What Is a Subprime Mortgage?

What Is a Subprime Mortgage?

A subprime mortgage is a type of home loan issued to borrowers with low credit scores (often below 600) who wouldn’t qualify for conventional mortgages. They usually come with much higher interest rates and down payments than conventional options. Taking out a subprime mortgage is rarely a good idea. You may be better off working with a financial advisor to rebuild your credit before applying for a subprime mortgage. But if it’s your only option, there are some points you need to know.

The Risks of Subprime Mortgages

In the mortgage business, borrowers with poor credit histories are considered high-risk and more likely to default on their loans than their counterparts with higher credit scores. After all, would you be likely to loan money to someone with a habit of missing payments and borrowing more than he or she can pay back? That’s what runs through the heads of bankers and other mortgage lenders when they deal with subprime mortgages. So to compensate, they issue these loans with higher high interest rates and down-payment requirements.

To put that into perspective, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conventional mortgage hovers around 4.20%. Today, interest rates for subprime mortgages can climb to 10%. Remember, interest is the cost of borrowing money. So the higher the rate, the more you’ll pay overall in the long run. And when calculating your mortgage payments, you’d also have to crunch property taxes and other factors.

But that’s not all. Most lenders require a down payment on your mortgage. For conventional mortgages, it typically stretches from around 10% to 20% of the home’s purchase price. For subprime mortgages, that rate typically goes up to around 30%.

So if you landed a subprime mortgage for a $200,000 home. You better have at least $60,000 at hand. Continue reading “What Is a Subprime Mortgage?”