Easy as 1-2-3

We’re glad to help you through the application process.

Apply online or download an application.

Congratulations on your decision! We’re proud to offer home loans for:

  • New homes
  • Refinanced homes
  • New home construction
  • Home equity
  • Home improvement loans

There are many important things to consider throughout the process, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. We can help determine your eligibility for programs including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, and HomeReady™ Mortgage. If you have any questions about home ownership or the mortgage application process, contact one of our real estate loan officers.

We’re happy to walk you through it all with you and help make your dream home a reality!

1. Get the application.

Depending on the type of Real Estate loan you are applying for, we will send additional disclosures, notices or requests for additional information. The application asks questions about your home and your finances. As soon as you’ve finished the application, we’ll review your request for approval.

After your application is completed, our lender will answer any questions you may have. Your lender is a licensed mortgage expert and will provide help and guidance along the way.

If you are purchasing a new home, we may also contact the realtor or the seller so that they’ll know whom to contact with questions.

The application package will contain documents for your signature and a list of items we’ll need to verify the information you provided about your finances on the application.

2. We’ll prepare your application package and prepare your loan for closing.

Here are checklists of documentation you’ll need to complete an application for purchases and refinances or construction loans.

We’ll order the appraisal from a licensed appraiser who is familiar with home values in your area.

If you are purchasing a home we’ll work with the real estate broker or seller to insure the title work is ordered as soon as possible. If you are refinancing, we’ll take care of ordering the title work for you.

After the appraisal has been received and final approval has been issued, we’ll contact you to schedule your loan closing. If you are purchasing a home, we’ll also schedule the closing with the real estate broker and the seller.

3. We’ll contact you to coordinate your closing date.

The closing will take place at a title company or escrow agent in your area. A few days before closing, your lender will contact you to walk through the final information.

That’s all there is to it!

Real Estate loans can be obtained for the purchase or construction of new homes or refinancing current mortgages. Home equity loans and lines of credit are also available. We work with various programs to secure the best financing for your needs. Contact a real estate lender today.

For qualifying applicants. Bank Forward NMLS ID# 446402

Online Mortgage Application

Our online application process is conveniently designed to allow you to stop any time and pick up where you left off. Simply log in to complete an application you previously started. We accept applications for properties located in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Free Consultation

For a free consultation with one of our real estate lenders, please fill out the information below.

Our Real Estate Lenders

Questions? Contact one of our real estate lenders today.


Bank Forward can work with a variety of programs to secure the best financing for your needs including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, and HomeReady™ Mortgage.

Conventional Loans

Traditional loans provide predictable payments and rates.

Construction Loans

Building your dream house? A construction loan is a short-term loan (usually 12 months or less) based on an established draw based on stages of construction. Interest is charged on the amount of money disbursed to date and is due monthly. Construction loans typically require interest-only payments during construction and become due upon completion (when the certificate of occupancy has been issued if applicable).

Home Equity Loans

One of the greatest benefits of home ownership is the equity that builds up in a house. You can use your home’s equity — the difference between the home’s fair market value and the outstanding mortgages owed on your home — for almost any personal purpose. A home equity loan is great for major, one-time borrowing needs such as mortgage refinancing, education, medical bills, a new car or consolidating debts.

Home Equity Lines of Credit

With a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you get a reusable source of cash that allows you to go up to the approved credit limit over the term of your loan without having to reapply for a new loan. Many people use their HELOC for a series of home improvement projects or even a rainy-day source of funds. An added benefit is that the interest you pay may also be tax deductible; interest on most personal loans is not. Consult your tax advisor to see if there are tax benefits for you. Learn more from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau booklet, What you should know about home equity lines of credit. This disclosure contains important information about our Fixed and Variable Rate Home Equity Lines of Credit for North Dakota and Minnesota. You should read it carefully and keep a copy for your records. Let us help you determine which equity-based loan is best for you.

How to Apply for a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit

To get started, we’ll need some personal financial information from you, including your income from employment and other sources. We also need to know the estimated value of your home and the outstanding balance of your current mortgage. Here’s a checklist of items you’ll need. Compare Home Equity Loans and HELOCs *Consult your tax advisor about interest deductibility.

Bank Forward NMLS ID #446402

Loan products are subject to credit approval. Other terms, conditions, restrictions & fees may apply. Full documentation, title & property insurance required. Flood insurance required if property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.

Learning Center

Learn about the mortgages available and which type of loan is best for you.

Types of Loans

Fixed Rate Mortgages

A fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire life of the loan. Fixed rate mortgages are typically for terms of 15, 20 or 30 years.

Balloon Mortgage

In a balloon mortgage, the periodic payments do not result in the principal being fully amortized (paid back) at the end of the term. Therefore the last principal payment, or balloon payment, is substantially higher than those made during the life of the mortgage. At the end of the term, the borrower either pays off the loan or seeks refinancing at current interest rates. Terms for a balloon mortgage can be for three, five or seven years.

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan is a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity of their home as collateral. A home equity loan is a one-time lump sum loan and is typically referred to as a closed-end loan. These types of loans are amortized over a shorter term than first mortgages and often with a fixed interest rate. When a borrower takes out a home equity loan, it creates a lien against their home and reduces equity in their home. Home equity loans are often used to finance major expenses such as home improvements, medical bills or education. One cannot use a home equity loan to purchase a home; however, you can use the funds to refinance your existing mortgage.

Home Equity Line of Credit

With a home equity line of credit, also referred to as a HELOC, the borrower can choose when and how often to borrow against the equity in the property, with the lender setting an initial limit to the credit line based on criteria similar to those for closed-end loans (home equity loans).

Construction Loan

A construction loan is a short-term loan, sometimes referred to as interim financing, which provides the funds necessary for the building or development of a real estate project. Normally, the amount to be loaned is committed by the lender, but the actual disbursement is dependent upon the progress of the construction. Funds are distributed in a series of draws, depending upon work required by the lender. The lender will typically require periodic inspections during the construction phase and a final appraisal when the home is finished. A take-out loan for permanent financing also needs to be in place before the lender will typically commit to the construction loan. This assures the construction lender that permanent financing will be available to repay the construction loan.

Mortgage Glossary

With our mortgage glossary, you can look up mortgage-related terms you come across during the home buying process.

Additional Principal Payment

A way to reduce the remaining balance on the loan by paying more than the scheduled principal amount due.


The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan, both principal and interest, by installments.

Amortization Term

The length of time required to amortize the mortgage loan expressed as a number of months. For example, 360 months is the amortization term for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate including interest, mortgage insurance, and loan origination fees. This allows the buyer to compare loans, however APR should not be confused with the actual note rate.


A written analysis prepared by a qualified appraiser and estimating the value of a property.

Appraised Value

An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.


Anything owned of monetary value including real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc.).

Balance Sheet

A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.

Balloon Mortgage

A mortgage with level monthly payments that amortizes over a stated term but also requires that a lump sum payment be paid at the end of an earlier specified term.

Balloon Payment

The final lump sum paid at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.

Before-tax Income

Income before taxes are deducted.

Bridge Loan

A second trust that is collateralized by the borrower’s present home allowing the proceeds to be used to close on a new house before the present home is sold. Also known as “swing loan.”


An individual or company that brings borrowers and lenders together for the purpose of loan origination.


When the seller, builder or buyer pays an amount of money up front to the lender to reduce monthly payments during the first few years of a mortgage. Buydowns can occur in both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

Certificate of Eligibility

A document issued by the federal government certifying a veteran’s eligibility for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage.

Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)

A document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA mortgage.


A meeting held to finalize the sale of a property. The buyer signs the mortgage documents and pays closing costs. Also called “settlement.”

Closing Costs

These are expenses - over and above the price of the property- that are incurred by buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, property taxes, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, appraisal fees, etc. Closing costs will vary according to the area country and the lenders used.

Credit Report

A report detailing an individual’s credit history that is prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender to determine a loan applicant’s creditworthiness.

Credit Risk Score

A credit score measures a consumer’s credit risk relative to the rest of the U.S. population, based on the individual’s credit usage history. The credit score most widely used by lenders is the FICO® score, developed by Fair, Issac and Company. This 3-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850, is calculated by a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information that are on your credit report. Higher FICO® scores represents lower credit risks, which typically equate to better loan terms. In general, credit scores are critical in the mortgage loan underwriting process.

Deed of Trust

The document used in some states instead of a mortgage. Title is conveyed to a trustee.

Default or Delinquency

Failure to make mortgage payments on a timely basis or to comply with other requirements of a mortgage.


This is a sum of money given to bind the sale of real estate, or a sum of money given to ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan.

Down Payment

Part of the purchase price of a property that is paid in cash and not financed with a mortgage.


The amount of financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on the mortgage.


An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit of funds or documents into an escrow account to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow Disbursements

The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.

Escrow Payment

The part of a mortgagor’s monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due.

FHA Mortgage

A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Also known as a government mortgage.

FICO Score

FICO® scores are the most widely used credit score in U.S. mortgage loan underwriting. This 3-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850, is calculated by a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information that are on your credit report. Higher FICO® scores represent lower credit risks, which typically equate to better loan terms.

First Mortgage

The primary lien against a property.

Fixed Installment

The monthly payment due on a mortgage loan including payment of both principal and interest.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM)

A mortgage interest that are fixed throughout the entire term of the loan.

Guarantee Mortgage

A mortgage that is guaranteed by a third party.

Housing Expense Ratio

The percentage of gross monthly income budgeted to pay housing expenses.


The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender.

Insured Mortgage

A mortgage that is protected by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or by private mortgage insurance (MI).


The fee charged for borrowing money.

Interest Accrual Rate

The percentage rate at which interest accrues on the mortgage. In most cases, it is also the rate used to calculate the monthly payments.

Late Charge

The penalty a borrower must pay when a payment is made a stated number of days (usually 15) after the due date.


A person’s financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt.

Line of Credit

An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time.

Liquid Asset

A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.


A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Percentage

The relationship between the principal balance of the mortgage and the appraised value (or sales price if it is lower) of the property. For example, a $100,000 home with an $80,000 mortgage has an LTV of 80 percent.

Lock-In Period

The guarantee of an interest rate for a specified period of time by a lender, including loan term and points, if any, to be paid at closing. Short term locks (under 21 days), are usually available after lender loan approval only. However, many lenders may permit a borrower to lock a loan for 30 days or more prior to submission of the loan application.


The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.

Monthly Fixed Installment

That portion of the total monthly payment that is applied toward principal and interest. When a mortgage negatively amortizes, the monthly fixed installment does not include any amount for principal reduction and doesn’t cover all of the interest. The loan balance therefore increases instead of decreasing.


A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.

Mortgage Insurance

A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor’s default on a government mortgage or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency.


The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

Net Worth

The value of all of a person’s assets, including cash.

Non Liquid Asset

An asset that cannot easily be converted into cash.


A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a mortgage loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time.

Origination Fee

A fee paid to a lender for processing a loan application. The origination fee is stated in the form of points. One point is 1 percent of the mortgage amount.


A point is equal to one percent of the principal amount of your mortgage. For example, if you get a mortgage for $165,000, one point means $1,650 to the lender. Points usually are collected at closing and may be paid by the borrower or the home seller, or may be split between them.


The process of determining how much money you will be eligible to borrow before you apply for a loan.


The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.

Principal Balance

The outstanding balance of principal on a mortgage not including interest or any other charges.

Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance (PITI)

The four components of a monthly mortgage payment. Principal refers to the part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of the mortgage. Interest is the fee charged for borrowing money. Taxes and insurance refer to the monthly cost of property taxes and homeowners insurance, whether these amounts that are paid into an escrow account each month or not.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Mortgage insurance provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. Most lenders generally require MI for a loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) percentage in excess of 80 percent.

Qualifying Ratios

Calculations used to determine if a borrower can qualify for a mortgage. They consist of two separate calculations: a housing expense as a percent of income ratio and total debt obligations as a percent of income ratio.

Rate Lock

A commitment issued by a lender to a borrower or other mortgage originator guaranteeing a specified interest rate and lender costs for a specified period of time.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

A consumer protection law that requires lenders to give borrowers advance notice of closing costs.


The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note, a satisfaction of mortgage, or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.


Paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

Revolving Liability

A credit arrangement, such as a credit card, that allows a customer to borrow against a pre-approved line of credit when purchasing goods and services.


The property that will be pledged as collateral for a loan.


An organization that collects principle and interest payments from borrowers and manages borrowers’ escrow accounts. The servicer often services mortgages that have been purchased by an investor in the secondary mortgage market.

Total Expense Ratio

Total obligations as a percentage of gross monthly income including monthly housing expenses plus other monthly debts.


A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.


The process of evaluating a loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. Underwriting involves an analysis of the borrower’s creditworthiness and the quality of the property itself.

VA Mortgage

A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Also known as a government mortgage.

Check Loan Status

Our online application process is conveniently designed to allow you to stop any time and pick up where you left off. After you submit an application, you can check loan status at your convenience.

Log in to complete an application you previously started or check on the status of your application. You can also view, sign, and return required documents.

Printable Forms

To make things a little simpler, we’ve provided printable PDFs of some common documents that are used during the loan process.


Security Safeguards

Security Safeguards

About Us

The mortgage services website is powered by Ellie Mae, Inc., a provider of software and services for the residential mortgage industry since 1997. Visit us at http://www.elliemae.com.

Information We Collect

When you visit this site, we may collect certain types of information from you, such as information you voluntarily provide via forms, applications, etc. We may also collect information about you from your online browsing and transactions, including your preferences, pages visited, technical information regarding your computer and operating systems, such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address, domain name and system configuration and settings.

Individualized Password

When you sign up for online access to loan related information, you are asked to create your own username and password to access information related to your loan file. This information is encrypted during transmission. We allow you to select your own personal username (email address) to sign on. We strongly recommend that you use your own email address and not a shared email address that may be accessed by multiple parties.

Security Questions

Your originator may ask you to set up four security questions and answers, as well as a phrase and site image that will be associated with your account. If we ever need to confirm your identity, your correct answers to the security questions in conjunction with the phrase and site image will help us verify your identity.


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From the moment account information leaves your computer to the time it enters Ellie Mae’s system, all online access is encrypted.

During any exchange of sensitive loan information or documents, our 128-bit encryption turns your information into a coded sequence with billions of possible variations, making it nearly impossible for unwanted intruders to decipher. Ellie Mae servers possess the formulas required ‘to turn this code back into meaningful information for processing.

Any Web address beginning with https:// indicates the page you are viewing uses encryption. The “s” stands for “secured.”

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