Loan Origination Process

NIFA loans are generally financed through the sale of tax-exempt bonds, the proceeds of which are used to finance qualifying mortgage loans through the purchase of mortgage-backed securities.  Participating Lenders are responsible for originating and closing loans in compliance with NIFA program eligibility guidelines, agency insuring guidelines, secondary market guidelines and Master Servicer guidelines.

Lender Online (LOL)

Approved Participating Lenders have access to a secure web-based loan reservation system called Lender Online (LOL).  All loan files submitted for NIFA program compliance review are electronically submitted in LOL.  Program forms are available individually or as PDF packages.  Each lending institution will designate an administrator(s) who is responsible for managing user access levels and passwords.

Loan Reservations

Loan reservations are entered in LOL once the buyer has an accepted purchase agreement.  The system will generate a reservation number and will allow users to print a reservation acceptance page.  NIFA interest rates are valid for 120 days from the loan reservation date.  The Loan Delivery Schedule has tiered pricing for the Service Release Premium ("SRP").  The maximum SRP is attained by the Participating Lender when the closed loan is delivered and purchased by the master servicer, U.S. Bank, within 90 days of the loan reservation date.


All loan files are submitted for program compliance review using the eDocs feature in LOL.  This feature is available within the Loan Status section.  Please note users uploading packages must complete the process in its entirety.  This means users should save and submit packages.  The process is not complete until a message is displayed that the "Agency has successfully received the package".  Not completing this step could delay the file review.

Pre-Closing Compliance Review

NIFA strongly encourages Participating Lenders to submit loan files for program compliance review before closing.  A pre-closing review is not mandatory, but it provides Participating Lenders with the opportunity for NIFA to determine if the loan meets NIFA's program guidelines (e.g. first-time homebuyer, household income and purchase price limits).  Our goal is to maintain a 24-48 hour turnaround time on our compliance reviews.

Use the most current version of the Pre-Closing Document Checklist to package and submit loan files for review.  We recommend submitting files for review at least five business days prior to closing or sooner if there is any question the household income exceeds our maximum limit.  Rush reviews are permitted on a limited basis.

All outstanding conditions are posted in the Loan Status section.  Once all conditions are cleared, LOL will automatically generate a Commitment Letter that is available in the PDF section.  Please note some conditions are allowed to be cleared at closing and submitted with the post-closing package.

Homebuyer Assistance (HBA) Second Mortgage Closing Review

Participating Lenders are not authorized to close either the first mortgage loan or second mortgage loan for the HBA Program until a second mortgage closing review is completed.  This step is very important in the origination process to keep the first mortgage loan in compliance with agency underwriting requirements.  All documents on the HBA Closing Approval Checklist must be included.  Our preference is to receive the closing package for review and approval at least one business day prior to closing.  Once approved, LOL will generate a Legally Enforceable Obligation Letter that must be included in the FHA case binder for insuring purposes.

Post-Closing Compliance Review

After the loan is closed, Participating Lenders should use the most current version of the Post-Closing Document Checklist to package and submit loan files for review.  Post-closing packages must be submitted within 10 business days of closing.  If a pre-closing review was not completed by NIFA, all documents listed on the Pre-Closing Document Checklist must be included with the post-closing package.

All outstanding conditions are posted in the Loan Status section.  Once all conditions are cleared, LOL will automatically generate a final Commitment Letter that is available in the PDF section.

Delivering Closed Loans

All closed loan files should be delivered to NIFA's master servicer, U.S. Bank, as soon as possible.  All files are delivered electronically using a system called DocVelocity.  Delays in delivering closed loans will result in a lower SRP paid to the Participating Lender.  Please refer to U.S. Bank's website or NIFA's lender manual for more information.

Master Servicer Loan Review Process

All closed loans are reviewed by U.S. Bank for compliance with agency guidelines, secondary market guidelines and regulatory guidelines.  U.S. Bank does not review files for NIFA program eligibility; NIFA performs that review.

Clearing Loan Conditions

Participating Lenders are responsible for clearing all conditions in a timely manner.  U.S. Bank provides a weekly exception report that includes loans with outstanding conditions which must be cleared before the loan is eligible for purchase.  In no case will a loan be purchased with outstanding conditions.  Please note U.S. Bank's conditions are posted in the Loan Status section along with NIFA conditions. 

Loan Purchase Process

Once all NIFA and U.S. Bank conditions are cleared, the first and HBA second loan (if applicable) will be purchased and the Participating Lender will receive the SRP set forth in the Loan Delivery Schedule.  Participating Lenders must collect loan payments from borrowers until the loan(s) are purchased.

Final Loan Documents

U.S. Bank requires all final loan documents to be submitted within 90 days of the purchase date.  Penalty fees may be assessed beyond 90 days.

Master Servicer Lender Help Desk

Participating Lenders may send questions to U.S. Bank's help desk.  The help desk will respond to a question or route the question to the appropriate department.  The help desk phone number is 800-562-5165, option 2 or the help desk email address is

Master Servicer Website

Participating Lenders should frequently access U.S. Bank’s website to obtain current information and requirements.  The website address is