Welcome to Jargon, a new show about words that trip us up. Host Myq Kaplan will interview a different industry expert each week to help us wrangle complex subject matters and thick jargon into words that actually hold meaning for the rest of us.
On the premiere episode, Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at Lending Tree, joins Kaplan to dive into the jargon of the home mortgage industry. Using his economics background and expertise in the industry, Kapfidze guides us through the wall of terms many prospective homebuyers find daunting. This can lead them to feel alienated, pressured, and somewhat powerless during the homebuying process.
- Mortgage – We begin at the very beginning. “Mortgage” literally means “death pledge,” and that’s the feeling most of us get when we think about them. Kapfidze helps contextualize mortgages by showing how different aspects of the industry affect the overall picture, from interest rates, to credit scores, to size and length of the loan.
- Escrow – Is it a place? Why do things constantly fall out of it? Kapfidze walks us through the steps of escrow, who it involves, and why it’s important to the whole mortgage process.
- Closing costs – “Closing costs” seems like a nebulous phrase lacking any specific meaning, but it may hold a secret power. “Absolutely, they can be negotiated,” Kapfidze tells us. He’ll explain how and why many lenders use closing costs as an incentive you can take advantage of.
- Fixed vs. variable rates – What goes up may go down, but sometimes the whole thing is fixed. Kapfidze explains how both fixed and variable rates work, who decides the rates, and how to choose which one is best for you.
- Amortization schedule – The word “amortization” is like the word “comptroller” — We’ve all heard it, but none of us really knows what it is. “It sounds like a terrifying word,” Kapfidze says, “but what it is telling you is how you are paying off your loan.” Interest, principles, rates, timelines, and more are all part of the amortization schedule, and we help you understand it.
Join Kaplan at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET every Tuesday live on LinkedIn and Digital Trends as he attempts to translate the often impenetrable jargon of industries, including blockchain, digital advertising, and more.