These loans generally begin with an interest rate that is 2-3 percent below a comparable fixed rate mortgage, and could allow you to buy a more expensive home.

However, the interest rate changes at specified intervals (for example, every year) depending on changing market conditions; if interest rates go up, your monthly mortgage payment will go up, too. However, if rates go down, your mortgage payment will drop also.

There are also mortgages that combine aspects of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages – starting at a low fixed rate for three, five, seven to ten years, for example, then adjusting to market conditions. Ask your mortgage professional about these and other special kinds of mortgages that fit your specific financial situation.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

The most common type of mortgage program where your monthly payments for interest and principal never change. Property taxes and homeowners insurance may increase, but generally your monthly payments will be very stable.

Fixed rate mortgages are available for 30 years, 20 years, 15 years and even 10 years. There are also “biweekly” mortgages, which shorten the loan by calling for half the monthly payment every two weeks. (Since there are 52 weeks in a year, you make 26 payments, or 13 “months” worth, every year.)

Fixed rate fully amortizing loans have two distinct features. First, the interest rate remains fixed for the life of the loan. Secondly, the payments remain level for the life of the loan and are structured to repay the loan at the end of the loan term. The most common fixed rate loans are 15 year and 30 year mortgages.

During the early amortization period, a large percentage of the monthly payment is used for paying the interest. As the loan is paid down, more of the monthly payment is applied to principal. A typical 30 year fixed rate mortgage takes 22.5 years of level payments to pay half of the original loan amount.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Subprime loans are pretty much a thing of the past. Wall Street and the major banks got greedy and kept loosening the qualifying terms of subprime loans and as a result, we all know what has happened to our economy.

Following was the original logic behind subprime loans… it was only after little to no downpayment was required that the bubble burst… and burst big-time.

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If you have bad credit, you may not qualify for a conventional loan or a low down payment loan offered by FHA and VA. In this case, you may consider a subprime mortgage. Because of the higher risk associated with lending to borrowers that have a poor credit history, subprime loans typically require a larger down payment and a higher interest rate.

You should study the specific terms of a subprime loan that you qualify for to determine if it is a loan that will help your financial situation. Subprime loans are one way for you to get into the home you want at today’s price. If you already own a home, a subprime loan can give you an opportunity to clean up your credit and ultimately refinance into a lower rate at a later time. If you have a mortgage, you can look at refinancing more than what you currently owe on the house and get cash back for the equity you already have in the home. This cash out could be used to pay off higher rate credit cards, bankruptcy, foreclosure or collections and liens. It could be a good way to clean up a troubled credit history, save money each month and start rebuilding your credit worthiness.

Whether for a purchase or refinance, subprime loans should typically be used as a short term solution, approximately 2-4 years. During that time, you can work to clean up your credit and qualify or a refinance into a lower risk, lower rate loan.

Prior to 1990 it was very difficult for anyone to obtain a mortgage if they did not qualify for a conventional, FHA or VA loan. Subprime loans were developed to help higher risk borrowers obtain a mortgage. Many borrowers with bad credit are good people who honestly intended to pay their bills on time. Catastrophic events such as the loss of a job or a family illness can lead to missed or late payments or even foreclosure and bankruptcy. Now there are mortgage companies that take into consideration events outside the borrower’s control, but not without a price.

Lenders are compensated for risk in the form of interest rates. The higher the lender perceived its risk to be, the higher the rate they will charge for the privilege of borrowing their money. The lower the risk, the lower the rate. Several risk factors are taken into consideration when evaluating a borrower for a subprime mortgage, the most important being your payment and credit history.

Your debt to income level, employment history, type of property and assets are other factors that are taken into consideration when determining if you qualify for a conventional, government or subprime loan.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

Conventional loans are secured by government sponsored entities or GSE’s such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Conventional loans can be made to purchase or refinance homes with first and second mortgages on single family to four family homes. Down payments as low as 3% are now available!

In general, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s single family, first mortgage loan limit is $417,000 in 2011. This limit is reviewed annually and, if needed, changed to reflect changes in the national average price for single family homes.

As part of the economic recovery efforts, temporary “high balance” loan limits have been implemented and they vary by county but most of the SF Bay Area counties allow a $729,750 loan amount on a 1-unit property. Call us for the limit in your county.

2011 Conventional Loan Limits

First mortgages

  • One-family loans: $417,000
  • Two-family loans: $533,850
  • Three-family loans: $645,300
  • Four-family loans: $801,950

Note: Maximum original loan amounts are 50 percent higher for first mortgages on properties in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Second Mortgages

  • Second mortgages have become very restrictive due to the foreclosure crisis and liquidity needs of the banks. Call us for personalized info.

Jumbo Loans

  • Loans which are larger than the limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are called jumbo loans. Because jumbo loans are not funded by these government sponsored entities, they usually carry a higher interest rate and some additional underwriting requirements. A strategy to lower your overall interest payments if your purchase or refinance balance is above $417,000 is to use a combination of both first and second mortgages. Every situation is different, but it is one more option to consider.

In addition to common loan structures such as fixed rate, adjustable rate and balloon loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have loan programs for low to no down payments, community lending and affordable housing initiatives, and reverse mortgages.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

There isn’t a single or simple answer to this question. The type of mortgage for you depends on many different factors:

  • Your current financial picture
  • How you expect your finances to change
  • How long you intend to keep your house
  • How comfortable you are with your mortgage payment changing

For example, a 15-year fixed rate mortgage can save you many thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan, but your monthly payments will be higher. An adjustable rate mortgage may get you started with a lower monthly payment than a fixed rate mortgage, but your payments could get higher when the interest rate changes.

One way to find a good answer is to discuss your finances, your plans and financial prospects, and your preferences frankly with a mortgage professional.

Please visit our Disclosures page for more details for all loan types.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.