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  • 1. Why might I consider getting an FHA loan rather than a conventional mortgage?
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    Terms of Use: The major reason to consider getting an FHA loan is because an FHA loan has less stringent criteria than those used by banks and credit unions for qualifying you for a conventional mortgage. As such, an FHA loan may provide an ideal choice for first-time home owners or individuals rebuilding their credit. For instance, the FHA allows you to use 31% of your income towards housing costs and 43% towards housing expenses and other long-term debt. With a conventional loan, this qualifyi  More...
  • 2. What are some things that I should consider when shopping for a mortgage?
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    Terms of Use: Table of Contents 1. Obtain information from several lenders 2. Obtain all important cost information 3. Obtain the best deal that you can 4. Remember: Shop, compare, negotiate 5. Fair lending is required by law 6. Credit problems? Glossary 1. Obtain Information from Several Lenders Home loans are available from several types of lenders-- thrift institutions , commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. Different lenders may quote you different prices, so you should co  More...
  • 3. How do I save enough for a down payment to buy a house?
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    Terms of Use: With current mortgage rates nearing all-time lows and home prices continuing to climb, you want to "get while the gettin's good!" But accumulating enough for a down payment on your first home can be one of the toughest financial challenges you'll face. The traditional down payment requirement used to be 20 percent of your home's purchase price. However, lending rules have changed recently, so you may be able to put down less (5 or 10 percent) to qualify for a mortgage. But keep in   More...
  • 4. How and when can I drop PMI?
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    Terms of Use: Contact your lender directly to ensure that you are actually paying for PMI. If your principal balance is less than 80% of your last appraised value, request that your lender stop charging you for PMI. If your principal balance is more than 80% of your last appraised value, but you know that your home's current market value would cause you to be below the 80% threshold, get an appraisal and present the appraisal to your lender. Be aware that your lender does not have a choice   More...
  • 5. What information should I be looking for on my credit report and how do I correct any errors?
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    Terms of Use: Your credit report is an important piece of your credit history and should be reviewed in detail. It's especially important to check your credit report (which details how well you pay your loans, bills and credit card purchases) before applying for a loan or other credit, to know where you stand. Check the accuracy of the following information on your credit report: Name. Ensure the spelling of your name is accurate. Address. Ensure your current and previous addresses are accurat  More...
  • 6. What closing costs are associated with FHA loans?
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    Terms of Use: Except for the addition of an FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA closing costs are similar to those of a conventional loan. The FHA requires a single, up-front mortgage insurance premium equal to 2.25% of the mortgage to be paid at closing (or 1.75% if you complete the HELP program). This initial premium may be partially refunded if the loan is paid in full during the first seven years of the loan term. After closing, you will then be responsible for an annual premium, paid mont  More...
  • 7. What are points and how do they impact the rate I pay on a loan?
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    Terms of Use Points, also known as discount points, allow you to lower your interest rate by prepaying some of the interest. So instead of repaying the interest on the loan over the loan's life, you can prepay some of the interest up front by paying points. Each point you pay for equals 1% of the total loan amount and reduces the interest rate charged on the loan. When shopping for loans, ask lenders for an interest rate with 0 points and then see how much the rate decreases with each point paid  More...
  • 8. What is RESPA and how does it protect me so that I am fully informed and treated fairly when going through the mortgage process?
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    Terms of Use: RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process. By doing so, it protects borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction. For more information visit the RESPA  More...
  • 9. How should I select a lender?
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    Terms of Use: Choose your lender carefully. Look for financial stability and a reputation for customer satisfaction. Be sure to choose a financial institution that gives helpful advice and that makes you feel comfortable. A lender that has the authority to approve and process your loan locally is preferable, since it will be easier for you to monitor the status of your application and ask questions. Plus, it's beneficial when the lender knows home values, conditions in the local area and (be  More...
  • 10. What is considered to be acceptable debt-to-income ratios when getting an FHA Loan?
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    Terms of Use: The FHA allows you to use 31% of your income towards housing costs and 43% towards housing expenses and other long-tem debt. With a conventional loan, the qualifying ratio allows only 28% towards housing and 36% towards housing and other debt. How to calculate these ratios 1) MORTGAGE PAYMENT EXPENSE TO EFFECTIVE INCOME Add up the total mortgage payment (principal and interest, escrow deposits for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance premium, homeowners' dues, etc.). Then, t  More...
All information provided through this site is intended to be accurate. However, there may be inaccuracies from time to time which we will make every attempt to correct immediately. Information provided is intended to assist you in making decisions and does not eliminate the need to discuss your particular circumstances with a qualified professional.

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