RESEARCH & LEARN

Mortgage Library


Check Local Mortgage Rates

Today's Average 3.74%
Mortgage Newsletter

Featured Article

Applying for a Mortgage after a Bankruptcy

Qualifying for a home mortgage with a bankruptcy on your credit history requires time and money. Yet by understanding the requirements to get a mortgage after a bankruptcy and by carefully rebuilding your credit standing, you can apply for a loan and buy a home. 
Your Credit Score
The three main U.S. credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion--maintain your credit history. Using that history, plus its own proprietary equation, the Fair Isaac Corp. calculates your FICO credit score somewhere between 850 and 300 points. Anything above 700 points is good to excellent, with... more

Learn More About...

Mortgages

In addition to mortgage loans for home purchases, there are also other loans available for various purposes that use the home for collateral.

Rates

Mortgage interest rates are determined by credit history strength, the number of points you pay, the size of your down payment and the type of loan program you choose.

Home Buying

Obtaining funding is crucial to buying a home. This requires applying for a mortgage, choosing a house that meets the appraisal standards, and determining the amount of the down payment.

Loans

There are dozens of different types of mortgage loan programs. They have been created to suit the varying needs of homebuyers.

Moving

When making a big move, it's essential to find out as much as possible about the schools, the neighborhoods, the housing costs and the community resources.

MORE MORTGAGE ARTICLES

What Are Typical Mortgage Down Payments?

Traditional mortgage down payments have always been 10 to 25 percent of the total purchase price of the property. more

How to Get Approved for an FHA Loan despite Bad Credit

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans are very flexible, and you may qualify for an FHA loan with bad credit. more

Should You Refinance? Make Sure the Timing is Right

Deciding whether or not you should refinance depends on your personal financial situation. If interest rates are lower today than they were when you first took out your mortgage, refinancing makes sense. more

The Mortgage101 Blog

FROM THE MORTGAGE101 BLOG

Cash-out Refis Hit Highest Rate in 8 Years

American homeowners are tapping their home equity again, with the cash-out share of refinances rising to its highest rate since 2008, according to data from Black Knight Financial Services. According to its Mortgage Monitor Report, Black Knight found that 42 percent or 300,000 of all first lien refinances in the 2015 third quarter involved taking cash out of borrowers’ equity, the highest share in 8 years. On average, cash-out borrowers took out an average of $60,000, the greatest average sum since 2007. For all of 2015, there were about 1 million cash-out refinances, totaling roughly $64 billion in tapped equity, another 8-year record. Yet even though more people are feeling confident enough to pull money out of their homes again, they are still be cautious. Black Knight reported that less than 2 percent of all available equity was tapped last year, a percentage that is still below the “post-crisis norm and 80 percent below the equity pulled out during the peak housing bubble years of 2005- 2006. The average cash-out refi borrower has a very high credit score of 748 and they are still leaving a lot of equity in their homes. The average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for borrowers after tapping their equity in 2015 was 67 percent, the lowest ratio to date. Separate data revealed that home affordability remains good by historical averages. “The data shows that it currently takes 21 percent of the median monthly household income to purchase the national median-priced home using a 30-year fixed rate mortgage,” said Black Knight Data & Analytics Senior Vice President Ben Graboske. “That’s down significantly from 33 percent back at the top of the market in 2006, and is still below the average of 26 percent we saw in the more stable years before the housing bubble.” Graboske warned that affordability could go down soon though as home prices continue to appreciate and mortgage interest rates start an upward climb. “Right now, both Hawaii and Washington D.C. are already less affordable than they were during the pre-bubble era,” he commented.” And within two years, if prices continue to grow and rate rise by at least 50 basis points, another 8 states would be less affordable than before the bubble within 12 months. There is some reason to believe home prices will not continue to appreciate at their current rate. As rates rise, many buyers will be priced out of the market unless prices make a slower climb. more