Online lending sites don’t advocate for the consumer very well. You supply your name, your address, other personal information — sometimes even your Social Security number — and within minutes, your phone is ringing, your e-mail Inbox is flooded and if you went home, someone might be standing on your doorstep, waiting for you.
We decided to flip that mortgage solution on its head and came up with Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. This allows borrowers to be anonymous in the process. That’s right. You can get free loan quotes anonymously. And, that’s not using marketing-speak — that’s exactly the way it is. That means you create a loan request anonymously (right — no one knows who you are), you click “submit” (still — no one knows who you are) and in return, you get an average of 13 loan quotes to review and STILL no one knows who you are. The only way a lender will know who you are is when you respond to them via phone call or e-mail.
It’s a bit of a misnomer, since Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are not loans at all. What they do is insure loans so that lenders can offer mortgage assistance to people who:
* Have fair or poor credit (here are bad credit mortgage solutions)
* Have a low down payment (must have at least 3.5%)
* Have undergone bankruptcy
* Have been foreclosed on
Traditionally, FHA loans have helped the elderly, handicapped, lower-income families, and military families who return from war, but really, anyone can get an FHA loan – they are not just for first-time home buyers.
- Lower your interest, but keep your term: When mortgage rates drop you want to take advantage of it and lower your monthly payments, but keep the length of your mortgage.
- Take care of that balloon payment: You opted for a short-term ARM with a balloon payment and the due date is looming, so you have to come up with a longer-term loan.
- Shorten your term: Lower interest rates (or an increase in your income) mean you can pay down your principal faster.
- Credit rating change: Take advantage of an improved credit rating and get out from under that high rate you had to accept when you bought.
- You need cash: In some cases, you can refinance for an amount more than what you still owe on your home. Lenders limit the Loan to Value at no higher than 70 percent for this type of loan.
Home Equity (Loans or Line of Credit):
- Home Equity Loans are when a lender gives you a set amount of money and you pay it back over a fixed payment schedule. Typically these loans have fixed interest rates. This is a better option for someone who wants to lock in a fixed interest rate (such as a 30 year fixed), either because they think interest rates are going to increase or because they like the certainty of knowing what their payment schedule will be.
- A HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit, is the right to borrow up to a certain amount of money from a lender. The “line” is a credit line guaranteed by your house, meaning that if you can’t live up to the terms of the line, then the lender has a right to foreclose on your house. Typically, HELOCs have floating interest rates that can change periodically.