Gathering information about the structure and terminology of a home mortgage loan will assist in the decisions regarding obtaining such a loan. Here is a basic primer level outline of the subject.
A home mortgage loan is usually the largest financial transaction that most individuals will accomplish during their lifetime. Yet, it is often true that the details are not seen as part of the larger picture, but only as a matter of how much the monthly payment will be and how large the down payment must be to get the house that is desired. An understanding of exactly what a home mortgage loan is and how it works is helpful in making the up front decisions that will have such an enormous impact on the financial health during the next few years or even for a lifetime.
The borrower should understand terms that will describe the type of loan, the fees that apply and the cost of the money use when obtaining a home mortgage loan. A good start for understanding definitions is to review the length of the loan, or its term; the rate of interest; and the type of loan such as adjustable rate mortgage or fixed rate mortgage. In addition, a basic understanding of the type of fees and costs that can be included in the cost of the loan is helpful. These can be referred to as closing costs.
The term that you choose when applying for a home mortgage loan is the length of time that you must make payments before the principal on the loan is paid off. The most common terms are 30 years–360 months–and 15 years, although loans of 12 years, 20 years, 25 years, 40 years and even 50 years are somewhat available. It is important to remember that even if you choose a 30 year term so that your monthly payment will be less, you can add extra payments to the principal each month and save yourself thousands of dollars over the term of the loan.
Interest rates are the largest single component of any home mortgage loan–in most cases, even greater than the principal of the loan. The interest rate you will be charged depends on many factors such as the credit score, the size of the loan, the type of mortgage such as fixed rate or adjustable rate, and the term of the mortgage loan. Sometimes loan brokers will charge different rates even when all other factors are equal. This is due to the costs incurred that apply only to the lender or brokers’ fees
A final important feature of a home mortgage loan is that of the closing costs. The closing costs can be made up of various costs, including, but not limited to, points, loan origination fees, document preparation fees, title search, title insurance, and appraisal fees. Review these various closing costs to make sure you understand them and question any that seem excessive or frivolous. Closing costs that are rolled into the loan balance can result in huge increases in the cost of the loan itself. If at all possible, cover such expenses with cash, rather than having interest charges accruing to them over the term of the loan.