The world of mortgages has its own vocabulary. Consult this page often to become comfortable with the types of loans available and all their associated terminology.
Additional Principal Payment
A way to reduce the remaining balance on the loan by paying more than the scheduled principal amount due.
The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan, both principal and interest, by installments.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate including interest, mortgage insurance, and loan origination fees. This allows the buyer to compare loans, however, APR should not be confused with the actual note rate.
A written analysis prepared by a qualified appraiser and estimating the value of a property.
An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.
Anything owned of monetary value including real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc.).
A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.
Income before taxes are deducted.
When the seller, builder, or buyer pays an amount of money up front to the lender to reduce monthly payments during the first few years of a mortgage.
A meeting held to finalize the sale of a property. The buyer signs the mortgage documents and pays closing costs. Also called "settlement."
These are expenses - over and above the price of the property - incurred by buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, property taxes, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, appraisal fees, etc. Closing costs will vary according to the area and the lenders used.
Interest paid on the original principal balance and on the accrued and unpaid interest.
Consumer Reporting Agency (or Bureau)
An organization that handles the preparation of reports used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency gets data for these reports from a credit repository and from other sources.
A report detailing an individual's credit history that is prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender to determine a loan applicant's creditworthiness.
Credit Risk Score
A credit score measures a consumer's credit risk relative to the rest of the US population, based on the individual's credit usage history. The credit score most widely used by lenders is the FICO® score, developed by Fair, Issac and Company. This 3-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850, is calculated by a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information on the consumer's credit report. Higher FICO® scores represent lower credit risks, which typically equate to better loan terms. In general, credit scores are critical in the mortgage loan underwriting process.
Deed of Trust
The document used in some states instead of a mortgage. Title is conveyed to a trustee.
Failure to make mortgage payments on a timely basis or to comply with other requirements of a mortgage.
Failure to make mortgage payments on time.
Part of the purchase price of a property that is paid in cash and not financed with a mortgage.
This is a sum of money given to bind the sale of real estate, or a sum of money given to ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan.
The amount of financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on the mortgage.
An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit of funds or documents into an escrow account to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.
The part of a mortgagor’s monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due.
The Federal National Mortgage Association is a congressionally-chartered company that is the nation's largest supplier of home mortgage funds.
FICO® scores are the most widely used credit score in U.S. mortgage loan underwriting. This 3-digit number, ranging from 300 to 850, is calculated by a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information that are on your credit report. Higher FICO® scores represent lower credit risks, which typically equate to better loan terms.
The primary lien against a property.
The monthly payment due on a mortgage loan including payment of both principal and interest.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM)
A mortgage interest that is fixed throughout the entire term of the loan.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), commonly known as Freddie Mac, was put under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Established in 1970, Freddie Mac was created to expand the secondary mortgage market to increase the supply of money available for mortgage lending and home buying.
A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payment at closing.
The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender.
The fee charged for borrowing money.
Interest Accrual Rate
The percentage rate at which interest accrues on the mortgage. In most cases, it is also the rate used to calculate the monthly payments.
The penalty a borrower must pay when a payment is made a stated number of days (10 to 15) after the due date.
Lease-Purchase Mortgage Loan
An alternative financing option that allows low- and moderate-income home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month's rent payment consists of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) payments on the first mortgage plus an extra amount that accumulates in a savings account for a down payment.
A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt.
Line of Credit
An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time.
A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.
A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.
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.
The guarantee of an interest rate for a specified period of time by a lender, including loan term and points, if any, to be paid at closing. Short term locks (under 21 days), are usually available after lender loan approval only. However, many lenders may permit a borrower to lock a loan for 30 days or more prior to submission of the loan application.
The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.
Monthly Fixed Installment
That portion of the total monthly payment that is applied toward principal and interest. When a mortgage negatively amortizes, the monthly fixed installment does not include any amount for principal reduction and doesn't cover all of the interest. The loan balance therefore increases instead of decreasing.
A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.
A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor's default on a government mortgage or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency.
Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP)
The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance.
The borrower in a mortgage agreement.
The value of all of a person's assets, including cash.
An asset that cannot easily be converted into cash.
A legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a mortgage loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time.
A fee paid to a lender for processing a loan application. The origination fee is stated in the form of points. One point is 1% of the mortgage amount.
A property purchase transaction in which the party selling the property provides all or part of the financing.
A point is equal to 1% 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. Points usually are collected at closing and may be paid by the borrower, the seller, or may be split between them.
A fee that may be charged to a borrower who pays off a loan before it is due.
The process of determining how much money a borrower will be eligible to borrow prior to applying for a loan.
The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.
The outstanding balance of principal on a mortgage not including interest or any other charges.
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 homeowners insurance, whether these amounts that are paid into an escrow account each month or not.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Mortgage insurance provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. Most lenders generally require PMI for a loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) percentage in excess of 80 percent.
A commitment issued by a lender to a borrower or other mortgage originator guaranteeing a specified interest rate and lender costs for a specified period of time.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
A consumer protection law that requires lenders to give borrowers advance notice of closing costs.
The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note, a satisfaction of mortgage, or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.
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.
The property that will be pledged as collateral for a loan.
A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.
The process of evaluating a loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. Underwriting involves an analysis of the borrower's creditworthiness and the quality of the property itself.