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Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

Home Finance Mortgages

Mortgages

Introduction to Mortgages

Introducing Your Home (and Debt)A mortgage is a type of loan secured by…your house. Well, technically by you, but it's for your house.You guarantee to the lender (usually a bank) that you won't s...

Mortgages: What Are They?

A mortgage is a loan that helps you buy a house. It's also a promise to the bank that you'll pay back all the money they lent you for the house without skipping town and becoming a pro surfer in Ha...

The Housing Crisis

What was the housing crisis? And more importantly, why should you care? Since when does the U.S. economy deserve a spot on your list of stuff to worry about?What Is It?Let's tackle the what first.T...

Underwater

What's Down Here, Anyway?Grab your snorkels; we're heading under.If you've read anything about the housing crisis, you've probably seen the term "underwater" kicking around. It may have you humming...

Small House vs. Big House

You Smelt it You Dealt it?Flashback to third grade recess. Remember someone pointing out that the smelly kid, uh, smelled? And the smelly kid coming back with that endlessly witty "you smelt it you...

Buy vs. Rent

In the past, it was a no-brainer. You worked hard, you bought a home, and the house's value rose over time. Eventually, the house was worth a lot more than you put into it in weekend projects, mowi...

Real Estate Investment

Owning property can be a real money pit that ends up costing more in taxes, mortgage, insurance, and gray hairs than you'd ever like to think about.But, with that warning in mind, there are ways yo...

Why Should I Care?

You might still live in your parents' home—and, hey, maybe you plan to live there for the rest for your life. So why should you care about home ownership and mortgages?Well, if the housing crisis...

Real Estate Agents

It should come as no surprise: buying a home is a big to-do.And sure, you can go ahead and click on a few links online and buy yourself a home. But, uh—congratulations!—you've just committed $4...

What Can I Afford?

Your plans might be to win the lottery and buy that $8.4 million condo with the view of Central Park. Sounds nice, but it ain't gonna happen.Affordability might be a bit of a mood killer, but it's...

Pricing a Home

How do you know whether you're getting a good deal on a house? Here's a hint: if the real estate agent suggests that she's willing to pay you to take the house off her hands…you may be dealing wi...

The Math of Mortgages

There's no way around it: mortgages are about money and numbers, so there's some math involved. Lucky for you, we love numbers. So let's do this thing.Show Me the MoneyLet's say you want to buy a h...

Types of Mortgages

Who hangs out in the mortgage crowd? Let's take a look around the lunch table.Fixed MortgagesFixed mortgages are the popular kid at the bank. Why? Because, with a fixed mortgage, the interest rate...

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

You're flexible. You listen to Mozart, Taylor Swift, and the Beatles. You can appreciate a good Judd Apatow movie and the original Star Wars, and just last week, you saw that subtitled film and onl...

Negative Amortization

It's topsy-turvy time. Most mortgages work by having you repay the loan and make your loan amount or principal smaller over time. With a negative amortization mortgage (or "neg am" loan if your ban...

Closing Costs

The price on the tin is not what you pay. With houses, there are lots of hidden costs—even before you move in and realize that you need to pay to have the heating system upgraded because it sound...

Getting the Best Mortgage

You cruise through Black Friday events on high and shop sample sales like a pro. How hard could this mortgage thing be, anyway?Even if your shopping skills are stupendous, the stakes with mortgages...

Government, Loans, and Interest

If your parents bug you about getting a good job, settling down, and giving them grandkids someday, you're going to love the U.S. government. They also want you doing stuff—like buying a house.Wh...

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

If you head into a tailor shop to buy a bespoke suit, you're going to pay a lot more than you would if you went to Men's Warehouse and bought one off the rack. Why? Well, the mass-produced suits ar...

Securitization and the Housing Crisis

On the surface, securitization seems pretty simple and not nearly enough to screw over a multi-trillion dollar economy. It simply refers to mixing up many individual mortgages or loans into one sec...

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