Sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com can give you a feel for the cost of a house or condominium. Though you can learn a lot by browsing these sites, you'll also want to visit homes in person. That way, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.
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Lenders like Quicken, Wells Fargo and Citibank can provide you with the loan. However, they'll want to learn about you before they sign a contract. One important piece of information is your credit score. You can find out yours for free from AnnualCreditReport.com, which draws from the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
One advantage of using AnnualCreditReport.com is that, under federal law, it is required to offer everyone one free credit report per year from each of the major agencies. If you go directly to one of the agencies, you may end up paying fees.
For more about your credit score, watch this video:
The harder you negotiate for both the house and the mortage, the more money you'll save. With the money you'll save, the more you have!
If you're even a couple days late with payments each month, late fees can pile up, making your mortgage more expensive and increasing your chances of foreclosure, also known as default.
Failure to stay current can lead to foreclosure, in which the banks takes your house back and your credit score takes a major hit. But if you stay current with payments, mortgages are a great way to make homeownership affordable and achievable..
If interest rates have fallen since you took out your mortgage, refinancing allows you to take out a new mortgage. The new mortgage repays your old mortgages and, though the remaining principal of mortgage stays the same, your payments will decrease given the new, lower interest rate.
This video explains refinancing in greater detail: