The PennyMac Mortgage Blog is where you'll find unbiased, useful info to help save you money, time and peace of mind during the mortgage process. If you have a mortgage or are about to get one, we think you'll find info here you can't always get elsewhere.
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is one of the most common ways to borrow money against the value of your home. It is similar to a credit card in that you can use it to buy things that you need now, and repay it with interest at a later time. Obtaining a HELOC requires (among other factors) that you have reasonable equity in your home.
HomeReady® is a new mortgage program that brings flexibility and expanded eligibility to a wide range of borrowers. But how do you know if it’s right for you?
PennyMac offers “streamline” refinancing options to consumers to get better mortgage terms without an extensive qualification process. Streamline refinance programs typically allow borrowers to bypass many of the traditional mortgage requirements by offering minimal credit scoring requirements, no new appraisal, easier income and asset verification, and limited paperwork. Reducing the paperwork can often make the process easier and faster, which is why it’s called “streamline refinancing.” Streamline refinance refers only to the amount of documentation and underwriting that the lender must perform, and does not mean that there are no costs involved in the transaction.
Like many American homeowners, your first mortgage may have been a loan with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Loans backed by the FHA are attractive to first-time homebuyers because FHA loans make it easier to obtain financing, requiring only minimal down payments and fair-to-good credit scores.
With some mortgage experts projecting rates to remain near historically low numbers, it’s no surprise that refinancing continues to be a popular home loan option. Before you start comparing lenders, however, it’s important to take a 360-degree view of your options.
For many people, one of the benefits of homeownership is having the opportunity to use their home equity to access needed cash. While there are many options to get that money into the piggy bank, an attractive option for many is a cash-out refinance.
In 2009, the U.S. government introduced the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to assist homeowners in refinancing their mortgages–even if they owe more than the home’s current value. HARP isn't the only refinance program available to borrowers. But, it's the only one that allows homeowners with little or no equity to take advantage of refinancing's benefits.