The Federal Savings Bank Federal Savings Bank is veteran - owned bank, with a focus on VA and FHA lending for active duty and retired military and first time home buyers. We believe we offer the Perfect Mortgage Experience, which is our unique combination of outstanding customer service, low mortgage rates, and fast closings. We call it the Perfect Mortgage Experience because for 20 years that’s how our customers have come to know and refer us.
300 N. Elizabeth Street #3E

The Home Buying Process


Document Checklist

Required Documents

  • Last 2 years W-2’s and 1040’s including all schedules
  • If self-employed: Last two years’ corporate tax returns and year-to-date profit & loss statement
  • Past 30 days computerized pay stubs, to include year-to-date earnings
  • 2 months current bank and asset account statements including all pages (no screen prints)
  • Driver’s license or state ID card
  • Purchase Agreement (if applicable)
  • Copy of Cancelled Earnest Money Check
  • Listing Agent: Name and Phone Number
  • Selling Agent: Name and Phone Number
  • Seller’s Attorney: Name and Phone Number
  • Buyer’s Attorney: Name and Phone Number

If Applicable

  • Condominium declarations, bylaws, and budgets
  • Copy of gift check and signed gift letter

If you own additional real estate, please provide the following documentation for each property

  • Copy of current mortgage statements
  • Copy of tax bills
  • Copy of leases
  • Copy of homeowners insurance bills or Agent contact information

You've worked hard, saved your money, and managed your credit responsibly. Now you're saving up to buy your biggest purchase ever - a new home. Whether it’s your first home, your dream home, a vacation home or an investment property our philosophy at The Federal Savings Bank is the same: a better educated customer is a better customer. Period.

That’s why The Federal Savings Bank educates you about the entire home buying process - not just mortgage financing. Our approach is designed to help you determine how much home you can afford, understand low down payment options, assist you with selecting a real estate agent, guide you through writing a strong home purchase offer, and pre-approve you for a mortgage so you can negotiate your purchase with confidence. We're here to make buying a home as simple as possible – our goal is to provide you a Perfect Mortgage Experience. Call us 877.788.3520 or your Mortgage Banker to experience first-hand how enjoyable it is to work with true mortgage professionals.

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How much house can I afford?

"How much house can I afford?" That’s a great question. Helping you understand your limitations and capabilities ensures that you get as much home as possible without getting in over your head. That’s what partnership is all about.

The Federal Savings Bank can help you estimate your purchase power by utilizing one of our convenient mortgage payment calculators. This is a fast and easy way to get an initial indication of affordability. But an accurate evaluation can only be determined by understanding your unique needs and characteristics. Our Bankers can help you determine your true buying power simply and easily, and at absolutely no cost to you (yes, it’s Free!). Simply call us at 877.788.3520 or your Mortgage Banker directly, and we’ll ask you a few simple questions about your income, employment, credit history, and your savings. Why do we need to know this? Our offerings are uniquely tailored to each individual borrower. No two situations are alike, and our Bankers are trained to quickly and efficiently direct you to best solution. You deserve to be rewarded for paying your bills on time and saving responsibly.

Affordability is important to every potential home owner, but it’s especially critical for our first time home buyers. That’s why The Federal Savings Bank offers a broad array of low down payment programs. But we go even further. We also offer our first time buyers special financing – in some cases that means as little as 0-15% down payment with no private mortgage insurance (link to FAQ ‘what is private mortgage insurance’). And because we control the entire process (link to ‘perfect mortgage experience), our rates are typically better than other banks and mortgage lenders.

Still have questions? Call us at 877.788.3520 or your TFSB banker directly if you have already established a relationship with one. If you are ready to apply, then let’s go!

So you can afford the house, great news! What’s next?

How do I select the right Realtor?

Selecting a good real estate agent is one of the most important choices you can make when purchasing a new home. You want someone who understands what you're looking for - who has the time and capability to keep your best interest at heart. Your real estate agent is your home buying advocate. The Federal Savings Bank can assist you in selecting the perfect realtor for you. Whether you are looking for your home locally, want to buy a condo for your new college freshman, or need help identifying a realtor for that second home 3,000 miles away, your banker can assist you.

There are differences among realtors. A dual agent has an obligation to treat both parties fairly, but has a higher degree of loyalty to the seller. For example, there is no assumed confidentiality with the buyer. If the buyer tells the dual agent something about their strategy - like their top dollar - the dual agent has to give that information to the seller. On the other hand, a buyer's agent has strict loyalty to the buyer. His contractual obligation is to assist the buyer in obtaining a property at the absolute most favorable terms to the buyer.

We like to say that ‘the root of all conflict is unmet expectations’. Our Bankers will build a relationship with your realtor, help you structure a strong offer, prevent any surprises from occurring, and provide you with a mortgage pre-approval (link to FAQ for pre-approval) so you can negotiate with confidence. And if you have a special situation (for example, if you are foreign national, you need a bridge loan, you want to buy new construction, or if that condo you love doesn’t have enough owner occupants to qualify for traditional programs) The Federal Savings Bank is flexible enough to accommodate you.

Still have questions? Call us at 877.788.3520 or your TFSB banker directly if you have already established a relationship with one. If you are ready to apply, then let’s go!

Writing a strong purchase offer

One of the most common mistakes that home buyers make is failing to understand how important communication and partnership between the lender and realtor is, and how to leverage that to create a strong purchase offer. A strong purchase offer can differentiate you from your competitor, possibly offering less money but still winning the deal. How can The Federal Savings Bank help you accomplish that?

It’s easy when you understand the purchase contract (by the way, our Bankers have closed literally thousands of purchases). There are four contingencies that are commonly found in purchase contracts. These contingencies typically protect you - the buyer - during the purchase process. While we'll always ensure your protection, some of the contingencies can be removed, resulting in a cleaner, more powerful offer for the home owner.

The two contingencies The Federal Savings Bank will ensure go into the offer are a home inspection contingency- so you know the quality of the structure, and an appraisal contingency - to make sure the appraisal matches the final sale price. Both protect you. On the other hand, a financing contingency allows you time to get your finances together. But with The Federal Savings Bank’s pre-approval you can write your offer without this contingency - gaining a competitive advantage over other buyer's contracts. If you still own your old home, and need to sell it before buying your new home, typically we would write in a sale of home contingency. Instead of this contingency, The Federal Savings Bank may be able to provide you with a bridge loan (link to FAQ on bridge loan).

Still have questions? Call us at 877.788.3520 or your TFSB banker directly if you have already established a relationship with one. If you are ready to apply, then let’s go!

What if I don’t have a big down payment?

One of the great mortgage myths is that you must have a large down payment to qualify for a mortgage loan. For many of us, especially first time homebuyers, a 20% down payment on their home mortgage is not realistic. While other lenders offer low down payment options, they often require extra insurance to protect the mortgage lender in case you default on your mortgage loan. This insurance is called private mortgage insurance (PMI) (link to FAQ on PMI).

At The Federal Savings Bank, we offer programs with down payments as low as 3% for qualified buyers, and we have many offerings that don’t require PMI (like piggy back loans and second mortgages).

Still have questions? Call us at 877.788.3520 or your TFSB banker directly if you have already established a relationship with one. If you are ready to apply, then let’s go!

Getting Pre-Approved for your mortgage

Nothing is more important than obtaining a pre-approval when buying a home. First, it helps you narrow down the homes under consideration because it tells you what price house you can afford. Second, pre-approval can give you a leg up over other buyers when you find a home you like. Sellers are more likely to accept offers from buyers who they know have financing secured, because the sale is more likely to close.

A legitimate pre-approval letters give the seller confidence in you - the buyer. The Federal Saving Bank analyzes your credit and verifies your income and liquid assets (bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement, etc.). Simply provide us the documentation (we'll tell you what we need - usually just a paycheck stub and W2) and a copy of your bank or investment account statements.

Pre-approval is a good step to take before you start shopping because it shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. In fact, in some housing markets, for your offer to be reviewed it is necessary to be preapproved. That way, sellers can be certain the deal won’t fall through.

Remember that you can buy a home for less than your pre-approval amount. Think of pre-approval as your limit. If your budget doesn’t allow for a $1,500 monthly mortgage payment but your lender says you can afford that much, stick with your budget. We want you to get the most for your money, but avoid getting in over your head!

If you are ready for a pre-approval, the first step is to call us at 877.788.3520 (or your TFSB Banker, if you already have one). We will discuss all of your options and help you and your realtor negotiate the strongest purchase offer.Remember, certainty can be a substitute for price in the mind of the seller. In other words, a full pre-approval letter can often convince the seller to accept a lower price because they know you're a solid buyer. It also means no surprises for you, since the only thing standing between you and final loan approval is the appraisal of the home. Writing a strong offer can also help you negotiate a lower price.

Still have questions? Call us at 877.788.3520 or your TFSB banker directly if you have already established a relationship with one. If you are ready to apply, then let’s go!

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Annual Percentage Rate (APR) calculations assume single-family, detached, owner-occupied primary residence; a loan-to-value ratio of less than 75%; a minimum FICO score of 740; and a loan amount of $300,000 for conforming loans or $500,000 for jumbo loans, unless otherwise specified.Annual Percentage Rate (APR) calculations assume no subordinate financing and that the borrower will provide full income documentation. On ARM amortization, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) calculation assumes an indexed rate (Margin + LIBOR/T-Bill Index) after the initial fixed period of the ARM.Rates may be higher for loan amounts under $300,000 and over $500,000. Please call for details.

Rates are subject to change without notice.Closing Costs assume that borrower will escrow monthly property tax and insurance payments.Subject to underwriter approval; not all applicants will be approved. Fees and charges apply.

Payments do not include taxes and insurance.On refinance transactions, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) calculations assume a rate and term refinance.Rates based on Illinois property.Mortgage insurance is not included in the payment quoted. Mortgage insurance will be required for all FHA and VA loans as well as conventional loans where the loan to value is greater than 80%.

Restrictions may apply.

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