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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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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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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How to Get a Loan for a Mobile Home

clubfoto/iStock Mobile homes—or manufactured homes (read on for the difference)—are a much more affordable way to own your own place. Today’s models can often be as spacious and beautiful as a traditionally built house, often for a fraction of the price. Still, though, the nice ones aren’t exactly cheap: According to affordable housing research organization CFED, mobile homes cost an […]

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What Is a Cash-Out Refinance? Get a Stack of Cash From Your Home Equity

Kuzma/iStock Need a large chunk of change to start a business, pay down debt, or finance your child’s college tuition? If your home value has increased, one option is to use a cash-out refinance. Anything that talks about “cashing out” sure sounds good, right? But before you sign up, let’s discuss the cash-out refinance rules—and the […]

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What Is Mortgage Fraud? Steer Clear of These 3 Offenses

Ridofranz/iStock There are white lies, and then there’s mortgage fraud. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference, but it’s essential for home buyers to understand exactly where the line is drawn, because the consequences can be dire if you cross it. So what is mortgage fraud? Mortgage fraud is deception about your financial circumstances […]

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do (but Never Does) Before Buying a House

BartekSzewczyk/iStock Sometime in my mid-20s, I decided I wanted to stay in the Maryland area and buy a home. I could afford a mortgage around $1,500 per month based on my expenses—mostly student loan payments—and salary. If I found the perfect home, I could stretch to afford around $1,750 per month. As I searched for my future […]

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A Home Loan for Doctors? Yup, Physicians Get Their Own Mortgage

Feverpitched/iStock As far as jobs go, being a doctor is pretty up there—in terms of salary (the average physician earns $187,200 per year, statistically the top in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and cachet (“my fiance’s a doctor” has likely disappointed no parent, ever). But one lesser-known benefit of becoming a physician is that there is a […]

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