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Buying my first home
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The word "mortgage" comes from a French phrase meaning what?


It comes from Old French, meaning "dead pledge."

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The "term" of a mortgage is what?


The "term" is the amount of time you'll be repaying the loan, usually 15 or 30 years.

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Key Takeaways

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There's a lot to know about buying a home, but with a step-by-step approach, you could get there. Keep a few key things in mind as you start the process.

  • A mortgage is a bank loan for the purchase of the home
  • Improve your credit score to get a better mortgage interest rate
  • Check your credit report for free every year with Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion
  • Be sure you’re not overreaching on your mortgage—it can affect your whole financial picture
  • Remember that some experts suggest a maximum housing cost of 28% of your monthly income before taxes
  • Understand that your mortgage payment if made up of four components known as PITI — principal, interest, taxes and insurance
  • Consider your monthly take home income when budgeting for what you can comfortably afford
  • Make sure you also account for less obvious housing expenses, like the cost of moving