Home Buyer Learning Center

FinLocker is here to help you get mortgage ready – from improving and monitoring your credit, budgeting and saving for your down payment and closing costs, evaluating home loan programs, navigating the mortgage process, keeping your financial data secure, and finding a home when you’re ready to buy.

Featured Articles

10 Ways To Get Prepared To Buy Your First Home In 2021

Nationwide, cities are low on inventory for starter homes, and this situation is expected to remain the same in 2021. It is important to get organized for your home purchase now, so you'll be prepared to make an offer when you find the right home.

mortgage relief options

Get Relief From The Financial Impacts Of Coronavirus

If you are experiencing a hardship such as job loss, income reduction, or sickness due to COVID-19 and you are no longer able to make your mortgage payment, your mortgage servicer is available to help with mortgage relief options.

First-Time Homebuyer Advice

Understanding Your VantageScore 3.0 Credit Score

A credit score is designed to help lenders gauge how likely you are repay the money you want to borrow. The key to improving your score is to better manage your credit.

Understanding The Factors That Determine Your Credit Score

Whether you are considering buying a home, financing a car, or opening a credit card account, your credit score will be a factor in the interest rate that you are quoted.

5 Steps That Can Improve Your Credit Score In 100 Days

One way to stand apart from other homebuyers who are hoping to buy their first home is to improve your credit score.

budgeting in a time of crisis

Budgeting In A Time Of Crisis

Right now, it feels like everything is changing. Perhaps you or someone in your family has been furloughed or laid off, or you worry that it could happen soon. Rather than feel stressed or worried about your money, take action now to take back control.

4 Financial Benefits Of Owning Your Home

The decision to buy or rent your home can be challenging. Homeownership has traditionally been an important way to build wealth. Here are a four reasons why purchasing a home can be a smart financial decision.

10 Ways To Prepare To Buy A Home In 2021

Nationwide, cities are low on inventory for starter homes, and this situation is expected to remain the same in 2021. It is important to get organized for your home purchase now, so you'll be prepared to make an offer when you find the right home.

Home Buying Myths Busted

5 Common Home Buying Myths Busted

There is so much to consider when buying your first home. Advice pours in from well-meaning parents and friends, which can contradict what you’ve read online. We asked the professionals - a mortgage lender and a real estate agent - to debunk these five common home buying myths.

6 Lifestyle Benefits Of Owning Your Home

A home is more than just a roof and walls. Homeownership provides lifestyle, health, and social benefits for the homeowner, their extended family, and the community. Here are six benefits of owning a home that you may not have thought of.

Tips To Find Your First home

7 Tips To Find Your First Home

If you're looking to find your first home in a city or neighborhood with a low inventory of affordable starter homes, how do you decide what you want and what you need at a price you can afford?

Tips To Save For Down Payment

Giving and Receiving Gift Money For A Down Payment

If you are saving to purchase a home, receiving money to put towards your down payment and closing costs can help make your homeownership dreams come true sooner. Here are the guidelines you must follow, so you don't jeopardize your home purchase.

10 Ways To Save For A Down Payment On A Home

Saving for a down payment is one of the major hurdles most first-time homebuyers face on their journey towards homeownership. However, with a clear savings goal, a solid savings plan, and adopting a few savings strategies, you’ll be well on your way to saving for your first home.

Tips To Get Your Finances Back On Track After Holiday Season Spending

If you blew your budget over the holidays, use these 10 simple and practical tips to take back control of your finances and make a fresh financial start.

save energy to save on utility bills

Tips To Save Some Green While Making Make Your Home Greener

Finding areas to save in an already over-committed budget to put towards a down payment is a challenge. Implement these energy-saving tips to save on your utility bills.

Understanding The Mortgage Process

Learn Mortgage Lingo

While nearly all industries have lingo and jargon, not all industries are as likely to impact your life as the mortgage industry. Knowing a bit about the common acronyms and jargon of the mortgage industry will be helpful during the home buying process.

6 Tips To Protect Your Data During Financial Transactions

When applying for a mortgage or auto loan, a lot of personal and financial information is transmitted between the borrower and lender.  Here is how you can protect your information.

consumer-permissioned data provides a secure way to transfer financial data during the mortgage process

Consumer-Permissioned Data Provides Extra Protection During Financial Transactions

Learn how consumer-permissioned data puts you in control of what transactional data you share with a lender during the mortgage application process.

Home Loan Advice

How To Apply For VA Home Loan With Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

To apply for a VA home loan you must show your mortgage lender a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which verifies that your length of service and character make you eligible for a VA home loan benefit. Here's how to apply for your COE.

Borrow Bigger In 2021 With Increased Conforming Loan Limits

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced a 7.5% increase to the baseline conforming loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac home loans financed in 2021 for nearly every county in the U.S.

Young Couple Buying First Home

Increased FHA Loan Limits Give Homebuyers Increased Purchasing Power In 2021

Homebuyers wanting to purchase a home with a lower down payment or credit score in 2021 can now finance a higher cost home following the announcement that the FHA has increased its low cost loan limit to $356,362.

After You've Become A Homeowner

Negotiating Mortgage Relief To Stay In Your Home

If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments due to a short- or long-term financial setback, there are several options available to homeowners to help you stay in your home and avoid foreclosure.

mortgage relief options

Get Relief From Financial Impacts Of Coronavirus

If you are experiencing a hardship such as job loss, income reduction, or sickness due to COVID-19 and you are no longer able to make your mortgage payment, your mortgage servicer has mortgage relief options.

reasons to refinance your mortgage

8 Reasons To Refinance Your Mortgage

There are many reasons to refinance your mortgage, some are obvious, while others may not apply to you. Which option you select will depend on your short-term and long-term financial goals.

File For Homestead Exemption

How To File For Homestead Exemption In Your State

If you are experiencing a hardship such as job loss, income reduction, or sickness due to COVID-19 and you are no longer able to make your mortgage payment, your mortgage servicer has mortgage relief options.

When To Use A Home Equity Line of Credit HELOC

A Home Equity Line of Credit is a loan that establishes an amount of money you can borrow based on the equity in your home. You borrow the amount you choose, for the purposes you choose, when you choose to, with no impact on your first mortgage.

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