Wildcat Homeownership Program

Wildcat Homeownership Program

Get Home Happy with Cornerstone Home Lending

Home Loan Education & Benefits Program

Created for Central Washington University Faculty & Staff

Enjoy a happier mortgage experience with Cornerstone Home Lending at your side! Our exclusive program can help CWU faculty and staff navigate today's housing market for a smooth, seamless, and stress-free home loan process.

Save up to $3,500 in closing costs*

Keep more money in your pocket! CWU faculty and staff receive a lender-paid credit worth 0.50% of the loan amount (up to $3,500) towards closing costs. Call us or visit our office (1206 N. Dolarway Road, Suite 112), just minutes from the Ellensburg campus.

Private consultation & home-finance planning

Call us or visit our office at 1206 N. Dolarway Road, Suite 112 to meet with a local Loan Officer, so you can create a realistic plan that meets your financing goals and purchase timeline. Our team makes sure you understand your mortgage options, outlines the items and steps needed for loan approval, and lets you know exactly how much home you can afford. While this consultation is private, you're welcome to bring your spouse, partner, or co-signer.

We Do Our Homework

Free first-time buyer classes

These free classes meet the requirements for the Home Possible® and HomeReady® mortgage programs, which allow first-time buyers to put as little as 3% down.

Homebuyer Classes

Free annual mortgage reviews

Make sure your home loan still works for you with an annual mortgage review. Your local loan officer can help you navigate your options – from renovating or refinancing your current home to purchasing a second home or an investment property. And yes, the Wildcat Homeownership Program can be applied to a refinance!

Reduced Closing Costs and Fees

Contact Us

We're happy to be your trusted advisor!
Reach out today to join the Wildcat Homeownership Program.

Your Cornerstone Home Lending Team
Call US, We'd love to answer all your mortgage questions!
(509) 962-3008
Justin Girgus
NMLS 1665945
Kevin Hansen
NMLS 207951
Bob Ford
NMLS 2033004
Craig Ronning
NMLS 37967

Contact Form

We will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.

Questions About the Program

If you are a current employee at Central Washington University (CWU) and receive a regular paycheck from the University, you and your immediate family members are eligible. Program benefits include a credit worth 0.50 percent of the loan amount to use towards closing costs exclusively through Cornerstone Home Lending (maximum credit is $3,500).

Your Loan Advisor would be happy to refer you to a trusted real estate agent based on the markets you are interested in learning more about.

Please contact our office to set up a free consultation either in person or over the phone. We're happy to speak with you about your goals, walk you through financing options based on your needs, and help develop a plan of action!

Common Mortgage Questions

Through our online prequalification process, a Loan Officer will work with you to provide an approximate amount of money you can borrow BEFORE you look for a new home. Then, you provide more information and allow your Loan Officer to run your credit report and verify your assets and income. We can even assist you to obtain a complete written credit approval (subject to an appraisal) before you make an offer on a home. Submit your prequalification form, and we will connect with you on the next steps towards home ownership!

Your income ratio is your total monthly housing expense divided by your pre-tax monthly income. Your debt ratio is your total monthly housing expense plus any recurring debts, such as monthly minimum credit card payment, car payments or other loan payments, divided by your monthly income. Standard underwriting guidelines suggest a maximum of 28% for your income ratio and 36% for your debt ratio. However, these ratios may vary based on your loan program, your financial situation and the amount of your down payment.

Your cash reserves are the funds available to you after your loan closes. They demonstrate your ability to make payments on your loan, and different loan programs have varying cash reserve requirements. Some programs may require you to have assets equal to two to six months of your mortgage payment. Larger cash reserves can be a strong compensating factor, as they are indicative of your ability to consistently keep up with your mortgage payments. Depending on your loan program, cash reserves can be in the form of cash, stocks, bonds or investments.

Mortgage insurance insures Lenders in the event of a borrower's foreclosure. It is paid for by the borrower, and allows Lenders to grant loans that they would otherwise not consider. Depending on credit scores and loan structure, mortgage insurance may be required when the down payment is less than 20%.

VA loans are for veterans who meet certain criteria, but active military personnel may also be eligible. They are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration, and they do not require a down payment. In some cases, the seller may be willing to pay for all or part of the closing costs, allowing qualified veterans to purchase a home with little or no money down.

To learn if you qualify for a VA loan, obtain an 1880 Form from your Loan Officer. Once you have completed the form, submit the 1880 Form and your discharge papers or DD214 to your local VA office to determine your eligibility.

A good credit history is important because it assures the Lender of your intention to repay your loan. However, a perfect credit history is not necessary. If your credit score is low, there are steps you can take toward improving your score. Contact your Loan Officer for the different program options available.

While loan program guidelines look for a two-year job history within the same field, a change to a better position is considered favorable. If you are a recent college graduate, you may be able to obtain a loan without a two-year work history.

Loan-to-value (LTV) is the amount of the loan divided by the lesser of the sale price or appraised value. If you pay 15% of the total cost of the home as a down payment, you would only need to borrow 85% of the total sales price. Therefore, your LTV would be 85%.

Notify your Loan Officer, and they can lock in the interest rate recently quoted to you. You will be provided with a written Interest Rate and Price Determination Agreement, which details the interest rate and terms of the loan you have requested, as well as the period of time for which the rate is locked. This period may vary between 10 and 60 days, depending on your projected closing date.

Closing typically takes place at the title company, and you and any other borrower named in the mortgage agreement must bring a valid driver's license. Also, any funds due at that time must be in the form of either a cashier's check made out to the title company or a wire transfer.

It is your responsibility to secure homeowner's insurance on the home you are purchasing prior to closing. Please contact your insurance company to purchase coverage that meets your loan requirements and your needs.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of your credit expressed as an annual interest rate. Points and other prepaid finance charges are factored into the APR to show the true yield on the loan, which is why the APR is often higher than your note rate. The APR can be compared to the APR on other loan programs to give you a consistent means of comparing rates and programs.

Here are some general actions to avoid prior to and during the home-financing process until you receive professional mortgage guidance.

  • Don't shop for a new home until you are prequalified.
  • Do not pack and ship important documents you will need during the loan process, such as your W-2 forms, tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs.

There are also a number of actions you can take during the process that will require additional documentation, and to prevent confusion, should be avoided.

  • Do not suddenly pay off your debts.
  • Do not apply for new credit cards.


The Wildcat Homeownership Program (the "Program") is offered by Cornerstone Home Lending to Central Washington University (CWU) faculty and staff that serve CWU's residential campus in Ellensburg, Washington, and its six campus locations and two instructional sites. Benefits of the Program are also available to immediate family members of CWU faculty and staff. The following transactions are eligible for the Wildcat Homeownership Program: purchasing or refinancing one-to-four-unit owner-occupied or investment properties. Loan types eligible for the Program include conventional, non-conforming (jumbo), FHA, USDA, and VA home loans. Washington-state bond loans are not eligible for the Wildcat Homeownership Program. *Credit provided by Cornerstone Home Lending to eligible CWU faculty and staff through the Wildcat Homeownership Program. Loan must close with Cornerstone Home Lending. Credit will be applied at closing and will not be more than the borrower's total closing costs. Not all loan products may qualify. Additional requirements may apply.