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Loan FAQ

Pre-Qualifying and Pre-Approval
What is the difference between being "pre-qualified" and "pre-approved" for a loan?

Applying
What does a lender look for when going over my credit history?

General Loan Info
How do I know what loan amount I will qualify for?
What do I use as collateral (security) on a secured loan?

Qualifying and the Approval Process
What is a credit rating?
What does a good credit rating mean?
What is in my credit report?

Fees, Rates and Insurance
What is the difference between APR and interest rate?
What is title insurance and do I need it?
How much will my loan cost?

Payments
When do I have to repay my loan?
What if I don't get my payment in on time?

Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
How is equity determined?
How can a home equity loan help when consolidating debts?
What happens if I want to sell my house, but I have an outstanding balance?


Pre-Qualifying and Pre-Approval
What is the difference between being "pre-qualified" and "pre-approved" for a loan?
Pre-qualified means the information you provided about your income and debts has been reviewed by a loan officer. Based on this information, the officer can calculate the amount of loan for which you may qualify. Pre-approval takes the process one step further by verifying your credit and asset information.

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Applying
What does a loan officer look for when going over my credit history?
Loan officers are trying to establish what level of risk is involved in making a loan to a borrower. They determine this based on your credit history which reveals how credit has been paid in the past, how you are currently utilizing credit, and any public records such as bankruptcy, tax liens, etc.

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General Loan Info
How do I know what loan amount I will qualify for?
Your loan officer can help you determine for which loan amount you will qualify. 

What do I use as collateral (security) on a secured loan?
Property such as houses, cars, savings accounts, bonds, or certificates of deposit are commonly used as collateral.

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Qualifying and the Approval Process
What is a credit rating?
Based on your history of timely payments and how responsibly you’ve managed credit in the past, a credit rating is a measure of your credit worthiness. Credit bureaus use your financial history to determine your credit rating.

What does a good credit rating mean?
A good credit rating means you are a safe credit risk. It shows you manage your debts responsibly and are likely to pay back what you’ve borrowed. A good credit rating is usually demonstrated by an unblemished credit report, limited utilization of your existing credit lines (including credit cards) and limited recent credit activity - all of which makes lenders more confident to give you a loan or extend a line of credit.

What is in my credit report?
Included in your credit report is personal and employment information, payment history of past and current debts, inquiries into your credit history, and any bankruptcies, lawsuits, or liens. The credit report will contain information dating back five to seven years.

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Fees, Rates and Insurance
What is the difference between APR and interest rate?
The APR (annual percentage rate) is the cost of your loan expressed in terms of an annual rate. The interest rate is the rate your payments will be calculated on for the life of your loan.

What is title insurance and do I need it?
Title insurance protects the lender’s interest in the real estate by securing a loan against defects in the legal title to the property. Unlike other insurance policies, title insurance insures against conditions that already exist rather than against those that may occur in the future. Title insurance is required on all loans to purchase real estate and for home equity loans and lines of credit in excess of $100,000, regardless of the lien position of the loan. For loans and lines of credit under $100,000, we will obtain a Property Report, also known as an Owner’s and Encumbrances (O&E) report.

How much will my loan cost?
The cost of your loan is determined by the interest and the length of time you take to repay the loan. The higher the interest rate or the longer you take to repay the loan, the more you will pay over the life of the loan.

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Payments
When do I have to repay my loan?
The loan agreement will state the terms of repayment. Most often you will pay interest and some of the principal on a regular schedule, usually monthly.

What if I don’t get my payment in on time?
Your payment is due on the date indicated in your loan documents. You are allowed a "grace period" which is a number of days indicated in your loan documents within which payments are accepted without penalty. Any payments received after the grace period will be assessed a late fee. Failing to make payments as stated in the loan agreement is referred to as defaulting on the loan. If you default on your loan, the lender has the right to repossess and sell any property pledged as security.

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Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
How is equity determined?
Your home equity is determined as the current market value of your home less any mortgage debt remaining on your home.

How can a home equity loan help when consolidating debts?
If you have balances on your credit cards, an auto or boat loan, or other personal loans, it usually makes sense to use your home equity loan to pay off these balances. Not only may the interest be tax deductible (consult a tax advisor), the interest rate on a home equity loan will generally be lower than that of most credit cards and other personal loans. Also the monthly payment is usually lower when you combine all your payments into one loan.

What happens if I want to sell my house, but I have an outstanding balance?
When you sell your home the outstanding balance on your home equity loan must be paid off, much like your original mortgage obligation. This is done when you close the sale of your house. Those handling the transaction should call the home equity lender to determine the balance and then issue a check to the lending institution to settle this debt.

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All loans are subject to credit approval, acceptable collateral, and available equity. Bremer Bank, N.A. loans are available to residents located in the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.