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Blog Image: New FICO “Resilience” Credit Score Could Help Borrowers

New FICO “Resilience” Credit Score Could Help Borrowers

As the U.S. economy reels from record-high unemployment and continued COVID-19 shutdowns, the Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO), a global analytics company and producer of the FICO credit score, released a new credit index recently it hopes will keep mortgage lending and other loans flowing during these unprecedented times. After reviewing over 70 million consumer credit files from the Great Recession, FICO found that the majority of consumers - including those with lower credit scores - kept up with their financial obligations even during that time of double-digit unemployment and devastating h...

July 15th, 2020 | Credit, New FICO “Resilience” Credit Score Could Help Borrowers

Blog Image: Buying a First Home in an Expensive Area

Buying a First Home in an Expensive Area

For Americans living and working in the nation’s most expensive real estate markets, homeownership can seem like the impossible dream. Prices are high and options can be limited. It may feel like home values rise faster than your ability to save up for a down payment. Although the process may look different than in other parts of the country, becoming a first-time homebuyer in a pricey area is possible. Here are some suggestions for making that dream a reality: Determine Your Budget First, you need to figure out how much home you can afford. That number needs to be determined by yo...

July 1st, 2020 | Purchasing a Home, Buying a First Home in an Expensive Area

Blog Image: What is an ARM loan?

What is an ARM loan?

While fixed-rate loans are one of the most popular choices for mortgage loans, there is another choice: the adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM loan. If you’ve ever wondered what an ARM loan is or why anyone would want one, here is what you need to know: ARMs Defined An adjustable-rate mortgage is a type of home loan with a short fixed-rate period, after which the interest rate is allowed to adjust periodically based on certain market indexes. How an ARM Works An ARM loan comes with an initial low-rate period of anywhere from one to ten years. During that time, your interest rate...

June 17th, 2020 | Adjustable Rate Mortgages, What is an ARM loan?

Blog Image: Understanding Mortgage-related Insurance

Understanding Mortgage-related Insurance

When you buy a home with a mortgage, you will be required to pay all sorts of insurance, including homeowner’s insurance, title insurance and private mortgage insurance. What are all these policies and why do you have to pay for them? Homeowner’s Insurance Homeowner’s insurance is a policy that protects you against loss if your property or any structures on it are damaged. This covers damage from fire, storms, and vandalism. If you are unable to live in your home because of one of these issues, the insurance will also cover the cost of temporary housing while your home ...

June 3rd, 2020 Understanding Mortgage-related Insurance

Blog Image: Is Now a Good Time for a Reverse Mortgage?

Is Now a Good Time for a Reverse Mortgage?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has roiled stock markets over the past few months, many Americans in or nearing retirement may be worried about their investment portfolios. Without the possibility to earn more money, more retirees, seeing a reduction in their nest eggs, are turning to reverse mortgages to supplement those savings.  In fact, March saw a 25% increase in the number of scheduled reverse mortgage counseling sessions compared with a year earlier, according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. As financial counseling classes are a prerequisite to obtaining reverse m...

May 20th, 2020 | Reverse Mortgages, Is Now a Good Time for a Reverse Mortgage?

Blog Image: It's Harder Than Ever to Get a Mortgage Loan..

It's Harder Than Ever to Get a Mortgage Loan..

Mortgage rates are at record lows, but borrowers hoping to take advantage are running into the toughest mortgage loan standards in years. Over the past month, mortgage lenders have put in place higher credit-score and down payment requirements, and in some cases stopped issuing certain types of loans altogether, in effect shutting down a large swath of the mortgage market. So called Jumbo Loans which exceed the federally insured minimum have seen rates increase dramatically which has had an impact on home buying in Santa Cruz and Monterey County CA. JPMorgan Chase & Co. ...

May 13th, 2020 It's Harder Than Ever to Get a Mortgage Loan..

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