Mortgage lenders range from banks and credit unions with familiar names to specialized companies. Most lenders offer an array of mortgage loans: fixed rate, adjustable rate, 30-year, 15-year, no point, etc.
Home equity loans, another type of loan, are often called second mortgages because equity in your home is used a collateral. Home equity loans come in two types: closed-end and lines of credit.
Closed-end home equity loans are for a fixed amount and a fixed period of time, usually five to fifteen years. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is like revolving credit: the lender sets an amount of credit and the homeowner can use it as needed. As the homeowner pays back the funds borrowed, the amount of credit available rises. When the line of credit expires, the full amount must be paid back.
Another popular home financing option is an FHA loan. These loans are insured by the Federal Housing Authority and because of this security they may have lower rates. FHA loans are available to anyone, you do not need to be a first time home buyer or be subject to income limits. However, the amount of money you can borrow is limited and varies from area to area. To be eligible for FHA loans your credit must be decent and you have to have a debt to credit ratio within their guidelines.
Another advantage of FHA loans is you may be able to have a smaller down payment than on conventional loans – as low as 4% or so. You may also be able to finance home improvements in the loan itself.