Mortgages are an essential part of the homebuying process for most borrowers who aren’t sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash to buy a property outright. There are a multitude of different types of home loans available for whatever your circumstances may be.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I pay my mortgage online?
    Many mortgage servicers accept online payments directly through their websites—register for an online account and connect your checking account so you can schedule payments. Another option is to use the online bill-pay service through your checking account to pay for your mortgage. Make sure to find out how far in advance you need to schedule your payment so your loan servicer receives it on time.
  • If you have bad credit, do you have to buy a house using cash?
    If your credit is bad, you can still be approved for a mortgage through a Federal Housing Administration Loan with 10% down, as long as your credit score is at least 500. You also may be able to improve your credit more quickly than you think to qualify for a conventional mortgage.
  • What are typical closing costs?
    Closing costs are the fees over and above the property purchase price due at the closing of a real estate transaction. They may include fees related to the mortgage loan origination and underwriting, commissions, taxes, and insurance premiums, as well as title and record filings.
  • What questions can’t you be asked as a borrower?
    Lenders are prohibited from discriminating against borrowers who are ill or disabled, so they are not allowed to ask questions related to your physical condition. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, lenders are not allowed to ask if you are planning a family. In the past, this question was used to discriminate against female borrowers because lenders assumed women would quit work when they became pregnant.
  • How much income history do I need for a self-employed mortgage?
    The longer you can prove income history for self-employment in the same industry, the more likely you are to be approved for a mortgage. As a general rule, you'll want to have at least two years of documented self-employment income at or above the level you need to afford the loan you want.
  • Why are interest rates important to the housing market?
    First, interest rates determine how much we will have to pay to borrow money to buy a property, and they influence the value of real estate. Second, low interest rates tend to increase demand for property, driving up prices, while high interest rates generally do the opposite.
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