Why Are Rates Still So Low?

The Unemployment Rate is released on the first business Friday of each month. And that rate has been holding rather steady. Initial jobless claim data, those that are filing for unemployment compensation, is released each Thursday. The report released just this past Thursday showed that unemployment claims hit a 50-year low. These claims dropped by…

What is a VA Guaranteed Loan?

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Getting a home loan that’s guaranteed? And a VA loan no less that doesn’t need a down payment? The term does sound attractive but it doesn’t mean exactly what is sounds like. For those that are VA loan eligible, it sounds as if the veteran is going to…

What is a Portfolio Loan?

Unless you’re in the mortgage business you probably don’t know what a portfolio loan actually is. But in reality, portfolio lending has been around for decades, much longer than conventional loans that are approved using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac guidelines. In the “olden” days, banks would have their own internal mortgage approval guidelines. There…

How Much Money Do You Need to Buy a Home?

Okay, more specifically, how much money do you need to qualify for a mortgage? There are different factors involved because there are so many different types of loans available. Even the very same loan program might require more or less cash to close depending upon someone’s personal situation. But this is indeed a very legitimate…

3 Ways to Reduce Your Closing Costs

Most loans today require some amount of a down payment. But they all require closing costs. There are lender fees, common ones are loan processing and underwriting fees, and there are non-lender fees. Non-lender fees include items such as an attorney fee or title insurance premiums. It’s the non-lender fees that can really add up…

What Exactly is a Manual Underwrite?

Sometimes, for whatever reason, a loan needs to be “manually” underwritten. And when consumers hear that term from their loan officer it can be a little unsettling, if not confusing. Lenders can forget that consumers aren’t necessarily familiar with the internal processing of a mortgage loan application and simply assume they know how loans are…

Can You Skip a Payment When Refinancing?

You might have heard this at some point in the past, either from a mortgage loan officer or perhaps some sort of mortgage marketing campaign. When you refinance a loan you actually skip your next payment and you’re essentially mortgage payment free for that month. But that’s not actually true. Mortgage interest is paid in…

How Lenders Evaluate the Self-Employed Borrower

One of the primary factors when issuing a loan approval is to make sure the borrowers can afford the new mortgage payment along with other monthly credit obligations. This is accomplished by comparing monthly payments with monthly income. For someone who receives a pay check on the 1st and 15th it’s relatively easy to figure…

Understanding Interest Rate Locks

When consumers start to get serious about buying a home or maybe refinancing an existing mortgage, one of the first things that will be researched is interest rates. Interest rates help determine affordability and lenders use current market rates and terms to help prequalify and preapprove borrowers. It can be a bit confusing at times…

The True Definition of a First Time Buyer

First time home buyers are so critical for the housing industry. So much so that various financial incentives and loan programs are developed just to change a renter into an owner. These programs can be national ones such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac first time home buyer programs, to local and county governments, which…

FHA High Balance Home Loans

It’s probably no secret, at least in the housing and finance industries, that the FHA mortgage is the number one pick by first time home buyers. Why is that? FHA loans are one of three government-backed mortgage programs designed to finance a primary residence. FHA loans are easier to save up for because the minimum…

Myth-Busting the No Closing Cost Mortgage

When someone is getting a bit more serious about buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage, the next step is typically to get a rate quote from a mortgage company. Because lenders set their interest rates on the very same set of indices, these rates will be very close to one another. In fact,…