Low Down Payment? No Down Payment? No Problem! - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Once you close your loan, and you “just” have to make your monthly payments, you’re on easy street, right? No more collecting documents, looking at homes, making phone calls or anything else. You send in that check every month and everything is hunky dory.

Well, maybe or maybe not. There are a variety of ways your mortgage payment can be made, as well as misapplied. Our team members who handle payments put together a list of some common mistakes that are made and how to avoid them. They generally come down to making sure you clearly communicate what you’re intending to do with the money you’re sending in.

Common Mistakes

Sending in extra money without explaining what it’s for

Not that Quicken Loans will complain if you send in extra money, but there are a few different things you could be doing – prepaying before vacation, paying down your principal or adding money to your escrow account. Without your guidance, it’s just a guessing game for us.

Putting a note in the memo section of your check

You may think you’ve been explaining what your money’s for on your check, but depending on who your lender is (e.g. a bank or specifically mortgage institution), they may not have visibility into these notes.

Forgetting to add your loan number on your check

Maybe you have multiple loans with your lender, or maybe a family member is paying on your behalf one month. Either way, it’s best to include the loan number that you’d like the funds to go to, because, unlike notes on your check, whoever is collecting your payments – the lender or the bank the lender works with – will be able to use that information to correctly apply your payment.

Using a bank deposit slip instead of an actual check to make a payment

Sorry, you’re giving money to, not taking it from, your mortgage (unless you have a reverse mortgage). When setting up recurring drafts or making a payment, ALWAYS send a check, not a deposit slip.

Not understanding the difference between recurring payments through your lender and bill pay through your bank

At Quicken Loans, you can set up recurring mortgage payments (sometimes called auto draft or auto pay) with us or set up bill pay through your bank. Make sure you’re clear on which one you’re using. For example, if you set up recurring payments, Quicken Loans will draft (pull) your monthly payment. If you have online bill pay, your bank sends the money every month. The problem is, if your payment changes for any reason (typically due to an increase in escrow, tax and insurance), your online bill pay will NOT know about the change and then your payment will be under or over the correct amount. On the other hand, a recurring draft with Quicken Loans will account for the payment change and collect the right amount of money.

Mortgage Payment Tips

If you read the above, the pro tips could be boiled down to that cornerstone of all good relationships: communication. But let’s look at them in a little more detail.

  • If you haven’t already, think about setting up recurring payments. If your mortgage is with us and you’re set up for recurring payments, your payment will never be late or short. A mortgage payment can change if your escrow payment – taxes and insurance – changes. It can also change if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
  • If you’re going to change your payment pattern, like if you’re prepaying before vacation, call your lender and explain your payment.
  • If you plan on sending in extra money every month, call your lender beforehand to explain how you want those funds applied. Are you paying early, adding to your escrow account or trying to pay your loan off early by paying extra money on the loan principal (called making a curtailment)?
  • Again, some clients like to pay a little extra every month by rounding their payment to the nearest dollar. Call before you do this so your lender can make sure the extra goes to the right place.
  • Maybe you got a raise, end of the year bonus or tax return check, and you want to make an extra one-time payment? Can you guess what I’m going to say next? Give your lender a heads up so that money gets applied the way you want.
  • Verify with your bank that your funds have actually been taken out of your account. It can take up to a week for funds to be taken from your bank account. Keeping this in mind could help prevent a possible overdraft.
  • Lastly, if you refi, and prefer to use online bill pay through your bank, make sure you update your new payment amount AND loan number. We do everything we can to make sure we apply your payment to the new loan, but verifying you are giving us the new and correct information upfront will ensure a seamless transition

The reason I sound like a broken record is because the one mortgage payment you make every month is a combination of a few different things that can fluctuate.

Reasons for Paying Extra

If you have an escrow account, you pay into it every month so that when it’s time to make a property tax or insurance payment, you’ve got enough money saved up. Property taxes can change sometimes, which will make your monthly payment change as well.

Some people like to pay extra into their escrow to make sure they don’t get an unpleasant surprise later on. Then, if you happen to overpay your escrow account, you’ll get an overage check from your lender so you’re not losing any money in the long run.

The other common reason to pay extra is to pay off your mortgage faster. An amortization schedule is the schedule of payments that you would have to make for the term of your mortgage to pay it off, or amortize, your loan at the end of the term. If you pay more than the minimum amount, your mortgage will amortize faster, which will get you out of debt and could save you thousands of dollars in interest. You can use the Quicken Loans Amortization Calculator to see how different payment amounts would help pay off your loan sooner, and how much interest you’d save in the process.

Both paying extra on escrow and making extra payments can be good ideas based on your goals and needs, but if you just assume your lender can read your mind, the extra money you send in might not get applied the way you want. So if you want your mortgage payment process to go smoothly, be very clear about what you’re doing.

What are some of the payment mishaps or questions you have?


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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. I would like to enroll in online payment and to create an account I need QL account number. Where can I find it on my statement ?

      1. I have a question. Our Mortgage company “accidently” sent us an overage check last year for about 550. Now they are taking that money back from what we have paid in since taxes where taken out. So is that legal? They said oh sorry that was our mistake can they actualy take the 550 back from us like they are doing. We have an overage of 380.00 this year because our homeowners insurance went up but we just sent in that our property taxes will be lower now. So I was wondering why our escrow account was so low when we had been paying it for six months and it looks like they took back the 550 and never told us about it until I got the suprise letter a few days ago

        1. Hi Kelly:

          I’m sure it depends on what it says they can do in your mortgage documents, but I’m going to refer this to someone who may be able to give you more information and any options you may have.

          Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Debbie:

      You do need to have decent credit to get a home loan, but there are ways to improve your score pretty quickly if you do it right. Check out this blog post. I’m also going to have a Home Loan Expert reach out and see if we have any financing options that might fit your personal financial profile.

      Kevin Graham

  2. I currently “self pay” my taxes & insurance – Is it possible to add the property taxes back to the loan & have them escrowed?

    1. Hey, Shannon. It is possible to add an escrow account to a mortgage that you are currently paying on. The specifics would depend on the company that services your loan. You will want to reach out to them to find out their policy. Have a great week!

  3. Can’t find your registration from the golf tournament as that YOU WOULD PAY
    OUR MORTGAGE payment for the year??

    1. Hey, Tom! Thanks for your interest in the Quicken Loans Hole in One Sweepstakes. You can go here for the chance to win one year’s worth of mortgage payments. You’d better hurry. The sweepstakes ends in September!

  4. Hi Quicken, I was wondering about making extra interest payments to our Quicken Loan. I know that at the beginning of a loan the payments are “interest heavy” anyway and our loan is a relatively new Refi. But for tax purposes, I was wondering if I made extra interest payments if Quicken would do that, and would knock off interest I owed on the loan as I paid? The reason I am asking is our taxes last year were very high. Due to life changes (last child graduated from college) and not many other deductions, this was a suggestion from our finance company.

    1. The good news is Quicken Loans has no pre-payment penalties, which means any money that you contribute above and beyond your regular monthly mortgage payment will be applied toward principal. This will ultimately reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. Check out our amortization calculator to see how extra money paid now can save you money years from now.

  5. We recently have a new mortgage and it looks like the mortgage company is in the dark ages because the only way they can receive payments is by check. Last time (only the second time we paid) a check was made by our bank and the money did come out of our account but the mortgage company says they never received anything. We are now getting them a new check. The mortgage is not being very friendly about this and says it will let it slip this one time. We are very upset about this because clearly the fault is not with us but either with the mortgage company or with US mail. What are the legalities around this?


  6. I had showed interest in simply obtaning information on the Mortgage process, and heard stellar reviews about Quicken. Today I was contacted by the office in Oklahoma, and a Mortgage Banker named Cody”, was not only so overly aggressive and rude, he proceeded to tell me that I didnt know what I was talking about and my partner who is a Professor at the University of Oklahoma-Law School and Department of Economics was an idiot. Further my partner, is a consultant to the Fair Issac Corporation, FICO, and has told me repeatedly what we need to start doing. He went on to say that my partner doesn’t know anything, its irrelevant what he does for a living, despite the fact he consults for FICO, he didn’t go to Mortgage school.

    Ill never do business with Quicken, not with people like that. Reminds me ironically of what people reported about Countrywide, history tends to repeat itself.

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