Freelancers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a Home

Mortgages

Freelancers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a Home

Freelancers: Here’s What You Need to Know About Buying a Home

One of the main things you need in order to qualify for a mortgage is an income to support the payments—you’ll need documents showing this income when you try to get pre-approved. But self-employed and freelance workers don’t always have that option. Without work stubs, what can they do? “In general, the qualifying criteria are the same for a self-employed borrower as it... Read More

Will Having a Mortgage Improve My Credit Score?

Credit Score

Will Having a Mortgage Improve My Credit Score?

Will Having a Mortgage Improve My Credit Score?

Until the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act was signed into law in 2003, Americans weren’t entitled to free annual credit reports. And 24 years ago, when I began my career in consumer news, you couldn’t see your credit score at all, at any price. Consumer access to credit reports and scores is a good thing. After all, if... Read More

Is There a Downside to Prepaying My Mortgage?

Mortgages

Is There a Downside to Prepaying My Mortgage?

Is There a Downside to Prepaying My Mortgage?

Q: I have paid almost $6,000 extra toward my mortgage principal. Isn’t my new payment supposed to go more toward principal and less for interest for the next payment? — Paying it down A: Here’s how it works. When you took out your mortgage, assuming it was a fixed-rate loan, there was an amortization schedule set by the... Read More

Should You Buy a ‘Second Home’ Before a First Home?

Mortgages

Should You Buy a ‘Second Home’ Before a First Home?

Should You Buy a ‘Second Home’ Before a First Home?

You’ve likely heard plenty of city residents complaining about the high cost of living, while also hearing less and less about the next generation becoming homeowners. Some suspect this is the result of a post-recession economy, and some say that student loan debts loom too dangerously overhead. But while some city dwellers are hesitant to... Read More

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

Managing Debt

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

Which of Your Bills Will Go Up If the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

While the Federal Reserve declined to raise interest rates this week, interest rates are still expected to go up sometime this year, which is great news if you’ve been discouraged by the next-to-nothing interest rates banks pay on your savings. But if you have a home equity line of credit or a credit card with... Read More

The 5-Minute Checklist for New Homebuyers

Mortgages

The 5-Minute Checklist for New Homebuyers

The 5-Minute Checklist for New Homebuyers

When you are trying to get approved for a mortgage you can afford, it’s important to make yourself as appealing a borrower as you can to lenders. Getting approved can be the difference between getting the home you want and watching competitors beat you out while you move into the lesser property down the street.... Read More

4 Ways Your House Payment Could Unexpectedly Go Up

Mortgages

4 Ways Your House Payment Could Unexpectedly Go Up

4 Ways Your House Payment Could Unexpectedly Go Up

Part of the allure of buying a home is stability — the same neighborhood, the same schools, a predictable payment. Although the location of your home won’t change, the character of the neighborhood can, school districts can be redrawn, and your monthly mortgage payment can go up (or down, but up is more common). If... Read More

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