Colorado Mortgage Terms


Adjustable Rate--An interest rate that changes periodically in relation to an index. Payments may increase or decrease accordingly.

Amortization--A repayment method in which the amount you borrow is repaid gradually through regular monthly payments of principal and interest. During the first few years, most of each payment is applied toward the interest owed. During the final years of the loan, payment amounts are applied almost exclusively to the remaining principal.

Annual Membership-The amount charged annually for having a line of credit available. Often charged regardless of whether you use the line. Also referred to as a "participation fee."

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)-The cost of credit on a yearly basis, expressed as a percentage. Required to be disclosed by the lender under the federal Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z. Includes up-front costs paid to obtain the loan, and is, therefore, usually a higher amount than the interest rate stipulated in the mortgage note. Does not include title insurance, appraisal and credit report.

Application--An initial statement of personal and financial information which is required to approve your loan.

Application Fee--Fees that are paid upon application. An application fee frequently includes charges for property appraisal ($200-$400) and a credit report ($30-$50).

Appraisal--A fee charged by an appraiser to render an opinion of market value as of a specific date. Required by most lenders to obtain a loan.

Assumption of Mortgage--The agreement of a purchaser to become primarily liable for the payments on a mortgage loan. Unless otherwise specified by the lender, the seller may remain secondarily liable for payments.

Balloon Payment--A lump sum payment for the unpaid balance of the loan.

Cap--The maximum allowable increase, for either payment or interest rate, for a specified amount of time on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Cash Out--Receiving money back when refinancing your present mortgage.

Ceiling--The maximum allowable interest rate over the life of the loan of an adjustable rate mortgage.

Closing Costs--Any fees paid by the borrowers or sellers during the closing of the mortgage loan. This normally includes an origination fee, discount points, attorney's fees, title insurance, survey and any items which must be prepaid, such as taxes and insurance escrow payments.

Conforming Loan--Generally, a mortgage loan under $203,150. Qualifying ratios and underwriting methods are standardized to a large degree.

Contract of Sale--The agreement between the buyer and seller on the purchase price, terms and conditions necessary for both parties to convey the title to the buyer.

Credit Limit--The maximum amount that you can borrow under a home equity plan.

Debt Service--The total amount of credit card, auto, mortgage or other debt upon which you must pay.

Deed of Trust-Used in many western states, the agreement used to pledge your home or other real estate as security for a loan.

Discount Points (or Points)--The amount paid either to maintain or lower the interest rate charged. Each point is equal to one percent (1%) of the loan amount (i.e. two points on a $100,000 mortgage would equal $2,000).

Down Payment--The difference between the purchase price and that portion of the purchase price being financed. Most lenders require the down payment to be paid from the buyer's own funds. Gifts from related parties are sometimes acceptable, and must be disclosed to the lender.

Due on Sale--A clause in a mortgage agreement providing that, if the mortgagor (the borrower) sells, transfers or, in some instances, encumbers the property, the mortgagee (the lender) has the right to demand the outstanding balance in full.

Effective Interest Rate--The cost of credit on a yearly basis expressed as a percentage. Includes up-front costs paid to obtain the loan, and is, therefore, usually a higher amount than the interest rate stipulated in the mortgage note. Comparing loan programs with different rates and points.

Encumbrance--A claim against a property by another party which usually affects the ability to transfer ownership of the property.

Equity--The difference between the fair market value (appraised value) of your home and your outstanding mortgage balance.

First Mortgage--A mortgage which is in first lien position, taking priority over all other liens (which are financial encumbrances).

Fixed Rate--An interest rate which is fixed for the term of the loan. Payments as well are fixed at one amount.

FHA Loan--More appropriately termed "FHA Insured Loan." A loan for which the Federal Housing Administration insures the lender against losses the lender may incur due to your default.

Good Faith Estimate--A written estimate of closing costs which a lender must provide you within three days of submitting an application.

Grace Period--A period of time during which a loan payment may be paid after its due date but not incur a late penalty. Such late payments may be reported on your credit report.

Gross Income--For qualifying purposes, the income of the borrower before taxes or expenses are deducted.

Home Equity Line of Credit--A loan providing you with the ability to borrow funds at the time and in the amount you choose, up to a maximum credit limit for which you have qualified. Repayment is secured by the equity in your home. Simple interest (interest-only payments on the outstanding balance) is usually tax-deductible. Often used for home improvements, major purchases or expenses and debt consolidation.

Home Equity Loan--A fixed or adjustable rate loan obtained for a variety of purposes, secured by the equity in your home. Interest paid is usually tax-deductible. Often used for home improvements freeing of other real estate. Recommended by many to replace or substitute for consumer loans with which interest is not tax-deductible such as auto or boat loans, credit card debt, medical debt and education loans.

Next page