For the Journal

A new residential loan at BankPacific offers potential homebuyers the ability to finance 97% of the purchase price of a single-family residential property.

BankPacific President Philip J. Flores said the new program was made possible through the Mortgage Guarantee Insurance Corp. The bank has been working to make the program possible in Guam for the last six months.

“They had a program that came out that allowed up to 97% financing, so we’ve been working to get it through the banking commission and insurance commission, and so we’re off and running with it,” he said.

Anyone in Guam can apply for this program, said Molly Quinata, assistant manager of BankPacific’s loan department, Sagan Umayao.

“Everyone is welcome to apply,” she said. “The loan officers will go through a list of things that we need from them, income documents, and the underwriter will determine whether or not they meet the criteria of what they’re applying for.”

Quinata said the application process is relatively quick when financing through BankPacific’s Sagan Umayao because loan approvals are done locally.

“We can actually get a decision to the customer in about a week’s time or less,” she said.

Those interested in applying for a loan should call BankPacific or visit the closest branch, as representatives are always available to assist in the application process, she said.

Each applicant’s qualifications for eligibility will be different, she said, and interest rates fluctuate depending on their unique circumstances.

When applicants apply for a home loan, BankPacific loan officers provide a list of counselors that new homeowners can consult if they should need more guidance in managing their new investment, Quinata said.

Low down payment programs were available before the start of this program, but they were only available to veterans, or those with low incomes who would qualify for a USDA loan, said Residential Loan Specialist James Cruz. There was a group of people that were still struggling to find a way to finance their homes.

“The people that can’t qualify for the guarantee programs, such as the USDA — [this program] fills that void right there,” Cruz said. “For those that make too much money to qualify for USDA but can’t put the full amount for 20% or even a 10% or 15% rate, this is basically our target — those that are right in between.”

Homebuyers can also use gifted funds from an immediate family member or a domestic partner that can be used toward the down payment under this program, he said.

Regarding the rates, Flores told the Journal, “The 30 years will be in the 4% range; the 15 years in the 3% range.” Rates were competitive, he said. “It’s our standard rates.”