Money: Are You Overleveraged?

The American dream of homeownership used to have relatively simple requirements: a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Not anymore. For today's first-time home buyers, financing has become far more creative, complex and confusing. Faced with record-high real estate prices, new buyers are turning to so-called specialty mortgages designed to make homeownership possible even with a checkered credit history and little or no down payment. Specialty loans used to represent only about 3% of the mortgage market, but a survey by the Federal Reserve shows that they now account for more than a quarter of new business at some of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!