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We compiled this list of common terms from the mortgage world and their meanings.

Accrued Interest

Based on a loan’s principal balance and rate, it is the interest that has beenaccumulated on a loan, but not yet paid.

 

Additional Principal Payment

A way to reduce the remaining balance on the loan by paying more than the scheduled principal amount due.

 

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

Also known as a variable-rate loan, an ARM usually offers a lower initial rate than a fixed-rate loan, but the payment can go up at set times and by set amounts. The interest rate can change at a specified time, known as an adjustment period, based on a published financial index that tracks changes in the current financial market. ARMs also have caps and floors, or a maximum and minimum that the interest rate can change at each adjustment period, as well as over the life of the loan.

 

Amortization

Paying off a loan over a period of time and at the interest rate specified in the loan documents. The amortization of a loan includes the payment of interest and a part of the amount borrowed in each mortgage payment. For instance, on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization period is 30 years.

 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

How much a loan costs over the loan term expressed as a rate. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. This is not the interest rate that is used in setting your monthly payment.

 

Appraisal

A written analysis prepared by a qualified appraiserthat establishes a property’s market value.

 

Assets

Items of value an individual owns, such as money in savings accounts, stocks, bonds and automobiles.

 

Assignment

The transfer of a mortgage from one company to another.

 

Balloon Mortgage

A mortgage with equal monthly payments thatamortizes over a stated term but also requires that a lump sum payment be paid at the end of the term.

 

Balloon Payment

The final lump sum paid at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.

 

Before-Tax Income

Income before taxes are deducted.

 

Certificate of Eligibility

A document issued by the federal government certifying a veteran’s eligibility for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage.

 

Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV)

A document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA mortgage.

 

Collateral

Property which is used as security for a debt. In the case of a mortgage, the collateral is the house and land.

 

Closing Costs

 The costs to complete the mortgagetransaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing, or included in the loan amount for a refinance.They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs.

 

Closing Disclosure(CD)

A standard form required by Federal law that discloses the fees and services associated with closing your mortgage loan, as well as information about the terms of your loan. It discloses the mortgage loan amount being financed,closing fees and charges, the payment schedule, the interest rate, the annual percentage rate and any other costs associated with the mortgage loan.

 

Co-Borrower

Any additional borrower(s) whose name(s) appear on loan documents and whose income and credit history are used to qualify for the loan. Under this arrangement, all parties involved have an obligation to repay the loan.

 

Co-Signer

A term used to describe an individual who signs a loan or credit application with another person and promises to pay if the primary borrower doesn’t pay. A co-signer is different from a co-borrower in that a co-signer takes responsibility for the debt only when the borrower defaults.

 

Commitment Letter

A letter from your lender stating the amount of the mortgage loan it is willing to make to you, the number of years to repay the mortgage loan (the term), the interest rate, the mortgage loan origination fee, the annual percentage rate and the monthly payments.

 

Credit

The ability of a person to borrow money, or buy goods by paying over time. Credit is extended based on a lender’s assessment of the person’s financial situation and ability to pay.

 

Credit Bureau

A company thatgathers information on consumers who use credit. Lenders will ask for your permission before getting a copy of your credit report from these companies.

 

Credit Report

A document used by the lender to examine your use of credit. It provides information on money that you’ve borrowed from credit institutions, the amount of available credit you have in your name and your payment history. Lenders obtain credit reports from credit bureaus.

 

Credit Score

A computer-generated number that summarizes your creditprofile and predicts the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. This is known as the FICO (Fair Issac Corporation) score.Debt: Money owed by one person or institution to another person or institution.

 

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Total obligations as a percentage of gross monthly income including monthly housing expenses plus other monthly debts.

 

Default

Failure to fulfill a legal obligation, like paying amortgage. A default includes failure to pay on a financial obligation, but may also be a failure to perform some action or service that is non-monetary. For example, a mortgage requires the borrower to maintain the property.

Down Payment

A portion of the price of a home, paid up front and not part of the mortgage.

 

Earnest Money

Funds from you to the seller, held on deposit, to show that you’re committed to buying the home. The deposit will not be refunded to you after the seller accepts your offer. It will go toward your down payment or closing costs, unless one of the sales contract contingencies is not fulfilled.

 

Escrow

A deposit by a borrower to the lender of funds to pay property taxes, insurance premiums, mortgage insurance,and other similar expenses when they become due.

 

Escrow Disbursements

The use of escrow funds to pay property taxes, insurance premiums, mortgage insurance,and other similar expensesas they become due.

 

Equity

The value of your home above the total mortgage amount you owe for your home. If you owe $100,000 on your house but it is worth $130,000, you have $30,000 of equity. Your equity can fluctuate over time, based not only on your outstanding loan balance, but also on the home’s market value.

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

An independent federal agency that maintains stability and public confidence in the United States banking system. The FDIC guarantees personal checking and savings accounts at FDIC member banks.

 

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)

A governmentsponsored enterprise that buys mortgages from lendersand sells them to investors on the open market. FHLMC is commonly referred to as FREDDIE MAC. By selling mortgages to Freddie Mac, lenders can replenish their funds so they can lend money to other borrowers, increasing the money available for new home purchases.

 

Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)

A governmentsponsored corporation thatbuys mortgages from lenders and sells them to investors on the open market. FNMA is commonly referred to as FANNIE MAE. By selling mortgages to Fannie Mae, lenders can replenish their funds so they can lend money to other borrowers, increasing the money available for new home purchases.

 

FHA Mortgage

A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Also known as a government mortgage.

 

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)

The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance in an FHA loan transaction.

 

First Mortgage

The primary lien against a property.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change during the entire term of the loan.

 

Foreclosure

A legal action that ends all ownership rights to a home when the homeowner fails to make a series of mortgage payments or is otherwise in default under the terms of the mortgage.

 

Gross Income

A borrower’s normal annual income, including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. Salary is usually the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.

 

Homeowners Insurance

A policy that protects you and the lender against losses due to fire, flood, or other acts of nature. It also offers protection against liability in the event that a visitor to your home is injured on your property.

 

Housing Expense Ratio

The percentage of proposed monthly payment to gross monthly income budgeted to pay housing expenses.

 

Liabilities

Your debts and other financial obligations.

 

Lien

A claim or charge filed against aproperty for payment of a debt. A mortgage is a lien, meaning the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you don’t make the mortgage payments.

 

Loan

Money oneborrowsfrom a bank or other lender with a written promise to pay it back later. Banks and other lenders charge fees and interest to borrow money.

 

Loan Estimate (LE)

A document that provides you with an estimate of the costs associated with your mortgage loan,as well as some other features of your loan. Your loan officer must provide you with a Loan Estimate within three business days of submitting the loan application.

 

Loan Officer

The person who takes applications formortgage loans. The loan officer can answer your questions, provide written information explaining loan products and help you fill out a loan application.

 

Loan-to-Value (LTV) Percentage

The relationship between the principal balance of the mortgage and the appraised value (or sales price if it is lower) of the property. For example, a $100,000 home with an $80,000 mortgage has an LTV of 80 percent.($80,000/$100,000)

 

Loan Origination Fees

Fees paid to your mortgage lender for processing the mortgage loan application.

 

Lock-In Agreement

A written agreement from your lender guaranteeing a specific mortgage interest rate for a certain amount of time.

 

Maturity

The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.

 

Mortgage

A loan using your home as collateral. In some states, the term mortgage is also used to describe the document you sign (to grant the lender a lien on your home). It may also be used to indicate the amount of money you borrow, with interest, to purchase your house. The amount of your mortgage is usually the purchase price of the home minus your down payment.

 

Mortgage Lender

The lender providing funds for a mortgage. Lenders also manage the credit and financial information review, the property review and the mortgage loan application process through closing.

 

Mortgage Note

A legal document that provides evidence of your indebtedness and your formal promise to repay the mortgage loan, according to the terms you’ve agreed to. The Note also explains the consequences of failing to make your monthly mortgage payments.

 

Mortgage Servicer

The financial institution or entity that is responsible for collecting your mortgage loan payments.

 

Mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

 

Note Rate

The interest rate you pay to borrow the money to buy your house.

 

Principal

aThe amount of money borrowed from the lender to buy your house or the amount of the mortgage loan that has not yet been repaid to the lender. This does not include the interestyou will pay to borrow that money. The principal balance (sometimes called the outstanding or unpaid principal balance) is the amount owed on the loan minus the amount you repaid.

 

Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance (PITI)

The four components of a monthly mortgage payment. Principal refers to the part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of the mortgage. Interest is the fee charged for borrowing money. Taxes and insurance refer to the monthly cost of property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

 

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Mortgage insurance provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults on the loan. Generally, most lenders require MI for a loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratioin excess of 80 percent.

 

Points

A point is equal to one percent of the principal amount of your mortgage. For example, if you get a mortgage for $165,000 one point means $1,650 to the lender. Paying points upfront reduces your interest rate payment over the life of the loan.

 

Real Estate Professional

An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. A real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is referred to as a Realtor®.

 

Recording

The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a satisfaction of mortgage or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.

 

Refinance

Paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

 

Secondary Mortgage Market

Where existing mortgages are bought and sold.

 

Security

Improved real property that will be provided as collateral for a loan.

 

Seller Carry-back

An agreement in which the owner of a property provides financing.

 

Title

Written evidence of the right to ownership in a property.

 

Title Insurance

Insurance providing protection against loss arising from problems connected to the title to your property.

 

Uniform Residential Loan Application (1003)

A standard mortgage loan application form on which you provide the lender with information required to assess your ability to repay the loan amount and to help the lender decide whether to lend you money.

 

Underwriting

The process that your lender uses to assess your eligibility to receive a mortgage loan. Underwriting involves the evaluation of your ability to repay the mortgage loan.

 

VA Mortgage

A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Also known as a government mortgage

 

Looking to learn more? Talk to an Essex Mortgage Professional. 

2200 W. Orangewood Ave. Ste. 150

Orange, CA 92868

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Data Mortgage, Inc. is an Equal Housing Lender doing business as Essex Mortgage. All loan programs, terms, and rates are subject to change without notice. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Essex Mortgage is not an agency of, nor is it affiliated with the federal government or any other entity referenced herein, except Essex Mortgage. Essex Mortgage's corporate office is located at 2200 W. Orangewood Ave. Suite 150 Orange, CA 92868 Tel: 714-935-2581; Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license. CA Department of Real Estate License #00936013; CA Department of Financial Protection and Innovation License #603G833, NMLS #70377 . Georgia Residential Mortgage Lender Licensee #23621. AZ #0943121, ME #70377, NV #3487, WA #CL-70377.  For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org