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Home Finance / Mortgages: The Basics
Determine What You Can Afford!

Are you planning to buy a home? Find out as much as you can about home finance / mortgages, because this can help you to save thousands of dollars in the long run. Buying a home may be the most important transaction you will make in your lifetime, so take time to research your options.
  • Use our online mortgage calculator to decide about how much you can afford to borrow, based on your income, expenses, and existing debts.
  • Think about how much you can afford to put down and how much you can spare to meet the monthly home loan payments.
  • Don't forget about maintenance costs, homeowner's insurance, condo or association fees, property taxes, and utilities.
Check Your Credit Report

See if your credit report is accurate and up to date. You can get a copy of your credit report for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com. If you find any mistakes in it, you can get them fixed. A higher credit score will make it easier for you to qualify for a loan, and lenders will give you lower mortgage rates and fees.

Have A Low Credit Score?

You may not be able to qualify for a mortgage loan if you have too much debt, have a low credit score, or cannot afford the down payment. You can consider applying for an FHA mortgage loan, which will be guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA mortgage rates are slightly higher than those offered on non-FHA loans.

Fixed Vs. Variable Rate

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) will give you a lower mortgage interest rate and a lower monthly payment during the first five or seven years. However, the monthly payments can become unaffordable if interest rates go up. A fixed-rate home mortgage will have a higher interest rate, but you will not have to worry about unpleasant surprises in the future.

Get Pre-approved For A Mortgage Loan

It is best to get pre-approved for a loan mortgage before you start searching for a home. The lender will assess your application and credit report and inform you about how much will be lent to you. This will help you to find out about where you stand, and home sellers and real estate agents will consider you to be a serious buyer. Pre-qualification for a home loan mortgage means that the lender has checked your credit report and financial information and found them to be in order. It does not provide an assurance that you will get a home loan.

Compare Mortgage Rates

Research your options online and obtain offers in writing from at least three home mortgage lenders. Compare mortgage rates and fees, and be prepared to negotiate for a better deal. Some of the fees that are associated with mortgage loans may be negotiable. Ask lenders if they will give you lower mortgage interest rates and fees than those offered by others. Check the reputation of the lenders before you make up your mind.

Paying Discount Points

If you have money to spare, you can consider paying discount points to get a lower mortgage rate. This is like prepaying part of the interest on the loan. It may take a few years for you to recover the points you pay upfront. You can use our online home mortgage calculator, which is given below, to decide about whether this makes sense for you.

Use our mortgage calculator to assess your mortgage options from the comfort of your home. Good luck and hope you move into your dream home soon!

 
 
Mortgage Calculator
 
Mortgage Amount: $
Interest Rate: %
Length of Term: Years.
Monthly Payments: $