Bethany Hegerhorst

NMLS# 117973

Mortgage Loan Officer

Bethany Hegerhorst
Mortgage Loan Officer

NMLS# 117973
State Lic: TX # 117973;
7600 Burnet Road
Suite 330
Austin, TX 78757
Direct: (512) 872-7121
Mobile: (512) 508-9538
bethany.hegerhorst@academymortgage.com

Academy's My Mortgage App

Welcome!

It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been inspiring hope, delivering dreams and building prosperity in communities we serve since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity based mortgage lending, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools!

Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.

Academy is a direct lender, and we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible

I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up to date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice!

I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.

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We are proud to be one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country. We achieved this distinction by continually providing exceptional customer service and by following responsible lending practices, especially in today’s rapidly changing economy.Adam Kessler, CEO, Academy Mortgage

NMLS# 117973

State Lic: TX: 117973;

Corp Lic: TX: 3113;

Figure: 7 TAC §81.200(c) CONSUMERS WISHING TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A MORTGAGE BANKER OR A LICENSED MORTGAGE BANKER RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR SHOULD COMPLETE AND SEND A COMPLAINT FORM TO THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE LENDING, 2601 NORTH LAMAR, SUITE 201, AUSTIN, TEXAS 78705. COMPLAINT FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV. A TOLL-FREE CONSUMER HOTLINE IS AVAILABLE AT 1-877-276-5550. THE DEPARTMENT MAINTAINS A RECOVERY FUND TO MAKE PAYMENTS OF CERTAIN ACTUAL OUT OF POCKET DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY BORROWERS CAUSED BY ACTS OF LICENSED MORTGAGE BANKER RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS. A WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE RECOVERY FUND MUST BE FILED WITH AND INVESTIGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECOVERY FUND, PLEASE CONSULT THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE AT WWW.SML.TEXAS.GOV.;

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3 smart solutions for a low credit score

When it's time to buy a home, one of the first things you'll likely look into is your credit score. This three-digit number gives lenders a hint as to how likely you are to pay your bills completely and on time.

A higher score means you're viewed as financially responsible to your lender. You could be rewarded with access to certain types of loans, such as jumbo mortgages, or with lower interest rates, resulting in a less expensive home loan in the long term.

A lower score means you could be a riskier borrower - perhaps you've been late on payments in the past, or maybe you already have a good amount of debt you still have to pay off. As such, a lender may either disqualify you from certain loan products or charge you a higher interest rate.

It's important to note that consumers who have lower scores (or even no scores at all) still have options when it comes to securing a mortgage. For example, people with scores as low as 500 can qualify for an FHA loan, according to FHA Handbook.

That said, having a higher score can open the door to more opportunities - both in terms of conventional mortgage products as well as other financial goals, like getting a new credit card or auto loan. If you've recently checked your credit score and aren't impressed with the results, there are some actions you can take to improve your standing. Follow these tips to begin improving your credit score:

Fix mistakes in your credit report

Like any other company, the credit bureaus are prone to human error. With hundreds of millions of adults in the U.S., it's not unheard of for information to be added to the wrong report - if you've ever done a Google search on yourself, you probably know there's someone else out there who shares your name, or at least something close to it.

The first step in any credit repair strategy should be to pull your credit report and look for errors. Identity errors, like listing another Jane Smith's account on your report, are among the most common. Others include accounts listed as open when they've been closed and accounts with the wrong credit limit after it's been increased.

Report mistakes like these right away. Then double-check that the mistake was fixed. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reported mistakes that are reinserted in your report represent another commonly reported problem.

Never miss a payment

Payment history, including whether payments are made on time and in the correct amount, is the most important factor in your credit score. If you're prone to late payments and you have a lower score, this is probably why.

Create a plan to help you get on track with timely bill payments. A few tried-and-true tactics include:

If you have a long history of missed or late payments, it may take some time to repair the damage. However, remedying this bad habit as soon as possible will put you on the right path to bringing up your score.

Decrease your credit utilization rate

If you have a credit card, you have a maximum spending limit. This is the amount you can put on your card before it's declined. But that doesn't mean you should put that much on your card or anywhere close to it. In fact, you should aim for a credit utilization rate of 30 percent. This means that you should only ever have a balance of 30 percent of your maximum credit limit.

If you have more than a 30 percent credit utilization rate, focus on paying it down to at least that much. If you have a wallet full of maxed-out cards, paying off all the balances could improve your score by as much as 100 points in one month, NerdWallet reported. While this is clearly the best-case scenario, it just goes to show how important credit utilization is to your overall score.

Are credit score concerns holding you back from pursuing your dreams of homeownership? Don't let that number get in your way. Reach out to your mortgage lender to talk about your options - you might have more than you realize!

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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Should you pay points in exchange for a lower mortgage rate?

Fluctuating mortgage interest rates always change the way consumers view the housing market. When rates go down, it's time to buy; when rates go up, making a purchase is a little bit less attractive.

However, there are ways for prospective homebuyers to acquire an affordable mortgage, even when rates are on the rise. Now, at a time when rates are trending up overall - despite the first two weeks of 2017 seeing modest declines - home shoppers are looking for options.

What are points?

One of those options is buying points to reduce the overall mortgage rate, a strategic move that costs a little bit more upfront, but could save a homeowner money in the long run.

"Discount points are like pre-paying interest."

Points vary in price depending on the mortgage, but they are always equal to 1% of the loan. So, one point for a $150,000 mortgage would cost $1,500. There are two different types of points: origination points and discount points, explained Bankrate.

Origination points are charged by the lender as a fee for creating the loan. They have no effect on the overall mortgage rate.

Discount points, on the other hand, are like pre-paying interest. They're an option you can choose, but don't have to. If you have a mortgage rate of 7% and choose to pay 2 points, you might be able to walk away with a 6.5% interest rate instead. This will save you a small amount of money each month. Over the years, you'll make up the difference and accumulate substantial savings.

Points becoming more prominent

In recent years, residential mortgage rates have been relatively low. The average interest rate in 2016 was 3.65%, according to Freddie Mac. One decade prior, it was 6.41%. Since rates were at historic lows, fewer homeowners were concerned with buying points. But as rates continue to increase, this option is beginning to come up in conversations with lenders and real estate agents more frequently, according to Builder Online.

"The rate hike has led to a conversation that I haven't had in a long time: the ability to buy down your mortgage rate," Arto Poladian, a Los Angeles-based real estate agent said, according to Builder Online. "It does mean having to pay more up front, but it is a powerful way to keep your monthly mortgage payment within the budget you set when rates were still below 4%. Now that rates are on an upward trend I expect more people will be exercising this option."

Is it worth it?

There's no clear-cut answer to whether paying points in exchange for a better mortgage rate is the right way to go. Everyone's situation is different, and, as noted by The Truth About Mortgage, pricing for points isn't based on any specific mathematical formula. Because of this, there's usually a point at which paying points is worth it and others where it isn't.

Before deciding whether to pay points or how many are best, look at all the options. Calculate how much you'll pay throughout the life of the loan with no points, with two points, and so on. Additionally, take into consideration how long you'll stay in the home. Be realistic; If you move in three years, paying points might not be the most cost-effective option, while staying for 10 years could save you a few hundred dollars.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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Debunked: 5 down payment myths you probably still believe

More than 200 million Americans live in homes they own themselves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Still, despite the large percentage of the population that has successfully gone through the homebuying process, it remains a mystery to many citizens. For those considering a home purchase this year, myths about what is necessary to buy a home may keep them from joining the 64 percent of the country who live in owner-occupied houses.

Here are 5 down payment myths you probably still believe, but shouldn't:

Myth No. 5: I need a 20% down payment.

Many people have heard that a 20% down payment - at minimum - is required to obtain a residential mortgage. This myth became popular because it's generally recommended that most people have a 20% down payment ready when they wish to buy a home. However, that doesn't mean it's necessary. In fact, the typical down payment today is between 5 and 10%, according to SmartAsset.

Myth No. 4: My down payment has to be all my own money.

For many people, the most challenging aspect of buying a home is saving for the down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors. While the majority of people use their own money for the down payment, this is hardly required. Freddie Mac pointed out that there are several options for those saving up for a home, including:

Myth No. 3: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-timers.

Down payment assistance programs can be a wonderful help to first-time homebuyers who are new to the world of real estate. But, as any second-time homebuyer may tell you, it's not always smooth sailing on your second go-round.

This is particularly true for those who haven't gone through the homebuying process in several years. And, considering the average time spent in a home is a decade, it seems safe to say that most home sellers are out of practice when it comes to navigating a home purchase.

Because of this, the definition of "first-time homebuyer" is a bit more complicated than one might assume. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a first-time homebuyer is someone who:

Beyond these many definitions, it's important to note that not all down payment assistance programs specify that they're only available to first-timers.

Myth No. 2: Programs are only available in big cities.

Down payment and homebuyer assistance programs are available in every corner of the country. Every homebuyer, whether they're living in a big, bustling city like Los Angeles or New York City, or in a tiny, rural community, has access to a program that can simplify the homebuying journey. To find one for you, begin by browsing through the state housing agency loans available through Academy Mortgage.

Myth No. 1: Down payments are always required.

Not every home purchase is secured with a down payment. Crazy as it sounds (especially if you believed you needed as much as 20%), some homes can be bought with no cash down. Here are two popular 100% financing options you can look into:

VA Loans

If you or your spouse is a veteran, an active-duty service member or a part of a reserve program, you could qualify for a VA loan, and may not be required to make a down payment upfront.

USDA Loans

Also called farmers' or rural loans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture backs these loans which encourage buyers to make a home purchase in qualifying areas of the country. While their name suggests that it only applies to far-away plains, it actually encompasses some surprisingly suburban areas. While you won't find a qualifying home in the center of a major metropolitan area, you'll likely find one within driving distance. Check out the USDA website to explore eligible areas.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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