Mortgage & Financing

Financing your next home doesn't have to be stressful. We've done the research to help you understand how mortgages work and how to get your finances in shape.

What is a gift of equity? How do I use one?
Preparing to Sell
What is a gift of equity? How do I use one?

A gift of equity is when the home seller gives a discount by lowering the sale price, thus passing their equity to the homebuyer.

How a mortgage recast can save you money
Mortgage & Financing
How a mortgage recast can save you money

Recasting a mortgage can help lower your monthly mortgage payment, but it won't lower the interest rate or change the terms of your loan.

How does an interest-only mortgage work — and is it worth it?
Mortgage & Financing
How does an interest-only mortgage work — and is it worth it?

Interest-only mortgages have two phases: making small payments and then much larger ones, which can make this type of loan unaffordable if you're not careful.

What is an FHA construction loan?
Mortgage & Financing
What is an FHA construction loan?

FHA construction loans are three-in-one mortgages that cover land purchase, construction costs, and permanent financing for those who want to build a home.

How, and how much, do mortgage brokers get paid?
Mortgage & Financing
How, and how much, do mortgage brokers get paid?

Before you agree to work with a mortgage broker, you'll want to find out what you might owe for their services. The answer depends on how the broker is paid.

What is a mortgage contingency?
Mortgage & Financing
What is a mortgage contingency?

A mortgage contingency in a closing contract releases the buyer if they cannot secure financing. Here's what you need to know about this important clause.

What is a jumbo loan — and do you need one?
Mortgage & Financing
What is a jumbo loan — and do you need one?

Any mortgage over a specific dollar amount set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is called a jumbo loan. The cutoff for jumbo loans is updated each year.

Should you cosign a mortgage?
Mortgage & Financing
Should you cosign a mortgage?

Cosigning a mortgage is a financial responsibility with no tangible benefits for the cosigner. Still, you may choose to cosign. Here's what you need to know.

What is an adjustable-rate mortgage?
Mortgage & Financing
What is an adjustable-rate mortgage?

An adjustable-rate mortgage, is a home loan with an interest rate that can go up or down, depending on what interest rates are like in the economy as a whole.

Mortgage broker vs. lender: What’s the difference?
Mortgage & Financing
Mortgage broker vs. lender: What’s the difference?

While both a broker and a lender can help you acquire a mortgage, they play separate roles in the market for home loans, and you'll want to know the difference.

What is a cash-out refinance?
Mortgage & Financing
What is a cash-out refinance?

A cash-out refinance loan replaces your existing mortgage with a new one for more than you currently owe on your home to put money in your pocket. Here's how.

How to shop around for a mortgage
Mortgage & Financing
How to shop around for a mortgage

Mortgage shopping gives you a clearer picture of your financing options and lets you feel confident in your loan choice, given the available alternatives.

Can you use an SBA loan to buy a house?
Mortgage & Financing
Can you use an SBA loan to buy a house?

You can buy property with an SBA loan, but there are some considerations you should note before purchasing a building with this type of financing.

8 common mortgage scams — and how to spot them
Mortgage & Financing
8 common mortgage scams — and how to spot them

If you're choosing a home loan or considering a refinance, there's a lot of money at stake, so it's very important to be on your guard against mortgage scams.

Refinancing a VA loan: What are your options?
Mortgage & Financing
Refinancing a VA loan: What are your options?

Buying a house with a government-backed VA loan is a smart decision if you qualify, but what happens if you want to refinance? Here are your best options.

How Soon Can You Refinance After Buying a House?
Mortgage & Financing
How Soon Can You Refinance After Buying a House?

Depending on the type of loan you have, you may be eligible to refinance as soon as you close on your home.

Can You Buy a Home Using a Personal Loan?
Mortgage & Financing
Can You Buy a Home Using a Personal Loan?

While personal loans are much flexible, they usually come with higher interest rates, shorter repayment terms, and smaller loan amounts than mortgage loans.

How to build equity in a home
Mortgage & Financing
How to build equity in a home

Home equity is built over many years through home appreciation and paying down your mortgage, and it can go negative if you owe more than your house is worth.

What are lender credits and discount points on a mortgage? Lower your homebuying costs with these tricks
Mortgage & Financing
What are lender credits and discount points on a mortgage? Lower your homebuying costs with these tricks

Mortgage discount points are powerful tools that allow homebuyers lower their interest rate by paying more upfront and lender credits let them do the opposite.

What to do if your mortgage becomes unaffordable
Mortgage & Financing
What to do if your mortgage becomes unaffordable

An unaffordable mortgage puts you in a vulnerable position, but there are ways forward if you stay in touch with your mortgage servicer.

Can You Get a Home Loan If You Owe Taxes?
Mortgage & Financing
Can You Get a Home Loan If You Owe Taxes?

While tax debt doesn’t make buying a home impossible, it does make the process more difficult. Let’s examine your options for buying when you have back taxes.

It costs how much for a house down payment?! (Hint: It may be less than you think)
Mortgage & Financing
It costs how much for a house down payment?! (Hint: It may be less than you think)

Down payments of 20% are recommended but not required, and many people put down less. The best down payment depend on how much you can comfortably afford.

Getting Your Mortgage From Preapproved to 'Clear to Close'
Mortgage & Financing
Getting Your Mortgage From Preapproved to 'Clear to Close'

Applying for and closing on a mortgage is a lengthy process, and there are many hurdles to keep an eye out for on your way to finalizing a home purchase.

What types of mortgages are there — and which is best for you?
Mortgage & Financing
What types of mortgages are there — and which is best for you?

Before shopping for a mortgage, you'll want to think about which kind of home loan you want. You'll likely have a choice between a few different types.

How to buy a home with bad credit: your best options
Mortgage & Financing
How to buy a home with bad credit: your best options

Prospective home buyers with bad credit can still qualify for mortgages, although the process may play out differently than for buyers with good credit.

The Basics of Home Loans and Mortgages: A Guide for Beginners
Mortgage & Financing
The Basics of Home Loans and Mortgages: A Guide for Beginners

Taking out a home loan, or mortgage, is a long-term financial commitment. Before you apply, learn how different mortgages work, and the process of getting one.

How Does Buying a Home Affect Your Credit?
Mortgage & Financing
How Does Buying a Home Affect Your Credit?

Since most of us need a mortgage to help finance the purchase of a home, it’s important to understand how a mortgage affects your credit score.

Thinking of using a VA loan? Consider these VA loan pros and cons
Mortgage & Financing
Thinking of using a VA loan? Consider these VA loan pros and cons

VA loans offer man benefits, like higher closing rates, increased purchasing power, and more lenient underwriting. Understand VA loan pros and cons.

How long does mortgage pre-approval last?
Mortgage & Financing
How long does mortgage pre-approval last?

A pre-approval for a mortgage typically lasts 60 to 90 days, and if the letter expires or your situation changes before you buy a home, let your lender know.

VA Loans in Texas: A guide for Texan veterans and active duty service members
Mortgage & Financing
VA Loans in Texas: A guide for Texan veterans and active duty service members

Here's how VA loans in Texas can make homeownership easier and more affordable, as well as eligibility criteria for Texas veterans and home requirements.

What is a proof of funds letter?
Mortgage & Financing
What is a proof of funds letter?

A proof of funds letter is a bank letter or bank statement that shows you have enough one to close on a home, and you'll need it to make offers.

What's the true cost of selling a house?
Mortgage & Financing
What's the true cost of selling a house?

If you’re selling your house, you’re probably wondering how much you’ll make, but how much the home sale could cost.

How does a mortgage work?
Mortgage & Financing
How does a mortgage work?

A mortgage is a loan used to finance the purchase of a house. Borrowers typically have decades to repay a mortgage, which accrues interest.

Selling a house with a mortgage? What you need to know
Preparing to Sell
Selling a house with a mortgage? What you need to know

As long as you’re in good standing with your lender, selling a house with a mortgage is standard practice.