Fair Credit Reporting Act

Federal act to ensure that credit bureaus are fair and accurate protecting the individual's privacy rights enacted in 1971 and revised in october 1997.

Fair Housing Act

A law that prohibits discrimination in all facets of the home buying process on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

Fair Market Value

Familial Status

Hud uses this term to describe a single person, a pregnant woman or a household with children under 18 living with parents or legal custodians who might experience housing discrimination.

Fannie Mae

Federal national mortgage association (fnma); a federally-chartered enterprise owned by private stockholders that purchases residential mortgages and converts them into securities for sale to investors; by purchasing mortgages, fannie mae supplies funds that lenders may loan to potential homebuyers. also known as a government sponsored enterprise (gse).


Federal housing administration; established in 1934 to advance homeownership opportunities for all americans; assists homebuyers by providing mortgage insurance to lenders to cover most losses that may occur when a borrower defaults; this encourages lenders to make loans to borrowers who might not qualify for conventional mortgages.

FICO Score

the fico® score is the most widely used type of credit score, and the generic, or classic fico score falls between 300 and 850.  a credit score is a numerical value based on a variety of financial factors related to an individual that is used as a guide by lenders, including mortgage lenders, to determine the likelihood that the borrower will pay back any loans or credit that has been extended to them. there are a variety of ways of calculating credit scores in the united states. moreover, there are the three major credit bureaus who issue these scores including transunion, experian, and equifax.

First Mortgage

The mortgage with first priority if the loan is not paid.

Fixed Expenses

Payments that do not vary from month to month.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A mortgage with payments that remain the same throughout the life of the loan because the interest rate and other terms are fixed and do not change.


Personal property permanently attached to real estate or real property that becomes a part of the real estate.


The act of allowing an interest rate and discount points to fluctuate with changes in the market.

Flood Insurance

Insurance that protects homeowners against losses from a flood; if a home is located in a flood plain, the lender will require flood insurance before approving a loan.


A lender may decide not to take legal action when a borrower is late in making a payment. usually this occurs when a borrower sets up a plan that both sides agree will bring overdue mortgage payments up to date.


A legal process in which mortgaged property is sold to pay the loan of the defaulting borrower. foreclosure laws are based on the statutes of each state.

Freddie Mac

Federal home loan mortgage corporation (fhlm); a federally chartered corporation that purchases residential mortgages, securitizes them, and sells them to investors; this provides lenders with funds for new homebuyers. also known as a government sponsored enterprise (gse).

Front End Ratio

A percentage comparing a borrower's total monthly cost to buy a house (mortgage principal and interest, insurance, and real estate taxes) to monthly income before deductions.

FSBO (For Sale by Owner)

A home that is offered for sale by the owner without the benefit of a real estate professional.