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Glossary of Financial Terms

Glossary of Financial Terms


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The gradual reduction in the principal of a mortgage through scheduled installment
Amortization Schedule
A schedule that shows the portions of each payment that are applied to interest and to principal. It also shows the loan balance remaining after each payment.
Amt. Of Mortgage Liens
Record the dollar amount of all outstanding 1st and 2nd mortgages and other liens against this property.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
A rate that reflects the actual annual cost of a loan and includes the loan interest rate, private mortgage insurance, points and some fees.
A form, commonly referred to as a 1003 form, used to apply for a mortgage and to provide information about a prospective mortgagor and the proposed loan.
A professional assessment of a property's market value.
Increase in market value of a property.
Assessed Value
The value placed on a property by local officials for taxation purposes (may or may not equal appraised value).
Assets include real property, personal property, bank accounts, stocks and mutual funds.
Assumable Mortgage
A mortgage with a specific provision, which allows the buyer to accept responsibility for repayment from the seller of a property.
New owner takes over the responsibility for repaying an existing mortgage. Both FHA and VA loans are fully assumable. Some adjustable rate mortgages may be partially assumable, but the new owners may be required to re-qualify for the loan.
The current amount owed for the liability.
Balance Sheet
A report of the financial position of a business at a specific point in time, showing its assets, liabilities, and owner's equity.
Balloon Mortgage
A mortgage allowing for lower monthly payments, which are insufficient to fully amortize the face amount of the note prior to maturity. This means that a principal sum known as a "Balloon" is due at maturity.
Balloon Payments
The final payment of a mortgage, which is larger than the regular payment and usually extinguishes the debt.
A court action to restructure debt.
Basis Point
One one-hundredth of one percent. Used primarily to describe changes in yield or price of mortgages.
A preliminary agreement, secured by the payment of earnest money, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate. Or an agreement confirming temporary coverage pending issuance of a formal policy, when used in reference to insurance.
Biweekly Mortgage
A mortgage in which payments are made every two weeks instead of monthly, thus making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments a year (there are 26 two week periods) instead of 12. Allows for more rapid repayment of mortgage and decreases the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.
Borrower Closing Costs Paid by Seller
An agreement by the Seller of a property to pay a certain amount toward the loan closing costs typically paid by a Borrower to secure a loan.
A person who represents another, for a fee, in real estate transactions. Mortgage brokers help consumers locate suitable real estate loans and are paid a fee for their services.
Dictates how much the interest rate or monthly payments for an ARM loan may increase.
Capital Gain
Taxable profit on the sale of an appreciated asset.
Cash Reserve
A requirement of some lenders that the buyer have enough cash left after closing to make the first two mortgage payments.
Cash-out Refinance
Using a new mortgage to cash out an existing mortgage with the objective of converting (all or part of) the difference in value between the original property value and the reappraised property value to cash.
Certificate of Eligibility
A document issued by the federal government certifying a veteran's eligibility for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage. An Original is required for all VA Loans.
Certificate of Title
A written document by a title attorney or company stating that the title to a parcel of real property is legally vested in the present owner.
Clear Title
A title to a property that is free of liens and legal questions concerning ownership
Conclusion of a real estate sale, where the title of the property is transferred to the new owners and funds are transferred to the appropriate parties including but not limited to: seller, previous lender, real estate broker/agents.
Closing Costs
Expenses incurred by the buyer/borrower and the seller in a real estate or mortgage transaction. These may include, but are not limited to: points, taxes, settlement fees, vendor fees, such as appraisal, title and escrow, and various kinds of applicable insurance including flood or hazard insurance.
Closing Statement
A statement showing the various closing costs and recording which party paid these costs. Also called a settlement statement or HUD-1.
A person who signs and assumes joint liability with another person for the repayment of a debt.
COFI (Cost of Funds Index)
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It represents the weighted-average cost of savings, borrowings, and advances of the 11th District members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Property pledged as security for a debt, for example, mortgaged real estate.
Combined Loan-to-Value (CLTV)
The ratio of all the mortgage loan amounts outstanding on a property (usually a first and second mortgage) to the property's appraised value (or the selling price, whichever is less).
Commitment Letter
A lender's formal notice to a borrower that a loan has been approved; states the terms and conditions of the loan.
Common Areas
Those portions of a building, land, and amenities owned (or managed) by a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium association (or a cooperative corporation) that are used by all of the unit owners, who share in the common expenses of their operation and maintenance. Common areas include swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities, as well as common corridors of buildings, parking areas, means of ingress and egress.
Properties used as comparisons to determine the value of a specified property.
Condo Fee (or homeowners association dues)
The monthly maintenance fee condominium unit (or planned unit development) owners must pay to cover common area expenses.
A form of property ownership in which the owner holds the title to an individual dwelling, plus interest in common areas of a multi-unit project.
Condominium Conversion
Changing the ownership of an existing building (usually a rental project) to the condominium form of ownership.
Conforming Loan
A conventional loan with a loan amount equal to or below that of the current loan limits established by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA).
A lender offers one combination loan with a single loan closing. The Construction loan combines financing for the purchase of land, the construction of a new home, and a permanent mortgage in one loan with one closing. The lender typically disburses payments periodically during a construction draw period from the loan and at the end of the construction draw period; the loan is modified to become the permanent mortgage loan.
A lender offers two individual loans with two loan closings. One for the short-term interim construction loan and one for the long-term permanent mortgage loan. The lender typically disburses payments periodically during the construction period from the interim construction loan and at the end of the construction period; the interim loan is paid off by the permanent mortgage loan.
Condition which must be satisfied before the buyer can consummate the purchase of a property. Contingencies are generally outlined in the purchase contract between the buyer and seller.
An agreement between two or more parties, which structures an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing.
Conventional Mortgage
Any mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government.
Convertible ARM
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that can be converted to a fixed-rate mortgage under specified conditions.
A form of common property ownership in which the residents of an apartment building do not own their own units, but rather own shares in the corporation that owns the property.
A clause in a mortgage that obligates or restricts that borrower and which, if violated, can result in foreclosure.
Credit History
A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts. A credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.
Credit Report
A report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender to determine a loan applicant's creditworthiness.
Credit Reporting Agency
An organization that prepares reports that are used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency obtains data for these reports from a credit repository as well as from other sources.
Credit Repository
An organization that gathers, records, updates, and stores financial and public record information about the payment records of individuals who are being considered for credit.
The home you are currently living in should be marked as "Current". If this is also the property that you are refinancing then mark it as "Both". If you are refinancing investment property or a second home then mark the property as "Subject". For all other properties leave this column blank.
Debt-to-Income Ratio
Monthly debt and housing payments divided by gross monthly income.
Fair Market Value
The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.
Fannie Mae (FNMA)
An acronym for the Federal National Mortgage Association. Fannie Mae purchases mortgage loans originated by local lenders and sets guidelines that lenders must follow to qualify prospective borrowers.
Fannie Mae's Community Home Buyer's Program
An alternative financing option that allows moderate-income household to qualify for loans. It allows for higher housing-to-income and debt-to-income ratios, as well as non- traditional credit histories and waiver of cash reserve requirements at closing.
FHA Loan
A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Down payment may be as little as 3 percent, but the purchase price is limited.
FHA Streamline Refinance
An FHA Streamline Refinance involves the refinance of an existing FHA loan with a new FHA loan. FHA offers two types of Streamline Refinance Loans: Streamline Refinance without Appraisal - This type of FHA loan saves the cost of the appraisal but may limit the ability to finance loan closing costs. Generally limits the new FHA Loan to the lesser of: The existing FHA Mortgage Balance, first lien only + Closing Costs + Discount Points + Prepaids + any UFMIP refund amount OR The Original FHA Loan Amount + New UFMIP Streamline Refinance with Appraisal + This type of FHA loan includes the cost of a new appraisal but may allow financing of closing costs. Generally limits the new FHA Loan to the lesser of: The FHA Maximum Loan to Value allowed based on Current Appraised Value or the Original Sale Price if the property was owned less than one year. OR The existing FHA Mortgage Balance, first lien only + Closing Costs + Discount Points + Prepaids = any UFMIP refund amount
Finance Charge
The cost of credit expressed in dollars. It is the total amount of interest calculated at the interest rate over the life of the loan, plus Prepaid Finance Charges and the total amount of any required mortgage insurance charged over the life of the loan.
Financial Institution
The business or entity to which the liability is owed.
Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM)
A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire life of the loan.
Flood Certification
The determination as to whether or not a property is located in a flood zone. If it is, the lender will require federally provided flood insurance.
Flood Insurance
Insurance that will be required if a property is in a federally designated flood hazard area.
The legal process by which a mortgaged property may be sold when a mortgage is in default.
Freddie Mac (FHLMC)
An acronym for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Freddie Mac purchases mortgage loans originated by local lenders and sets guidelines that lenders must follow to quality prospective borrowers.
Fully Indexed Interest Rate
The index plus the margin for an adjustable rate mortgage.
Money given to borrowers to assist in the purchase of a home, usually from a relative, that does not require repayment.
Good Faith Estimate
A written estimate of closing costs provided by the lender within three days after someone applies for a loan.
Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)
A government owned agency that acts as a secondary market conduit for FHA and VA loans. GNMA guarantees the timely principal and interest payments to investors.
Grace Period
Period of time (usually 15 days) after a mortgage payment is due in which the lender will not charge a late penalty or report the payment as late.
Graduated Payment Mortgage (GPM)
A mortgage that starts with lower monthly payments that increase at a predetermined rate over time.
Gross Income
Normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.
Gross Rental Income
Record the gross monthly rent payments received on this property before expenses.
Hazard Insurance
Insurance to protect the homeowner and lender against physical damage to property from fire, wind, vandalism and other hazards.
HELOC Combined Loan-To-Value (HCLTV)
The ratio of all mortgage loan amounts outstanding on a property including the maximum Line of Credit Limit available to be drawn in relation to the property's appraised value (or the selling price, whichever is less).
High Rise Condo
A condominium located in a building exceeding six floors.
Home Equity Line of Credit
An open-end loan, usually recorded as a second mortgage, that permits borrowers to obtain cash advances based on an approved line of credit.
Home Equity Loan
A loan based on the borrower's equity in his or her home.
Homeowner's Insurance
An insurance policy that combines hazard insurance and liability coverage.
Homeowner's Insurance Declaration
Insurance protecting against loss to real estate caused by fire, some natural causes, vandalism, etc., depending upon the terms of the policy.
Housing Ratio
The ratio of the monthly housing payment in total (PITI - Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) divided by the gross monthly income. This ratio is sometimes referred to as the top ratio or front-end ratio.
Initials of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
That portion of a monthly mortgage payment which is placed in an account to be used to pay for property taxes, private mortgage insurance and insurance. Also known as escrows.
Income Property
Real estate developed or improved to produce income.
A published rate or benchmark measure of current interest rate levels used to calculate periodic changes in rates charged on adjustable rate mortgages.
Ins, Maint, Taxes
Provide the current combined monthly expenses for hazard insurance, home maintenance, and property taxes.
The periodic payment that a borrower agrees to pay a mortgage lender.
The cost of borrowing money.
Interest Rate Cap
A provision of an ARM that limits how much the interest rate can increase per adjustment period.
Interest Reserve
An amount of funds included in a construction loan, which may be applied to Borrower's interest payments due during the Construction Phase. The interest reserve amount is calculated by the Lender and may be included in the construction loan amount under certain conditions.
Investment Property
A property that is not occupied by the owner and who, in most cases, receives income off the property.
Joint Application
Assets and liabilities for two borrowers, usually a married couple, are reported together. A single credit report for the joint applicants is requested instead of separate credit reports for each applicant.
Joint Credit
Joint credit occurs when the assets and liabilities for two married or unmarried individuals are sufficiently joined so as to be meaningfully and fairly presented on a combined basis.
Jumbo Mortgage
A conventional loan with a loan amount in excess of the current loan limit established by the Federal National Mortgage Association.
Refers to a portion of land or a "finished lot" that does not have a dwelling on it. Typically the land will have road access and utilities in place to the lot boundary. Additionally, it will have been approved by the city or county as a separate parcel of land, on a parcel map.
Person or entity that invests in or originates mortgage loans, such as a mortgage banker, credit union, commercial bank, or savings and loan.
A legal claim against a property that must be paid when a property is sold.
Lifetime Cap
A provision of an ARM limiting the total increase in the interest rate over the life of the loan.
Line of Credit Max Limit
The maximum Line of Credit limit that can be drawn on a Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC loan.
Loan Servicing
Loan servicing is the function of collecting loan payments, managing the property tax and insurance escrows, foreclosing on defaulted loans, and remitting payments to the investor/beneficiary.
Loan-to-Value (LTV)
The ratio of the mortgage loan amount to the property's appraised value (or the selling price whichever is less).
Lock-in Rate
The interest rate the lender guarantees to the borrower provided the mortgage is closed within a certain time period.


Manufactured Home in a Condo/PUD/Co-Op
A manufactured home where title is held as a condominium, planned unit development, or cooperative, or a manufactured home located in a condominium, planned unit development, or cooperative.
Manufactured Housing
Any dwelling built on a permanent chassis and attached to a permanent foundation system is a "manufactured home" for the purposes of residential loan applications. Other factory- built housing (not built on a permanent chassis) such as modular, prefabricated, panelized, or sectional housing is not considered manufactured housing. A manufactured home must be a one-family dwelling that is legally classified as real property. The towing hitch, wheels, and axles must be removed and the dwelling must assume the characteristics of site-built housing. The land on which the manufactured home is situated must be owned by the borrower in fee simple, unless the manufactured home is located in a cooperative or condominium project.
The number of percentage points the lender adds to the index rate to calculate the ARM interest rate at each adjustment.
Market Value (Fair Market)
The most likely price a given property will bring if widely exposed on the market, assuming fully informed buyer and seller.
The date on which an agreement expires; termination of a promissory note.
Monthly Maintenance
Maintenance fees for the care of common and shared areas.
Monthly Payment
The minimum monthly amount the owner is obligated to pay toward the liability.
A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.
Mortgage Credit Certification
A governmental program to provide taxpayers with financing to help them buy a principal residence. This certificate must be used in regards to the purchase, rehabilitation or home improvement of your primary residence.
Mortgage Insurance (MI)
Insurance similar to FHA or VA insurance, insuring part of the first mortgage or deed of trust, and enabling a lender to make a conventional loan of a higher percentage of the property value. This type of insurance protects the upper portion of a mortgage loan thereby reducing the lender's risk to principal loss in the event of a borrower's default. The coverage allows lenders to make higher loan-to-value ratios.
Mortgage Note
A legal document obligating a borrower to repay a loan at a stated interest rate during specified time period; this is secured by a mortgage.
Mtg Payments
Provide the current monthly mortgage payment (Principal and Interest only) for this property. If more than one mortgage exists, please combine the amounts.
A building with more than four residential rental units.
Negative Amortization
Payment terms under which the borrower's monthly payments are insufficient to cover interest due, thus increasing the loan balance.
Net Income
The amount remaining after total operating expenses (excluding interest payments) are deducted from effective gross income.
Net Rental Income
Rental Income for Investment Properties other than the subject property securing the loan. Typically calculated as (Gross Rental Income x 75%) - mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
Non-Conforming Loan
Also known as jumbo loans. Loans that are above the loan limits set by FNMA and FHLMC.
Non-Owner Occupant
A borrower that will not occupy the property and in most cases receives income off the property.
Offer to Purchase
A formal document in which a buyer proposes to purchase a property for a specified amount and under certain conditions. Acceptance by the seller creates a contract binding on both parties, subject to any contingencies.
Origination Fee
A fee paid to a lender for processing a loan application. This is shown as a percentage of the mortgage amount and is due at closing.
The person obligated for the liability. If more than one borrower on the loan application is responsible for the same liability, just select the name of one of those persons.
Owner Financing
A purchase where the seller provides all or part of the financing for the buyer.
Owner Occupant
The residence that the owner physically occupies and uses as his or her home.
Payment Adjustment Period
The length of time, on an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) before the member's rate/payment will be reviewed and adjusted according to the market. For example: the first adjustment period for a 5/1 ARM is after five years. All subsequent adjustments are made every year thereafter.
Payment Cap
A provision of some ARMs limiting how much the borrower's payments may increase, regardless of how much the interest rate increases, and may result in negative amortization.
Payment Shock
A scenario in which monthly mortgage payments on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rise so high that the borrower may not be able to afford the payments. Consumer protection guidelines regarding extremely low initial "teaser" rates, lifetime ceilings, and annual caps are designed to prevent payment shock.
The unpaid principal balance, accrued interest, outstanding late charges, legal fees, and all other amounts necessary to pay off the lender in full.
Perc Test
A test to determine if a property is suitable for a septic tank.
Periodic Rate Cap
A provision of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that limits how much the interest rate or mortgage payments may increase or decrease over a specific period.
Stands for principal, interest, taxes and insurance - the components of a monthly mortgage payment.
Planned Unit Developments (PUD)
A housing development, where there is a homeowners' association and common areas owned by the homeowners.
A point is equal to one percent of the principal amount of your mortgage. For example, if you get a mortgage for $100,000, one point means you pay $1000 to the lender. These points are usually collected at closing and may be paid by the borrower or the home seller, or may be split between them.
The process of determining how large a loan a prospective homebuyer can qualify for; this procedure is done before actually applying for the loan.
Those expenses of owning property, which are paid in advance of their due date and usually prorated upon sale, such as taxes, insurance, rent, etc.
Prepayment Penalty
Charge levied by the lender for paying off a mortgage loan before its maturity date.
Present Market Value
Estimate the current market value of this property.
Primary Residence
Primary residence is a property that you physically occupy and use as your home.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Insurance provided by a non-government insurer to protect a lender against loss if a borrower defaults. Usually required if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.
Property Disposition
If the property is an investment property, then mark as "Rental". If you are planning on selling the property before the loan closes, then mark as "Pending Sale". If you will still own the property after the loan closing, then the property should be marked as "Retained".
Property Type
Identify the type of property owned. Standard residential homes are designated as "Single Family."
A mortgage that enables the borrower to acquire a property, rather than refinance or pay for home improvements.
Purchase Agreement
A written agreement between a buyer and seller of real property, setting forth the price and terms of sale.
Purchase and Sale Agreement
A legal document requiring the buyer to buy and the seller to sell, under specified terms and conditions.
Rate Cap
A limit on how much the interest rate can change, either at each adjustment period or over the life of the loan.
Rate Lock
A written agreement in which the lender guarantees the borrower a specified interest rate, provided the loan closes within a set period of time.
Real Estate Agent
A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate; works on behalf of the seller, unless designated as a buyer's broker.
The process of obtaining a new mortgage, usually at a lower rate, to repay and replace an existing mortgage.
Right of First Refusal
An owner's promise to let someone make the first offer on a property, or to match the amount offered by another party.
Sales Contract
A written agreement between buyer and seller stating terms and conditions of a sale or exchange of property.
Second Home/Vacation Home
Second home/vacation home is a property that is not your primary residence and that you occupy less than six months a year.
Second Mortgage
An additional mortgage behind the first mortgage on a property. The rights of the second mortgage holder are subordinate to the rights of the first mortgage holder.
Secondary Mortgage Market
The buying and selling of first mortgages of trust deeds by banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and other lenders.
Seller Carry Back
An agreement in which the seller takes back a note for part of the purchase price secured by a junior mortgage, wrap-around mortgage, or contract for deed.
Seller Concessions
The portion of mortgage related costs, other than closing costs, that the borrower would normally be responsible for that the seller has agreed to pay.
Servicing (or Loan Servicing)
A mortgage banking function which includes the receipt of payments, customer service, escrow administration, investor accounting, collections, and foreclosures.
Single Family/Detached
A free-standing structure or single unit that does not share walls with any other homes.
Subject Net Cash Flow
Cash Flow for Investment Properties when they are the subject property securing the loan. Typically calculated as: Owner Occupied Property = Gross Rental Income x 75%. Non Owner Occupied = (Gross Rental Income x 75%) - proposed mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
Map made by a licensed surveyor who measures that land and charts its boundaries, improvements and relationship to the property surrounding it.
Target Interest Rate
The Target interest rate is the rate of interest that you would need to pay on this product in order to achieve your monthly payment goal.
An undivided interest in property taken by two or more persons. The interest need not be equal. Upon death of one or more persons, there is no right of survivorship.
The length of time you are given to repay a loan.
Termite Certificate
A document certifying a property has no termites; may be required by a lender.
A legal document establishing the right of ownership.
Title Insurance
Insurance to protect the lender (lender's policy) or the buyer (buyer's policy) against loss arising from disputes over property ownership.
Title Search
A detailed examination of the title records to ensure that the seller of a property is the legal owner and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.
Total Debt Ratio
Monthly debt and housing payments divided by gross monthly income. Also known as Obligations-to-Income Ratio or Back-End Ratio.
A home that is attached to one or more other houses, but which sits directly on a parcel of land that you also own. If you don't own the land, it is a condominium.
Transfer Tax
State or local tax payable when title passes from one owner to another.
Truth-in-Lending Act (TIL)
A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the APR and other charges.
The type or nature of the obligation. Choices are credit card, installment, alimony, child support, mortgage, lien or other. Auto/RV/Boat loans are considered installment debt.
The process of evaluating a loan application to determine the risk involved for the lender. It involves an analysis of the borrower's ability and willingness to repay the debt, and the value of the property.
Monthly charges for water, sewer, gas, and/or electricity
VA Funding Fee
A premium charged on all VA Loans to cover administrative costs of the program. The Funding Fee can vary depending on the size of downpayment with the maximum fee not to exceed 3%.
VA Funding Fee Exemption
An exemption from paying the VA Funding Fee may be verified with: 1) VA Form 26-8937, Verification of VA Benefit-Related Indebtedness indicating the borrower's exemption status. 2) An award letter issued within 1 year of the date of the loan application indicating the veteran is entitled to receipt of VA disability compensation. 3) For a veteran who elected service retirement pay instead of VA compensation, a copy of the original VA notification of disability rating and documentation of the veteran's service retirement income. 4) Indications on the Certificate of Eligibility that the borrower is entitled as an "unremarried surviving spouse".
VA Loan
A loan guaranteed by the Veteran's Administration with little or no down payment. These loans are available only to qualifying veterans for the purchase or refinance of a home, which is for their own personal occupancy. A VA funding fee is required.
The estimation of a property's price through appraisal.
A person who served on active duty status in the Military and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Please contact The Department of Veteran Affairs to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Veteran's Administration
The agency that guarantees a veteran's mortgage enabling a lender to make the loan with little or no down payment.

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