Entries by Charlie Christensen

FHA Mortgage Insurance Costs

FHA requires a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for its home buying programs. An up front premium of 1.50% of the loan amount is paid at closing and can be financed into the mortgage amount. In addition, there is a monthly MIP amount included in the PITI. Condos do not require up front MIP – only […]

FHA Single Family Mortgage Insurance Program

FHA’s mortgage insurance programs help low and moderate income families become homeowners by lowering some of the costs of their mortgage loans. FHA mortgage insurance also encourages mortgage companies to make loans to otherwise creditworthy borrowers and projects that might not be able to meet conventional underwriting requirements, by protecting the mortgage company against loan […]

Qualifying for a Low Down Payment Loan

To be considered for a low down payment loan, you generally need to have: Sufficient income to support the monthly mortgage payment Enough cash to cover the down payment Sufficient cash to cover normal closing costs and related expenses (explained below) A good credit background that indicates your payment history or “willingness to pay” Sufficient […]

Down Payment Loans and Gifts

Loans and gifts can help with your down payment, but you can not use this strategy for all loan programs. The most popular program for this tactic is the Federal Housing Administration or FHA. FHA allows 100% gift funds for your down payment. The gift can be from any relative or can be collected through […]

Low Down Payments and Mortgage Insurance

Simply put, mortgage insurance protects the mortgage company against financial loss if a homeowner stops making mortgage payments. Mortgage companies usually require insurance on low down payment loans for protection in the event that the homeowner fails to make his or her payments. When a homeowner fails to make the mortgage payments, a default occurs […]

Credit Scoring and How It Works

Credit scoring is a statistical method that lenders use to quickly and objectively assess the credit risk of a loan applicant. The score is a number that rates the likelihood you will pay back a loan. Scores range from 350 (high risk) to 850 (low risk). There are a few types of credit scores; the most […]

Your Credit Report

Your credit report provides information to current and prospective creditors to help you make purchases, secure loans, pay for college educations, and manage your personal finances. Credit reporting makes it possible for stores to accept your checks, banks to offer credit and debit cards, businesses to market products, and corporations to better manage their operations […]

How to Improve Your Credit

If you have had credit problems, be prepared to discuss them honestly with a mortgage professional. Responsible mortgage professionals know there can be legitimate reasons for credit problems, such as unemployment, illness, or other financial difficulties. If you had a problem that’s been corrected and your payments have been on time for a year or more, […]

Get Your Hands on Some Cash

Another way to make a refinance work for you is to refinance for more than the balance remaining on your old mortgage — in effect, tapping your home equity, or “cashing out,” in mortgage speak. Thanks to favorable rates, you may be able to do so without boosting your monthly outlay. For example, at 8.5%, […]

Build Home Equity Faster

Many borrowers use a refinance to shorten the term of the mortgage. And brace yourself, even at low rates, a shorter term means a higher monthly payment. The benefit is that you’ll build up equity faster and pay far less in total interest over the life of the loan. Consider Jim Neill, 48, a real […]