Dictionary - F

Mortgage terms and definitions for home buyers, home sellers, and real estate consumers. Use the links below to find the word you're looking for.


Fair Credit Reporting Act -
A law that protects consumer that regulates the reporting of consumer credit by agencies and establishes procedures for correcting errors on an individual record.

Fannie Mae (FNMA) -
The Federal National Mortgage Association is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company. This organization is the nation's largest supplier of home mortgage funds.

Fannie Mae's Community Home Buyer's Program -
A program that offers flexible underwriting guidelines to subsidize a low- to moderate-income family's purchase of a home. The program usually decreases the total amount of cash needed to purchase a home.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) -
An agency under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it insures loans made by approved lenders to qualified borrowers, in accordance with its regulations.

Fees -
Up-front costs associated with a loan. Clicking on the numeric value shown under the "Fees Detail" column on the quotes results page will display detailed information about the financial institution's fees and requirements pertaining to that rate.

Fee Simple -
The best title that one can obtain; unqualified and conveys the highest bundle of rights.

FHA Loan -
A government-backed mortgage loan supported by the US FHA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Finance Charge -
The total dollar amount your loan will cost you. It includes all interest payments for the life of the loan, any interest paid at closing, your origination fee and any other charges paid to the lender and/or broker. Appraisal, credit report and title search fees are not included in the finance charge calculation.

Firm Commitment -
A lender's agreement to provide a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.

First Mortgage -
A mortgage that has priority over other mortgages.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage -
A mortgage where the interest rate does not change for the life of the loan.

Float -
Between the time of application and closing, a borrower may choose to bet on interest rates decreasing by electing to float. Floating is essentially choosing not to lock the interest rate. Since it is the borrower's responsibility to lock his or her rate before (or at) closing, choosing to float is considered risky and may result in a higher interest rate. Request information from your lender regarding lock procedures.

Forbearance -
The postponement for a limited time of a portion or all the payments on a loan when a borrower is delinquent.

Foreclosure -
A legal procedure in which real estate is sold by the lender to pay a defaulting borrower's debt .

401(k)/403(b) -
An investment plan sponsored by employers that allows individuals to set aside tax-deferred income for retirement or emergency purposes. A 401(k) applies to private corporations, while a 403(b) applies to non-profit organizations.

401(k)/403(b) loan -
A loan that can be taken against the amount accumulated in the 401(k)/403(b) plans, if so allowed by the plan administrator. Loans against these plans are an acceptable source of down payment for most types of other loans.

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