The Best Conventional Mortgage: Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the well-known conventional home mortgage companies. They’re classified as government-sponsored enterprises — GSEs.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are creatures of Congress. Both are investors in the mortgage market. Both are in the business of offering guarantees to banks and brokers nationwide. And both, as they exist today, back conventional (as opposed to government-insured) loans.

So, why are there two? What’s the difference? And if you are going with a conventional loan, which will be the best pick for your mortgage? Let’s see.

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I Think My Mortgage Is Falling Through

Frustrated person realizing their mortgage application is not going well.

What Should I Do Now?

When the mortgage company rep says your credit check went well and your loan application is pre-approved, it’s a great day. You can go out into the world knowing just how much house you can buy. You can make offers a seller will take seriously.

As hopeful buyers are sometimes startled to learn, though, a final approval isn’t a sure thing yet. In the process of underwriting your loan, a number of things can come up to derail the closing.

Final approval doesn’t occur until you’ve found a specific home to buy. When a seller accepts your offer, you apply for a specific loan, and the underwriter gets to work.

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Thinking About an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage in 2022?

Stacks of coins representing what an adjustable rate mortgage can cost you in 2022

Consider the Risk

Even though mortgage interest rates are still (historically speaking) quite low, they’re headed back up.

On April 14, 2022, Freddie Mac rang the alarm on its Mortgage Rates page:

This week, mortgage rates averaged five percent for the first time in over a decade. As Americans contend with historically high inflation, the combination of rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices and tight inventory are making the pursuit of homeownership the most expensive in a generation.

With prices so high, buyers may be tempted to consider adjustable-rate loans with bargain rates.

Wondering whether an alternative to a fixed-rate mortgage could be worth it? Read on.

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As Mortgage Interest Rates Nudge 4%, There’s a New Rush to Buy

A new rush to buying homes as interest rates rise.

Fear of Missing Out?

Higher mortgage rates can be daunting for many buyers. And here they come.

The silver lining? As interest rates begin to rise, this frenzied real estate market could start to level off. But first, it looks like a last-minute rush is on as people anticipate steadily rising rates throughout 2022.

Let’s see what’s going on here.

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We Know It. We Denounce It. So Why Does Bias in Lending Persist?

A person outside contemplating why bias in real estate lending still exists.

Black homeowners have long faced extra obstacles when buying their homes. And in the turbulence of 2020, barriers to Black homeownership rose yet again. When the mortgage lenders tightened their approval criteria, it turns out that more minority applicants were turned away.

What’s more, Black applicants who receive loans are still paying more in interest than other mortgage holders. What’s going on here? Let’s take a look.

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After You’re Gone, Does Your Mortgage Live On?

Image of two people reviewing a mortgage and discussing end of life plans.

You might be wondering about that house or condo you’ve left in your will. Often, after a homeowner passes on, the real property is sold from the estate to pay off debts. But maybe you have a relative who would like to have and keep your home.

For the sake of exploring the question, say you still owe a $50,000 mortgage balance when you pass on. Of course, you could leave your beneficiary enough money to pay your loan off, if you are financially able to do so. Or you could pay it off early yourself.

But if you need to pass the home on with a mortgage, can your beneficiary just keep your house or condo, and pick up the monthly mortgage payments where you left off? At least the next owner would have a head start — inheriting your home equity, and just paying what’s left on the balance.

Let’s look at how this plan could play out.

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Buying or Refinancing? Mortgage Servicing Matters.

Be sure you’re dealing with a company that takes service seriously.

Image of a frustrated person hunched over a desk with their head in their hands. Captioned: Buying or Refinancing? Mortgage Servicing Matters.

Various companies are involved in one mortgage. The home buyer’s journey might begin with a local mortgage expert. Then, the mortgage expert helps the buyer find a lender. Once the loan is approved, a borrower gets a mortgage servicer, too. Some lenders service their own loans, but many don’t.

You might be familiar with your mortgage servicer as the company that posts payments to your account, which you review online from time to time. Your mortgage servicer is the company that keeps money in escrow to pay your local property taxes and your homeowner’s insurance premiums. To pay more each month against your principal, you visit the mortgage servicer’s website. Mortgage servicers can help a borrower through forbearance, or work with a borrower to remove private mortgage insurance from an account. Mortgage servicers also report their borrowers’ payment activity to credit bureaus.

In short, mortgage servicers are a big part of a homeowner’s life for years. Customer service is crucial.

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Interest Rates on the Rise? Assumable Mortgages Never Looked Better.

Image of a person seeming happily surprised while looking at a computer. Captioned: Assumable Mortgages Never Looked Better

Congrats to the 2020 and early 2021 buyers who locked in fabulously low rates!

As the economy gradually pulls itself out from under the pandemic, people are talking about interest rates rising in 2021 and beyond. While rates will fluctuate, the overall trajectory is on an upward climb. Yet some new mortgage holders will keep those great mortgages on their homes even when they refinance or sell, thanks to assumable loans.  

An assumable loan is a perk of federally backed mortgages. It allows the loan terms to stay on the house, even if the title changes names. The loan is ported from the original borrower to the next title holder without the creation of a new loan. The new homeowner picks up the monthly mortgage payments where the original borrower stops.

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