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Want to Shave Years Off of Your Mortgage Payments?

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We would all like to pay off our mortgages sooner rather than later, right? But with mortgage payments that never seem to end and interest payments that continue to pile up, it’s easy to get in a rut with bare minimum payments. Well, did you know that if you make one extra payment a year, you can save yourself years of interest payments? Saving up to make another payment may be intimidating at first but when you understand the long term impact of what one extra payment can do, it’s easy to make the commitment.

There are tons of ways to save money throughout the year. Start by taking a look at your budget. Take note of your overall spending and spending habits. Once you understand your current finances, what comes in and out of your bank account each month, you’ll know where you can cut back and what you can put towards your mortgage. Set a reasonable savings goal and create a plan to get there. Whatever amount you can start to put towards your mortgage each month will make a difference. Start as small as necessary and work your way up. To make it more streamline, you can directly send part of your paycheck each month to a savings account dedicated to paying off your mortgage. That way you are never tempted by the extra money in your checking account.

There are also tons of apps you can get for your smart phone or mobile device that aid in budgeting and saving. They connect to your bank account and track your spending for you. Getting in the habit of tracking your finances is beneficial regardless of what you are saving for. Set up a day each week or month to check in with how you are doing. You’ll be surprised how fast those morning lattes or lunches on the go add up!

Dedicate yourself to make that one extra payment this year. You’ll be glad you did!






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Top 4 Benefits of VA Loans

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Veterans are able to receive home loans backed by the government at a lower rate than the general public.

As conventional loan rates begin to creep back up, VA loans get even better. Here are the top four benefits of a VA loan.


Payments Are Lower

No mortgage insurance and lower interest rates than conventional loans means lower overall payments. There is only a small funding fee that usually gets financed into the loan. Veterans with disabilities don’t have to pay the funding fee at all.

No Down Payment Required

The most defining benefit of a VA loan is that qualified buyers do not have to pay a down payment. This can save 1,000’s of dollars seeing as the average person puts about 20% down when they purchase a home. Making VA home loans great for first time buyers.

Relaxed Credit Standards and Flexible Requirements

Since VA loans were created to help get Veterans in to homes that otherwise wouldn’t be able to, they are a bit more lenient. The VA tends to be more forgiving when it comes to a borrower’s credit score or how soon a veteran can purchase after experiencing a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale.

Limits on Fees

The VA puts limits on what expenses the borrowers are allowed to pay, such as termite or pest inspections and closing costs.



Shelter to Soldier Partnership

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Graham Bloem, Founder of Shelter to Soldier (STS) and William Lyons, CEO of Griffin Funding, are pursuing the goal of being able to underwrite the cost of rescuing and training three shelter dogs and matching them with participating veterans by the end of this year. STS is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them as psychiatric service dogs for post 9/11 U.S. combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Every day on average, an estimated 22 U.S. veterans and one active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs); in the past year alone, the number of diagnosed cases of PTSD in the military jumped 50% and this represents cases that have been diagnosed. Studies estimate that one in every five military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD. In addition, every 11 seconds, a shelter animal is euthanized in the U.S. In response, Griffin Funding has made a commitment to fund the cost of rescuing, training and partnering three shelter dogs with combat veterans suffering from invisible wounds through STS.

According to Griffin Funding CEO, William Lyons, “Griffin Funding has been supporting STS’s efforts since 2014 and I wholeheartedly support their mission. This year, we’ve stepped up our commitment to take our philanthropic outreach to the next level by sponsoring three dogs. Our business model at Griffin Funding concentrates on serving the veteran population through VA mortgage loans in California and Hawaii for the purchase, refinance or home-improvement of residential properties, so it’s a natural fit for us—we’re proud to donate a portion of each and every loan closed (large or small) toward sponsoring STS dogs. I’ve learned that the VA medical system does not provide or help pay for service dogs for veterans who suffering from psychological disabilities. It’s been well documented that service dogs have a significant impact on the mental health and well being of veterans. With the added component of rescuing three shelter dogs, saving two lives at a time makes so much sense.”

Shelter to Soldier is supported solely through charitable contributions from corporations, charitable foundations and private individuals. The cost of a dog’s journey through the program is $12,000 and includes adoption, safe housing fees, medical care, training, equipment, food, grooming, treats, toys, supplements, testing and certifications, liability insurance, handler training, and graduation materials for the veteran.

Griffin Funding specializes in working with active duty military personnel and veterans by helping them navigate the process of qualifying for special mortgage rates and housing programs that are federally insured by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. They are one of a few select lenders who have the capacity to facilitate jumbo VA loans over the county loan limit and employ and salute U.S. Veterans on their staff.

Military Man Hugs Dog

Military Man Hugs Dog

To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, visit, or call 855-CUSTMK9 (855-287-8659) for a confidential interview regarding veteran eligibility.

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

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Most people don’t know the difference between getting pre-qualified and getting pre-approved. Both are important stes in the mortgage process.


When looking in to buying a house, your first step should be to get pre-qualified with a lender so that you can see how much you can afford. This can be done over the phone for most lenders since it is just general information. It is a lenders way of telling you they might extend a loan to you if the information you provided is correct. This is a good way to get an idea of what type of loans you might be able to receive and the price range.


Your next step should be getting pre-approved by your chosen lender. You will need to fill out a loan application, along with other documents regarding yourself, your income and your finances. They will review your credit history and check the amount of debt you have. From the information they gather, they will calculate your debt ratio. After going through this process with your trusted lender, you will receive a pre-approval letter letting real estate agents know that you are willing and able to make a purchase if the right house comes along. Most real estate agents won’t begin working with you until you have been pre-approved. Getting pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you a mortgage, however. Your lender will most likely want to look at property appraisals and re-verify all information needed to fund your loan.


Once you find a home you, will begin the full underwriting process to be approved for your home loan so you can make an offer on the house. Although the process takes some time, it is all worth it in the end when you finally move in to the house of your dreams.

Are You Prepared to Get a Home Loan?

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The first step when you are getting ready to purchase a home is making sure your credit is up to par. Your credit is inversely correlated to your closing costs, interest, and overall fees associated with a home loan. The worse your credit is, the more you will end up paying. It is always advised to check your credit score for any errors. Credit bureaus and creditors can make mistakes too. By law, everyone is able to order a free credit score report once a year from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. If something does need fixed on your report, you can go to to dispute it.


The major factors that affect your credit score are:


  • Payment History
    Paying off your debt on time has the largest impact on your overall credit score. Always making paying in full helps even further.
  • Credit History
    The longer you have had your credit established the better candidate you are for a home loan.
  • Outstanding Credit Card Balances
    The outstanding balance on your credit cards should be lower than 30% of you available credit for at least 3 or more months prior to the purchase of a home.
  • Types of Credit
    It is beneficial to have more than one type of credit besides credit cards. Having auto loans, school loans and/or a mortgage shows that you are reliable and responsible.
  • Inquires of Credit Score
    Each inquiry about your score, which is not done by you, can deduct up to 15 points. So make sure it is a necessity to have it checked each time it is done so.


Once you are confident in your credit score, the next step is to make sure you have all the paperwork the lender or broker is going to need. This will include your last 2 years of tax documents, last 2 months of bank statements, last month of income statements, as well as other personal documents needed to verify your financial status. These documents can take a while to obtain so it is suggested to have them prior to starting the loan approval process.

Finding a great loan officer is easy. We have loan experts here at Griffin Funding that are happy to help you with the entire process. Give us a call if you have any questions or are ready to get started!

VA Appraisal vs Home Inspection

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Many are confused about the difference between a VA appraisal and a home inspection. A VA appraisal is mandatory for all VA loans. The borrower is required to pay for it and it has a direct affect on the loan. It is used to establish the fair market value of a home as well as make sure the property meets VA standards.


On the other hand, a home inspection is optional for an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance but mandatory for a Cash-Out Refinance.. It is a full analysis of a home intended to find any issues or flaws in construction that may be concerning to the potential home owner. It is always suggested to seek a qualified home inspector’s advice on a home before you make any final decisions to move forward with it. The VA appraisers that come out are not trained on to look for asbestos and other foundational defects that can affect you and the home later down the line.


This is why the VA stresses that the final judgment on a home is with the buyer. They cannot guarantee whether or not it is a good investment. You should be sure to shop around and do your homework to make the most educated decision possible. So even though a home inspection is optional on some loans it should be a part of your home buying process to make sure you are making the right decision.


Should You Refinance?

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Why should you refinance? 

Many don’t ever think about refinancing, but did you know the average person can save $100’s to even $1000’s a year by doing so? There is also no limit to the amount of times you can refinance your mortgage. Just this past quarter of 2015, borrowers that chose to refinance their loans will save more than $1.4 billion on their interests payments this first year of their new loan. Still not sure? house on money

Here are the top 4 reasons to refinance your home:

1) Reduce your interest rate and/or monthly payment. You’ll have the options to save more money or pay down your mortgage faster.

2) Consolidate multiple loans, credit cards, or other debt into one convenient payment while lowering your overall interest.

3) Change your amortization type. Going from an adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate mortgage locks you in to a lower rate though the life of your loan.

4) Get cash from the equity of your home to finance renovations, your kid’s college tuition, or even personal debt.



We are now on Twitter!

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Be sure to follow us @GriffinFunding for the latest updates!

Welcome to Our Blog!

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Our mortgage loan officers can give you FREE advice to help you understand the mortgage process.

Wondering which loan is right for you? Not a problem! We can help determine which mortgage will fit your needs for your home purchase, refinance, or 1st & 2nd combo needs.

If you have any questions, please contact us or call us!


How Recent Market Changes Can Affect You

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As the Real Estate and financial markets continue to move up and down, mortgage rates can also be affected. Since mortgage rates are more closely tied to the bond markets, an up or down move in the stock market may not have the result in mortgage rates that one might expects. In fact, many times the resulting mortgage rate changes are counter-intuitive.

More importantly, rates change daily and they can change quickly. Some mortgage professionals have recently noted that their rate quotes have only had shelf lives of three to four hours before market changes have deemed them inaccurate.

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How does a consumer navigate fast changing markets in order to refinance their existing loan or purchase a home with the most favorable terms possible?

  1. Plan – Define your needs ahead of time, do not wait until the last minute. This is especially true of home purchases.
  2. Consult – Talk to your mortgage professional on a regular basis so they can interpret recent market events to you and communicate how those events can affect you.
  3. Execute – When you have defined your needs and have determined that now is the best time to move forward, don’t shop yourself out of a good loan! What does this mean? It is easy to get caught up in shopping for the best rate, but it is not uncommon for home owners to miss locking their loan at a great rate because they are in search of better rates that do not exist or that they do not qualify for. It is important to shop to insure you are getting the best rate possible, but set limits to the number of companies you are going to consider doing business with and be careful of having your credit report needlessly and more times than is necessary!


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