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What is Mortgage Amortization?

If you have a fixed-rate home mortgage, you pay the exact same amount each month. But did you know that the amount of principal you pay toward the balance of your loan changes from month to month? This is called amortization and it is a method of distributing the interest and principal over the course of a loan so that it is completely paid off by the end of the loan term. Understanding how it works could help save you plenty of interest on your mortgage. How does it work? When you agree to buy a house at a certain price, in reality, you will end up paying way more than that price to you...

May 8th, 2019 | Credit, Interest Rates, What is Mortgage Amortization?

4 Things to Understand About Credit Scores Before Applying for a Mortgage

Your credit score is an essential factor in determining much about any mortgage loan you receive. A credit score is a measure of your trustworthiness as a borrower. It pays to know as much about your credit score as possible before applying for home loan funding. Here are four key points to understand: 1. Credit Scores Are Calculated by Financial Formulas Credit scores (also called FICO scores because they were created by the Fair Isaac Corporation) is determined by a several factors. The weightiest element - 35% - is your payment history. The more often you have been late on making your...

May 1st, 2019 | Credit, 4 Things to Understand About Credit Scores Before Applying for a Mortgage

How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

When you are ready to apply for a mortgage loan, your lender will ask you for all sorts of financial information. One of the things lenders do with this data is to calculate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. A DTI ratio is one of the most basic methods lenders use to determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford.  You can calculate this number before talking to a lender so that there will be no surprises about how much you might expect to borrow. First, total all your monthly liabilities – including the potential housing payment - and divide that number by your g...

April 17th, 2019 | Credit, Fixed Rate Mortgages, Conventional Loans, Preapproval, How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Mortgage

Mortgage interest rates have been near rock-bottom lows for many years but are likely to increase over the next few years. Even though you can no longer count on record low interest rates, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you save money on your mortgage loan. Here are the top five: 1. Increase Your Down Payment By saving a little longer, getting money gifted to you by relatives, or selling off big assets, you could pull together a larger down payment. If you can bump up your down payment to 20% or more, you will avoid paying for private mortgage insurance, saving yourse...

March 27th, 2019 | Mortgages, Savings, Credit, 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Mortgage

Home Equity Loan vs. HELOC

For many people, their home is their largest asset. And its value generally grows over time, producing more equity for the homeowners. How can homeowners make use of this equity without selling their house? A home equity loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) are both popular options with different pros and cons. Home Equity Loan A home equity loan is a second mortgage that is structured very similar to a traditional mortgage. The amount of the loan will be based on the owner’s existing equity in the home as well as by income and credit history. If all the right factors are i...

December 26th, 2018 | Home Equity, Credit, Home Equity Loan vs. HELOC

The Ins and Outs of a Home Equity Line of Credit

Homeowners have a great source of funding available to them that others don’t: their house! If homeowners have a significant amount of equity in their home or especially if their mortgage is completely paid off, they can make great financial use of their house by taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC). HELOCs are loans in the form of revolving credit lines that are secured by a home. They work a lot like a credit card – you have a certain limit, you can draw out money as needed, and you only make payments after you have pulled out money from the account. Funds from a ho...

September 5th, 2018 | Credit, The Ins and Outs of a Home Equity Line of Credit