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Getting a mortgage is serious business: Protect yourself

Getting a mortgage is a part of the home-buying process for many people. A mortgage is simply a financing option for home. The lender provides you with a portion of the money needed to purchase your home, and you pay a portion on your own. You'll set up the mortgage to pay it back over time. Some people take short-term mortgages for 15 to 20 years, while others opt for a 30-year loan.

If you are unable to make your mortgage payments, you will lose your home. It's important to be certain that the terms of your mortgage are amenable and that you can afford to make your payments each month.

Choosing the correct lender and structure for your mortgage is key to making it work over the long term. For example, you'll want to work with a mortgage lender who is known for being reliable, fair and efficient. You may be able to obtain government loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as well, which could be better in terms of cost and interest than private loans.

Mortgage lenders base many of their decisions on your credit history. If you have a low credit score, it will affect you negatively when you try to take out a mortgage. Scores below 660 could show the lender that you're a higher risk, which may result in higher interest rates. That's important, because your mortgage consists of interest, taxes, insurance and the principal balance, all of which have to be considered when you decide on a payment you can afford.

Our website has more on interest rates, mortgages and real estate law. Take the time to learn more now, so you can make good real estate decisions later.

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