Mortgages 101: Helpful Advice for Borrowers

In addition to publishing conforming loan limits for all counties across the U.S., we also publish mortgage-related articles and tips geared toward home buyers.

Mortgage Articles and Tips for Borrowers

Our website articles are 100% unbiased and objective. We do not represent any bank or mortgage company, nor do we get compensated by them.

Government-Insured Mortgages Explained
There are several different kinds of government-backed home loans, and they all have their unique pros and cons. This article explains how these programs work and who is eligible for them.

Conforming vs. Conventional Loans
These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. But they’re actually two different things. A conventional loan is one that’s not insured by the government. It can either be “conforming” or “jumbo,” depending on the size.

What Is a Jumbo Loan?
We just introduced the term “jumbo” loan above. This is a conventional mortgage product that exceeds the conforming limits for the county in which the home is located. Jumbo loans cannot be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the requirements are often more strict.

How Much Can I Borrow?
When you apply for a home loan, the bank or lender will consider your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to determine how much you can afford to borrow. Here’s how it all works.

Best Mortgage for First-Time Buyers
While it’s true there are some loan programs designed specifically for first-time home buyers, they’re not always the best option. The key is to explore all of your options and choose the one that support your goals.

How Much Are Discount Points?
This article explains the concept of using mortgage “discount” points to get a lower interest rate. It also shows you how to calculate your break-even point, to see if financing makes sense.

Can I Buy With 10% Down?
Not everyone can afford the “standard” 20% down payment when buying a house. And that’s okay, because it’s not really a standard after all. There are loans available that offer down payments below 10%, or even below 5%.