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Whether you already have a home or are considering buying one, questions are part of the process. To help, we’ve compiled some of the more common questions we get. If yours isn’t answered here, or you want to talk to an expert, contact a KeyBank Mortgage Loan Officer.

Mortgage Basics

What’s the process for getting a mortgage?

Being confident about buying a home starts with knowing what to expect. To help you understand what the process of getting a mortgage loan looks like, we’ve put together a quick description. Start with the pre-qualification, follow the steps and pretty soon you’ll be signing the papers at your closing. Here's what to expect.

What types of mortgage loans does KeyBank offer?

KeyBank offers a variety of competitive mortgage products to meet almost any need. We’ll work with you to understand your financial situation and goals so we can recommend the best approach. We have fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages, specialty mortgages including combination or piggyback loans and jumbo loans, and affordable mortgages like Key Community, FHA, Fannie Mae and VA loans, as well as mortgages specifically for medical professionals. Learn more about which mortgage is right for you.

What does loan-to-value (LTV) mean?

LTV stands for loan-to-value and for mortgages, it’s the amount of your loan compared to the value of the property you’re buying. You’ll see it as a percentage. To calculate your LTV, first, divide your mortgage amount by the property value. Then, multiply your answer by 100. This number is important to lenders because it helps them understand the risk associated with the loan they’re extending. As a borrower, LTV would be important to you because it influences the interest rate you would be paying for your loan. The lower your LTV, the less risk the lender takes on in extending that mortgage. That translates into a lower interest rate. Of course, the opposite is also true. Higher LTVs mean the lender would be assuming more risk and could charge a higher interest rate in return.

The best way to a low LTV is to save as much as you can towards your down payment or deposit on your home. The more money you have to put down, the less you have to borrow, making your LTV and potentially your interest rate lower.

What kind of home can I buy with a mortgage from KeyBank?

KeyBank has mortgages for a variety of home types and uses from single-family homes to condos, multi-unit properties and investment properties. To get an idea of all the opportunities available to you, contact a Mortgage Loan Officer.

Applying for a Mortgage

What is a mortgage pre-qualification?

A mortgage pre-qualification is an informal assessment that tells you how much you may be eligible to borrow. It’s based on your finances and creditworthiness. It’s "informal" because it doesn’t require paperwork or documented information to prove your situation, like a pre-approval would. It’s useful especially for people who want to know whether they’re financially ready to buy a home, and how much they could potentially afford.

To learn more, see our home loan checklist.

How do I determine how much I can afford?

For a quick and simple look at how much you could potentially afford to spend on a home, try our mortgage calculator. You may also want to consider a pre-qualification. To learn more, check out our article about how much you need to buy a house.

How much do I need for a down payment?

Truly, that depends on your goals and the mortgage solution that best meets your needs. A great idea is to talk to a Mortgage Loan Officer to learn what solutions are available.

What costs and fees are typically included as part of a mortgage?

For general information on common non-state-specific fees and costs that could be associated with servicing your residential mortgage, refer to our Common Costs & Fees for Residential Mortgages Chart. It's not a complete list of all fees and costs that could be assessed, and the frequency of the fees and costs will depend on factors including service frequency, payment status, and investor and legal requirements. For additional information, please call us at 1-800-422-2442.

Loan Servicing

What's an escrow account?

An escrow account is a separate account that you fund each month as part of your total monthly payment. The funds that are collected are used to make property tax and hazard insurance payments on your behalf. Additionally, premiums due for mortgage insurance and flood insurance will also be paid from the escrow account if applicable for your loan terms. For more information regarding escrow services, please call mortgage customer service at 1-800-422-2442.

Why am I required to have an escrow account?

Most of the time, escrow accounts are required if your down payment was less than 20%. But, even when it’s not required, there are benefits to having an escrow account. It helps you manage large expenses, like property taxes and insurance premiums, so you don’t have to save for them separately. You make one combined mortgage and escrow payment each month, and the lender deposits the monthly amount allocated to escrow payments into your escrow account for you. When the property tax and insurance bills are due, we pay them on your behalf.

How is my initial escrow amount determined?

We estimate how much your taxes and insurance will cost over the next 12 months, based on the information we have at loan closing. Please refer to your loan closing documents, taxing authority and insurance company. Based on state law, we then determine how much your starting balance and monthly escrow payments will be. On an annual basis, we reanalyze your escrow account based on updated tax and insurance information. This may result in an adjustment to the escrow portion of your payment for the coming year.

Where can I see how much my taxes and insurance cost?

If you have enrolled in KeyBank online banking you can view your mortgage account transaction history to see the most recent amounts paid for your property taxes and insurance premiums. Keep in mind that these amounts reflect payments we've already made. If they don't match your most recent tax and insurance bills, it's because we haven’t paid those yet.

Do I need to send you my tax and insurance bills each time they're due?

No. We usually get them from your local property tax office and insurance company. We'll let you know if we need you to send the bills to us.

What’s an escrow analysis?

Each year, we review your account to make sure the escrow portion of your total monthly payment is sufficient to pay the property taxes and insurance premiums, while also maintaining the minimum balance your escrow account must have. Changes to your property taxes and insurance premiums may cause your monthly payment to change. We’ll send you an escrow statement after each analysis letting you know the outcome of the review (some exceptions apply based on your account status).

What's a shortage?

If the funds in your escrow account are projected to be below your required minimum balance at the lowest point in the 12-month period, you have a shortage. This can happen if the taxes or insurance premiums for the previous 12 months were more than expected or if they're estimated to go up in the next 12 months. You have the option of paying the shortage by:

  • Paying it in full. Send a check for the full amount of the shortage to the address below to be deposited in your escrow account. Make sure to include your loan number and write "escrow shortage" on the memo line.
    • KeyBank National Association
      Attn: Escrow Servicing
      4910 Tiedeman Rd.
      Brooklyn, OH 44144
    • -OR-
  • Pay it over 12 months. No action is required by you if you choose this option. The effective date of the new monthly payment amount is identified on the third page of the Annual Escrow Disclosure Statement and will be reflected on your monthly mortgage billing statement.

We'll send you an escrow statement after each analysis that provides details for your account.

What’s an overage or surplus?

If your escrow account is projected to have more than the minimum balance required at its lowest point in the 12-month period, you have an overage. This happens if the taxes or insurance premiums for the previous 12 months were less than expected or if they're estimated to go down in the next 12 months. In most cases, we’ll send you a refund check for that amount. If the account is delinquent, refunds of surpluses are held until the account becomes current.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

PMI is insurance that protects the creditor in the event that you default on your loan repayment obligations. It is arranged by the lender and provided by private insurance companies. PMI is usually required when you have a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. If you’re refinancing with a conventional loan and your equity is less than 20 percent of the value of your home, PMI is also usually required.

How do I pay for PMI?

The payment for PMI is collected each month with your mortgage payment. The premium amount is shown in the Projected Payments section on page 1 of the Closing Disclosure that you received when you closed on your mortgage loan. For more information, call Mortgage Customer Service at 1-800-422-2442.

How do I know if I’m able to cancel my Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)?

Your ability to remove PMI or MIP depends on a number of factors. To learn if and how you can cancel your PMI or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP), contact mortgage customer service at 1-800-422-2442.

You may also mail a request to:
4910 Tiedeman Road
Brooklyn, OH 44144

Or Fax To:

I have become an owner of a property with a KeyBank loan. How can I obtain information about the loan?

A person who acquires an ownership interest in a property with a KeyBank loan through certain transfers may be deemed a "successor in interest." These can include ownership interests transferred through a borrower’s death, divorce, separation or from a family member. A person’s status as a "successor in interest" may entitle them to receive certain information and documentation about the loan. Alternatively, the borrower may have to authorize you to act on their behalf or to receive information about the loan.

For questions related to these types of ownership transfers, please call us at 1-866-325-9653 Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET.

What is a mortgage recast?

For some clients, it can make sense to apply a large principal payment and then "reset" or "re-cast" their payment based on a new, lower principal balance to lower their required monthly payment. There is a $250.00 Processing Fee for this service, and it is not available on all accounts. To learn more, contact a Mortgage Loan Officer.

Notice of Error or Information Requests

You have certain rights under Federal law related to resolving errors and requesting information about your mortgage loan. If you think KeyBank has made an error in servicing your loan, or if you would like to request information relating to the servicing of your loan, please notify us in writing of the alleged error or requested information. To do so you must follow the steps described below:

  1. Write your request on a piece of paper separate from your statement or bill, and include:
    • Customer name, mortgage loan account number and address
    • The error to be researched and/or the information being requested that relates to your mortgage loan
  2. You must send your written request to:
    KeyBank National Association
    Attn: Client Services
    P.O. Box 5788
    Cleveland, OH 44101

Complaint or Inquiry Requests for NY Residents

You have certain rights under NY State law related to complaints and inquiries relative to your real estate account. If you would like to request information relating to the servicing of your account, or if you have a complaint to submit, please notify us in writing. To do so you must follow the steps described below:

  1. Write your request and include:
    • Customer name, real estate account number, address
    • The nature of your complaint and/or the information being requested that relates to your real estate account
  2. You must send your written request to:
    KeyBank National Association
    Attn: Client Resolution
    P.O. Box 5788
    Cleveland, OH 44101

Or e-mail your request to:

Additional Information: KeyBank may also be contacted by calling toll-free 1-800-625-3256. Additionally, you may file complaints and obtain further information about the servicer by contacting the New York State Department of Financial Services Consumer Assistance Unit at 1-800-342-3736 or by visiting the Department's website at

Note: KeyBank is chartered as a National Association, supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), and is not required to be registered with the Superintendent.

Moving On and Moving Up

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