Mortgage & Household Debt

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How Many Mortgages Can You Have?

Maybe you’ve successfully purchased your first home – and now you’re hooked. You’re determined to grow your real estate investments. That could mean creating a rental portfolio or buying a vacation home (or homes).  Since you managed to get approved for your first mortgage, getting approved for a few more should be straightforward, right? The...

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Does Refinancing Hurt Your Credit?

If you’re thinking of refinancing your mortgage, auto loan or your student loans, you may be wondering if it will affect your credit. The short answer is yes. But the good news is that the impact won’t be major or last too long. Want to refinance and keep your credit in good shape? Read on...

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What Is a Verification of Mortgage?

Let’s say you recently sold your home and want to buy a new home. Or maybe you’ve decided to refinance your mortgage with a new lender. In either case, your new lender is going to want to know more about your history with your previous mortgage lender.  To get that information, they may request a...

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What Is a Mortgage Credit Certificate?

The federal government is a big fan of homeownership. And there’s a federal tax credit out there that makes owning a home more affordable. It’s called the mortgage credit certificate (MCC).  MCC is a home buyer assistance program that gives qualifying first-time home buyers with low-to-moderate incomes a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that covers up to...

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What Is Negative Amortization? How It Works and How to Avoid It

If you use it right, debt can afford you some of life’s greatest purchases – a dream home or your own set of wheels. But debt comes at a price. The price of debt is interest, and interest is the price you pay to borrow money.  Normally, the amount you owe on a loan gets...

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What Is Mortgage Forbearance and Is It Right for Me?

Life happens, and sometimes you may experience financial challenges that might jeopardize your ability to pay bills – like your mortgage – on time and in full.  If you’re dealing with financial setbacks from a job loss or an emergency expense (or expenses!) and you’ve fallen behind on your monthly mortgage payments, you may find...

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What Is a Prepayment Penalty and How Can I Avoid It?

Crack open a finance book, scroll through Instagram, listen to a money podcast or watch a financial pundit on TV. Almost all of them will share a common rule of personal finance management: Pay off your debts sooner rather than later.  While this rule of thumb has its place in everyone’s money management action plan,...

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How To Pay Off a Mortgage in 5 Years

Just because you’ve got a 25-year or 30-year mortgage term doesn’t mean you have to take anywhere near that long to fully pay it off. You may be surprised to learn that you can pay off your loan much earlier. And if you’re up to the challenge, you can even pay off your mortgage loan...

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How Soon Can You Refinance a Mortgage?

For many homeowners, their monthly mortgage payment is their biggest recurring expense. Refinancing can be an attractive option if it gets you a lower interest rate or shortens the life of your loan.  In 2020, there was a refinancing boom fueled by a drop in interest rates during the coronavirus pandemic. Refis were such a...

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How To Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

If you’re an aspiring homeowner, it’s a good idea to know your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio (aka your debt ratio or income ratio) because it can play a big role in determining whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage. There’s a lot to learn about your DTI, but here’s a quick overview of the basics: You figure...

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How To Refinance After Bankruptcy

If you’ve been through bankruptcy, you may feel more cautious than ever about taking out new loans – especially on your home. But if you’re careful and well informed, refinancing can help you save money and unlock the equity in your home at a low-interest rate. What Are the Reasons To Refinance After Bankruptcy?  There...

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How To Refinance an Investment Property

Whether it’s a vacation home or a multi-unit rental property with tenants, real estate investors can take pride in their financial savviness. With the right investment property, you not only earn rental income from your tenants but can also build equity in the home.  But owning an investment property isn’t always such an easy moneymaker....

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