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Office of Consumer Protection
Office of Consumer Protection 240-777-3636
Choosing a mortgage or a home equity line of credit can be confusing for consumers. The first step is to check your credit report and score. The amount of interest you will pay will be based on your credit score and information in your credit report. The lower your credit score is, the higher interest rate you will be charged. If there are errors on your credit report, get these taken care of and removed prior to applying for a loan. If there are legitimate problems with your credit, i.e., you've paid payments late or have a high amount of debt, take the time to raise your credit score by paying bills on time for several months or reduce your debt before applying for a loan. Doing this could save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. For more information on your credit report/score, see the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website on free annual credit reports.
For information on choosing a mortgage, home equity lines of credit, what to do if you are having problems paying your mortgage payments and more, see the FTC's website "Mortgages/Real Estate" , the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) website "Looking for the Best Mortgage", or the Federal Reserve Board's website on "Consumer Information".
For information on lenders, mortgage originators and financial institutions in Maryland, go to the Maryland Office of Financial Regulation.
For information on buying, selling or doing improvements to a home, see FTC's website "Competition in the Real Estate Market".
For advice on how to address foreclosure: http://www.hud.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm or http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/foreclose.htm
For information on buying a home: http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm
Advice on buying, retaining and maintaining one's home: http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=md&topic=homeownership
HUD approved housing counselor agencies in MD: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=MD
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