Personal Finance Blog

Catch up on the latest credit.org news and personal finance trends.

Find your financial freedom and partner with our experts by reading the latest in personal finance advice and tips!


FHA Loans

What is an FHA loan? A Federal Housing Administration insured loan, known as an FHA loan, is backed by the government. Lender requirements for an FHA loan are less stringent than conventional mortgage loans. Besides being easier to qualify for, FHA loans have much lower down-payment requirements; borrowers can get a mortgage with as little…

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What is HARP?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is now in its 5th year, but many homeowners still have questions about it. The current version of HARP, dubbed HARP 2.0, is set to continue until the end of 2015. What is HARP, anyway? HARP is a program created by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to help borrowers…

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A HELOC, or Home Equity Line of Credit, offers certain tax advantages that consumers should take into consideration. The HELOC is not a lump sum loan, but a credit line one can borrow against that is backed by the equity in one’s home. Even though a HELOC is not a traditional mortgage refinance or equity…

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HOEPA Covered Loans

HOEPA, or the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, protects homeowners when they refinance or get home equity loans. The law attempts to prevent unfair practices from lenders who offer home equity loans. There is a section of the law, “section 32,” which mandates certain requirements for loans with high-interest rates or fees. Accordingly, these…

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HOEPA, or the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, is designed to protect homeowners from predatory lenders and scammers who would seek to strip homes of their equity using abusive or deceptive lending practices. In order to keep bad actors from scamming or misleading borrowers, the law comes with certain requirements that the borrower must…

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A federal program that reduces your mortgage principal if you owe more toward your mortgage than your home is currently worth. Principal Reduction Alternative, or PRA, encourages your mortgage lender to reduce the amount you owe. Currently there are over 100 loan servicers participating in this program. Program Qualifications To qualify for PRA, you must…

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The US Treasury administers the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), which provides aid to the states that were most impacted by the economic crisis. The program ended on December 31, 2020. States have already concluded the application process. Each of these states have local agencies that help homeowners in various ways, including mortgage payment assistance for…

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What is the HAFA Incentive?

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program (HAFA) was created by the Treasury Department to help homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The program offers HAFA incentives to help qualifying homeowners save their homes. To gain access to certain HAFA incentives, one must typically be able to demonstrate a genuine financial…

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