Hands of a man signing a contract

Article Summary: At today’s housing prices, there’s no shame in not being able to afford a 20% down payment. One alternative to a traditional mortgage with 20% down is an 80-10-10 mortgage. 80-10-10 mortgages, also called piggyback loans, let you buy a home with only 10% down and avoid having to pay for private mortgage […]

a seller or agent's hand places new home keys into the hands of a buyer

What is a GSE Mortgage?

Article Summary: A government-sponsored enterprise or GSE is a company authorized by federal legislation and backed by the U.S. government. In spite of this government sponsorship, GSEs are private businesses with private shareholders. Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) are the most well-known GSEs and […]

Man looking at a mortgage commitment letter

Article Summary: A mortgage commitment letter empowers you to go forward with your home purchase. It indicates that you’ve been approved for a mortgage loan of some amount provided you fulfill the conditions indicated. This document is an important step on your home buying journey because it shows you are a qualified buyer with financing […]

home with white-picket fence and autumn leaves, purchases with conforming mortgage loan

What Is a Conforming Loan?

Article Summary: Conforming loans qualify for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, deep-pocket government-backed entities that buy mortgages and turn them into securities. This makes the loans less risky for lenders, less expensive for borrowers, and more appealing to investors. Are you a homebuyer with good credit, say a FICO score of 620 or […]

symbolic representation of pulling liquid equity out of your home

Article Summary: Any mortgage you get on a property after the first will be a subordinate mortgage. Common examples of this include second mortgages for home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. In case of a foreclosure, second mortgages’ subordinate status protects the primary lender, ensuring it gets paid first. Should you want […]

Man looks at repossesion notice and wonders how long it will stay on his credit report

Article Summary Repossession is not the end of the world and it shouldn’t be treated as such. While it may hurt your mortgage chances, and you may have to wait 2 to 7 years to qualify, you have options. Granted, the rate and terms are unlikely to be as good as they would be if […]

Image of a home, money growing and a calculator

Article Summary: Typically there are no legal limits on the number of times you can refinance your mortgage loan. However, some states, such as Texas, do restrict the number of times you can do it in a year and some lenders may also have policies that restrict the frequency with which you can refinance. Refinancing […]

A man researching online what a 10 1 mortgage is

What Is a 10/1 ARM Mortgage?

Article Summary: A 10/1 ARM loan is an adjustable-rate mortgage that has a fixed rate for its first 10 years. After that, its interest rate adjusts one time per year. Loans with adjustable rates expose you to risk should rates rise. In exchange for taking on this risk, you as a borrower can get a […]

Image of toy houses flying with balloons as an illustration of a balloon mortgage

What Is a Balloon Mortgage?

Article Summary: Balloon mortgages typically have shorter terms and higher interest rates than traditional mortgages. They require a lump-sum payment at the end, and they’re usually harder to qualify for. In spite of all this, some borrowers find them appealing because they can mean lower monthly payments. Should you consider getting one? If not, what […]

young homebuyer who has used a silent mortgage and just moved in to her new home asks for discretion

Article Summary: It can be hard to save for a down payment. Some home buyers think a clever solution is to get a loan from a second lender to cover the down payment and not tell the first lender about it. This is called a “silent second mortgage.” This article will tell you what you […]