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Loan Terminology

The home loan process can be daunting and intimidating, and it may involve the use of terms that you may not be familiar with. Use our glossary to find terms that may have escaped you and help bring clarity to the process. The more you know, the more at ease and comfortable you will feel.

 

A

Acceleration Clause
Provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand payment of the entire principal balance if a monthly payment is missed or some other default occurs.

Additional Principal Payment
A way to reduce the remaining balance on the loan by paying more than the scheduled principal amount due.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage with an interest rate that changes during the life of the loan according to movements in an index rate. Sometimes called AMLs (adjustable mortgage loans) or VRMs (variable-rate mortgages).

Adjusted Basis
The cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.

Adjustment Date
The date that the interest rate changes on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Adjustment Period
The period elapsing between adjustment dates for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Affordability Analysis
An analysis of a buyer's ability to afford the purchase of a home. Reviews income, liabilities, and available funds, and considers the type of mortgage you plan to use, the area where you want to purchase a home, and the closing costs that are likely.

Amortization
The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan, both principal and interest, by installments.

Amortization Term
The length of time required to amortize the mortgage loan expressed as a number of months. For example, 360 months is the amortization term for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate including interest, mortgage insurance, and loan origination fees. This allows the buyer to compare loans; however APR should not be confused with the actual note rate.

Appraisal
A written analysis prepared by a qualified appraiser and estimating the value of a property.

Appraised Value
An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

Asset
Anything owned of monetary value including real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, etc.).

Assignment
The transfer of a mortgage from one person to another.

Assumability
An assumable mortgage can be transferred from the seller to the new buyer. Generally requires a credit review of the new borrower and lenders may charge a fee for the assumption. If a mortgage contains a due-on-sale clause, it may not be assumed by a new buyer.

Assumption Fee
The fee paid to a lender (usually by the purchaser of real property) when an assumption takes place.

Annual ARM
This loan has a rate that is recalculated once a year.

 

 

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