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  • 1. How much down payment is normally required to buy a home?
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    Terms of Use There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy to secure the loan. For example, if you pay 10% down on a $100,000 loan, PMI might cost you about $40/month or $480/year. However, the actual rate is based on various factors including the size of the loan, the amount of the down payment, and your individual lendi  More...
  • 2. Tell me more about FHA loans
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    Terms of Use: What are FHA loans? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) works to make home ownership a possibility for more Americans. The FHA is not a lender but rather an insurer of loans. The FHA issues guidelines to banks and credit unions to follow so that as long as a loan meets those terms, it agrees to insure against loss. While FHA loans used to be very attractive for first-time homebuyers who might not have saved enough for a down payment of 5% or more for a conventional loan or who  More...
  • 3. How do I select a home that is best for me and my family?
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    Terms of Use It often helps to define what is important to you and your family before you even begin looking for a home. The checklist below can be used to help narrow in on homes and to evaluate them once you find something that appears to meet your needs. Address: Da  More...
  • 4. How can an energy efficient mortgage (EEM) save me money on a FHA Loan?
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    Terms of Use: The Energy Efficient Mortgage allows a homebuyer to save future money on utility bills. This is done by financing the cost of adding energy-efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of an FHA-insured home purchase. Basic guidelines for EEMs are as follows: The cost of improvements must be determined by a Home Energy Rating System or by an energy consultant. This cost must be less than the anticipated savings from the improvements. One- and two-unit new or existing h  More...
  • 5. Can I get a credit report for free?
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    Terms of Use Credit reports contain a wealth of information about your credit history. Consumers now can get a free copy of their credit report. It's important to review your credit report at least annually to ensure it is accurate and that you have not become a victim of identity fraud.> A study by U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that one in four credit reports contains errors serious enough to cause consumers to be denied credit, a loan, an apartment or or even a job. The   More...
  • 6. What should I do if I believe that I am being excluded from a neighborhood because of race, color, religion, sex, nationality, familial status, or disability?
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    Terms of Use Immediately contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if you ever feel excluded from a neighborhood or particular house. Also, contact HUD if you believe you are being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, nationality, familial status, or disability. HUD's Office of Fair Housing has a hotline for reporting incidents of discrimination: 1-800-669-9777 (and 1-800-927-9275 for the hearing impaired). To file a complaint, you c  More...
  • 7. 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...
  • 8. What is HUD and how does HUD help homebuyers and homeowners?
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    Terms of Use: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in 1965 to develop national policies and programs to address housing needs in the U.S. One of HUD's primary missions is to create a suitable living environment for all Americans by developing and improving the country's communities and enforcing fair housing laws. HUD helps people by administering a variety of programs that develop and support affordable housing. Specifically, HUD plays a large role in h  More...
  • 9. How can I see my credit report?
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    Terms of Use There are three major credit reporting companies: Equifax , Experian , and TransUnion . Obtaining your credit report is as easy as calling or going to the internet and requesting one. Once you receive the report, it's important to verify its accuracy. Double-check the high credit limit, total loan, and past due columns. It's a good idea to get copies from all three companies to ensure there are no mistakes since any of the three could be providing a report to your lender. Fees  More...
  • 10. What things impact my credit score and what can I do to improve my credit score?
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    Terms of Use: Your FICO® scores, from Fair Isaac and Company ( FICO ), are the credit scores most lenders use to determine your credit risk. You have three FICO ® scores, one for each of the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Each credit score is based on information the credit bureau keeps on file about you. As this information changes, your credit scores tend to change as well. Credit scores consider five main kinds of credit information. Listed from most i  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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