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Complete Guide to FHA Loans and Mortgages

An FHA loan is a mortgage loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Essentially, the federal government insures loans for FHA-approved lenders in order to reduce their risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

Read Complete Guide to FHA Loans and Mortgages

FHA 203k Loans: What Are They? What Are the Benefits?

The idea of buying a fixer-upper and turning it into your dream abode can seem so perfect -- every nook and cranny just to your specifications! The reality, however, can be harsh. When you realize how much it will cost to remodel, you often also realize that you can't afford it.

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FHA Streamline Refinance Program: Info and FAQs

The FHA Streamline Refinance program is a special refinance program for people who have a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. It is the simplest and easiest way to refinance an FHA loan. Unlike a traditional refinance an FHA Streamline Refinance allows a borrower to refinance without having to verify their income and assets.

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VA Loans: What Are They? What Are the Advantages?

VA loans are home loans for the purchase of a primary residence available to consumers who have served or are presently serving in the U.S. military. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not lend money for VA loans, it backs loans made by private lenders (banks, savings and loans, or mortgage companies) to veterans who qualify.

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The Complete Guide to ARM Loans - 3, 5, 7 & 10 Year

An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, has an introductory interest rate that lasts a set period of time and adjusts annually thereafter for the remaining time period for a total of 30 years. After the set time period your interest rate will change and so will your monthly payment.

Read The Complete Guide to ARM Loans - 3, 5, 7 & 10 Year

What Is a 40-Year Fixed Mortgage?

Similar to the common 30-year fixed loan, a 40-year fixed loan allows you to amortize the loan an additional 10 years so that you are paying off your loan over a 40-year time period.

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What Is a 30-Year Fixed Mortgage?

A 30-year fixed mortgage is a mortgage that has a specific, fixed rate of interest that does not change for 30 years. 30-year fixed mortgages are the most popular mortgage product nowadays and are especially popular among first-time home buyers.

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What Is a 20-Year Fixed Mortgage?

A 20-year fixed rate mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that remains the same throughout the 20-year duration of the loan. The borrower will be required to repay the principal and interest on the loan throughout the course of 20 years.

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What Is a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage?

A 15-year fixed mortgage is a mortgage that has a specific, fixed rate of interest that does not change for 15 years.

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What Is a 10-Year Fixed Mortgage?

A 10-year fixed mortgage is a mortgage that has a specific, fixed rate of interest that does not change for 10 years. At the end of 10 years you will have paid off your mortgage completely.

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USDA Loans: Information and FAQ

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) gives out a variety of loans to help low- or moderate-income people buy, repair or renovate a home in a rural area. Some of the popular types of loans are: The single family direct homeownership loan, the single family guaranteed homeownership loan, the rural repair and rehabilitation loan or grant and the mutual self-help loan.

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Second Mortgages - Information and FAQ

A second mortgage -- also referred to as a home equity loan or home equity line of credit -- is just what it sounds like: another (second) mortgage on your home. Like with your original mortgage, your second mortgage is secured by your home, meaning that if you don't pay the loan, the bank can take your home.

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Zero Down Payment Loans - Information and FAQ

Buying a home and putting no money down to do it sounds appealing to many, but in reality it's hard to get a zero down payment mortgage in this climate, as banks no longer offer them to most consumers. Hard, however, doesn't mean impossible.

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Interest-Only Loans: Information and FAQ

With a traditional mortgage, buyers pay some part of the principal and interest with every monthly payment. An interest-only mortgage loan works differently: Borrowers are allowed to pay only the interest on the loan for a fixed period of time -- usually five to seven years -- and then must begin paying off the principal.

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Home Equity Loans: Information and FAQ

With a home equity loan -- also known as a second mortgage, term loan or equity loan -- a mortgage lender lets a homeowner borrow money against the equity in his home.

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Prepaying Your Mortgage

Prepaying your mortgage -- which simply means that you pay all or part of the money owed on your mortgage before it's officially due -- offers an alluring proposition: By paying what you owe early, you can cut down the amount of interest you owe to the lender, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long term.

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How to Refinance an Investment Property

In today's low-interest-rate environment, owners of investment properties have probably thought about refinancing. But refinancing an investment property is a little different than refinancing a primary residence, so it's important that investment property owners understand what they're up against.

Read How to Refinance an Investment Property

How to Refinance With Bad Credit

With interest rates near historic lows, it's no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they're paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments.

Read How to Refinance With Bad Credit

No-Closing Cost Refinance

The lure of refinancing right now is powerful with interest rates hovering near historic lows. But there is a potential downside to refinancing: The cost, as closing costs on a refinance typically run about $4,000.

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What Is a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance is a refinancing of an existing mortgage loan, where the new mortgage loan is for a larger amount than the existing mortgage loan, and you (the borrower) get the difference between the two loans in cash.

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What Is a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance is a refinancing of an existing mortgage loan, where the new mortgage loan is for a larger amount than the existing mortgage loan, and you (the borrower) get the difference between the two loans in cash.

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What Is Refinancing and How Does It Work?

When you refinance your mortgage, you are applying for a new loan. By refinancing, you are actually paying off the old loan by obtaining a new one.

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VA IRRRL Refinance Loans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) helps homeowners refinance their existing VA loans to a lower interest rate loan or to a fixed-rate loan (from an adjustable-rate loan). The goal of the program is to help lower homeowners' monthly payments or make payments more predictable by fixing the interest rate. Here's what you need to know about VA IRRRL refinance loans.

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USDA Refinancing

If you bought your home using a Section 502 Direct or Guaranteed Loan — both of which help people of modest incomes buy homes in rural areas — you may be able to refinance through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA initiative lets borrowers refinance at a lower interest rate so that they can lower their monthly mortgage payments to more manageable levels.

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How a Foreclosure Will Affect Your Future

Since the recession began, more than 4 million homes have been foreclosed upon. If you're one of the homeowners whose home was or is being foreclosed upon, you may be wondering what's going to happen next.

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How a short sale will affect your future

A short sale occurs when the bank allows a homeowner to sell a home for less than what is currently owed to the bank.

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Home Loan Modification

Homeowners facing a major financial hardship that could lead to a foreclosure may work with a lender to get a loan modification -- sometimes called a mortgage modification, workout plan or restructuring -- which will change the terms of the mortgage loan so the borrower can afford the payments.

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Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgages: 4 FAQs Answered. What is a reverse mortgage? Who is eligible for this type of loan? How does it work? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

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Land Loans

Land loans come in all shapes and sizes and are unique compared to existing home loans. The purpose and current use of the land can dictate the terms of the loan.

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Construction Loans

Construction loans are short-term loans that enable the construction of a project to completion. Upon completion, the permanent loan or "end financing" will be used to pay off the interim construction loan. The term on a construction loan is short duration of 6 months to a year.

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FHA Loans vs. Conventional Loans

It may not always seem clear whether to apply for a FHA loan or conventional loan. FHA loans have typically been known as loans for first-time homebuyers, filled with extra paperwork and complexity since it's a government-insured program. But borrowers can use multiple FHA loans for purchasing or refinancing a home loan. However, FHA loans may not be used for second homes or investment properties.

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Home Improvement Loans

Homeowners can apply for home improvement loans for a variety of reasons, including remodeling, updating or making repairs to their home. Loans can be issued for anything as simple as a roof repair, an update to an energy-efficient furnace or a new addition.

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Homepath Mortgage Products

HomePath mortgage products are specialty programs offered only on Fannie Mae-owned homes. These properties are foreclosed homes, homes taken back as deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (where the borrower deeds the property back to the investor — Fannie Mae — in return for a release of liability from the mortgage loan) or forfeiture. The recent housing crisis has dramatically increased the number of properties that Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) has taken back, thus prompting Fannie Mae to design a program to help sell the homes.

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FHA-Approved Condominium Projects

If you want to get a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan on a condo, then the property must be within an FHA-approved condominium project.

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Physician Loans

Physician loans, also referred to as doctor loans, present a unique set of circumstances for lenders because new doctors do not have any work history and usually have a significant amount of student loan debt. This situation will typically prevent physicians from getting approved on any conforming conventional products, so many banks have developed special portfolio products to originate and service these types of loans. Along with taking a risk to accommodate these borrowers, there also comes reward. Below are a few reasons why banks have developed physician loans.

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