Revisiting ‘subprime’ mortgages

Subprime mortgages

Subprime mortgagesBy Lisa Prevost | New York Times

“Subprime” has been a dirty word since the freewheeling mortgage lending spree that ultimately brought down the economy and propelled millions of homeowners into foreclosure.

The term simply refers to loans made to borrowers who do not fit the standards for a prime mortgage loan, as defined by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But after the housing market crash, subprime became almost synonymous in some people’s minds with the insidious loan products of the previous decade — those that didn’t require proof of income, or with negative amortization, or that allowed the borrower to decide how much to pay each month.


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