Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Mortgage Loans Conforming Loans Provide Low Interest Rates Best Home Mortgage Loan What To Look For In A Mortgage How Much Mortgage Can I Have Sub Prime Mortgage Loans Five Ways To Lower Your Rates On A Sub Prime Mortgage Option Arm Mortgage Loans How Do They Work

Conforming loans provide low interest rates since they are almost guaranteed to be purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which allows more funds to be available for borrowers. However, these corporations have terms, such as maximum loan, that limit how much you can borrow. If you don’t meet their terms, you will need to apply for a non-conventional loan with slightly higher interest rates.

Loan Purchasers

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are stockholder owned companies that purchase mortgages, package them into securities, and then resells them to investors. This allows banks and other financing companies to lend to more customers since their capital is not tied up in long-term loans.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have strict requirements for purchasing loans. Basically, they want to reduce their risk level so they put a cap on loan amounts, credit score, income level, and down payment.

Conforming Loan Amounts

Each year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac create new guidelines for loan amounts. In 2005, a mortgage limit for a single-family dwelling is $359,650. Limits for multiple family dwelling are significantly higher, roughly an additional $100,000 per family. Maximum loan amounts are also 50% higher in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands since property prices are higher.

Second mortgages also have their limit. In 2005 the limit was $179,825, but the total mortgaged amount of both loans could not exceed $359,650. As with first mortgages, second mortgages can also be 50% higher in designated areas.

Non-Conforming Loans

There are other loan options if you don’t qualify for a conforming loan. If you need to borrow more than the maximum conforming loan amount, then you will want to apply for a jumbo loan. Because these types of loans are handled on a smaller scale, their rates are slightly higher than a conforming loan.

If you have poor credit or little down payment, you can use a subprime lender who specialized in lending to B/C type loans. You can expect to pay higher rates with these lenders, but many offer favorable terms. To find the best deal and to avoid scams, you must research your lender. Compare rates and terms until you find a favorable financing package.

With a credit score of 680 or higher, you have a plethora of home loan options. Basically, you can choose your terms, but you want to make sure you find the best financing package. That means looking at financing costs, terms, and lenders.

Financing Costs

The most competitive mortgage market is conventional loans, including both fixed-rate and ARM. That means these types of loans have the lowest rates. Add a 20% down payment, and you will have lenders swooning over you.

Fixed-rate home loans offer security of a flat interest rate. You will be paying the same interest rate over the entire life of your mortgage. You can also lock in today’s low rates. You always have the option of refinancing if rates do drop.

An ARM provides lower rates with the risk that they will rise in a couple of years. For those homebuyers who plan to move in a couple of years, this financing can save you hundreds in interest charges.

You can also choose a hybrid of the two, offering initial low rates that will lock in after a couple of years.


The shorter the mortgage, the less you will pay in finance charges. But your monthly payment will be higher with the short term. The most common mortgage is for 30 years, but you can choose a 25, 15, or even a 10 year mortgage. Choosing terms is really based on what you can afford to pay each month.


Conventional lenders usually offer the best financing, even if you need an unconventional loan. Jumbo and subprime mortgages can be processed by conventional lenders. They will find underwriters, which will add slightly to the interest rate of your home loan.

Still you want to investigate all your lending options. Begin by collecting rate quotes on a predetermined loan amount. This way you are comparing similar numbers. Also, be looking at fees to make sure interest savings are not offset by high closing costs.

When you have picked a lender, request a bid. This is when the lending institution will actually look at your credit history and give you real numbers. If you aren’t happy with the terms, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal. There are many lenders to choose from.

Home buying should first start with determining how much of a mortgage you can afford. Sure, everyone would like to head out to the local real estate agent, find the homes that they really like, in the right area and then apply for their home loan. But, this is not the right way to do it. This way can actually leave you quite disappointed if you are not provided a loan that will fit your desires completely. Everyone has a different amount of house that they can afford. What you qualify for is something that is going to depend on what type of a risk you are to the lenders.

Before you begin your search for the right house, take a look around for the best mortgage. You should compare several companies that are in the business of home loans and see just what they can offer you. When you find the right company to work with, you will be able to determine how much of a home you are actually able to afford. Remember that the important things to consider in a home loan are things such as the interest rate and the terms of it. Some lenders will allow you to get a bigger loan than others.

Once you determine who actually to work with to get your mortgage, now, you will want to find out how much of a loan they will give you. What goes into this amount are many things including the following:

How much income you bring in on a monthly basis. The mortgage is likely to be paid monthly and they would like to determine if you have enough income coming into your home to afford to make these monthly payments.Your credit score. If you are a big credit risk, it is likely that you are not going to pay your mortgage payments in a timely way. You may miss payments or pay them late. This will hinder not only getting the home loan but also how much you can have.The value of homes in your area and the market. These things are changing every day. Some lenders will allow you to get a home that is more costly as long as you can afford it because home values are increasing. Others are more conservative.

Finding the right lender for the mortgage is the first step. One should work on improving their credit to the best of their ability before applying for a home loan so that they have the most ability to make payments. Having a steady job that provides a regular income and shows a past history of employment can also help to benefit you.

Remember that lenders are looking to make money from those that purchase a home through interest. They are not in the business of owning homes and therefore they do not want to take on individuals that are a high risk of defaulting on their loans. For that reason, you should determine how much of a mortgage you can afford before you head out looking for the home of your dreams.

Sub-prime mortgages don’t mean you have to pay excessively high interest rates to buy a home. By taking time to do some research and pick the right terms, you can save thousands on your mortgage. The following five tips will help you get low rates with the right subprime lender.

Compare Lenders

The number one way to lower your interest rates on your sub-prime mortgage is to compare lenders before you apply. It sounds so simple, but too many homebuyers skip this step, costing them thousands.

Plan on taking at least a day to explore your options. The easiest way to look at financing packages is to request quotes online. While you are requesting quotes, take a look at conventional lenders as well. They often offer good rates and terms for those with adverse credit histories.

Pick An ARM

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) offer lower rates and are easier to qualify for than fixed rate mortgages. The drawback is that ARM rates can increase over the years. But if you are planning to move soon or just want to buy a home, then an ARM probably is your best choice.

You can also convert your ARM when your credit score improves. As property prices increase and your equity builds, you will also be able to get better terms in the future.

Increase Your Down Payment

By increasing your down payment, you can knock off up to a percentage point. Zero or little down financing is great for those short on cash, but rates are significantly higher. Ideally, you want to put down 25% to get the best rates. Just leave enough cash reserves to financing moving expenses.

Pay A Point Or Two

Points paid upfront can also lower your interest rate. You want to be sure though that you recoup the upfront costs. If you plan to move or refinance in a couple of years, you will not see the savings of lower rates.

You may also find that your money would be better spent on increasing your down payment than on paying points. With this type of decision, you will want to do some math with a mortgage calculator.

Bulk Up Cash Reserves

By increasing your cash reserves, you can also improve your credit score to qualify you for lower rates. Take advantage of tax refunds or cash bonuses by putting them into your savings. Lenders look at saving accounts, money markets, and CDs as cash reserves, not stocks or other volatile assets.

Typically, option arm mortgage loans give the consumer four payment options each month – a 30year fixed payment, a 15 year fixed payment, an interest only payment and a deferred interest or minimum payment.

The 30 year, 15 year and interest only payments are based on the fully indexed rate. The fully indexed rate is calculated by adding the margin to the index. The index would most likely be the Libor, MTA, COSI, COFI, or CODI.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have a margin of 3.15 and an index of 3.32. This would give you a fully indexed rate of 6.47% (3.15 + 3.32 = 6.47). This is the rate that is used to compute the 30 year, 15 year, and interest only payments.

Depending on the lender and loan program you select, the deferred interest or minimum payment could either stay fixed between 1% and 2% for 5 years or the PAYMENT could start at around 1% and go up or down a maximum of 7.5% annually for 5 years.

The minimum 1% to 2% payment is an interest only payment and is based on a 30 or 40 year amortization.

The reason an option arm loan is called a deferred interest or negative amortization loan is because the difference between the minimum 1% payment and the interest only payment is added to the loan amount each month if the consumer chooses to make the minimum payment. So the loan balance increases over time instead of decreasing.

Once the loan hits the 5 year mark or if the deferred interest reaches 110% or 115% of the original loan amount, the loan will recast. Which means it will convert to an interest only or principal and interest loan at the fully indexed rate.

The fully indexed rate is calculated monthly and therefore could change from month to month.

Here are a few benefits of the option arm mortgage loan:

* The minimum payment is 100% interest; therefore, 100% of the payment is tax deductible

* The deferred interest is mortgage interest so it may be tax deductible

* If the client makes bi-weekly payments, the amount of deferred interest will decrease by approximately 30% or be completely eliminated.

* The minimum payment increases the client’s cash flow

* This loan gives the client several payment options

* It also allows clients to use their mortgage as a financial tool to build wealth.

In closing, here are four important points to keep in mind when selecting an option arm loan program:

1) Get a 30 year amortization (not 40 years). The 30 year amortization will keep the 1% payment option available longer.

2) Choose an index which is less volatile. Like the MTA instead of the Libor.

3) Select an option arm program that has a 115% recast instead of a 110% recast to increase the chances of the payment options being available for the full 5 years.

4) Select an option arm with a low lifetime interest rate cap

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