Mortgages 101: Quick Answers to Over 250 Critical Questions About Your Home Loan

Mortgages 101: Quick Answers to Over 250 Critical Questions About Your Home Loan

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By (author) David Reed

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  • Publisher: Amacom
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 226mm x 23mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 081440166X
  • ISBN 13: 9780814401668
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,151,159

Product description

With mortgage stories dominating the front-page news, people - whether they're buying a new house or refinancing - increasingly have questions about the complicated issues at stake. Arranged in an easily accessible question-and-answer format, "Mortgages 101" provides readers with essential lending formulas, as well as important information on lending requirements and application procedures. This revised edition includes up-to-date material on new loan and government programs, changes to the law regarding tax deductions, down payment assistance, bankruptcy, and more - in short, all the answers readers need, in one must-have reference.

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Author information

David Reed (Austin, TX) is a seasoned mortgage banker and a columnist for Realty Times and Mortgage Originator gazine. He is the author of Mortgage Confidential (978- 0-8144-7369-6), Your Guide to VA Loans (978-0-8144-7435-8), Who Says You Can't Buy a Home! (978-0-8144-7340-5), and Your Successful Career as a Mortgage Broker (978-0-8144-7370-2).

Review quote

..".takes the guesswork out of getting a mortgages...If you don't become an expert on mortgages after reading this book, don't blame us." - The Post-Standard

Table of contents

Contents Preface000 Section IMortgage Fundamentals 1 Chapter 1Introduction to Mortgages 0 1.1What's the difference between buying and renting? 0 1.2 How do I know if it's better to buy a home or continue renting? 00 1.3 How should I search for a house? 00 1.4 When is a good time to buy a home? 00 1.5 What's the difference between being prequalified and preapproved? 00 1.6 What is the preapproval process? 00 1.7 What are loan conditions? 00 1.8 What are Automated Underwriting Systems? 00 1.9 Who uses Automated Underwriting Systems? 00 1.10 If an Automated Underwriting System approves me, does that mean I get the loan? 00 1.11 What are the benefits of getting preapproved? 00 1.12 What are all these terms? 00 1.13 Who are the key people in a typical loan approval process? 00 1.14 What is the 1003? 00 1.15 What are the ten sections of the 1003? 00 1.16 What happens if the information you put on your application is wrong? 00 1.17 What happens after I fill out the 1003? 00 1.18 Are online applications the same as the five-page 1003? 00 1.19 Is an online application safe? Can someone steal my identity? 00 1.20 What happens after I make an offer for a house? 00 Chapter 2How to Know How Much Home to Buy000 2.1 How do I know how much I can borrow?000 2.2 What are debt ratios?000 2.3How do I calculate my debt ratios?000 2.4How much do debt ratios affect how much I can borrow?000 2.5 How can lenders approve people with high debt ratios?000 2.6 Why do lenders use monthly tax and insurance payments in debt ratios?000 2.7 Why is escrow a requirement for loans with less than 20 percent down?000 2.8 If I have a choice, are escrows right for me? 000 Chapter 3Getting Your Finances Together000 3.1 What will the lender look for when looking at my assets? 000 3.2 How do I document my assets? 000 3.3 How do I document my income? 000 3.4 If I just got my first job, how can I provide a W-2 from last year? 000 3.5 What do you mean by "how you're paid"?000 3.6 Why do lenders ask for the most recent 30-day paycheck stubs? 000 3.7If I get paid in cash, how do I document that? 000 3.8How do I calculate hourly wages? 000 3.9 How do I calculate overtime? 000 3.10 How are bonuses used to figure my income? 000 3.11 How do I figure my income if it is based solely on commissions? 000 3.12 How do I calculate my pay if I have both a salary and a bonus or a commission? 000 3.13If I can deduct a lot of expenses from my income taxes, does that help gross monthly income? 000 3.14 How do I show expenses on my loan application? 000 3.15 How do I calculate my dividends and interest income? 000 3.16 How do I calculate my income if I own my own business? 000 Chapter 4Down Payments and How They Impact Your Mortgage000 4.1 What exactly is a down payment? 000 4.2 What are the risk elements? 000 4.3 How do I know how much to improve another risk element? 000 4.4 What kinds of accounts can I use to fund the down payment? 000 4.5 Can I borrow against my retirement account? 000 4.6 Can my family help me out with a down payment? 000 4.7 What do I do if I don't have a down payment saved? 000 4.8 What is a "seller assisted" DPAP? 000 4.9How do I know if I qualify for a down payment assistance program? 000 4.10 Is there an ideal amount I should put down on a home? 000 4.11How much is a mortgage insurance policy? 000 4.12Can I deduct mortgage insurance from my income taxes? 000 4.13 Can I "borrow" my mortgage insurance? 000 4.14 Will PMI come off of my mortgage automatically? 000 4.15 What about "zero money down" loans? 000 4.16 What is the My Community Mortgage? 000 4.17 How do I buy a house if I need to sell my house for my down payment? 000 4.18 Will I have to qualify with two mortgages? 000 Chapter 5Getting Your Credit Together000 5.1What exactly is credit? 000 5.2How were credit bureaus established? 000 5.3What's in my credit report? 000 5.4What's not in my credit report? 000 5.5 What's the difference between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13? 000 5.6 Do lenders view a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 more favorably when reviewing a mortgage application? 000 5.7What's the difference between "good" and "bad" credit? 000 5.8 How do I establish good credit? 000 5.9 I've got great credit. How do I keep it that way? 000 5.10 I cosigned on my brother's car, but he's making the payments. Will this affect my credit? 000 5.11 What should I do first to improve my credit? 000 5.12 What happens if you find a mistake on your report? 000 5.13Can't I write a letter explaining my side of the story to the credit bureaus? 000 5.14 Can my lender help fix mistakes in my credit history? 000 5.15 What do I need in order to prove something is a mistake on my credit report? 000 5.16 What about mortgage companies that advertise "bad credit, no credit okay"? 000 5.17 What about a cosigner? 000 5.18 Can a seller ask for a copy of my credit report? 000 5.19 What is alternate credit? 000 5.20 I have bad credit and was contacted by a credit counseling company that wants to help reestablish my credit. Can they do that? 000 5.21 Can I erase my old credit report completely and start all over again? 000 5.22 I have great credit, but my spouse has terrible credit. What do I do? 000 5.23 My "ex" has screwed up my credit. What do I do? 000 5.24 How will lenders view our credit report if we're not married? 000 5.25 How long do I have to wait in order to get approved for a mortgage if I declared bankruptcy in the past? 000 5.26 I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and I'm still making the payments. Can I get a mortgage now? 000 Chapter 6Credit Scores: What They Are, How They Work, and How to Improve Them000 6.1 What are credit scores? 000 6.2 What makes up a score? 000 6.3 What things in my payment history affect my credit score? 000 6.4 What about my amounts owed? What is most important? 000 6.5 How do I find out what my score is? 000 6.6 How do I get a credit score? 000 6.7 What is the minimum credit score I need to qualify for a mortgage loan? 000 6.8 What if my lender told me I couldn't qualify because my credit score was too low? 000 6.9 How do I know how much to charge and how much to pay off? 000 6.10 What else affects my credit score? 000 6.11 How can I increase my available credit without opening up new accounts? 000 6.12 I've applied at more than one mortgage company. Will all those credit inquiries hurt my score? 000 6.13 How do I fix scores that are artificially low due to mistakes? 000 6.14If there are several mistakes on my report, do I get them all corrected? How do I know which ones to correct? 000 6.15 I'm a single parent and a minority. Does this status help or hurt my credit score? 000 6.16 How do lenders choose which credit scores to use? 000 6.17 I have great credit scores, but my spouse has low credit scores. What happens? 000 Section IIThe Right Mortgage 000 Chapter 7Finding Your Home Loan 000 7.1What kinds of loans are there? 000 7.2 When would I want a fixed rate? 000 7.3 When would I want an adjustable rate? 000 7.4 How do adjustable rate mortgages work? 000 7.5 Are ARMs only helpful in the very near term? 000 7.6 What exactly is a hybrid loan? 000 7.7 What's a balloon mortgage? 000 7.8 What is a buydown? 000 7.9 Apart from choosing fixed or adjustable rates, what types of loan programs should I consider? 000 7.10 How are limits on conventional loans set? 000 7.11 Who or what are Fannie and Freddie? 000 7.12 What are special commitments? 000 7.13 What exactly is a jumbo mortgage? 000 7.14 Can I prepay my mortgage or pay it off early? 000 7.15 What are prepayment penalties? 000 7.16 Why do lenders have prepayment penalties on some of their loans? 000 7.17 What are VA loans? How do you get them? 000 7.18Who's eligible for a VA loan? 000 7.19 What is a VA "entitlement"?000 7.20How often can I use my VA eligibility? 000 7.21What is a VA streamline refinance? 000 7.22 Do states have VA loan programs, too? 000 7.23What about FHA loans? 000 7.24 Who sets FHA loan limits and how much are they? 000 7.25 Is FHA only for first-time home buyers? 000 7.26 When do I choose an FHA loan instead of any other? 000 7.27 Can I use a coborrower to help me qualify for an FHA loans? 000 7.28 Does FHA help me save money on closing costs? 000 7.29 What about first-time home buyer loans? 000 7.30 What does "portfolio lending" mean? 000 7.31 What's the difference between second homes and rental property? 000 7.32 How does the lender know that a property is a second home and not a rental unit? 000 7.33 Can I use rental income to qualify for a mortgage? 000 7.34 Are loan limits for rental properties the same as for primary residences? 000 7.35 What is an interest-only loan? 000 7.36 What is a negative amortization loan? 000 7.37 What is a payment option ARM? 000 7.38 What about seller financing? 000 7.39 How can I rent-to-own or use a lease-purchase to buy a house? 000 7.40 What's a wraparound mortgage? 000 7.41 What is a biweekly loan program? 000 7.42 What is alternative or "Alt" lending? 000 Chapter 8Loans for Good to Great Credit000 8.1 What should I look for in a mortgage loan? 000 8.2 So everyone should first try for a conventional loan? 000 8.3 What if my loan isn't a Fannie loan? What if it's a jumbo or a portfolio? 000 8.4 Then how do I manage to find the loan that's right for me? 000 8.5 Should I always try to put as much down as I can? 000 8.6 Do I have a choice in my loan term? 000 8.7Why are payments higher on a 15-year loan even though the rate is lower? 000 8.8Won't my loan officer help me find the right mortgage? 000 8.9What if I can't provide parts of the documentation for the loan? 000 8.10Why wouldn't I just apply for a "NINA with no job" and forget about all the other hassles of pay stubs and W-2s? 000 8.11 Why would I ever want to apply for any of those loans? 000 8.12 Does the type of property affect the kind of loan I can have? 000 8.13 What types of property can I expect problems with? 000 Chapter 9Loans for People with Impaired or Damaged Credit 000 9.1My credit's not so good. Where do I get a mortgage for my situation? 000 9.2 Do I have to put more down with a subprime loan? 000 9.3 What's the matter with subprime loans? 000 9.4 What kind of interest rates can I expect from a subprime loan? 000 9.5 What about prepayment penalties on subprime loans? 000 9.6 How can a hybrid adjust after two years? 000 9.7Aren't subprime loans more expensive? 000 9.8 Should I just wait until my credit gets better and apply later? 000 9.9 What if the rates are higher when I go to refinance a subprime loan? 000 9.10 What is a predatory loan? 000 9.11 Don't some lenders make a loan hoping they can foreclose on it? 000 9.12 What's the difference between subprime and predatory? 000 9.13Are subprime loans harder to qualify for now because of past problems in the industry? 000 Chapter 10Refinancing and Home Equity Loans000 10.1 Why would I want to refinance my mortgage? 000 10.2 Should I wait until the interest rate is 2 percent lower than my current one to refinance? 000 10.3 What is my rescission period? 000 10.4 How long should I wait to recover closing costs? 000 10.5 Do I have to close my loan within thirty days, or can I wait to see if rates drop further? 000 10.6 Why are there fees on a refinance? 000 10.7 Should I pay points for a refinance? 000 10.8 What about reducing my interest rate and also reducing my loan term? 000 10.9 Why not just pay extra each month instead of refinancing? 000 10.10 What's a cash-out mortgage? 000 10.11 How do I get money out of my property without refinancing? 000 10.12 How do I refinance if I have both a first and a second mortgage? 000 10.13 Which is better, a cash-out refinance or a HELOC? 000 10.14 Why is my loan payoff higher than my principal balance? 000 10.15 My credit has been damaged since I bought the house. Will that hurt me? 000 10.16 How do I get a note modification? 000 10.17 What is a "recast" of my mortgage? 000 10.18 I've heard of a modifiable mortgage. What's that? 000 10.19 What happens when my loan is sold? 000 10.20 What's a reverse mortgage? 000 10.21 Who qualifies for a reverse mortgage? 000 10.22How much can I get with a reverse mortgage? 000 10.23 Why not do a cash-out refinance instead of a reverse mortgage? 000 10.24 Are the closing costs the same for a reverse mortgage as with a regular mortgage? 000 10.25 What are the rates for reverse mortgages? 000 10.26 I have a current mortgage on my house. Do I get to keep that? 000 10.27 How do I know if a reverse mortgage is right for me? 000 Chapter 11Construction and Home Improvement Loans000 11.1 Why would I want to build a home? Why can't I just go out and buy one? 000 11.2 How do construction loans work? 000 11.3 Do I buy a home from a developer, or is it better to start from scratch? 000 11.4 How do I get approved for a construction loan? 000 11.5 How much do I need for a construction loan? 000 11.6 Does the lender approve my builder? 000 11.7 How does the mortgage lender know what the house is worth before it's built? 000 11.8 What if I already own the land? Do I still include that amount in the construction loan? 000 11.9 But what if I don't want a permanent mortgage, but just a construction loan? 000 11.10 What choices do I have for construction loans? 000 11.11 Is a one-time close better than a two-time close? 000 11.12 What if rates drop during my one-time close loan? 000 11.13 What if my builder is financing the construction? 000 11.14 Do I have to use the builder's mortgage company? 000 11.15What are my options if I just want to build onto my current house? 000 11.16 How can I borrow enough to make major improvements on my home? 000 11.17 What is an FHA 203(k) loan? 000 Section IIIThe Right Lender and Rate000 Chapter 12 Finding the Best Lender000 12.1 I've decided on my loan. Now what? 000 12.2 How do I find the best lender? 000 12.3 But where do I get the names of all these lenders in the first place? 000 12.4 How do I know if I can trust these lenders? 000 12.5 Should I use my real estate agent's mortgage company? 000 12.6I thought all money came from the bank. Doesn't it? 000 12.7 What is a mortgage broker? 000 12.8 Are mortgage brokers more expensive? 000 12.9 Why do mortgage companies use mortgage brokers? 000 12.10 How do mortgage brokers get paid? 000 12.11 How many lenders do mortgage brokers use? 000 12.12Will the broker keep my lender a secret? 000 12.13 Is a mortgage broker my best choice? 000 12.14 Should I choose a broker or a banker? 000 12.15 What happens if I want to change lenders in the middle of my loan process? 000 Chapter 13 Finding the Best Loan Officer000 13.1 How do I find the best loan officer? 000 13.2 How do I know if the loan officers my real estate agent suggests are any good? 000 13.3 What if my agent is not a heavy hitter? 000 13.4 Do the best loan officers work with the biggest lenders? 000 13.5 What questions should I ask a potential loan officer? 000 13.6 How do loan officers get trained? 000 13.7 What training or courses do loan officers take? 000 13.8How do loan officers get paid? 000 13.9 What are market gains? 000 13.10 Are market gains legal? 000 13.11Do all loan officers charge one percent on every loan? 000 13.12 My loan officer isn't any good. Can I change loan officers? 000 13.13 Where do I complain about my loan officer? 000 Chapter 14 Finding the Best Interest Rate000 14.1 Who sets mortgage rates? 000 14.2 How does my loan officer quote rates? 000 14.3But doesn't the Fed set interest rates? 000 14.4 Are mortgage rates tied to the 30-year treasury and the 10-year treasury? 000 14.5 Who invests in bonds? 000 14.6 Where are rates headed? 000 14.7 What types of economic reports should I pay attention to? 000 14.8 Do I follow all of the economic reports? 000 14.9 When is the best time to get a rate quote? 000 14.10 Can I trust the interest rates in the newspaper? 000 14.11 Why are some lenders so much lower than everyone else? 000 14.12 How do I get a good rate quote from all my competing lenders? 000 14.13 What do I do with my two best quotes? 000 14.14 How do I lock in my mortgage rate? 000 14.15 Does my lock mean I'm approved? 000 14.16 What happens if my rate lock expires and I still haven't closed my loan? 000 14.17 What happens if I lock and rates go down? 000 14.18 Will lenders drag their feet to make a lock expire? 000 Chapter 15 Closing Costs and How to Save on Them000 15.1 What types of closing costs can I expect? 000 15.2 Why are there so many charges? 000 15.3 Why do lenders charge fees? 000 15.4 On which closing costs can I save and which ones can I forget about? 000 15.5 Are fees for purchases and refinances the same? 000 15.6 How can I save on my appraisal fees? 000 15.7 How can I save on my credit report? 000 15.8 How can I save on title insurance? 000 15.9What exactly is the good faith estimate? 000 15.10How do I use a good faith estimate to compare lenders? 000 15.11 What is APR, and does it really work? 000 15.12 How can I get the seller to pay for my closing costs? 000 15.13 What's a "one-fee closing" cost? 0 00 15.14 Can a lender pay all my fees? 000 Chapter 16The Internet and Mortgages000 16.1 How has the Internet helped mortgage lending? 000 16.2 Should I apply for a mortgage online or meet with a loan officer? 000 16.3 How can I use the Internet to find the best mortgage rate? 000 16.4 What about online companies that advertise they will have lenders "bid" on my mortgage loan? 000 16.5 What happens if I choose an online lender but the closing papers are all wrong? 000 16.6 Should I avoid online lenders? 000 16.7I keep getting e-mails from companies with some very competitive offers. Shouldn't I at least explore them? 000 16.8Can I get my loan approval online? 000 16.9 Is there any way I can check on rates without contacting a lender? 000 16.10 Can I track my loan approval online? 000 16.11 What are some good Web sites consumers can use to help them? 000 Appendix: Monthly Payment Schedules000 Glossary000 Index000