There's no cost at all for completing our application. After your application is pre-qualified, you can decide whether you wish to pay the application deposit, which covers the cost of the appraisal and final credit report, so that if you have a property address, you can lock in an interest rate. Then, we can begin to process your request.
Yes, applying for a mortgage loan before you find a home may be the best thing you could do! If you apply for your mortgage now, we will issue a pre-qualification subject to finding the perfect home. We will issue a pre-qualification letter online instantly. You can use the pre-qualification letter to insure real estate brokers and sellers that you are a qualified buyer. Having a pre-qualification for a mortgage may be helpful in any offer to purchase that you make. When you find the perfect home and have your offer accepted, you will simply call your loan advisor to complete your application. You will have an opportunity to lock in our great rates and fees then, and we will complete the processing of your request.
We take full advantage of an automated underwriting system that allows us to request as little information as possible to verify the data you provided during your loan application. The automated underwriting system compares your financial situation with statistical data from millions of other homeowners and uses that comparison to determine the level of verification needed. Sometimes, a single W-2 or pay stub can be used to verify your income or a single bank statement can be used to verify the assets needed to close your loan.
Mortgage interest rate movements are as hard to predict as the stock market, and no one can really know for certain whether they will go up or down.

If you have a hunch that rates are on an upward trend then you will want to consider locking the rate as soon as you are able. Before you decide to lock, make sure that your loan can close within the lock-in period. If you do not close within the lock period, the rate will not be guaranteed; however, once the rate is locked the loan must close at that rate. If you're purchasing a home, review your contract for the estimated closing date to help you choose the right rate lock period.
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage allows you to own your home free and clear in 15 years. And, while the monthly payments are somewhat higher than a 30-year loan, the interest rate on the 15-year mortgage is usually a little lower, and more importantly, you will pay less than half the total interest cost of the traditional 30-year mortgage.

However, if you cannot afford the higher monthly payment of a 15-year mortgage, do not feel alone. Many borrowers find the more elevated amount out of reach and choose a 30-year mortgage. It still makes sense to use a 30-year mortgage for most people.
Once your loan is pre-approved, you can lock in your interest rate and discount points. If you purchase a property, you must provide us with the address before locking in your interest rate.

If we need to review your application or information before providing your loan pre-approval, a loan advisor will contact you, and you will have the opportunity to lock your rate and fees then.
None of the loan programs we offer have prepayment penalties. You can pay off your mortgage at any time with no additional charges.
An appraisal will be required to determine the value of the property you are purchasing or refinancing. An appraisal report is a written description and estimate of the property's value. National standards govern not only the format for the appraisal; they also specify the appraiser's qualifications and credentials. In addition, most states now have licensing requirements for appraisers evaluating properties within their states.

The appraiser will create a written report for us, and you will be given a copy at your loan closing.

The closing will occur at the office of a title company or attorney in your area who will act as our agent. If you are purchasing a new home, the seller may also be at the closing to transfer ownership to you. In some states, these two events happen separately. During the closing, you will be reviewing and signing several loan papers. The closing agent or attorney conducting the closing should be able to answer any questions you have, or you can feel free to contact your loan advisor if you prefer.

To ensure no surprises at closing, your loan advisor will contact you a few days before closing to review your final fees, loan amount, first payment date, etc. The most important documents you will sign at the closing include The Closing Disclosure, the note, and the mortgage or deed of trust. Ask your loan advisor for details.

A home loan often involves many fees, such as appraisal fees, title charges, closing fees, and state or local taxes. These fees vary from state to state and also from lender to lender.

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

  • Third-Party Fees: We consider third-party fees, including the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, the survey fee, tax service fees, title insurance fees, flood certification fees, and courier/mailing fees. We will collect and pass on third-party fees to the person who 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 is paid the title insurance fees. Typically, you will see minor variances in third party fees from lender to lender. A lender may have negotiated a special charge from a provider they use often or choose a provider that offers nationwide coverage at a flat rate.
  • Taxes and Other Unavoidables: Fees that we consider taxes and other unavoidables include State/Local Taxes and recording fees.
  • 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.
  • Required Advances: You may be asked to prepay some items at closing that will be due in the future. These fees are sometimes referred to as prepaid items. A more common required advance is called 'per diem interest' or 'interest due at closing.' 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 will pay interest from the closing date through the end of the month at closing. For example, if the loan is closed on June 15th, we will collect interest from June 15th through June 30th at closing. This also means you will not pay your first mortgage until August 1st. An escrow or impound account will be established. You will make an initial deposit into the escrow account at closing so that sufficient funds are available to pay the taxes and insurance bills when they become due. If your loan requires mortgage insurance, up to two months of the mortgage insurance will be collected at closing. Whether or not you must purchase mortgage insurance depends on the size of your down payment. If your loan is a purchase, you must pay your first year's homeowner's insurance premium before closing. We consider this to be a required advance.

Ask your loan advisor for details.
Mortgage insurance allows you to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment by protecting the lender against the additional risk of low down payment lending. Low down payment mortgages are becoming increasingly popular, and by purchasing mortgage insurance, lenders are comfortable with down payments as low as 3-5% of the home's value. It also allows you to buy a more expensive home than possible if a 20% down payment were required.

Mortgage insurance should not be confused with mortgage life insurance, designed to pay off a mortgage in the event of a borrower's death, or home-owners insurance, which covers your damage and losses in fire, theft, etc.
Yes, you can borrow funds to use as your down payment. However, any loans you take out must be secured by an asset you own. If you own something of value that you could borrow funds against, such as a car or another home, it's a perfectly acceptable source of funds. If you plan on obtaining a loan, make sure to include the details of this loan in the Expenses section of the application.

VA loans are guaranteed and administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and are offered as a benefit to qualified individuals who have served in the armed forces. The significant advantage of a VA loan is that a down payment is not required. A VA loan may be your best bet if you are a qualified veteran and wish to purchase a home with little or no down payment. If you have funds that you want to use for a down payment, it is wise to compare Conventional loans with VA loans to determine which financing type is best for you.

To officially determine if you are a qualified veteran, you must request a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This certificate indicates that the VA has determined you are eligible for a VA home loan and shows the available entitlement or guaranty amount. To obtain a certificate of eligibility, complete the 'Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits (VA Form 26-1880)' form and submit it to the VA. This form and additional information about VA home loan eligibility requirements are available on the VA website at

  • Insurance and Requirements: VA loans are insured and administered by the federal government. Because the government guarantees a portion or the total dollar amount of these mortgage loans, VA loans generally require lower down payments and have lower qualification requirements than conventional loans. Some traditional loans allow for low down payments as well. It is always a good idea to compare all eligible loan programs before determining which is best for your situation. Your loan advisor can help you find which program is right for you.
  • Eligibility: Only qualified veterans can obtain VA loans.
  • Loan Amounts: VA loan limits vary by county and typically adjusted annually. They are based on median home prices.
Purchase and rate & term refinances will allow the Veteran to borrow 100% of the value of the home or purchase price plus the VA funding fee. Cash-out refinances limit loan amounts to 100% of the home's value plus the VA funding fee.
The Academy Bank fax number for loan payoff quotes is 816-410-2381.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is responsible for the effective supervision, regulation, and housing mission oversight of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The FHFA’s mission is to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the FHL Banks fulfill their mission by operating in a safe and sound manner to serve as a reliable source of liquidity and funding for housing finance and community investment.

The baseline conforming loan limit for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2024 is rising to $766,550 which is a 5.5% increase compared to 2023. For more information on this FHFA Loan Limit, check out our blog

The 150% ceiling of the baseline limit recognizes the diverse nature of housing markets, ensuring that individuals in areas with higher property values can still benefit from the increased limits.

Learn more here

There is a lot of demand for higher conforming loan limits so you should consider securing the rates promptly. Our team will be able to help you secure these rates and guide you through the whole homebuying process.

-Access your Eligibility : Before beginning the process for this FHFA Loan you must first evaluate if this loan is the right decision. Assess your financial situation to determine your eligibility for these expanded loan amounts. Consider factors such as income, credit score, and existing debt to make informed decisions.

-Explore Loan Packages* : Once you have determined that you are eligible, connect with our team of mortgage specialists to explore various loan packages available. Our team will walk you through the steps and help you understand how the increased conforming loan limits align with your unique financial goals and ownership aspirations. They will also explain how you can secure favorable rates. *Subject to credit approval.

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Bank by Mail
General Mail PO Box
PO Box 26458
Kansas City, MO 64196

Deposit Only Mailbox
PO Box 26744
Kansas City, MO 64196