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Mortgages

Learn some of the basics about mortgages.

Mortgage Refinancing

Refinancing your mortgage allows you to pay off your existing mortgage and take out a new mortgage on new terms. You may want to refinance your mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates, to change your type of mortgage, or for other reasons.

These resources will help you learn more about refinancing your mortgage:

Reverse Mortgages

If you’re at least 62 years old, a reverse mortgage can let you turn part of the equity in your home into cash. You will not have to sell the home or take on additional monthly bills. The reverse mortgage does not have to be paid back as long as you live in your home. You only repay the loan when you sell your home or permanently leave it. Read more information about reverse mortgages.

Types of Reverse Mortgages

The three types of reverse mortgages include: 

  • Federally Insured Reverse Mortgages - Known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)
  • Proprietary Reverse Mortgages
  • Single Purpose Reverse Mortgages

Be sure to watch for aggressive lending practices, advertisements that refer to the loan as "free money," or those that fail to disclose fees or terms of the loan. 

When finding a lender remember:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited advertisements
  • Be suspicious of anyone claiming that you can own a home with no down payment
  • Seek out your own reverse mortgage counselor
  • Never sign anything you do not fully understand
  • Make sure the loan is federally insured

Reporting Fraud or Abuse

If you suspect fraud or abuse, let the counselor, lender, or loan servicer know. You may also want to file a complaint with:

If you have questions, contact your local HUD Homeownership Center for advice. 

FHA Loans and HUD Homes

If you’re a homebuyer, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has two programs that may help make the process more affordable.

FHA Loans 

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) manages the FHA loans program. This may be a good mortgage choice if you’re a first-time buyer because the requirements are not as strict as for other loans. The down payment and closing costs are low.

Am I eligible for an FHA loan? 

How do I apply for an FHA loan? 

The FHA doesn't lend money to people. It insures mortgage loans from FHA-approved lenders against default. To apply for an FHA-insured loan, you will need to use an FHA-approved lender. Search for an FHA-approved lender here. 

How do I complain about an FHA loan? 

If you have a complaint about an FHA loan program, contact the FHA Resource Center

HUD Homes 

When homeowners default on their FHA loan, HUD takes ownership of the property, because HUD oversees the FHA loan program. These properties are called either HUD homes or HUD real estate owned (REO) property. 

Am I eligible to buy a HUD home?

Your qualifications to buy a HUD home depend on your credit score, ability to get a mortgage, and the amount of your cash down payment. You can also use an FHA-insured mortgage to buy a HUD home.  

How do I apply for a HUD home?

Use the HUDHomestore to find listings of HUD real estate owned (REO) properties for sale. Click on the agent tab to find contact information to learn more about the property. 

Where do I call for extra help about a HUD home?

If you have a question or need more information about FHA loans or HUD homes, you can:

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Last Updated: October 29, 2021

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