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Should I Pay Mortgage Taxes and Insurance on My Own?

When you buy a home or refinance, your lender will talk about setting up an “escrow” account. They may also refer to the charges in that account at “impounds.” If you are new to mortgage loans, you may not understand what these terms mean. And even if you’ve been around the mortgage block a few times, you may wonder if you’d be better off handling the impounds yourself. What are Escrow Accounts and Impounds?  Escrow is a third party-managed account that collects money for your property taxes and homeowner insurance, paying them off when the bills ...

December 30th, 2020 | Mortgage Advice, Should I Pay Mortgage Taxes and Insurance on My Own?

How Much of My Income Should Go to My Mortgage?

Back in the U.S. housing boom in the early 2000s, mortgage money flowed freely, with many borrowers being qualified for more loan than they could actually afford. When the housing bubble burst and the entire economy took a hit, those same home buyers often had a hard time keeping up with their home loan payments and ended up in foreclosure.  Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have lost jobs or had work hours reduced. While lending regulations have been tightened since the Great Recession, it is still possible for home buyers to be approved for more money t...

December 9th, 2020 | Interest Rates, Preapproval, Mortgage Advice, How Much of My Income Should Go to My Mortgage?

Should I Pay Off My Mortgage with My 401(k)?

The COVID-19 crisis has left millions of Americans unemployed and uncertain of how to make their mortgage payments and other debt obligations. In response to the need for emergency funds, the government created the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provided stimulus checks and better unemployment benefits. It also included provisions that allow people to borrow more money from their retirement accounts while waiving penalty fees for early withdrawal. For many, this might seem like a great way to pay off their mortgage now and reduce their debt load. However, ever...

November 4th, 2020 | Mortgage Advice, Should I Pay Off My Mortgage with My 401(k)?

How Bad Is It to Miss a Mortgage Payment?

No one signs a mortgage contract thinking they won’t be able to keep up with the payments. And yet life sometimes throws us curveballs. The recent coronavirus crisis, for example, has sent millions into unemployment and a state of financial uncertainty. If an emergency hits and you are short on cash, how bad is it to miss a mortgage payment? What Does ‘Late’ Mean? For most home loans, the payment is typically due on the first of the month. Most mortgage servicing companies will give borrowers a grace period, with the final pay date of the 16th before penalties...

August 20th, 2020 | Mortgage Advice, How Bad Is It to Miss a Mortgage Payment?

Should I Prepay My Mortgage?

Benefits of Prepayment The main benefit of paying off your mortgage early is the savings. Even by cutting off just a few years from your home loan, you can save thousands of dollars in interest. For example, if you take out a 30-year mortgage loan for $250,000 at 4%, you would pay more than $179,000 in interest over the course of the loan. If you were to contribute an extra $75 a month, you would pay off your home loan three years early and save almost $22,000 in interest payments. And the savings only increase if you can throw larger chunks of change at the mortgage. Prepaying your home...

July 22nd, 2020 | Mortgage Advice, Should I Prepay My Mortgage?

What You Need to Know About Mortgage Forbearance

If you are one of the 22 million Americans who have filed for coronavirus-related unemployment in the past few weeks, you may also be wondering if you are going to be able to make your mortgage payments. If your income has vanished or been reduced due to COVID-19 shutdowns, you can appeal to your mortgage lender for payment forbearance. Before you do, there are several questions you need to ask to understand how it will affect your situation. Is My Loan Covered by the CARES Act? In the wake of the COVID-19 economic fallout, the U.S. government recently passed the CARES Act to provide mor...

April 22nd, 2020 | Mortgage Advice, Credit, What You Need to Know About Mortgage Forbearance

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