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What is preforeclosure?5/25/2023
If you have received a preforeclosure notice, here’s what you need to know and which foreclosure alternatives can save your house.
Types of mortgage loans5/25/2023
Which mortgage is right for you? Learn about the different types of home loans and how to choose a mortgage that will fit your needs.
Best FHA Loan Lenders5/23/2023
Need an FHA loan? Learn how to apply for an FHA loan. Compare the best FHA loan lenders. Top picks include AmeriSave, Homebridge and JG Wentworth.
What is a HELOC, and how does it work?5/23/2023
If you’ve built up equity in your home, you might be able to cash in with a HELOC. Read about how it works to see if it’s right for you.
From setting a budget to closing, use our checklist to make buying a home a breeze. Learn more about the steps you should take when house-hunting.
What credit score is needed to buy a house?5/20/2023
Understand the credit score requirements for buying a house and learn how your credit score impacts your ability to secure a mortgage.
What is a guaranteed loan?5/20/2023
A guaranteed loan is a mortgage option for borrowers with poor or no credit history. Learn how they work, the types and considerations.
Dr. Megan Hanna
What is an FHA streamline refinance? (2023)5/20/2023
An FHA streamline loan is a simplified way to refinance. Learn more about the guidelines, pros and cons and more to see if it's right for you.
How long does underwriting take?5/19/2023
About to start the mortgage process? Here’s how long underwriting can take and what you need to know to close on your home faster.
What is mortgage underwriting?5/18/2023
Mortgage underwriting is the process of reviewing a potential homebuyer’s finances. Read our guide to understand the process and timeline.
What is the average down payment on a house?5/18/2023
Wondering what is a good down payment? It is likely less than you think. Here’s how much you really need to save and put down to buy a house.
What is equal-opportunity housing?5/18/2023
Learn how to identify real estate companies and landlords that are committed to fair housing practices and why it matters for your next home.
What is a condo mortgage, and how does it work?5/18/2023
Getting a condo mortgage requires additional steps in underwriting, and some loan programs have specific rules. Read more about condo mortgages here.
Home equity loan requirements5/15/2023
If you’re applying for a home equity loan, learn about the qualifications for credit history, loan-to-value ratio and debt-to-income ratio.
What is a USDA loan, and am I eligible?5/15/2023
How do USDA loan programs work? Read about USDA’s eligibility requirements and compare the pros and cons of USDA loans before you apply.
Best Mortgage Refinance Companies5/10/2023
Want to refinance your mortgage? Compare our top 9 picks for 2021 based on verified reviews. Learn how to find the best mortgage refinance company for you.
What is a zero-down mortgage?5/9/2023
Want a zero-down mortgage? Learn more about how to buy a house with no money down and the pros and cons of financing 100% of your home purchase.
How to get a mortgage5/8/2023
Want to buy a house? Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a mortgage, from the preapproval process to the closing details. Learn more.
VA loan credit score requirements in 20235/8/2023
VA home loans are an affordable mortgage option for qualifying service members. Understand how your credit score affects your VA loan options.
What is negative equity?5/8/2023
Negative equity occurs when the value of real estate property falls below the outstanding balance on the mortgage used to purchase that property.
What does clear to close mean?5/5/2023
“Clear to close” means you have the lender’s approval to schedule a closing date. Learn more about how to get cleared to close and what happens after.
What is escrow?5/5/2023
Learn what escrow is and how it works before you start shopping for your new home. Escrows protect your money during the homebuying process.
USDA eligibility maps: what they are and how to use them5/5/2023
USDA eligibility maps help homebuyers find properties that can be financed with a USDA loan. Learn more about the USDA loan map and how to use it.
FHA loan requirements in 20235/4/2023
Considering an FHA mortgage loan? See if you qualify by reviewing the FHA loan requirements for down payments, loan limits and credit scores.
6 reverse mortgage alternatives5/3/2023
If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, explore alternatives, such as renting the property or getting a HELOC, before making a decision.
Can you refinance a reverse mortgage?5/3/2023
Yes, you can refinance a reverse mortgage. Read about reverse mortgage refinance benefits to find out if it’s right for you on ConsumerAffairs.
What is a piggyback loan?4/28/2023
A piggyback loan is a small home equity loan you can take out alongside your mortgage. Learn how it works, the types available and what to consider.
How interest rates affect buying power4/28/2023
Wondering how rising mortgage rates affect your loan? Even a 1% increase can limit what you can afford. Learn more about how rates work.
Best Mortgage Lenders4/21/2023
Looking for the best mortgage lender? Our top picks include New American Funding, Cardinal Financial, AmeriSave and Rocket. Compare rates and reviews.
Best online mortgage lenders4/18/2023
Looking for an online mortgage lender? Check out our top picks to compare requirements and customer satisfaction. Find the best lender today.
What is a warranty deed?4/13/2023
Learn about warranty deeds, the legal documents that ensure a property's transfer of ownership is valid, with no liens or encumbrances present.
Conventional mortgage vs. FHA4/13/2023
Learn the differences between a conventional mortgage and an FHA when it comes to loan requirements, down payments and credit scores.
What is owner financing and how does it work?4/13/2023
Learn the benefits and risks of owner financing, a real estate financing arrangement where the seller acts as the lender, to see if it's for you.
How to get preapproved for a mortgage4/13/2023
Buying a home? Getting preapproved for a mortgage is the first step. Discover the benefits of preapproval and how it differs from pre-qualification.
First-time homebuyer loans and programs4/13/2023
These first-time homebuyer programs make buying a home a reality with special financing and assistance and flexible lending requirements.
How much house can I afford?4/13/2023
Figure out how much house you can afford with a mortgage calculator and the 28/36 rule. Learn the factors that affect your mortgage eligibility.
How much to offer on a house4/7/2023
Wondering if you should put in an offer over the list price? It may be necessary in a seller’s market, where the supply of available houses is low.
First-time homebuyer benefits4/7/2023
Looking to buy your first home? Discover the benefits of being a first-time homebuyer, including down payment assistance and tax credits.
Best Jumbo Loan Lenders3/29/2023
Compare the best jumbo loan lenders to get the lowest rate. Learn about jumbo loan down payment options, interest rates, PMI and more. Top picks include ClearPath, Cardinal Financial and AmeriSave.
Best HELOC Lenders3/28/2023
Interested in a home equity line of credit for additional financing? Use our guide to compare and find the best HELOC lenders for you.
Best USDA Lenders3/28/2023
Our picks for the top USDA lenders are Caliber Home Loans, New American Funding and AmeriSave Mortgage. Compare reviews and features to learn why.
Best Home Equity Loan Lenders3/28/2023
Need a home equity loan? Use our guide to find the best home equity loan lenders, compare loan requirements and fees and read verified customer reviews.
Best VA Loan Lenders3/28/2023
Interested in applying for a VA loan? Read our buyers guide, compare ratings and use consumer reviews to find the best VA loan lenders.
Best Reverse Mortgage Lenders3/21/2023
Looking for the best reverse mortgage companies? Our top picks include FAR, AAG and Liberty Reverse, based on verified customer review data.
Best cash-out refinance lenders3/4/2023
If you're interested in accessing your home equity with a cash-out refinance, we'll help you choose the best cash-out refi lender.
What is a mortgage?3/2/2023
A mortgage is the type of loan you need to purchase or refinance a house. Learn important mortgage terminology and what to expect from the process.
How to use home equity2/28/2023
Considering using your hard-earned equity in your home? You could get a refi, reverse mortgage, home equity loan or HELOC — which is right for you?
How to negotiate your mortgage closing costs2/10/2023
You can’t avoid home closing costs, but you can lower them. While certain closing costs are fixed, you can save on variable ones. Learn more.
Building a house vs buying2/10/2023
You're ready for a new house. Should you buy it or build it? Here's how to evaluate the pros and cons of each as you plan your move.
What is a short sale, and should you buy a home through one?2/10/2023
In a short sale, a property is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Learn how it works and why you may want to take advantage of one.
FHA loan limits in 20232/10/2023
When you apply for a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Agency, FHA loan limits place a cap on the amount you can borrow. Learn more.
Dr. Megan Hanna
What is the average U.S. mortgage payment?2/10/2023
The average monthly mortgage payment for U.S. homeowners varies according to different factors. Learn more about what impacts monthly payments.
Reverse mortgage requirements2/7/2023
What are the requirements for a reverse mortgage? Learn about age limits, ownership criteria and mandatory financial counseling with ConsumerAffairs.
How to negotiate after a home inspection2/7/2023
Check out these tips for negotiating after a home inspection to help you decide which concessions you should ask for from the seller.
Dr. Megan Hanna
When is the best time to buy a house?2/6/2023
Wondering what the best time of year to buy a house is? Use our guide to learn more about the process and seasonal considerations.
What is a home equity sharing agreement?2/4/2023
A home equity agreement allows you to cash out some of the equity in your home in exchange for giving the lender an ownership stake in your property.
Fixed-rate HELOCs: a cross between HELOCs and home equity loans2/4/2023
Not sure whether you want a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit? A fixed-rate HELOC may offer the solution. Learn more now.
How to find the history of a property2/3/2023
Does something seem off about a home you are interested in buying? Here are a few easy ways to ensure a house isn't keeping secrets from you.
5 Ways to Determine House Value2/3/2023
Whether you’re a homeowner, buyer or seller, you need to know how much a home is worth. Here are different ways to determine a home’s value.
Dr. Megan Hanna
How to buy a duplex or a multi-family property2/3/2023
Getting a mortgage to buy a duplex or multi-unit home is possible for buyers who meet guidelines. Learn more about the financing options.
What is property tax? Everything homebuyers need to know2/3/2023
Learn the basics of property taxes, including how to pay them, what happens if you can't afford them and who's eligible for exemption.
The tax benefits of owning a home: must-know deductions and secrets2/3/2023
Homeowners can use several tax breaks, including the home mortgage interest deduction, to lower their tax bills. Learn more with our guide.
What home improvements are tax deductible?2/3/2023
Capital improvements are permanent structural changes to a property that enhance value, increase useful life or allow for a new use. Learn more.
Is buying a house a good investment?1/27/2023
Is buying a house a good investment? Buying a house can be a good investment. Before you buy, consider the pros and cons of homeownership.
What is home equity?1/27/2023
If you know anything about mortgages, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about building equity. Read more about what this means and its importance.
What is a bridge loan?1/27/2023
A bridge loan is a short-term loan that’s often used for real estate. Read more if you’re interested in this type of gap financing.
Cash-out refinance vs. home equity loan1/27/2023
Cash out-refinance and home equity loans have some similarities, but there are several key differences, including how they work and requirements.
What is nonrecourse debt?1/27/2023
Nonrecourse debt is backed by collateral. If you default the lender can seize the collateral but can't go after other assets. Here's how it works.
What is mortgage recasting?1/27/2023
If you want to lower your monthly mortgage payment and save money on interest, a mortgage recast, or reamortization, may be right for you.
What is loan-to-value ratio?1/27/2023
When you apply for a loan, the lender weighs its risk by dividing the amount of the loan by the value of the asset. What’s this mean for a mortgage?
What is Ginnie Mae?1/27/2023
Ginnie Mae is a government-owned company that makes it easier for lenders to give affordable home loans to underserved communities.
What is an HFA loan?1/27/2023
An HFA loan is designed for buyers with low to moderate incomes. Learn about how it works, the eligibility requirements and considerations.
What is an assumable mortgage?1/27/2023
An assumable mortgage is one you can take over from the original borrower, keeping the rates and terms. Learn how it works, types and considerations.
What is an appraisal waiver?1/27/2023
An appraisal waiver can save a homebuyer time and money. Learn how skipping out on the appraisal works and what to consider if you waive it.
What is a wraparound mortgage?1/27/2023
A wraparound mortgage is an alternative form of home financing that can help buyers with poor credit. Learn how it works and what to consider.
What is a title search?1/27/2023
A title search is a thorough review of documents related to a property’s ownership. Read our guide to see how it fits in the homebuying process.
What is a subprime mortgage?1/27/2023
Subprime mortgages help those with lower credit scores purchase a home, but they have higher rates. Learn how they work and the different types.
What is a no-doc mortgage?1/27/2023
A no-doc mortgage is a home loan that doesn’t require traditional income verification from the lender. Learn how it works and the pros and cons.
What is a mortgage loan modification?1/27/2023
A mortgage loan modification is a change to the original terms of your home loan. Read about how it works, how to get one and more.
What is a land loan?1/27/2023
A land loan is used to purchase property you plan to build a home on. Learn about how they work, the types available and what to consider.
What is a defeasance clause?1/27/2023
A defeasance clause states that a borrower becomes the owner of the property once they’ve finished paying off a mortgage. What does it mean for you?
What is a Closing Disclosure?1/27/2023
A Closing Disclosure is a document that outlines the finalized terms of your mortgage. Read our guide to see where it falls in the homebuying process.
What does caveat emptor mean?1/27/2023
Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase meaning “let the buyer beware.” Learn what it has to do with a mortgage and what to look out for as you buy a home.
What does a real estate attorney do?1/27/2023
A real estate attorney can help homebuyers through the closing process to make sure they understand the terms. Read more to find out if you need one.
What does a mortgage loan originator do?1/27/2023
A mortgage loan originator is the entity that distributes your initial home loan funds. Learn more about an MLO’s function and fees.
What are seller concessions?1/27/2023
Seller concessions in a mortgage are incentives the seller uses to entice the buyer, like paying a portion of closing costs. Learn how they work.
What are real estate comps?1/27/2023
Real estate comps are recently sold homes that are comparable to a home on the market. Learn how they’re used and how to find them.
What are mortgage-backed securities?1/27/2023
Mortgage-backed securities are investment bonds backed by home loans. Learn more about how they work, the types and considerations.
Warranty deed vs. quitclaim deed1/27/2023
Warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds are both deeds used to transfer ownership of property, but a warranty deed comes with certain legal guarantees.
Should you make biweekly mortgage payments?1/27/2023
Paying biweekly on your mortgage early on can shorten the repayment term on your home loan. Learn how this works and the pros and cons.
Renting vs. buying a house1/27/2023
Is it better to rent or buy a home? We compare the pros and cons of each to help you determine if buying or renting is best for you.
Mortgagor vs. mortgagee1/27/2023
In the homebuying process, the mortgagee is the lender and the mortgagor is the borrower. Learn the duties and responsibilities of each.
Mortgage vs. deed of trust1/27/2023
The number of parties involved is one of the main differences between a mortgage and a deed of trust. Find out the other key differences.
How to get rid of PMI1/27/2023
Wondering how to get rid of PMI on your mortgage? Check out our timeline to understand what you can expect and when you can first request PMI removal.
How to finance a mobile home1/27/2023
Mobile homes may be less expensive than traditional houses, but they're still investments. Learn how to finance a mobile home now.
How to buy a new-construction home1/27/2023
From finding a lender and getting preapproved to designing the home of your dreams, learn how to buy a new-construction home in five simple steps.
How to buy a house that’s for sale by owner1/27/2023
Interested in buying a FSBO house? From preapproval to closing, we’ve got tips on how to buy a home for sale by owner in five simple steps.
How much does it cost to refinance?1/27/2023
Closing costs on a refi typically range from 2% to 6% of the purchase price. Use our guide to calculate your costs and learn about the fees.
FHA loans vs. USDA loans: 6 key differences1/27/2023
Eligibility requirements are the main distinction between FHA loans and USDA loans. Find out more about the key differences between these loan types.
Does refinancing hurt your credit?1/27/2023
Wondering if refinancing affects your credit? It can reduce your score temporarily, but you should be OK as long as you pay on time.
Buying a condo vs. a house1/27/2023
Is it better to buy a condo or a house? We compare the pros and cons of each option to help you determine which one is best for you.
Buyer's market vs. seller's market1/27/2023
Supply and demand, local trends and other economic indicators determine whether you’re in a buyer’s or a seller’s market. Here's what to look for.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Current VA mortgage rates1/27/2023
VA rates are typically lower than conventional loan rates. See today’s rates and learn how to get the best mortgage rates from lenders.
What is title insurance?1/27/2023
Title insurance protects homebuyers and lenders from issues that arise in the transfer of property titles. Learn how it works and the different types.
What is a mortgage lien?1/27/2023
A mortgage lien is a creditor’s legal claim on a property. Learn about voluntary and involuntary mortgage liens and how they work.
What is a promissory note?1/27/2023
A promissory note is a document showing a borrower’s promise to repay a loan. Learn the differences between a mortgage and this type of document.
What are closing costs?1/27/2023
Closing costs are lender processing, property and other fees paid to the lender when you close on a home. Learn how they work and how much they are.
Should you pay off your mortgage early?1/27/2023
Paying off your mortgage early can save you money on your loan. Learn how this process works and the pros and cons of early repayment.
What is a conditional loan approval?1/27/2023
Conditional approval means you’re likely to be approved for a loan, as long as you meet certain criteria. Learn about how it works and the benefits.
What is a down payment on a home?1/27/2023
A down payment is a cash payment you make upfront on a home in order to secure it and reduce your principal. Learn how it works and the pros and cons.
What is amortization?1/27/2023
Mortgage amortization offers a payoff option with predictable, fixed monthly payments. Read about how it works and the pros and cons.
What is an appraisal contingency?1/27/2023
An appraisal contingency protects a homebuyer if the house is worth less than expected. Learn how it works and read about other common contingencies.
Home inspection checklist1/27/2023
Curious about what you should know when getting a home inspection? Use our checklist to make sure you don't miss anything in the process.
Is mortgage interest deductible?1/27/2023
Looking for a lower tax payment? If you’re paying interest on a home loan, learn more here about mortgage interest deductions and how they work.
How does a mortgage work?1/27/2023
Read our guide to learn about how a mortgage works, what’s involved in the homebuying process and basic mortgage terms you should know.
How to buy a house with bad credit1/27/2023
Looking to buy a home with a bad credit loan? Read our guide to learn about mortgage options and find out which one is best for you.
What is a balloon mortgage?1/27/2023
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How often can you refinance your home?1/27/2023
Looking to refinance your home but not sure how often it’s possible? Learn about refinance waiting periods and more with ConsumerAffairs.
How to choose a mortgage lender1/27/2023
Steps to choose a lender, according to a loan officer: Consider mortgage options, get pre-qualified, compare offers and ask the right questions.
20-year vs. 30-year mortgage: Which is best for you?1/27/2023
Not sure whether to get a 20-year or 30-year mortgage? Use our guide to understand the pros and cons of both mortgage term lengths.
What is a jumbo loan and am I eligible?1/27/2023
Jumbo loans are mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limit. Learn how jumbo loans work, if your eligible and how they compare to other loans.
How to get a home equity loan with bad credit1/26/2023
To get a home equity loan with bad credit, you’ll need to jump through more qualifying hoops and pay a higher rate. Learn more here.
VA loan requirements1/26/2023
VA loans help veterans and active-duty service members purchase homes with 0% down. Find out if you qualify and start the homebuying process today.
How to qualify for a mortgage1/26/2023
Thinking about buying a house? Read our guide to learn what affects mortgage qualification and how to increase your chances of approval.
How long does it take to buy a house?1/26/2023
Wondering how long the homebuying process is? It often takes between 30 and 60 days. Check out our timeline to understand what you can expect.
How to save money for a house1/26/2023
Looking to buy a home but not sure where to start with a down payment? Read our guide for tips and advice to help save for a house.
What are interest-only mortgages and how do they work?1/26/2023
Interest-only mortgages are nonconforming loans that let the borrower pay only on interest for a few years. Learn how they work and the pros and cons.
Mortgage broker vs. lender1/26/2023
A mortgage broker is an intermediary who can help you choose the best loan for you. Should you work with a broker or a direct lender?
Mortgage lender vs. bank1/26/2023
Both mortgage lenders and banks can lend money for a home, but lenders usually offer more options, and banks often have stricter credit requirements.
Current 10-year mortgage rates1/26/2023
The current 10-year mortgage rates listed here depend on elements like your credit score and the type of property you want to buy.
How to get down payment assistance1/26/2023
Get help with your down payment with a down payment assistance program. Learn more about what they are, how they work and how to apply.
What is a mortgage broker?1/26/2023
Mortgage brokers act as an intermediary between homebuyers and lenders. You can also choose to work directly with a lender. But which is best?
What is a good debt-to-income ratio for a mortgage?1/26/2023
Debt-to-income ratio is the portion of your income that goes toward paying debts. DTI affects how much house you can afford. Learn how to calculate.
What is a home appraisal and how do they work?1/26/2023
Home appraisals determine the value of a property and are used in homebuying and refinancing. Learn more about what you can expect from an appraisal.
What is an adjustable-rate mortgage and how do they work?1/26/2023
Adjustable-rate mortgages come with variable interest rates that tend to start low but change over time. How do they work, and when are they worth it?
Mortgage APR vs. interest rate1/26/2023
Your home loan APR includes more than just an interest rate. Learn more about mortgage rates and how to compare rates and lenders.
How to buy a house1/26/2023
Looking to buy a house this year? ConsumerAffairs has 12 steps to help you land your dream home in 2021. See our guide for more information.
What is mortgage forbearance?1/26/2023
Forbearance is an option to consider if you need mortgage relief. Read more about how this payment pause works and the pros and cons.
What is mortgage insurance?1/26/2023
Mortgage insurance protects lenders from losing money if a borrower defaults on a home loan. Learn when PMI is required and how much it costs.
ARM vs. fixed-rate mortgages1/26/2023
It’s important to know the differences between ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages so you choose the right loan for you. Each has benefits and drawbacks.
15-year vs. 30-year mortgage1/26/2023
A 15-year mortgage is a good alternative to a 30-year mortgage if you want to pay your home loan off faster. Learn more with ConsumerAffairs.
Best bad credit home loans1/26/2023
Homeownership isn’t out of reach! Compare lenders and read our guide on how to buy a house when your credit score is less than perfect.
Best mortgage lenders for first-time buyers1/26/2023
Buying your first home? Check out Rocket, Better, New American Funding and more of our top lender picks. Plus, get answers to mortgage questions.
How do construction loans work?1/26/2023
A construction loan can help you pay to build a new house or renovate an existing one. Read more about how they work and how to get one.
What is an origination fee?1/26/2023
Planning to buy a house? Learn what an origination fee on a mortgage is and how much it costs. Plus, find out about other closing expenses.
Mortgage pre-qualification vs. preapproval1/26/2023
Wondering about the differences between mortgage pre-qualification and preapproval? Use our guide to understand how each process works.
How to sell and buy a house at the same time1/26/2023
Should you buy or sell first? What’s a contingent offer? Get these answers and more in our guide to buying and selling at the same time.
Rosemary Avance, Ph.D.
Types of mortgage rates1/26/2023
Want to understand the types of mortgage rates available? Find more about mortgage rate types and discover important things you should know.
How are mortgage rates determined?1/26/2023
Wondering what determines mortgage interest rates? Check out our guide to learn how market factors and personal finances influence your rate.
What is a conventional mortgage?1/26/2023
A conventional mortgage is a loan that’s not backed by the government. These loans have more flexibility but stricter qualifying requirements.
What is a fixed-rate mortgage?1/26/2023
A fixed-rate mortgage’s interest rate will never change. This certainty is popular among borrowers — see if it’s the right option for you.
Pros and cons of an FHA Loan1/26/2023
Buying a house and need a mortgage? Learn about the pros and cons of an FHA loan to decide if it’s the right type of mortgage for you.
What is a blanket mortgage?1/26/2023
A blanket mortgage is a type of financing that can help you efficiently procure a loan for multiple properties. Learn about these loans here.
What is an energy-efficient mortgage?1/26/2023
An energy-efficient mortgage can help you pay for a home that’s already eco-friendly or finance new green improvements. Learn about programs here.
Refinance rates today1/26/2023
Is it a good time to refinance? Compare current refinance rates and learn more about how refinance rates work to decide if you’re ready.
Current mortgage rates1/26/2023
Check and compare current mortgage rates and get the lowdown on terms and loan types. Plus, find answers to your mortgage questions.
How to buy a house with no money down1/26/2023
No-down-payment mortgages can be an appealing path to homeownership. Read the pros and cons, how to qualify and if they’re worth it.
How to buy a condo1/26/2023
Buying a condo is different from buying a house. From co-ops to home loans, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about buying a condo.
What are mortgage points?1/26/2023
Mortgage points are fees paid to a lender to reduce the interest rate you pay on your home loan. But how much do they cost, and are they worth it?
Government home loans: What are they and should you get one?1/26/2023
Government-backed loans can make it easier to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home. Compare your options and see which is right for you.
How a no-closing-cost refinance works1/26/2023
No-closing cost refinances are available, but are they worth it? Read our guide to no-cost refinances to decide which refinance is right for you.
What is a second mortgage and how do you qualify for one?1/26/2023
A second mortgage is a loan taken out against the equity in your home. Learn more about how they work and how you qualify for one.
What is earnest money?1/26/2023
Earnest money, also called a “good-faith deposit,” is an upfront payment the buyer puts down before closing. It shows they’re serious about an offer.
How much are closing costs?1/26/2023
Average closing costs range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Use our guide to calculate closing costs and learn about closing fees.
How much should you put down on a house?1/26/2023
You may have heard that 20% is the ideal down payment amount, but that’s not always true. Here’s how down payments work and how much you should pay.
What is PITI?1/26/2023
PITI stands for principal, interest taxes and insurance. Learn how these four little letters make a big impact in your monthly mortgage payment.
What does a title company do?1/25/2023
A title company confirms that a person has the legal right to sell a property. Learn what title companies do and how to choose one.
What is a prepayment penalty?1/23/2023
What is a prepayment penalty, and what can you do to avoid it? Learn how to pay off your mortgage early without triggering the prepayment penalty fee.
Pros and cons of paying off your mortgage before retirement1/23/2023
Paying off your mortgage before retirement comes with a number of financial benefits. Read more to find out if it’s the right move for you.
What is a digital mortgage process?1/23/2023
Applying for a mortgage can be done online or in person. Learn about the digital mortgage process and how it can save you time and money.
What to expect from a home inspection1/23/2023
A home inspection is part of the mortgage process. Learn about average costs, what home inspectors look for and how to read a home inspection report.
Current 15-year mortgage rates1/23/2023
Check out the current rates for 15-year mortgages. Depending on your situation, loan type and lender, your home loan rates may differ.
Mortgage Rate Lock: How and When to Lock in Your Mortgage Rate1/23/2023
If you’re buying a home, our comprehensive guide will help you understand what a mortgage rate lock is, how it works and the fees associated with it.
Dr. Megan Hanna
Interest rate cap: what it means for ARMs1/23/2023
Interest rate caps are commonly used in adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans. Learn more about how these caps work and what to look for.
Dr. Megan Hanna
Should I use a mortgage broker?1/23/2023
A mortgage broker could save you time, money and stress by finding you a deal, negotiating fees and keeping the loan process on track.
What is the VA funding fee?1/19/2023
The VA funding fee is between 1.4% and 3.6% of the total loan. The amount is calculated based on loan type, down payment and other factors.
VA Loan Limits for 20221/19/2023
Starting in 2020, the VA loan limit has been eliminated for most qualifying veterans. Read on for exceptions and to find out if you qualify.
Buying second homes first1/19/2023
We explore how many first-time homebuyers are buying homes in less competitive secondary locations rather than investing in a primary residence.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Most expensive cities in the U.S.1/19/2023
We ranked major U.S. cities using Census data on housing costs. See which cities grabbed the top and bottom spots and where your city is on our list.
FHA vs. VA loans1/19/2023
Should you take advantage of your VA benefit, or is the FHA home loan a better deal? Compare the two mortgage options side by side to decide.
Fastest-growing cities in the U.S.1/19/2023
Facts and statistics on the fastest-growing cities in the United States by population number growth and population percent growth.
Letter of explanation for mortgage: how to write one1/18/2023
Your lender may ask for a letter of explanation to clarify details in your mortgage application. Learn the steps involved to write one.
How to apply for a mortgage1/14/2023
When you apply for a mortgage, following the correct process matters. Here's how to prepare, what to do and what the lender does at each step.
Dr. Megan Hanna
Mortgage interest deduction1/14/2023
Mortgage interest deduction could cut your tax bill this year if you itemize and follow a few other rules. Here's what to know about it.
Does mortgage preapproval affect your credit score?1/6/2023
Mortgage preapproval hurts your credit score temporarily, but it makes homebuying easier. Learn more about its impact and how long it lasts.
How your debt-to-income ratio can affect your mortgage1/6/2023
Your debt-to-income ratio impacts the type of mortgage you qualify for — and whether you qualify at all. Learn what you can do about your DTI ratio.
What is a no closing cost refinance?1/6/2023
A no-closing-cost refinance means you don't have to pay for closing costs upfront. Instead, you pay a higher rate or add to your balance.
Complete checklist of mortgage refinance requirements1/6/2023
Mortgage refinancing requirements range from having a low debt-to-income ratio to having enough equity in your home. Here’s what you need to know.
Loan modification vs. refinance: how to decide12/30/2022
Looking for ways to lower your mortgage payment? Learn about the differences between a loan modification and a refinance and which one might help you.
Dr. Megan Hanna
How to buy a second home12/23/2022
Getting a mortgage for a second property is different from getting a mortgage for your first property. Here’s what you need to know.
Investment and rental property mortgage rates: 2022 guide12/23/2022
Rental property mortgage rates differ greatly from those for primary residences. Learn how to get the best interest rate for your rental property.
Low home appraisal: why it happens and how it can affect your refinance12/23/2022
A low home appraisal could hurt your chances of qualifying for a refinance, so it’s important to know why it could happen and how to appeal one.
Contingent vs pending: What’s the difference?12/23/2022
Homebuyers sometimes confuse contingent and pending. Learn the difference between pending and contingent and what the two terms mean for homebuying.
Pros and cons of reverse mortgages12/23/2022
A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows property owners 62 and older to convert real estate equity into spendable cash. Learn more.
Reverse mortgage vs. home equity loan vs. HELOC12/22/2022
If you are looking to turn your home equity into cash you can use, consider whether a reverse mortgage, HELOC or home equity loan is right for you.
How do you pay back a reverse mortgage?12/22/2022
There are several ways to pay back a reverse mortgage. While selling the home is fairly common, you also have other options to explore.
FannieMae RefiNow Program: A Refinancing Option for Seniors12/12/2022
Whether you have low income, poor credit, or little equity, there are plenty of options for you to refinance your mortgage as a senior. Find out more.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Should you refinance your mortgage to pay off student loans?12/12/2022
One way to pay off student loans is by taking out a student loan cash-out refinance. This wraps your debt into your mortgage and can save you money.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
How does a cash-out refinance work?12/9/2022
Cash-out refinancing helps you leverage your home equity into cash. Learn more about the pros and cons by reading our article here.
Dr. Megan Hanna
Waiting on a housing market crash?8/31/2022
With the threat of recession, experts predict the housing market will cool. What does this mean for buyers and owners, and how are they preparing?
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
What is a home equity loan, and how does it work?8/19/2022
Are home equity loans a good idea? Learn how home equity loans work, the benefits and disadvantages, home equity loans vs line of credit...
Comparing the costs of generations8/18/2022
Our study explores how the average cost of living for a baby boomer in their twenties (in the 1970s) compares with that of twenty-somethings today.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Do women have to work harder for a home?8/2/2022
We explored how long women need to save to afford a home in their state — and how much longer than men it takes them to reach homeownership.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
What is "house poor"?7/29/2022
Do you feel like you spend too much on homeownership? You’re not alone. Check out homeowner perspectives on housing expenses and affordability.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
What is eminent domain?7/28/2022
Eminent domain is the power of a city, state or federal government to take ownership of your property for public use. Read about how it works.
Tax deductions for homeowners7/28/2022
Whether you're buying your first home or you’ve owned for years, there are quite a few deductible expenses, from mortgage interest to property taxes.
Proprietary reverse mortgage7/26/2022
A proprietary reverse mortgage is a type of loan that gives seniors access to higher amounts of their home equity. Learn more about how it works.
How to refinance a mortgage4/14/2022
Refinancing your mortgage is a way to lower your payments or cash in on the home equity you’ve built up. Here’s how to refinance in eight steps.
What is a VA Loan?4/1/2022
VA loans are 0%-down mortgages for military members. Read our guide to learn how they work, pros, cons and how they compare with other home loans.
What is an FHA loan?4/1/2022
Loans backed by the federal housing administration can be easier to qualify for. What they are, how they work and the pros + cons of FHA loans.
What is a reverse mortgage, and how does it work?4/1/2022
A reverse mortgage can help you tap into your home’s equity, but is it worth it? Find out how it works and see the pros and cons with ConsumerAffairs.
How to get a VA Certificate of Eligibility2/3/2022
Ready to apply for a VA home loan? Here’s what you need to do to get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
How to refinance a VA loan2/3/2022
Can you refinance a VA loan? Yes! Learn how to get cash out or reduce interest rates with an IRRRL. Plus, eligibility requirements and costs.
10 VA loan benefits1/27/2022
Thinking about getting a mortgage through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs? Explore VA home loan benefits to find out if it’s really worth it.
How soon can you refinance a mortgage?1/27/2022
When you can refinance depends on the mortgage type. Learn about timelines for refinancing FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo and conventional home loans.
Cash-out refinance: how it works + pros and cons1/27/2022
There are many reasons to consider tapping into home equity through a cash-out refinance. Weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s right for you.
Reverse mortgage scams1/26/2022
Learn about four types of reverse mortgage scams and how to avoid them with ConsumerAffairs. Plus, find out where you can get legitimate information.
How much are VA loan closing costs?1/19/2022
VA loan closing costs are typically 3% to 5% of the mortgage amount. Learn about appraisal fees, origination charges and other expenses.
Advantages of a VA Loan Down payment1/19/2022
VA loans don’t require a down payment, but making one can save on interest. We break down the pros and cons to help you decide to pay or save.
How to consolidate debt with mortgage refinance1/19/2022
With a cash-out refinance, you use home equity to pay off other debts — but should you? We look at pros, cons and the true cost of refinancing.
Home sellers are beginning to cut asking prices
Here are the best (and worst) states to rent a home
Experts weigh in on the real estate markets in Sacramento, South Florida, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Austin
If you’re trying to buy a home, here’s some good news
Minority renters face higher upfront costs, study suggests