Mortgage Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval: What’s the Difference?

AlexRaths/iStock; bortonia/iStock When buying a home, cash is king, but most folks don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying in the bank. Of course, that’s why obtaining a mortgage is such a crucial part of the process. And securing mortgage pre-qualification and pre-approval are important steps, assuring lenders that you’ll be able to afford payments. However, […]

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HELOCs Are Resetting and Rates Are Rising: Here’s What Homeowners Should Do

gerenme/iStock; realtor.com “Your HELOC is resetting” is a phrase you might be hearing a lot these days, and it sounds like something that might send your spaceship off its trajectory. But, if you’re not careful, it’s actually something that could send your budget off course. The financial field is experiencing a perfect storm as multitudes […]

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What Is a Mortgage Broker? Welcome to Your Personal Home Loan Shopper

daizuoxin/iStock What is a mortgage broker? In a nutshell, this professional helps you find the best mortgage by shopping all the options at your disposal. This can be a huge plus if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the mortgage process and can’t tell which loan is right for you. However, mortgage brokers aren’t ideal for everyone, so it’s good to learn what these […]

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Should You Save for Retirement or Buy a House? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

baona/iStock Buying a house is a large financial commitment and often the smartest one you can make. But you need to determine whether it’s the right commitment at the right time. Because this is the big picture: Shouldering mortgage payments for the greater part of your life will likely affect how much money you’re able to stash away […]

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How Do Mortgages Work? What You Need to Know About the Home Loan Process

gerenme/iStock Mortgages might be one of the most essential and common parts of the home-buying experience, but they’re also one of the most misunderstood. Whether you’re on the search for your first home or just need some clarification, here’s how mortgages work—and what you need to know. What is a mortgage? In the simplest terms, a mortgage […]

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How Long Does It Take to Get a Mortgage? Longer Than You Might Think

Marrypopins/iStock In the age of same-day delivery and smartphones, we’re used to rapid wish fulfillment. With a few clicks and taps, and within hours, a drone drops a package on your porch. But when it comes to getting a mortgage, that’s just not how things work. So how long does it take to get a mortgage? […]

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What Is a Jumbo Loan? It’s Not as Huge as You Might Think

BrianAJackson/iStock; realtor.com At first glance, a jumbo loan seems self-explanatory: It’s a great, big loan, right? Essentially, that’s true. Obtaining a jumbo loan allows you to borrow a larger amount of money than the maximum value of a conforming loan. A conforming loan essentially “conforms” to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But just how much […]

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What Is a Good Expense Ratio for Home Buyers?

Terminator3D/iStock; realtor.com When you purchase a home, mortgage lenders go through a number of anxiety-inducing variables—including your credit score, your income, and your work history—with a fine-toothed comb. But even if all these indicate you’re a good candidate for a mortgage, something called an “expense ratio” could still be a deal breaker. Your expense ratio is the metric that helps lenders […]

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Want to Roll Your Student Loans Into Your Mortgage? Here’s What to Consider

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images It’s a question as old as debt itself: Should I pay off one loan with another loan? “Debt reshuffling,” as it’s known, has garnered a bad reputation because it often amounts to just trading one debt problem for another. So it’s no wonder the news that Fannie Mae would make it easier […]

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