Field Guide to Getting a Mortgage

(Updated January 2015)

A mortgage is probably the biggest loan you'll ever take out and it's important to look at all of your options before you sign on the dotted line. In this Field Guide you will find information on the many types of mortgages available, including creative financing options, links to real estate calculators, government programs, do's and don'ts of refinancing and much more. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Negotiating With Your Mortgage Lender

Negotiating With Your Mortgage Lender—Watch this Money Talks video to see how you should negotiate with your mortgage lender. Learn the tips that get your payments where they need to be. 

Real Estate Financing Basics

Mortgage rates defied forecasts in 2014; what’s ahead in 2015?, (LA Times, Jan. 1, 2015).

Top 10 mortgage tips for 2015, (, 2015).

Freddie Mac: How will mortgage lending in 2015 compare to 2014?, (HousingWire, Dec. 16, 2014).

2015 Mortgage Rate Predictions from 3 Industry Experts, (My Mortage Insider, Nov. 24, 2014).

U.S. Regulators Approve Eased Mortgage Lending Rules, (New York Times, Oct. 21, 2014).

Save Money by Paying More on Your Mortgage, (, 2013).

Mortgages for Home Buyers and Homeowners, (, Nov. 2013).

Creative Financing

Top 10 Creative Financing Techniques, (, 2015).       

4 Alternatives To A Traditional Mortgage, (Investopedia, 2015).

The Mortgage Process, (Freddie Mac, 2012).

Six creative ways to afford a home, (REALTOR® Magazine).

Four Creative Real Estate Ideas, (, 2010).

Financial Resources and Programs

American Dream Downpayment Initiative, (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, May 2010).

Government assistance programs, (

6 common mortgages and who they fit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online).

Tools You Can Use

Housing affordability index, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Learn How to Avoid Foreclosure (NAR Brochure)

Traditional Mortgages: Understanding Your Options (NAR Brochure)

Energy Efficent Mortgage Home Owner Guide, (, 2012).

Current Mortgage Rates, (, 2012). 

Mortgage Terminology, (iMortgageGuide, 2010). 

Free annual credit report, (

Housing to income ratio calculator, (HomeBuyerFunds).

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Mortgage (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mortgages (Adobe eReader)

Decoding the New Mortgage Market (Adobe eReader)

Fast Track Your Mortgage (Adobe eReader)

How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Your Home Mortgage (Adobe eReader)

The Insider's Guide to Home Equity Borrowing (Adobe eReader)

The Little Black Book of Wealth Building Mortgage Secrets (Adobe eReader)

The Mortgage Answer Book (Adobe eReader)

The Mortgage Encyclopedia (Adobe eReader)

Mortgage Myths (Adobe eReader)

Mortgages 101 (Adobe eReader)

The Pocket Mortgage Guide (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Programs of HUD: major mortgage, grant, assistance and regulatory programs, (Washington, D.C.: Housing and Urban Development, 2005). HD 7293 H81p

The New reverse mortgage formula: how to convert home equity into tax-free income, (Hobokern, NJ, : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005). HG 2051 K29

Residential mortgage lending: principles and practices, (Mason, OH: South-Western, 2004). HG 2051 D42r Ed. 5

The Everything homebuying book: all the ins and outs of making the biggest purchase of your life, (Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation, 2003). HD 1341 W38e

Homebuying without the BS!, (Chicago, IL: Hall Street Press, 2002). HD 1341 T39

The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair-Lending Enforcement, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002). HG 2040 R67

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting

Field Guide to Credit Scoring

Field Guide to Working with First-Time Homebuyers

InfoCentral Blog

Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?

Click here to send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.