Mortgage Guides

Mortgage Guides and Home Loan Options

Gustan Cho Associates created easy-to-understand mortgage guides for our clients to better understand the types of mortgage options available for owner-occupant homes, second and vacation homes, investment homes, and commercial properties. Gustan Cho Associates and our seven partner sites have thousands of pages of mortgage guides on every possible topic pertaining to mortgage and real estate topics including, guidelines, loan programs, credit topics, and the mortgage process.

Gustan Cho Associates, a dba of NEXA Mortgage, LLC, is the largest and fastest mortgage broker in the nation. We have lending partnerships with wholesale mortgage lenders with no lender overlays and dozens of non-QM and non-traditional wholesale lenders for owner-occupant, second homes, and investment property mortgage loans.

If you have a hard time finding the topic you are looking for, utilize the search bar and enter the topic you are interested in and it will populate the website. Take advantage of GCAs best mortgage calculator and debt-to-income ratio calculator to calculate your housing payment and debt-to-income ratios. We will also have useful links to guides to the home buying and mortgage process on this page. Gustan Cho Associates is a mortgage broker licensed in 48 states, including Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (not licensed in NY and MA). We have a lending network of 210 wholesale mortgage lenders.

Mortgage Guide 2

Why Choose Gustan Cho Associates? 

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Why choose us at Gustan Cho Associates when there are thousands of mortgage companies is a frequently asked question by many of our viewers. Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states, including Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We have a lending network of 210 wholesale mortgage lenders.

Gustan Cho Associates has a national reputation for being a no lender overlay lender on government and conventional loans. We also have hundreds of non-QM and alternative financing mortgage programs such as no-doc loans, stated-income mortgages, asset depletion loans, bank statement loans, 1099 income only mortgages, and other non-traditiional mortgage loans.


The team at Gustan Cho Associates are experts in being able to do loans other lenders cannot do. Many homebuyers, sellers, and realtors do not believe a mortgage group like Gustan Cho Associates exists. Due to the demand for our services nationwide, Gustan Cho Associates has expanded our business model in 48 states. Over 80% of our borrowers are folks who could not qualify at other lenders due to a last-minute loan denial, stress during the mortgage process, or because the lender did not offer the loan program they needed.

Mortgage Guides on Buying Versus Renting a Home

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You do not need perfect credit and a 20% down payment to purchase a home. Many renters do not realize they qualify for a home with little to no money down. FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment. First-time homebuyers can qualify for a conventional loan with a 3% down payment. USDA and VA loans do not require any down payment. Lenders offer 100% financing on VA and USDA loans.

Most homebuyers do not have to worry about coming up with closing costs on a home purchase. Closing costs is normally covered  with a seller concession and/or lender credit.

Once you have decided you no longer want to rent and want to purchase a home, that sets the foundation for becoming a homeowner. The team at Gustan Cho Associates are experts in helping first-time homebuyers realize their dream of homeownership become a reality. The team at Gustan Cho Associates likes to educate our borrowers about the homebuying and mortgage process to set proper expectations and avoid stress during the mortgage process.

Understanding the Mortgage Process

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The mortgage process does not have to be stressful. There is no reason why a homebuyer cannot close on their home loan on time. Understanding the loan estimate and how much money is needed to buy a home can often be confusing.  However, going through the mortgage application and approval process is a process. The cooperation of the borrower is needed for a loan to move along the process so it can close on time.

Getting Qualified and Pre-Approved With The Right Lender

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Gustan Cho Associates has no lender overlays on government and conventional loans. We just go off the findings of the automated underwriting system. As long as you get an approve/eligible per the automated underwriting system, that is all we go by. Zero lender overlays.

Most lenders will have two sets of mortgage lending guidelines. Even though the borrower gets an approve/eligible per automated underwriting system, the lender can have a second tier of lender overlays. Gustan Cho Associates does not have any overlays on FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional loans.

With lending partnerships with over 210 wholesale mortgage lenders, Gustan Cho Associates has every available mortgage loan program for owner-occupant homes, second and vacation homes, investment properties, and commercial properties. We have a reputation for being a one-stop mortgage shop. Gustan Cho Associates has the states (licensed in 48 states), products (210 wholesale lenders), and rates (lowest rates in the industry due to being on a broker comp platform).

Mortgage Guides on The Homebuying Process Without Stress

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The mortgage process does not need to be stressful. At Gustan Cho Associates, we have streamlined the mortgage process where borrowers go through a three-step process to get pre-approved. The first step is to talk to a loan officer to see if they meet the minimum qualification requirements. Once the loan officer feels the borrower qualifies, the borrower then completes an online mortgage loan application and orders their credit report.

Once the online mortgage loan application is complete and the credit report is paid for, the loan officer will run the file through the automated underwriting system. Since Gustan Cho Associates has no lender overlays, the automated findings approval will be your mortgage loan approval.

In the following paragraphs, we will explain how to go through the mortgage process without stress. We will explain the steps of the qualification process starting with the initial loan consultation to getting pre-approved, to entering into a home purchase contract. We will then explain what to expect for the steps of the mortgage and underwriting process leading to the clear to close and eventually home closing.

How Much You Can Afford Versus Qualify

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Deciding to become a homeowner and buying a house is a huge commitment. Before you consult with a loan officer, one of the things you need to do is answer the most important question How Much Can I Afford Versus Qualify?  Your loan officer is not going to count certain debts and/or expenses when qualifying you for a mortgage.

Homebuyers should realize mortgage underwriters only calculate the debts that report on credit reports when they qualify borrowers’ debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers gross income is used when underwriters calculate debt-to-income ratios and not the net income. Therefore, just because a lender may consider borrowers qualified does not mean the borrower can afford their new housing payment.

What is the maximum monthly debt you can have for your housing payment? Certain debts such as utilities, food, childcare, vacations, education, fuel, auto, and maintenance are not counted towards your mortgage pre-approval. You would not want to be house-rich and money poor. You do not want to have the majority of your income going towards your new mortgage payment and not have the funds to do anything else.

Mortgage Guides For Homebuyers and Homeowners

Mortgage guides at Gustan Cho Associates are for first-time homebuyers, seasoned homebuyers, second-home buyers, and real estate investors. Our mortgage guides are not just for consumers but for industry professionals. Hundreds of loan officers, loan officer assistants, mortgage processors, underwriters, realtors, and third-party real estate and mortgage industry professionals who utilize GCAs mortgage guides. Many loan officers no longer look at the HUD 4000.1 FHA handbook and Fannie Mae All Regs and use GCAs mortgage guides for guidelines. Every type of case scenario that borrowers may encounter, can be found in GCAs mortgage guides. As part of GCAs mortgage guides, there are seven partner informational websites that are sister sites to Gustan Cho Associates.

Important Links Mortgage Guides For Homebuyers and Homeowners

Easy Mortgage Guides For First-Time Homebuyers

Many homebuyers dread the thought of trying to understand the mortgage process. This is why Gustan Cho Associates created easy-to-understand mortgage guidelines. Our real estate and mortgage guides are simple to comprehend. We have used case scenarios to make them simple. We have hundreds of blogs about mortgage guidelines, mortgage loan options, and the steps in the mortgage process.