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Financing & Insuring

Financing & Insuring

Deciding on a Conventional vs. FHA Home Loan

May 21, 2018

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and conventional (or conforming) home loans have long been the most common mortgage options on the market. But which one is right for you? First, it’s important to clear up a major misconception that an FHA home loan is only for first-time homebuyers. While that’s a myth, it is true is that FHA loans have historically been more attractive to first-time homebuyers due to lower down payment requirements and interest rates. But as you’ll see, the differences between FHA and conventional…

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Financing & Insuring

5 Ways to Help Maintain (or Improve) Your Credit Score

March 3, 2018

Keeping a spotless credit history can be tough, but if you’re hoping to buy a home, maintaining or improving your credit score is well worth the effort. Factors like your FICO® score help lenders determine your creditworthiness, which in turn affects what mortgage rates, loan amounts and terms they can offer you. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do for your credit health. 1. Check your credit regularly and report any errors. Before you can improve your credit, you’ll need to know where you…

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Financing & Insuring

How to Save Money for a Down Payment: 7 Daily Strategies

February 21, 2018
House with coins and dollars

Saving for a down payment on a new home might feel daunting, but small daily changes can make a big difference when it comes to setting aside money for a large purchase. We rounded up seven strategies that make it simple to streamline your spending and save up for your dream home—and it’s a lot easier than you think! Shop smart It’s tempting to toss anything that looks good into your grocery cart, but the price of all those products adds up quickly. Instead, plan…

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Financing & Insuring

What Credit Score Do I Need for a Mortgage?

December 8, 2017
Get an idea of what credit score you'll need for a mortgage.

Wondering what credit score you need to qualify for a mortgage? You’d be wise to ask. Your credit score (also known as a FICO® score) is one of the most important elements of qualifying for a home loan—and helps lenders determine your interest rate in the event you do qualify. While there isn’t a strict credit score standard that applies to all lenders—who have varying  requirements for loan origination—there are baseline standards if you’re applying for an FHA loan backed by the US government. To…

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Financing & Insuring

What Down Payment is Needed for an FHA Loan?

November 3, 2017
Couple discussing FHA loan down payment with loan officer

Insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), FHA loans are an attractive option for first-time and repeat homebuyers, as well as those interested in refinancing their current home loan. Many factors contribute to the popularity of FHA loans—chief among them being a lower down payment requirement (as low as just 3.5%), compared to as much as 20% with other loan types. How much savings could that 3.5% down mean for you? Let’s use an example house sale. If you’re an entry-level buyer scrimping and saving…

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