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A Mortgage Shouldn't Last for a Lifetime

Whether you are looking to buy your first home, upgrade, downsize, or refi, Amboy Bank makes it possible for you to pay off your mortgage faster. Our 1/2 Pay Mortgage® shaves off years of payments, allowing you to build equity faster and save thousands in interest.  

Here's How It Works

With a conventional mortgage, you make one payment every month. But with our 1/2 Pay Mortgage®, you make one half of that payment every two weeks. That’s the equivalent of one extra payment every year, and the savings add up! Start the process today!

Today's Best Rate - 3.125% APR*

Our 15-Year 1/2 Pay Mortgage® is at 3.125% APR* for the life of the loan! 

To get started, or if you're looking for a different term or an adjustable rate, please get in touch today.

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or Call 888-707-7293!

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*Available for 1-4 family, owner occupied homes with a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $625,000. First lien positions only. Approved applicants responsible at closing for funding interim interest and escrow account for property taxes and insurance. Subject to credit approvals and home appraisal. Additional terms and conditions apply. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. For 3.125% annual percentage rate (APR) 15 year loan, the bi-weekly P+I payment per $1,000 is $3.49. Member FDIC.

Looking to Improve Your Home?

Choice Equity Plan

Amboy Bank’s Choice Equity Plan is an “all-purpose” credit plan for today’s smart homeowner. Use the equity value of your home to help finance your borrowing needs. Add it on to a 1/2 Pay Mortgage® or get it on its own! As an added bonus, interest may be tax-deductible. Consult your tax advisor to be sure you qualify.

Choice Equity Plans feature:

• One easy application form
• Application fee is waived for online submissions
• Fast approval (usually within 3 business days)
• Easy borrowing. Just write checks to borrow on credit line
• Convert part of your balance to a fixed rate loan with a simple phone call (up to 3 loans totaling $100,000)


Apply for a Home Equity

or Call 800-942-6269!

Learn More about Home Buying and Financing

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+ Buying Your First Home

There's no doubt about it--owning a home is an exciting prospect. After all, you've always dreamed of having a place that you could truly call your own. But buying a home can be stressful, especially when you're buying one for the first time. Fortunately, knowing what to expect can make it a lot easier.

How much can you afford?

According to a general rule of thumb, you can afford a house that costs two and a half times your annual salary. But determining how much you can afford to spend on a house is not quite so simple. Since most people finance their home purchases, buying a house usually means getting a mortgage. So, the amount you can afford to spend on a house is often tied to figuring out how large a mortgage you can afford. To figure this out, you'll need to take into account your gross monthly income, housing expenses, and any long-term debt.

Generally, if you're applying for a conventional mortgage, your monthly housing expenses (mortgage principal and interest, real estate taxes, and homeowners insurance) should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income. In addition, most mortgages require borrowers to have a debt-to-income ratio that is less than or equal to 43 percent. In other words, you should be spending no more than 43 percent of your gross monthly income on longer-term debt payment. It may be helpful to use one of the many real estate and personal finance websites to help you with the calculations.

Should you use a real estate agent or broker?

A knowledgeable real estate agent or buyer's broker can guide you through the process of buying a home and make the process much easier. This assistance can be especially helpful to a first-time home buyer. In particular, an agent or broker can:

  • Help you determine your housing needs
  • Show you properties and neighborhoods in your price range
  • Suggest sources and techniques for financing
  • Prepare and present an offer to purchase
  • Act as an intermediary in negotiations
  • Recommend professionals whose services you may need (e.g., lawyers, mortgage brokers, title professionals, inspectors)
  • Provide insight into neighborhoods and market activity
  • Disclose positive and negative aspects of properties you're considering

Keep in mind that if you enlist the services of an agent or broker, you'll want to find out how he or she is being compensated (i.e., flat fee or commission based on a percentage of the sale price). Many states require the agent or broker to disclose this information to you up front and in writing.

Choosing the right home

Before you begin looking at houses, decide in advance the features that you want your home to have. Knowing what you want ahead of time will make the search for your dream home much easier. Here are some things to consider:

  • Price of home and potential for appreciation
  • Location or neighborhood
  • Quality of construction, age, and condition of the property
  • Style of home and lot size
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Quality of local schools
  • Crime level of the area
  • Property taxes
  • Proximity to shopping, schools, and work

Making the offer

Once you find a house, you'll want to make an offer. Most home sale offers and counteroffers are made through an intermediary, such as a real estate agent. All terms and conditions of the offer, no matter how minute, should be put in writing to avoid future problems. Typically, your attorney or real estate agent will prepare an offer to purchase for you to sign. You'll also include a nominal down payment, such as $500. If the seller accepts the offer to purchase, he or she will sign the contract, which will then become a binding agreement between you and the seller. For this reason, it's a good idea to have your attorney review any offer to purchase before you sign.

Other details

Once the seller has accepted your offer, you, your real estate agent, or the mortgage lender will get busy completing procedures and documents necessary to finalize the purchase. These include finalizing the mortgage loan, appraising the house, surveying the property, and getting homeowners insurance. Typically, you would have made your offer contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a home inspection, so now's the time to get this done as well.

The closing

The closing meeting, also known as a title closing or settlement, can be a tedious process--but when it's over, the house is finally yours! The closing may require some or all of the following entities to be present: the seller and/or the seller's attorney, your attorney, the closing agent (a real estate attorney or the representative of a title company or mortgage lender), and both your real estate agent and the seller's. Depending on what state you live in, all parties may be required to attend the closing at once or the closing can take place over the course of several weeks. Some closings can be conducted by mail or via the internet.

During the closing process, you'll receive and/or sign a variety of paperwork, including:

  • Closing Disclosure: This lists all of the final terms of the loan you've selected. Your lender is required to send you the Closing Disclosure at least three business days before the actual closing meeting.
  • Promissory note: This spells out the amount and repayment terms of your mortgage loan.
  • Mortgage: This gives the lender a lien against the property.
  • Deed: This transfers legal ownership of the property to you.

In addition, you'll need to provide proof that you have insured the property. You'll also be required to pay certain costs and fees associated with obtaining the mortgage and closing the real estate transaction.

+ Refinancing Your Mortgage

When you refinance your mortgage, you take out a new home loan and use some or all of the proceeds to pay off the existing one.

Why refinance your mortgage?

There are a variety of reasons why you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage, such as:

  • Obtaining a biweekly mortgage, a fixed rate mortgage, or a new ARM with better terms
  • Lowering your monthly mortgage payment by refinancing to a lower interest rate
  • Shortening the length of your loan (e.g., from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage) to potentially reduce interest charges over time
  • Accessing extra cash through a cash-out refinancing to pay for home improvements, pay for college, or consolidate debt

When should you refinance?

It used to be said that you shouldn't refinance unless interest rates were at least 2 percent lower than the interest rate on your current mortgage. However, even a 1 to 1.5 percent differential may be worthwhile to some homeowners.

In addition to interest rates, you should also consider the length of time you plan to stay in your current home, the costs associated with getting a new loan, and the amount of equity you have in your home.

Ultimately, it may make sense to refinance if you're certain that you'll be able to recoup the cost of refinancing during the time you own the home. So, it's important to do the math ahead of time and calculate your break-even point (the point at which you'll begin to save money after paying fees for closing costs). Ideally you should be able to recover your refinancing costs within one year or less.

No cash-out versus cash-out refinancing

No cash-out refinancing occurs when the amount of your new loan doesn't exceed your current mortgage debt (plus points and closing costs). With this type of refinancing, you may be able to borrow up to 95 percent of your home's appraised value, depending on the type of loan requested and other factors.

A cash-out refinancing occurs when you borrow more than you owe on your existing mortgage. In this case, you are often limited to borrowing no more than 75 to 80 percent of the appraised value of your property. Any excess proceeds remaining after you've paid off an existing mortgage can be used in any way you see fit.

Cash-out refinancing has certain advantages. The interest rate that you'll pay on the mortgage proceeds will usually be less than the interest rate on the other debts (e.g., car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and even some student loans). Moreover, the interest paid on your refinanced mortgage is generally tax deductible, whereas the interest on consumer debt is not.

There are also disadvantages to cash-out refinancing. With a cash-out refinancing your refinanced mortgage is secured by a lien on your home. As a result, if you can't make the mortgage payments, the lender can foreclose on your home and sell it to pay the mortgage.

The costs associated with refinancing

While refinancing can often save you money over the life of your mortgage loan, this savings can come at a price. Typically you'll need to pay an assortment of up-front fees, including points and closing costs. However, some lenders offer "no points, no closing costs" refinancing, which roll the costs into your overall loan balance or charge a higher interest rate. Typical closing costs include:

  • Application fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fee
  • Attorney/legal fees
  • Loan origination fee
  • Survey costs
  • Taxes
  • Title search
  • Title insurance

+ Choosing the Right Mortgage

Like homes, mortgages come in many sizes and types. The type of mortgage that's right for you depends on many factors, such as your tolerance for risk and how long you expect to stay in your home.

Biweekly mortgages

With a biweekly or halfpay mortgage, instead of paying one monthly payment, you pay half of that amount every two weeks.  This means that you are making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year instead of the usual 12, and the savings add up.  By going the biweekly route, you can save thousands in interest and shave years off of your mortgage. 

Conventional fixed rate mortgages

As the name implies, the interest rate on a fixed rate mortgage remains the same throughout the life of the loan. Your monthly payment (consisting of principal and interest) generally remains the same as well. The entire mortgage is repaid in equal monthly installments over the term (length) of the loan. For this reason, fixed rate mortgages often appeal to individuals with a low tolerance for the risk associated with fluctuating monthly payments. The usual terms for fixed rate mortgages are 15 and 30 years.

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs)

With an ARM, also called a variable rate mortgage, your interest rate is adjusted periodically, rising or falling to keep pace with changes in market interest rate fluctuations. Since the term of your mortgage remains constant, the amount necessary to pay off your loan by the end of the term changes as your loan's interest rate changes. Thus, your monthly payment amount is recalculated with each rate adjustment.

Depending on what's specified in the mortgage contract, an ARM can be adjusted semi-annually, quarterly, or even monthly, but most are adjusted annually. The adjustments are made on the basis of a formula specified in the mortgage contract. To adjust the rate, the lender uses an index that reflects general interest rate trends, such as the one-year Treasury securities index, and adds to it a margin reflecting the lender's profit (or markup) on the money loaned to you. Thus, if the index is 5.75 percent and the markup is 2.25 percent, the ARM interest rate would be 8 percent.

What's to keep the interest rate from going through the roof--or, for that matter, from plunging through the floor? Most ARMs specify interest rate caps. The periodic adjustment cap may limit the amount of rate change, up or down, allowed at any single adjustment period. A lifetime cap may indicate that the interest rate may not go any higher--or lower--than a specified percentage over--or under--the initial interest rate.

The initial interest rates (referred to as teaser rates) on ARMs are generally lower than the rates on fixed rate mortgages. An ARM may be a good option for an individual who can tolerate uncertainty in his or her mortgage interest rate and fluctuations in his or her monthly mortgage payment amount or plans to live in his or her home for only a short period of time.

Hybrid ARMs

Hybrid ARMs are mortgage loans that offer a fixed interest rate for a certain time period (3, 5, 7, or 10 years), and then convert to a 1-year ARM.

The initial fixed interest rate on a hybrid ARM is often considerably lower than the rate on either a 15-year or 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The longer the initial fixed-rate term, however, the higher the interest rate for that term will be. Generally speaking, even the lowest of these fixed rates is higher than the initial (teaser) rate of a conventional 1-year ARM.

Hybrid ARMs are ideal for individuals who plan to stay in their homes for a short period of time (3 to 10 years), since they can take advantage of the low initial fixed interest rate without worrying about how the loan will change when it converts to an ARM. If you think your plans may change or you are planning on staying put for a while, look for a hybrid ARM with a conversion option. This option will allow you to convert your loan to a fixed rate loan before it turns into an ARM.

Government mortgage programs

Generally, government mortgage programs offer mortgages insured and/or guaranteed by agencies of the federal government. Some of the advantages of these types of mortgages include:

  • Fixed interest rates that are lower than those offered by conventional loans
  • Little or no down payment required
  • Less stringent qualifying guidelines than conventional loans

FHA loans

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages are similar to conventional fixed rate mortgages, except that they are insured by the federal government. A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage may allow a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent. Keep in mind, however, that FHA loans require borrowers with down payments of less than 20% to pay mortgage insurance premiums.

FHA mortgage amounts are limited, and the maximum loan amount varies among geographic regions.

VA loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgages are similar to conventional fixed rate mortgages. VA mortgages are available to qualified veterans and their surviving spouses.

VA loan limits vary, depending on location. Generally, a lender will offer a VA loan equal to four times a veteran's available entitlement (provided certain underwriting requirements are met). 

Jumbo loans

A jumbo loan (also known as a nonconforming loan) is any mortgage over $453,100, or over $679,650 in high cost areas, for a single-family home or condominium. This figure is set by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), and is adjusted annually. Jumbo loans are called nonconforming loans because these organizations will not underwrite them, making them more risky to lenders. As a result, lenders often set their jumbo loan interest rates higher than conventional mortgage rates.

If you're just over the underwriting limit for conforming loans and are having to consider a jumbo loan, you might want to either look for a less expensive house or consider increasing your down payment in order to qualify for a conforming loan with a lower interest rate. Over the life of your mortgage, a lower interest rate could create significant savings.


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