Student Loan Servicer Changes: What You Need to Know

There’s been a lot of news about student debt lately. And one of the biggest recent developments: the impending changes to federal student loan servicers.

Three major federal student loan servicers — FedLoan, Granite State, and Navient — are all in the process of ending their contracts with the Department of Education (DoEd) and transferring borrowers in their portfolios to new servicers.

If you’re one of the nearly sixteen million borrowers impacted by these changes, you should know that you don’t need to take any action to get a new servicer. At some point within the next year — and for most borrowers, before the end of 2021 — your old servicer and the DoEd will automatically assign you to a new loan servicer and transfer your debt.

But with federal student loan payment suspension just around the corner on January 31, it’s especially important that you stay on top of your servicer’s status so that you know how and where to make payments later this winter.

Here are four key steps you can take to get ready for the switch:

Know where you stand.

You probably haven’t given your federal student loans much thought since the payment freeze went into effect in March 2020 — so much so that you may not even remember crucial details like your total balance. Take this chance to log into your current loan servicer and save a copy of your loan details and payment history. This information should transfer to your new servicer automatically, but being able to cross-reference your own records could come in handy later on.

Make sure your contact info is up to date.

While you’re at it, make sure your contact info is up to date with both your current loan servicer and the FSA website. After all, 11 percent of Americans moved during the pandemic, and you don’t want to miss an important update because it was sent to the wrong address.

Get set up with your new servicer sooner rather than later.

Once you’re assigned to a new servicer, they’ll contact you with instructions for activating an account to access their online system. Take this step as soon as possible so you can set up monthly auto-pay, review the status of your loans, and confirm your personal details (which may include recertifying employment and income info if you’re enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan) before your next bill is due.

Make a plan for January 31st.

With so much commotion surrounding these student loan servicer changes, it’s easy to lose sight of the other major change that’s just around the corner for federal student loan borrowers. But the federal payment freeze is still set to end on January 31st, and it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll handle the return to repayment.

Not sure where to get started? The Milford Bank offers candid.ly as a value-added service to help you manage and repay your student loan debt faster and smarter. Whether you want to lower your monthly student loan bill, pay off your debt faster, or track your paydown progress, Candid.ly  offers personalized tools that will move you closer to your goals. Visit milfordbank.com/other-services/candidly/ to learn more and activate your free account today.

Are You a Renter Looking to Become a Homeowner?

By Paul Mulligan, SVP, Retail Lending

Last year, while many businesses and industries suffered, the real estate market in Connecticut had a phenomenal year, with a 17% increase in home purchases.  The 38,641 single-family homes bought was the highest in the state in 15 years.  One factor certainly was the fact that the number of people moving into Connecticut in 2020 was more than double what the state enjoyed during 2019.

One of the byproducts of the trend was an increase in home prices, which also grew. As a result, many people may feel they are being priced out of the home market.  Renters, in particular, are feeling less confident that they will be able to buy homes.  Just over a third of current renters say they are “not very confident” or “not confident at all” in their ability to buy a home.  The majority say their lack of confidence comes from home prices being too high or an inability to afford a down payment.

But, that shouldn’t mean renters should stop thinking about buying a home.   There are many benefits to owning, including:

  • Freedom to renovate/decorate
  • Building equity
  • Potential tax benefits
  • Value could increase over time
  • Stability of ownership
  • Predictable monthly loan payment (with a fixed-rate mortgage)

There are also many variables to consider when buying a home; including location, size and type of home, features, and of course, cost.  If you’re ready to buy a home – or even if you’re just starting to consider it – one of the first things you may want to consider is your priorities?  That includes what are the must have, nice-to-have, and unnecessary features.  If you’re willing to add flexibility to your process, you should enjoy greater home selection opportunities.

In addition, your local community bank may be able to offer you better mortgage terms that may make it easier for you to get out of paying someone else for your living space and start building equity in your own home.  For instance, The Milford Bank offers highly competitive rates with no-cost lock-in, low down payment options, free prequalification to make your home shopping experience easier, decisions made locally by a bank with a long history of serving the local community, and mortgage professionals that focus on your individual needs as a local customer.

In addition, if you’re a renter looking for your first home, The Milford Bank offers a First-Time Homebuyer program within Milford, Stratford, West haven, and Orange; that includes a rate reduction from the standard rate, application fee refund on closing, and low down payment options. The Milford Bank also offers a special rate for single family dwelling purchases, regardless of location throughout the state of CT.

You may also want to consider current versus future plans.  When looking at homes and talking to your bank, consider how you might be able to expand a potential home in the future to meet additional needs or to add some of the nice-to-have features that might not be feasible initially.  You may even be able to use the equity you build in your home over the years to take out a home equity loan or line of credit to fund home improvement projects.  Alternatively, The Milford Bank offers a construction-to-permanent one closing loan option, which includes the option of a fixed rate and an interest only period of up to 12 months during the construction phase.

The bottom line is, if you are looking to buy a home – whether you’re tired of paying a monthly rent to a landlord or association or you simply want the freedom and convenience of owning your own home – don’t let your lack of confidence keep you from achieving your dream.  Talk to The Milford Bank’s local mortgage specialists, who can provide you with the information and assistance you need to make a truly informed decision to assist you in purchasing a home that fits your needs and budget.

Celebrating Home Owners: Are You Ready to Buy?

June is National Homeownership Month, celebrating a key part of what many people see as part of their life dreams.  And why not?  Home ownership can be a great investment with many benefits.

Long term cost savings – By paying your monthly mortgage, you are creating your own nest egg, instead of paying off someone else’s mortgage or generating revenue for them.  In many cases, mortgage payments, especially for first-time buyers, can be very close to or even lower than monthly rent.

Equity – As you pay down your mortgage, you build equity in your home, increasing your net worth and your future ability to obtain home equity loans for other expenses, including home improvements (which can further increase the value of your investment).

Improving credit – As long as you make your monthly payments on time, you can improve your credit rating, making it easier to secure other loans for future expenses.

It’s yours – When you own property, the decision on how to use it is yours, not your landlord’s.  You can decide how to decorate, renovate, add on to create more living and entertaining space, and generally use your property however you want.  The financial benefits are great, but this may be the greatest benefit of all.

Of course, if you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ve got a lot to think about, including securing a mortgage, which can be an uncertain prospect.  But, working with the right bank can make it a much easier and satisfying process – especially those with special first-time buyer programs.  The Milford Bank offers a program that includes a reduced interest rate, application fee refund, pre-qualification certificates, and low down-payment options, which take the hassle out of buying your first home.

In addition to financing, you have many other things to think about when buying a home – especially for the first time.  This includes location, school system, style, property size, and of course home features.

To help you consider what is most important to you, here’s a list of the most commonly desired features by home buyers today.  Each of these features was listed by at least 80% of people as being either a must-have or desirable feature.

  • Laundry room
  • Exterior lighting
  • Ceiling fan(s)
  • Energy efficient windows
  • Patio
  • Double kitchen sink
  • Walk-in pantry
  • Front porch
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Hardwood floors
  • Full bath on main level
  • Energy efficient lighting

As you get start with the home buying process, make sure you’re buying a home that you’ll be happy with.  It’s not a bad idea to think about the future and your ability to renovate or add on.  You’ll have question, naturally, especially when it comes to the mortgage.  Don’t hesitate to call on our mortgage specialists to answer them so you have an enjoyable experience.

Creating Strong Passwords To Keep Your Digital Accounts Safe

By Patty Gallagher

Any time you go online, you’re likely to have to enter a password to access your banking information, shopping account, or other digital services.  It’s your tool for keeping your accounts and information secure from hackers and thieves, and it’s why you should take your passwords seriously.

Criminals will use many means to try to break into your accounts, including the most commonly used passwords.  If you use any of these, it’s time to take a hard look at your passwords.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 1234567
  6. 12345678
  7. 12345
  8. iloveyou
  9. 111111
  10. 123123

They also try to using previously compromised passwords to access other accounts, which is why staying vigilant is critical.  And, they will use phishing scams to lure you into providing personal information that  could be part of your passwords, or into clicking links that may install malware on your computers.  Compromised passwords, in fact, are responsible for 81% of hacking-related breaches, so you would be wise to make sure you have good passwords in place and are following best practices.

Be unpredictable – Avoid using easily guessed passwords that include important dates, family members names, pet names, and other information that can be relatively easily found through searching publically available information.

Be unique – More than 65% of people reuse passwords across sites and apps, and the average person uses the same password 14 times.  Don’t do it; use unique passwords for each account.  That way, even if one of your accounts is compromised – regardless of how it happens – you won’t have exposed passwords to other sites.

Make things up – It’s logical to want to use passwords you can remember, but without making them easy to guess.  Try using combinations of three or four words to create a password, such as “dogflightgrill.”  It can be easier to remember if you’re using strings of words that have some meaning, but harder to guess.  You should still avoid using easily guessable words and names.  The longer your passwords are, the better, so the more component parts you use, the less likely you’ll be to have your passwords guessed.

Password generator/manager – Using a password generator will create longer password strings that are almost impossible to guess.  Of course, it also makes it just as difficult to remember, which is where password managers come in handy.  They securely manage your passwords in the cloud, so you only have to remember a single password to access them – but make sure it’s a very good one.

Old school – If a digital password manager isn’t for you, keeping a handwritten record of your passwords is another option.  Keep the log in a secure place at home or in your office, where you can easily access it when needed.  Yes, there’s still potential for someone to physically steal it, but that seems much less likely, especially at home.

Use 2FA – Whenever possible, make sure you use two-factor authentication for your accounts.  While it doesn’t help protect you passwords, it will help secure your accounts if your passwords are compromised.

While complex, unique passwords make things a little more difficult, they help secure your digital accounts, identity, and money, and even with the extra effort, access to online resources still makes many tasks much easier and convenient.

But, it’s not foolproof.  There’s still the chance your passwords could be compromised by vendors.  If that happens, and you think your financial information may have been exposed in any way, contact your bank(s) immediately.

Buying a Home Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

By Paul Mulligan, Senior Vice President, Consumer Lending

Buying a home can be a stressful experience.  Even if you’ve done it before and are looking to move, upgrade, or downside, it takes some work.  If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s likely to be an even more nerve-wracking experience because you don’t know what to expect.  Whether you’re ready to start shopping for a home now, or if it’s part of your future plans, here are a few things to consider that can help make the process a little smoother for you.  Especially in the current environment, with fewer houses on the market, being prepared can make it easier to act quickly on the house you want.

Down payment – Look at how much you have saved for a down payment.  If you haven’t started, that may be the first place to start.  Putting more down on your home initially will reduce your monthly mortgage payments, but you want to make sure you don’t drain your bank account completely, because there are always things that seem to come up when buying a home, whether it’s repairs, additional furniture, or other things.  Also look into how different down payment amounts might change your interest rates, mortgage insurance, and other variables.

Know your costs – There are any number of additional expenses that can come up during the home buying process.  In addition to your regular monthly expenses, make sure you know what to expect in terms of insurance, inspections, legal fees, and other costs you might incur during the process.  Some are small, but others can be larger expenses that could impact your down payment or savings.  Don’t forget moving expenses.

Assistance programs – The local bank in the area you’re looking to buy a home may have first-time home buyer programs that might provide a number of benefits.  The Milford Bank, for instance, offers an application fee refund, discounted interest rates, prequalification certificates, and low down payment options.  Milford, Stratford, West Haven, and Orange and eligible for the first time homebuyer program.

Check your credit report – One of the first things your lender is going to do is check your credit report.  Make sure your report isn’t showing any inaccurate or fraudulent activity.  If there is something suspicious, you will want to give yourself enough time to address it.  You may also want to avoid opening new lines of credit before applying for a home loan, since that could impact your credit score.  The truth is, you should check your credit report regularly.  Since each of the three major credit agencies is required to give you one free credit report each year, you can easily do it three times a year without incurring any cost.

Compare lenders – There are plenty of lenders out there.  Do your homework, don’t overlook your local bank, and consider more than rates. Local institutions, such as The Milford Bank, often offer more personalized service and are certainly much more easily accessible if you have questions or if problems come up.  They can also provide easy access to additional financial services, including future home equity loans when you’re looking to make larger improvements or renovations.

Plan ahead – As you start thinking about and looking for homes, think about your future plans.  For instance, if you’re also thinking about starting a family, you may want to make sure you have enough space without having to immediately move again.  That could mean giving up a few nice-to-have features in exchange for a little more space, in order to stick to your budget.  On the other hand, if you’re serious about relocating when you start a family, or for any other reasons, you may want to consider a slightly smaller home that will allow you to save a little more

The fact is, if you’re currently renting, you may find you can get into a home of your own for something very close to what you’re paying in rent – or less – especially if you’ve prepared well and planned ahead.  You’ll also have the added benefit of being able to deduct mortgage interest from your federal income tax.  But, don’t go into it without having all the information you need.  Talk to your bank’s mortgage specialists professionals and your tax planner.  They can help answer any questions you have, including how much you can reasonably afford to spend on a home.

 

10 Low-budget Ways to Give Your Home a New Look

By Tina Mason

It’s been a crazy few months, with most of us stuck at home and most businesses closed.  Even now, as some places start to re-open, many of the restrictions, especially on group gatherings, remain in place, and it could be some time before things get back to normal.

In the mean time, what can you do to pass the time?  You’ve already streamed the entire Netflix library, read several books, and could really use something new to break up the monotony.  You may have some larger projects you want to get done around the house, and this is a good time to work on those.  If you’re ready for a major home improvement project, and need a home improvement loan or home equity line of credit, one of our specialists can help you with great rates.  There are probably many contractors looking for work right now, so it could be a good time to get those projects started.

But, given we’re still in the middle of so much uncertainty, maybe you’re not ready for such a large investment.  There are still plenty of ways to give your home an upgrade without spending a lot.  Here are just a few projects you can do on your own that will give your home a new look.

Paint the front door – Your door is the first thing most people notice, even if they’re just passing by.  It’s certainly how most people enter your home.  So, if it’s looking a little faded or run down, try giving your door a fresh coat of paint.  You can even go with a completely different look with a color change.  Don’t forget your shutters.

Patio/deck accent lighting – There are many styles of outdoor string lights available that can give your outdoor area a new look and add character for your summer nights.  Even if you’re not entertaining right now, you’ll enjoy being outside with just your family more than ever.

Build a fire pit – Sure, you can buy a fire pit, but why not enjoy the satisfaction of making one yourself?  You may also save a little money doing it yourself using inexpensive wall blocks or pavers from your   hardware store.  When you’re done, you can set up your outdoor furniture around your fire pit and enjoy the ambience year-round.  But, make sure you follow common safety procedures when lighting and putting out your fires.

Plant a garden – Have a little extra space in your yard or an old garden area you haven’t maintained in years?  This is a great time to get a new garden going, and you don’t need much to do it.  With some wood or plastic edging and maybe some decent soil, you’ll be ready to plant your own vegetables and herbs in no time.  For a little extra visual appeal, you can build a raised bed garden.  You might also want to consider building a fence around it using 2×2 posts and some garden fencing.

Window or deck boxes – If you don’t have room for a garden, you could always start with deck or window boxes.  You can plant herbs or certain vegetables, depending on the size of you boxes, or you can put in flowers to add some color around your patio or deck areas.  You can find fairly inexpensive boxes, or if you have a few simple tools, make one.

Solar lights – You can create a totally new look for your gardens or walkways by adding some inexpensive solar landscape lighting.  They will not only look great, but can make it easier to navigate in the dark – especially if you need to get to the fire pit you just built.

Organize your basement – Over the years, your basement, shed, garage, or closets have probably become cluttered with various items.  This is a great time to turn those into projects by cleaning them out, organizing them, and probably finding you can get rid of some unused or old items that are just taking up space.  When you’re done, you’ll be able to find things more easily, and probably have created more space for storage.  You can add new shelves if you need even more space.

Accent walls – Are you tired of the same old look in your living room or bedroom?  Think about painting one of the walls a different color to create contract and give the room a new look.  If your ceilings are looking a little old and grey, try giving them a new coat of paint, too – especially if you have an older home with popcorn ceilings you just can’t stand.

Update your kitchen cabinets – A simple way to give your kitchen a brand new look is by refinishing your cabinet doors.  It can be as simple as a new coat of paint to give them a totally new look, or you can replace them with a different style at much less cost than replacing the entire cabinet.  Want an even bolder new look?  You can make inexpensive glass front doors using plexiglass.  Adding new knobs completes the touch, or you can just start with that if you want to keep it simple.  While you’re at it, replacing your doorknobs is another way to give your entire home a bit of a new look.

Rearrange your furniture – Sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity with the furniture you already have to completely refresh your home.  Try different arrangements, keep an open mind, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to create a totally redesigned living space with no investment at all.

There are countless other ways you can improve your home inexpensively.  Get creative, get advice from friends, take a look at what you have around the house that you can repurpose, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to turn any room into a brand new experience.

Staying Financially Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Pam Reiss

As the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has come to a grinding halt. Millions of us are working from home, our children are getting their schooling through videoconferencing, and our normal social and sports activities are in limbo.

Unfortunately, the situation can create some uncertainty around how to manage financially. Whether you’re currently working or not, it’s very likely you’ve been thinking about how to manage your finances during this time. The good news is at least some typical spending has naturally been cut because we’re all staying at home. But, there are many ways you may be able to keep your financial situation as stable as possible and stretch your budgets a bit.

Takeout vs. cooking – Ordering takeout or delivery is a great way to support local businesses during the crisis, but if you need to cut your spending, since you’re at home anyway, try limiting how often you order out. Instead, enjoy more home-cooked meals. There are many resources online for inexpensive, healthy meals. You can plan your entire week’s meals, make a complete shopping list, and make just one trip to the grocery store. You can even have one night of the week reserved for leftovers. If you want to continue to support a few local restaurants, set aside one or two days of the week for that.

Buy what you need – We’re still able to go to the grocery store, despite having to follow public safety guidelines. If you initially stocked up on non-perishables or frozen items, start using those instead of constantly buying more. Also, when you’re at the grocery store, there are still many items on sale each week. You can check out your grocery store’s flyer online to see what’s on sale, and plan your meals for the week accordingly.

Other ways to save – Take a look at some of the other things you’re spending on each week and see where you can cut a little out of your budget. Things to look at include video services. If you’re a cable subscriber, you might think about switching to a lower service tier, at least temporarily, or if you have multiple streaming services, consider cutting one of more of them. The monthly savings can add up quickly, and you can certainly find other ways to entertain your family.

Low interest rates – With interest rates dropping, this may be a good time to look into refinancing your mortgage or student loan, or even consolidating multiple loans. While there will be paperwork involved, lower interest rates can provide significant savings each month.

Emergency fund – If you’ve been following good financial habits and have built up an emergency fund, don’t automatically fall back on it. First take a look at ways you can reasonably adjust your spending. Then, if you find you need to dip into it, you can hopefully use just a little of it. If you’re fortunate enough to be working, this is a good time to add to or start your emergency fund. Since at least some of your normal extracurricular spending has been put on hold, consider putting that toward your emergency fund. You never know when you’ll need it.

Investment funds – It can be difficult watching retirement accounts and other investments lose money with the current market instability. The good news is they have historically bounced back reasonably quickly. Before you move or sell your investments, talk to your financial advisor, who can give you advice on whether it’s a smart move or not. Making a rash decision could actually end up hurting your investment funds.

Protect your credit – If at all possible, continue to pay your bills on time. If you’ve been using your credit cards, at the very least, pay the minimum on those to avoid hurting your credit score. If you are in a situation where you can’t pay some of your bills, contact your lenders. some lenders are allowing extra flexibility with payment terms or interest rates to help during the pandemic. You should also check your credit reports regularly. Fraudulent activity often increases during crises, and consumers and businesses are under a constant barrage from cyber criminals. Be extra cautious with emails, websites, and phone calls. There are thousands of malicious COVID-19 websites out there, and many phishing emails and phone calls looking to exploit uncertainty and fear.

The good news is most of the financial resources you normally have at your disposal are still available, though not in an in-person capacity. But, you can still contact us if you need advice.  Even though we’re all dealing with this pandemic, you can do things to help keep your finances in order and limit any long-term impact.

A Special Notice About the Coronavirus

Dear Customer:

We understand and share your concerns surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak and the speed at which it’s spreading. We want you to know that The Milford Bank is taking precautions to help keep our customers and our employees safe. Such measures include making hand sanitizer available in our offices, and wiping down counters, ATMs, check writers, and door handles more frequently than usual.

We will continue to monitor information associated with the coronavirus. Should any disruption to our business occur, we will proactively keep you informed.

In the meantime, the general public is advised to adhere to the following preventative guidelines:

·         Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

·         Stay home and rest if you aren’t feeling well.

·         Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.

·         Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·         Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

·         Avoid close contact with others who are ill.

·         Drink plenty of water and get regular exercise.

·         Opt for a fist bump, head nod or a wave in lieu of a handshake.

Fortunately, during this time, you have many options to conduct your banking in instead of coming to the Bank.

·         Use Online or Mobile banking to deposit checks, check balances, pay bills, get eStatements, transfer funds and more. Sign up for online banking here. You can find our apps for mobile banking on Apple or Google Play.

·         Apply for a mortgage or home equity online here.

·         Check balances and transactional information, transfer funds and hear rates over the phone by calling 800-340-4862 (4TMB).

·         Call us at 203-783-5700 for assistance with your Banking.

While the coronavirus is concerning, as of today, our operations have not been impacted. It is important to note, however, that the situation is dynamic. We will continue to provide updates as needed via enews communications, our website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

So You’re a First-Time Home Buyer, Here’s What You Need to Know

By Paul Mulligan

Buying a home is one of the biggest milestones in your life – right up there with marriage and starting a family.  Being a homeowner has several benefits, including possibly lowering your monthly payments compared to renting and earning equity as your home value rises and you pay down your principal.  The immediate benefit, of course, is the happiness and security of owning instead of being beholden to a landlord.  As a homeowner, you have the ability to do what you like with pets, landscaping, renovations, and anything else that will make your house a home.

But, buying a home is also probably the biggest financial commitment you’ll make. There are many things to think about as you begin the process that can help make the process as enjoyable as it should be.

Here are several tips that can help make your first home purchase a positive experience.

Buy within your means – Many people tend to look at houses they can’t afford or that are too large.  Do the math to determine how much you can realistically spend while still allowing you to meet your monthly budget needs, as well as continuing to save for retirement and other future needs – including home maintenance and repairs.

Understand all your costs – In addition to the basic monthly mortgage payments, be aware of all the other costs that may impact your budgeting.  That includes property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as mortgage and hazard insurances, depending on your financing need and location of the home.  You should also expect an increase in your utility bills, including heating and HVAC maintenance contracts – especially if they were previously included in your rent payments.

Plan ahead – Don’t rush into a home purchase.  Make sure you have all the information, have the financial resources to comfortably support the purchase, and are buying a home you will be happy in for many years.  Try to avoid draining all your savings and make sure you still have an emergency fund to fall back on should the need arise.  That’s particularly important as a homeowner so you don’t risk losing your house if you’re suddenly unable to make payments for a short period.  In fact, it’s even better if you can continue to grow your savings, so you have the resources to make improvements.

Manage your credit – It’s always important to follow good spending and credit habits, but especially when you’re looking to buy your first home.  Lenders will pull your credit reports, possibly several times, to make sure you are credit worthy and nothing has changed during the buying process.  Make sure you pay your bills on time, and be cautious opening up any new lines of credit before your loan is approved.

The perfect home vs. the right home – It’s rare that you’ll find the absolute perfect home for all your current and future needs.  Have a reasonable list of must-have features, and a second list of nice-to-haves.  Look for a home that checks off the first set, and maybe some of the second (you can always make improvements to check off more items later).  But don’t forget location.  Your neighborhood can be as big a factor in your long-term happiness as the house itself.  Do your homework and learn about the school system, commuting options and time, crime rates, tax rates, and other geographically dependent variables that may influence your decision.

Start the loan process early – As you start thinking about buying a house, don’t think you have to find the house first.  In fact, you may be better off starting the loan process while you’re looking, or even before you start.  Good houses can sell quickly, and once you find the house you love, you want to be able to move quickly.  Being pre-qualified for a home loan may give you an advantage over other potential buyers, especially if the seller wants to move quickly.

Seek advice – Especially as a first-time buyer, you will have many questions of your own, and many more you don’t even think to ask.  Contact one of our mortgage specialists, who can give help you find all of the information you need and help you throughout the process.  Also ask about our first-time home buyer program, which offers:

Keeping these tips in mind will help you have an enjoyable home buying experience and avoid complications that could arise.

*The Milford Bank is an Equal Housing Lender