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FAQS


Does Great Midwest Bank offer Lot Financing?

Yes. However, to avoid paying two sets of closing costs, it’s best to try and close on the Lot purchase and Construction Loan at the same time. Ask a Loan Officer for details on costs and down payment.


How quickly can I be pre-approved?

Many pre-approvals, with a few exceptions, can most often be expedited in a day or two upon receipt of your financial information.


What paperwork is necessary for a Pre-Approval?

  • Two years W2’s
  • Two years federal tax returns (for self-employed borrowers)
  • Last Month of paystubs
  • Two months of recent bank statements (all pages)
  • Builder contract (if available)
  • Lot purchase agreement (if applicable)
  • Prior title commitment on land (if applicable & available)

What kind of Homeowner’s Insurance is necessary?

We require homeowner’s insurance coverage equal to at least the amount of your loan. In addition a “builder’s risk endorsement” at a small additional cost is required for all construction loans.


Why is a Title Company involved in the Construction process?

A title company is used to administer the construction draws as a neutral party to both the builder and the lender. By inspecting the project each time a draw is requested, the title company ensures that all work necessary is being completed and contractors are paid as planned.


How does the draw process work?

The Builder’s construction schedule usually accounts for 4-6 construction draws. The dollar amount of each draw will vary depending on the work being done. You must first approve each draw which is then provided to the title company who verifies the work performed. The request is forwarded to the bank who in turn provides funds to the title company. They then disburse those funds to the builder, who pays each subcontractor and material provider.


I previously purchased and financed a Lot. Will that payment continue?

The remaining mortgage balance on your lot will be refinanced into your new construction loan so you will have one payment during and after construction.


What can I expect for payments during Construction?

Interest on the outstanding principal balance. You can choose to pay principal as well.


Is An Appraisal necessary? How is “value” determined?

Yes. Since the home is not yet built, the appraiser will consider the construction contract, plans, and specifications and then searches to include a number of comparable sales within the area during the last six months to a year. Under most circumstances, “Value” for the sake of financing is the lower of the total costs or the appraisal amount.


What is Owner’s Title Insurance?

Owner’s title insurance protects you as an owner of the property and will assure you that your property is free of any liens, judgements, and encumbrances other than the mortgage filed as part of the construction loan. It is purchased as a one-time cost at closing and is valid for as long as you own the property.


How much does a Construction Loan cost?

Typically around $1,200 plus a one-time fee for optional Owner’s Title Insurance. The cost of this insurance is based on a standard statewide schedule. Ask a Loan Officer for details.


Can I start building before selling my existing home?

Depending on your cash available and/or home equity position, you may be able to do so. This assumes that your income supports both monthly mortgage payments along with any other monthly debts. Ask a Loan Officer about a Great Midwest Bank Home Equity Line of Credit on your existing home.


Will the equity in my Lot be considered part of the Down Payment?

Most likely, yes, as the appraisal will take into consideration the current land value.


What Down Payment is required?

Great Midwest offers some of the lowest down payment options among area banks. Ask a Loan Officer for details. Down payment is due at the time of closing and your funds will be disbursed before loan proceeds.


When can I lock into a Fixed Rate? Are there extra costs?

You may be eligible to apply for a low-or-no cost fixed rate refinance as the home nears completion. We often can use the original appraisal for this purpose. Ask your Loan Officer for more details.


What does a “One-Time Closing” mean?

We combine your construction loan and permanent mortgage into one loan. You have one closing and only pay one set of costs. Once construction is complete you begin to pay a monthly mortgage payment. You may want to consider a refinance into a fixed rate upon completion.


What Construction Products does Great Midwest Bank offer?

We offer a variety of Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARMs). These products include a “One-Time Closing” provision with a construction period of up to a year. The rate is locked for the initial term. Ask a Loan Officer for our current rates and programs.


Will I be charged any fees if I authorize my credit information to be accessed?

There is no charge to you for the credit information we’ll access with your permission to evaluate your application online. You will only be charged for a credit report if you decide to complete the application process after your loan is approved.


Will the 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.

It is, however, important to understand that we will require an explanation on all inquiries reflected on your credit report in the 90 days prior to your application. Additionally, just prior to closing, we are required to make a final inquiry to be sure you haven’t taken on any additional debt that would have to be considered part of your application. This final inquiry does not affect your scores.


How are credit scores determined and how will my credit score affect my application?

Credit scores are based on information collected by credit bureaus and information reported each month by your creditors about the balances you owe and the timing of your payments. A credit score is a compilation of all this information converted into a number that helps a lender to determine the likelihood that you will repay the loan on schedule. The credit score is calculated by the credit bureau, not by the lender. Credit scores are calculated by comparing your credit history with millions of other consumers. They have proven to be a very effective way of determining credit worthiness.

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.

Credit scores used for mortgage loan decisions range from approximately 300 to 900. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the risk that your payments won’t be paid as agreed. Additionally, the best terms are reserved for those with the highest credit scores. Your interest and/or fees may be affected by your credit scores.

Using credit scores 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 the total financial picture of a customer.

For more information, visit our link on Understanding Credit Scores.


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

Yes, applying for a mortgage pre-approval before you shop is something most any seller will require.   If you apply for your mortgage now and qualify, Great Midwest Bank will issue a pre-approval letter, subject to a few standard conditions, including final verification of your employment and assets for down payment.  A pre-approval for a mortgage from Great Midwest Bank offers you an advantage over other simultaneous offers as Real Estate Professionals know that we’ll be thorough in our review.  We do that to avoid surprises down the road.

When you find your perfect home, simply call or email your Loan Officer so you can update your application. You’ll have an opportunity to lock in your interest rate as long as your closing is within 45 days or less.


How are mortgage interest rates determined?

Mortgage 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.

Additionally, some Home Loan Programs require adjustments to stated Interest rates based on a loan characteristics such as a Borrower’s credit history or down payment or amount of equity in the home. The online mortgage application and rate quotes are designed to provide you with an accurate quote once we know all of the loan characteristics.


For a purchase loan, can I get a seller credit towards costs?

Yes, but the credit is limited to the actual closing costs plus prepaid items. Prepaid items include interest, taxes, insurance and the inspection cost.  Additionally, credits usually cannot exceed 3% or 6% of the purchase price, depending on the amount of your down payment, and cannot be used as a credit towards that down payment.


Is comparing APRs the best way to decide which lender has the lowest rates and fees?

The Federal Truth in Lending law requires that all financial institutions disclose the APR when they advertise a rate. The APR is designed to present the actual cost of obtaining financing, by requiring that some, but not all, closing fees are included in the APR calculation. These fees, in addition to the interest rate determine the estimated cost of financing over the full term of the loan.

Also, the APR doesn’t include all the closing fees. Fees for things like appraisals, title work, and document preparation are not included even though you’ll probably have to pay them.

You can use the APR as a guideline to shop for loans but you should not depend solely on the APR in choosing the loan program that’s best for you. Look at total fees, possible rate adjustments in the future if you’re comparing adjustable rate mortgages, and consider the length of time that you plan on having the mortgage.

Don’t forget that the APR is an effective interest rate–not the actual interest rate. Your monthly payments will be based on the actual interest rate (or the “note rate), the amount you borrow, and the term of your loan.


What makes up mortgage closing costs?

A bank incurs costs to provide your home loan, including the appraisal, title insurance, closing, recording and various others. These fees vary from lender to lender.

Great Midwest Bank is mutually owned, which means we have no shareholders to please. We can therefore pass along continued competitive rates and fees to you, the customer.

To assist you in evaluating our fees, we’ve grouped them as follows:

Third Party Fees
Fees that we consider third party fees include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, title insurance fees, flood certification fees, and courier/mailing fees.

Third party fees are fees that we’ll collect and pass on to the person who actually performed the service. For example, an appraiser is paid the appraisal fee, a credit bureau is paid the credit report fee, and a title company or an attorney is paid the title insurance fees.

Typically, you’ll see some minor variances in third party fees from lender to lender since a lender may have negotiated a special charge from a provider they use often or chooses a provider that offers nationwide coverage at a flat rate.

Taxes and other unavoidables
Fees that we consider to be taxes and other unavoidables include local taxes and recording fees. These fees will most likely have to be paid regardless of the lender you choose.

Lender Fees
Fees such as discount points, document preparation fees, and loan processing fees are retained by the lender and are used to provide you with the lowest rates possible.

This is the category of fees that you should compare very closely from lender to lender before making a decision.

Required Advances
You may be asked to prepay some items at closing that will actually be due in the future. These figures are sometimes referred to as “prepaid items”.

One of the more common required advances is called “per diem interest” or “interest due at closing.” All of our mortgages have payment due dates of the 1st of the month. If your loan is closed on any day other than the first of the month, you’ll pay interest, from the date of closing through the end of the month, at closing. For example, if the home loan is closed on June 15, we’ll collect interest from June 15 through June 30 at closing. This also means that you won’t make your first mortgage payment until August 1. This type of charge should not vary from lender to lender, and does not need to be considered when comparing lenders. All lenders will charge you interest beginning on the day the home loan funds are disbursed. It is simply a matter of when it will be collected.

If an escrow or impound account for property taxes and/or insurance will be established, you will make an initial deposit into the escrow account at closing so that sufficient funds are available to pay the bills when they become due. Our home loans usually only require one month deposit of taxes at closing. Most other lenders will cushion your escrow account with 2-3 months extra funds, which you will not see until you pay off the loan.

If your home loan requires mortgage insurance, up to two months of the mortgage insurance will be collected at closing. Whether or not your home loan requires mortgage insurance depends on the size of the down payment you make.

If your loan is for a purchase, you’ll also need to pay for your first year’s homeowner’s insurance premium prior to closing. We consider this to be a required advance.


What is mortgage insurance and when is it required?

First of all, let’s make sure we’re clear on what we mean when we discuss Mortgage Insurance. Mortgage insurance should not be confused with Mortgage Life Insurance, which is designed to pay off a mortgage in the event of a borrower’s death. Mortgage insurance makes it possible for you to buy a home with a low down payment by protecting the lender against the additional risk associated with low down payment lending.

Low down payment mortgages are popular, and by purchasing mortgage insurance, Great Midwest is able to provide mortgages to those customers with a low down payment but with a good credit history and sufficient income to cover the new payment.

The mortgage insurance premium is based on loan to value ratio, type of loan, borrower’s credit score, borrower’s debt-to-income ratio and amount of coverage required by Great Midwest. Usually, the premium is included in your monthly payment; however options do exist to pay it in a single amount at closing. Ask your Loan Officer for more details.

It may be possible to cancel private mortgage insurance at some point. If you have any questions about when your mortgage insurance could be cancelled, please call 888-485-4400 or email us.


Does Great Midwest Bank provide home loan down payment assistance?

Under certain circumstances, homebuyers may be eligible to receive home loan down payment assistance via one or more outside sources and offered through Great Midwest Bank. The assistance can take the form of a grant that is forgiven over a period of time (say, for example, five years) or as a loan where repayment is deferred until you decide to sell your home.

Eligibility is most often based on household income, and will vary depending on the number of people that will be occupying the home. The maximum annual income limits are as follow:

  • 1 person household – $41,100
  • 2 person household – $46,950
  • 3 person household – $52,800
  • 4 person household – $58,650
  • 5 person household – $63,350

For more details, contact one of our Loan Officers.


What is the minimum down payment for home loan mortgage transaction?

Down payment requirements vary by program.  Great Midwest Bank specializes in low down payment options for primary residence purchases, some of which can be gifted by a family member under certain circumstances. Ask your Loan Officer for more details.


Is there a fee for online banking?

No, online banking is completely free.


What functionality does online banking provide?

  • Access any of your accounts under the same social security number: checking, savings, Insured Investment Fund (money  market), CDs, IRA’s, loans and mortgages.
  • Check your current account balance or view your transactionhistory from your current or previous statement for checking accounts and from the previous year for savings accounts.
  • Verify if a check, debit card or direct deposit transaction has cleared.
  • Transfer funds between accounts.
  • Make loan payments from your Great Midwest Bank checking or savings accounts to your Great Midwest Bank consumer, home equity or mortgage loans using Great Midwest Bank’s Online Banking.
  • View your mortgage balance, interest rate, escrow information or check your payment amount and due date.
  • Make a one-time transfer or schedule an automatic transfer between your Great Midwest Bank accounts to occur on a specific future date and if desired to continue occurring weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
  • Download data to Quicken, Microsoft money, Quickbooks or even Excel, to save time re-keying information into those programs.

Recognize that e-Banking account transfers are “real time”, meaning they are completed at that moment. Transfers after 10:00 p.m. (Central time) Monday through Friday, after 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays or at any time on Sundays or Holidays will be processed the following business day or Saturday, whichever comes first. If you make a transfer during this time, you will receive a message stating that your transfer has been successfully completed. However the transaction will not be able to be viewed in history until the following business day or Saturday.


Can a business customer use online banking?

Yes, an authorized user for the business may enroll in e-Banking. The authorized user can enjoy features of including transferring funds between accounts.


What accounts can I access?

You can access deposit and loan accounts using the same social security number.


Are online and mobile banking secure?

Great Midwest Bank takes financial security and confidentiality very seriously. Our online Banking system utilizes 128-bit SSL encryption, digital certificate authentication, firewalls, password protection and additional layered security to protect your personal and account information.  Click here for more information.


What if I forgot my Access ID or Password?

You have three options:

  • Either click on the “Forgot your password?” link below the e-Banking sign in box on the home page
  • Call our toll free line (888) 485-4400 during normal business hours
  • E-mail us

What do I need to sign up for online banking?

  • An account number from any one of your existing Great Midwest accounts
  • Your e-mail address
  • A Web browser that supports secure transactions. You must use a recent version of a Secure Socket layer-enabled (SSL-enabled) Web browser to perform banking transactions over the Internet…older versions may not work at all.
  • For security purposes you will be asked to select an Access ID and Password. For all future Logins you will use the Access ID and Password you have selected. Be sure to follow the Enrollment Instructions in the pop-up box that will appear to the right of your user information data entry box. Your Access ID must be at least 6 characters long and may contain any combination of letters, numbers or special characters. Also, your Password must be 6-16 characters long and may contain any combination of letters, numbers or special characters. We strongly encourage a password with at least one alpha and one numeric character for security reasons. Both Access ID and Password are CaSe SensiTive.

How do I sign up for online banking?

Click here to sign up for e-Banking. Read and Accept the Terms and conditions. Fill in the requested information and submit.

Please see additional information on enrollment within increased login security.


How do I sign-up for eStatements?

  • Click on the eStatements menu button within online Banking. ( If not signed up yet, click on online banking Signup )
    Upon navigating to eStatements for the first time, you are presented with a disclosure and asked to validate that you have read and accepted the terms and conditions.
  • You are then presented with a list of available accounts where you can select either electronic or paper delivery for each account type.
  • You’ll then submit and confirm your selections.
  • Once you have confirmed your enrollment, you’ll be able to immediately access your eStatements.

What Are eStatements?

eStatements are an electronic version of your regular account statement formatted to be viewable online. It is virtually identical to the paper version of your account statement that comes in the mail, including the same look and information. The main difference is that you can view your eStatement anytime and anywhere you want via your secure, online e-banking account.




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“Thank you for everything you have done. Your service was great and the application process was quick and easy. The people at GMB listened to me and did not make judgements based on numbers.”

Henry, Nashotah

Great Midwest Bank