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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Is Mark H. Cohen licensed by the state?

    Yes. We are licensed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which allows us to be registered by The National Mortgage Licensing System, commonly known as the NMLS. Our NMLS license and DRE license numbers are NMLS #37230, NMLS #1593077, & DRE #01016103.

    Is there someone I can talk to when I need to?

    We can speak to you on weekdays during business hours and by request on nights and weekends. We do not have a call center or solely rely on email for communication. When you ring Mark Cohen, you get an expert on our team right here in Los Angeles.

    How much is a loan going to cost me?

    The cost of a loan depends on three main factors – the type of loan, the loan amount, and the applicant’s financial history. The most efficient way to determine the cost of a loan is to apply with us. Following due diligence, we will provide you with a written loan estimate.

    Do you service my loan?

    Mark Cohen does not service loans. We are a mortgage broker that works with multiple lenders to help clients find the best loan option – saving you time and money.

    What types of loans does Mark Cohen offer?

    We have loan products to meet the needs of residential and commercial borrowers. Visit Loan Programs on our site for more information.

    Is it hard to get a loan if I am self-employed?

    In recent years, the expansion of the gig economy has pushed more and more lenders to offer loan programs (often called nonQM loans) for self-employed individuals. Mark Cohen has strong relationships with lenders who provide NonQM loan programs, and we pride ourselves on successfully closing hundreds of loans every year for self-employed borrowers.

    Can I get a loan if I am not a U.S. citizen?

    You are not required to be a U.S. citizen to obtain a mortgage loan. However, an individual who is not a U.S. resident cannot participate in any conventional, government-backed loan programs. Mark Cohen has deep expertise in this area and secured real estate financing for many non-U.S. citizens. Contact us for more details.

    What is the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage?

    A pre-qualification is a letter of approval stating you meet basic financial criteria, based most often on the borrower’s word. A pre-approval statement from a lender means the broker has investigated your assets, debt, and credit history to determine whether you can qualify for the loan. A pre-approval is more powerful than a pre-qualification when presented with an offer to purchase a home, especially if there are multiple offers. Click here to learn more.

    How do I obtain a pre-approval letter from Mark Cohen?

    We are happy to walk you through the steps by phone, or you can visit our pre-approval page for instructions.

    How does my credit score affect my mortgage application?

    Your credit score is an important factor in determining how much you can borrow and the loan’s interest rate. A high credit score (680+) generally gives a borrower the best terms. A lower credit score can present challenges, but Mark Cohen thrives on creating solutions for all customers.

    Do you need my bank statements to approve a loan?

    Yes. Bank statements provide a lender proof of income and expenses. A lender may require up to twelve months of bank statements to approve a loan depending on the borrower’s circumstances.

    Do I need title insurance and escrow services to complete my loan?

    If you want to purchase real estate in the state of California legally, you are required to obtain title insurance and engage in escrow services.
    According to the California Department of Real Estate – Escrow is essentially a clearinghouse for the receipt, exchange, and distribution of the items needed to transfer or finance real estate. When the event occurs, or the condition is satisfied, distribution or transfer takes place. When all of the elements necessary to consummate the real estate transaction have occurred, the escrow is “closed.”
    Title insurance – protects you and your lender if someone challenges the title to your property.
    For more detailed information on title insurance and escrow in California, visit

    Is a home appraisal required to obtain a loan?

    Most lenders require an appraisal to complete a loan for a purchase or refinance. The purpose of an appraisal is to ensure the lender is not loaning more than the home is worth.

    Can my loan be processed electronically?

    We can process everything electronically except the final loan documents.

    How much money do I need to put down to get a mortgage loan?

    There is no one answer to this question – it depends on your financial history, type of loan, and loan terms. There are some government-backed programs that require as little as 5% on a residential purchase, but generally, lenders are looking for a 10%-20% downpayment.

    What is a mortgage rate lock?

    A rate lock freezes the loan’s interest rate until the closing as long as there are no changes to the application and the loan closes within the specified time frame. Rate locks are usually offered on a loan for 30, 45, or 60 days. Many borrowers like rate locks because mortgage interest rates can change frequently, and a lock creates certainty. If your rate is not locked, the interest rate and your loan payment can change at any time while the loan is in process. There can be some cons to a rate lock. It may be expensive to extend your rate lock if your transaction needs more time. And a rate lock may keep you out of lower loan payments if rates fall during processing. Unsure what to do? Please speak to one of our loan advisors to review the pros and cons of rate locks to determine which direction is best for you.

    When can I lock the mortgage rate?

    You can typically lock a rate after the initial loan approval.

    What does a monthly mortgage payment typically include?

    Your mortgage payment will include the loan payment (loan principal+interest) and mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20%.

    What is PMI?

    Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is required by most lenders on a conventional purchase or refinance loan if the down payment or home equity is less than 20%. PMI is generally removed once your loan payments accumulate to satisfy the 20% requirement. There are loan programs and payment options for some borrowers to avoid PMI. Please speak to one of our loan advisors to learn more.

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