Subprime Mortgage

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What is a 'Subprime Mortgage'

A subprime mortgage is a type of mortgage that is normally made out to borrowers with lower credit ratings. As a result of the borrower's lowered credit rating, a conventional mortgage is not offered because the lender views the borrower as having a larger-than-average risk of defaulting on the loan. Lending institutions often charge interest on subprime mortgages at a rate that is higher than a conventional mortgage in order to compensate themselves for carrying more risk.

BREAKING DOWN 'Subprime Mortgage'

Borrowers with credit ratings below 600 often will be stuck with subprime mortgages and the higher interest rates that go with those mortgages. Making late bill payments or declaring personal bankruptcy could very well land borrowers in a situation where they can only qualify for a subprime mortgage. Therefore, it is often useful for people with low credit scores to wait for a period of time and build up their scores before applying for mortgages to ensure they are eligible for a conventional mortgage.

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