.
TLD: Is 640 the minimum credit score needed to get a mortgage?
JH: Not necessarily. There are a number of factors that go into qualifying for a mortgage and a credit score is just one of them. It’s an important number but we stress that there are other options. We have various programs that will help you meet your real estate goals.
TLD: In addition to Conventional and FHA loans, what other resources would you recommend for first time buyers?
JH: There’s Start Up and Step Up downpayment assistance programs that can help any buyer. Not having excellent credit or a big savings doesn’t have to hold you back. There are always options out there that can help.
If you have any further questions for Jason, you can contact him here. A giant thank you to Jason for taking the time to answer our questions and to educate our readers on mortgage options and credit scores!