Mortgage Rates and Financial News and Tips

Sunset over a ranch house

Fixed Rate Mortgages-15 year versus 30 year Loans

By Austin White / April 17, 2014
Posted in ,

If you plan on using a fixed rate mortgage, you will have two main options: a 15-year loan or a 30-year loan. Although there are other terms available, the vast majority of lenders offer these two loan options.
So what makes one better than the other? The main difference between a 15-year loan and a 30-year loan is rather obvious. With a 15-year mortgage, you will pay higher monthly payments but less interest overall. By contrast, 30-year loans feature lower payments but more interest. In the long run, you will end up paying more for your home if you opt for a 30-year loan.
Although the differences seem relatively simple, there are other considerations that might make your decision more complicated. Buyers should take a hard look at their finances, budget, retirement plans, and long-term goals. It is also important to run the numbers to determine exactly how much you will pay versus how much you will save.

Read More
Coffee computer and calculator

Bidding – Do Your Homework Before Making an Offer

By Austin White / April 15, 2014
Posted in ,

Ultimately, though, where you make your home has a tremendous impact on your overall happiness. This is why it is important to really do your homework before making an offer on a house. Use the following five tips as a guide when preparing to bid.

Read More
Equity scrabble tiles

Home Equity: How to Improve It

By Austin White / April 10, 2014
Posted in , ,

If you are like most home owners, you can’t afford to increase the equity in your home by making double mortgage payments each month. Fortunately, there are other ways to improve your home’s value without breaking the bank.

Read More
Metal gate

Buying a Foreclosed Home

By Austin White / April 8, 2014
Posted in , ,

Purchasing a foreclosure is much different from buying a typical home. Before you decide to buy, explore the potential risks and benefits of investing in a foreclosed property.

Read More
Scales with house on one side and money on the other

HARP Loans and Their Benefits Explained

By Austin White / April 3, 2014
Posted in ,

If you are barely treading water with your mortgage payments, a loan through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, may be for you. HARP loans are designed for home owners who need to refinance to keep their homes but fail to qualify for typical refinancing. If you qualify, a HARP loan can help you obtain a mortgage with more affordable terms.

Read More

How Personal Finance Influence your Home Loan

By Austin White / February 28, 2014
Posted in

Many factors contribute to an individual’s credit score. Lenders look at your credit history, whichrefers to how long you have used credit. They also consider your payment history, balances, and any public records. Bankruptcies, liens, and court judgments will cause your score to plummet. Likewise, a history of missed payments results in a lower score.

Lenders decide whether to extend credit based on a borrower’s personal finances, which is primarily determined by credit score. To qualify for a loan subsidized by the Federal Housing Administration, borrowers must maintain a credit score of at least 580. For conventional home loans, a minimum score of 620 is required. Although regulations change from year to year, these numbers tend to stay fairly steady.

Credit Scores and Interest Rates
Aside from qualifying for home financing, your credit score also determines how much you will pay in interest. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Over the life of your loan, a lower interest rate can save you thousands of dollars, resulting in more cash in your pocket.

How to Improve Your Credit Score
Because your credit score is the single most important factor in determining whether you qualify for a mortgage and the type of terms you will receive, it is important to improve your score in any way you can. Although building good credit takes time, there are a number of relatively easy ways to boost your score.

Tip 1: Check your credit report for accuracy. Surprisingly, many people have never bothered to look at their credit report. Examine your report for errors, such as duplicate accounts, inaccurate payment information, and incorrect items. If you find mistakes, dispute them with the credit bureau. Lenders have just 30 days to provide confirmation that a report is accurate. If they fail to do so, the credit bureau must delete the item.

Tip 2: Pay your bills on time. A positive payment history lets lenders know that you are responsible enough to take care of your obligations in a timely manner. If you aren’t late paying your electric bill, your car payment, or your student loans, you probably aren’t going to fall behind on your house payment. Start paying everything on time and keep at it for several months in a row. In many cases, it is a good idea to enroll in automatic bill pay so you don’t accidentally miss a due date.

Tip 3: Settle outstanding debts. If you do have a delinquent account on your credit report, try to work it out directly with the lender. Many lenders will agree to apply a one-time “good faith adjustment” to your account, which eliminates a negative mark in exchange for paying the debt in full. Make sure you have the funds to pay your entire balance before you call.

Read More
remodeled kitchen

What to Know before Refinancing

By Austin White / February 25, 2014
Posted in , ,

There are a number of factors that go into such an important financial decision. Done correctly, refinancing can save you money and free up cash to put toward home improvement projects and other expenses. Before you refinance your home, however, consider your goals

Read More
Military honor guard

VA Loans Explained

By Austin White / February 13, 2014
Posted in ,

If you served in the United States military for a certain period of time, you may be eligible for a VA loan. VA stands for Veterans Administration, which is the federal agency that backs these types of loans.

Read More
Rundown home

Buying a Fixer-upper

By Austin White / February 12, 2014
Posted in , ,

If you have found a fixer-upper home at a bargain basement price, a home improvement loan might provide you with a way to transform your diamond in the rough into the dream home you have always longed for.

Read More
FHA Loan

FHA Loans Explained

By Austin White / February 6, 2014
Posted in , ,

If you are in the market for a new house, you have probably heard about FHA home loans. But do you really know what they are? Or how to qualify for one?

Read More