Reader question: “I can cover my down payment expense when buying a house. But the closing costs are going to be a bit of a stretch for me. The monthly payments are not an issue, because I’ve had steady income and employment for years. It’s the upfront out-of-pocket expense that’s a challenge. Can I roll […]
Mortgage Tips & Advice
This website provides a steady stream of mortgage advice, tips and tutorials. We publish new articles on a weekly basis, to keep up with changes in the industry. This website is managed by independent publishers and mortgage researchers — not lenders. We offer free and independent mortgage advice that is designed to help you navigate the current mortgage market. You’ll find the most recent tips and tutorials below.
How to Apply and Qualify for Government Home Loans in 2014
Reader question: “I am confused by the government home loan programs that are available today. How do they work? How would I apply and qualify for a loan in this manner, and would it help me save money?” There are many federal lending and housing programs in use today. On this page, you can learn […]
Is a 5-Year ARM loan a good idea for a first-time buyer?
Reader question: “We have been watching mortgage rates for some time, because we are in the market for a home loan. We are first-time buyers with good credit and two good jobs between us. I’ve noticed that interest rates for the 5/1 ARM loans are typically much lower than the rates for 30-year fixed loans. […]
How Much Would the Mortgage Payments Be on a $200,000 Loan?
Question: “I will be taking out a loan for about $200,000 to cover the cost of a home. How much will my mortgage payments be each month, based on this amount? Do I just divide it by the number of installments or months, and then add in the interest?” Let’s assume you’re talking about a […]
How do mortgage lenders decide how much to lend?
Reader question: “I make about $80,000 per year after taxes, and I’m wondering how much of a loan I will be able to get when buying a house. How do mortgage lenders decide how much to lend to borrowers? It is strictly based on income? Or does the size of the down payment make a […]
How soon can I apply / reapply for a mortgage after being denied?
Reader question: “We were denied for a mortgage loan because the lender’s underwriter said we had too much debt based on our annual income, or something to that effect. But I still feel like we are strong borrowers by all accounts. We’ve never missed a payment on anything in over a decade. I’m just wondering, […]
Update: Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Rules for 2014
Reader Question: “My brother pays private mortgage insurance (PMI) on his home loan. He said everybody who makes a smaller down payment has to pay for this extra cost. Is this true? Why is PMI required on certain types of loans but not on others? Have the private mortgage insurance rules changed for 2014, or […]
Do I need two years of employment / income to get a mortgage loan?
Reader question: “Most of what I read online says I need to have at least two years of employment and income to qualify for a mortgage loan these days. I had a gap in my employment about a year ago, due to a career transition. Will this hurt my chances of getting approved for a […]
Should I put 20% down on a house, if I can afford it?
Reader question: “We have been saving up to buy a house for quite some time. As a result, we might actually be able to put 20% down on our mortgage. I’m just wondering if it makes sense to do this. I’m sure there are both pros and cons to consider. Should I put 20% down […]
Common Underwriting Problems That Could Delay (or Derail) Closing
From the borrower’s perspective, underwriting is the most important part of the mortgage process. This is when the underwriter reviews the loan file to see if it meets the lender’s minimum requirements. Here are some of the common problems that can arise during underwriting.