Phone: 408-354-5523
The Loan Lady
Located in Santa Clara County, serving all of California

Paula Cochran has been working in the field of real estate since 1980 and still loves her work! She owns a real estate herself, and enjoys helping others to purchase a home or expand their real estate portfolio. She has obtained a Real Estate Salesperson license in 1980 and Broker’s license in 1988. After building her management accounts for 10 years, she sold the business to go into real estate finance full-time.

Professional Affiliations
  1. Member of SILVAR - Silicon Valley Association of Realtors
  2. Member of the California Association of Realtors
  3. Member of the National Association of Realtors
  4. Affiliate member of NARPM - The National Association of Residential Property Managers, Santa Clara Chapter. Affiliate of the year for 2004 and 2005
  5. Past-President, Los Gatos BNI Chapter - Business Networking International
Visit our corporate website & for complete information on the loan processes. Contact Paula Cochran at The Loan Source, 16795 Lark Avenue, Suite 210, Los Gatos, CA 95032. You can also contact her by phone: 408-354-5523 or email her at for more details.
Are you thinking about buying a home?

Paula Cochran can help you fulfill your dream by providing you with the complete information about home loans and also find the best loan options to suit your needs.

Potential Benefits of Refinancing
  1. Lower your interest rate
  2. Lower your payments
  3. Obtain fixed rate financing
  4. Cash out for home improvements
  5. Change the terms of your loan
Refinancing often makes sense, but closing costs can amount to several thousand dollars. Anyone considering refinancing a real estate loan should work with an experienced loan officer to determine if a new loan would be financially beneficial.

Click here for more detailed information on Refinancing Loans.

Qualifying for a Loan

What goes into the loan qualification process? How does an underwriter view your loan application and documentation? How are the strengths and weaknesses of your financial situation viewed?

Real estate financing is “Risk-Based”. Loan programs, interest rates and loan amounts can vary greatly between a well-qualified borrower who has a high credit score, ample assets, good employment and income, and a borrower who is less qualified in any of those areas. A borrower whose application documentation indicates a low risk for defaulting on the loan will enjoy a greater number of loan options and lower interest rates. Conversely, a borrower who is considered a high risk will have a limited number of loan options, and will have to pay higher interest rates.

Click here to find out how an underwriter views your ability to repay a loan.

Enter the term of the loan, interest rate, and the amount you are borrowing to get the minimum monthly repayment.
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Educate Yourself and Evaluate your Situation

It is important for first time buyers to learn as much about the home-buying process ahead of time, and also to rely on a good team of professionals to help you through the process. Select a loan officer and a realtor with whom you feel comfortable and who educates you in a way that helps you understand the decisions you make regarding your financing and home purchase.

It is also important that you understand all the costs of home ownership and evaluate those costs in relation to your income and other expenses. You may want to consult with a CPA or Financial Planner. You will want to make sure you have the financial capacity to purchase a home without getting in over your head, or without making provisions for unexpected changes in your financial situations.

Getting a pre-approval from a loan officer is part of this evaluation process. You can ask your loan officer to prepare different purchase scenarios at different price levels. You should also receive a GFE - a Good Faith Estimate of the loan costs and your estimated payments.

Click here for more detailed information on the first time homebuyers.

Visit our corporate website & for complete information on the loan processes.
Contact Paula Cochran at The Loan Source, 16795 Lark Avenue, Suite 210, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
You can also contact her by phone: 408-354-5523 or email her at for more details.

Understand and Choose the Right Loan Product

The real estate financing industry is dynamic and ever-changing. As financial markets change and the cost of housing moves through the highs and lows of real estate cycles, new loan products are created to meet the needs of the consumers. Even if you think you would never qualify for a loan, you won’t know unless you go through the process. You may be surprised to find yourself on the way to home ownership.

If you already have a home and are not sure if your current loan is the best one for you, it may be time to consult with a mortgage professional. You may be able to lower your payments or pull equity out for a variety of uses. Many people who have adjustable rate loans are changing to fixed rate loans now.

For most people, buying a home or investment property is a financial stretch. Many people postpone making a purchase, and then years later regret their lack of action. Owning real estate can give you a solid grounding for your financial well-being.

Don’t wait to buy... Buy and wait!

What is an Investment Property Loan? How does it differ from Owner-Occupied Financing?

Investment property financing differs from owner-occupied financing in a few ways. You can expect to pay a little bit higher interest rate because it is a rental property. Remember that financing is priced according to perceived risk, and lenders consider loans on investment property to be a higher risk than owner-occupied property. Tenants may not always pay the rent, or the property may require more maintenance than an owner-occupied home. Owners may run into financial problems in these cases and may have a hard time making loan payments. The loan-to-value ratio will generally be lower than what is allowed for your residence.

There is a big difference in the underwriting requirements for investment property loans for 1-4 units and 5 units and above. For 1-4 units, the focus is still on the borrower qualifying for the loan. The income and expenses for the subject property are taken into account but it is the borrower’s qualifications and ability to make the payments that are still the basis for underwriting the loan. Even if the property has a “negative cash flow”, where the owner has to add funds to cover expenses, the loan may still be approved if the borrower can prove adequate income to support the expenses.

For loans on 5 units and above, it is the property that must qualify for the loan. The income from the property must support the loan payments and other expenses. Underwriters use a “debt service factor”, which is a ratio of the income to the expenses, to determine what loan amount will be approved. Lenders require a “positive cash flow” where the income is greater than the expenses, or at least a “break-even cash flow”, where the income and expenses are approximately equal.

Whether you are buying a 1-4 unit rental property or 5 units and above, it is important to sit down with a loan officer before you start looking for properties to buy. When you understand how the financing works, you will have a better idea of what type of investment property would be right for you.

Significance of Loan Documentation

The real estate loan industry has developed a number of different ways borrowers can apply for a loan. These various documentation types allow a great deal of flexibility for borrowers in traditional or non-traditional circumstances.

Always remember that the programs and interest rates to borrowers are risk-based. A well-qualified borrower, who can document all application items, is statistically a lower risk for repaying the loan. Those borrowers will enjoy the greatest selection of loan programs at the lowest rates. When risk increases, as perceived by a lender, fewer programs are available and at higher interest rates.

This is another area in which a good loan officer can help you get the best program and rate in line with the documentation type of loan you require.

Click here for detailed information on the various types documentation. You can also contact Paula Cochran by phone: (408) 828-1655 or email her at for assistance.

Visit our corporate website & for complete information on the loan processes.
Contact Paula Cochran at The Loan Source, 16795 Lark Avenue, Suite 210, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
You can also contact her by phone: 408-354-5523 or email her at for more details.

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