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Meaning / Definition of

Hybrid Mortgage

Categories: Finance,

Sometimes called an intermediate ARM, a fixed-period ARM, or a multiyear mortgage, a hybrid mortgage combines aspects of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.The initial rate is fixed for a specific period - usually three, five, seven, or ten years - and then is adjusted to market rates. The adjustment may be a one-time change, or more typically, it changes regularly over the balance of the loan term, usually once a year. In many cases, the interest rate changes on a hybrid mortgage are capped, which can help protect you if market rates rise sharply.One advantage of the hybrid mortgage is that the interest rate for the fixed-rate portion is usually lower than with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The lower rate also means it's easier to qualify for a mortgage, since the monthly payment will be lower. And if you move or refinance before the interest rate is adjusted - the typical mortgage lasts only seven years - you don't have to worry about rates going up.However, some hybrid mortgages carry prepayment penalties if you refinance or pay off the loan early. While prepayment penalties are illegal in many states, they are legal in others.

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Definition / Meaning of

Lifetime Learning Credit

Categories: Tax,

You may qualify to claim a lifetime learning tax credit of up to $2,000 each year for qualified higher educational expenses for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent if your family's modified adjusted gross income falls within the annual limits that Congress sets. Those amounts tend to increase slightly each year.The course work must be one or more courses but doesn't have to be part of a degree- or certificate-granting program, though the tax credit can be used for undergraduate, postgraduate, or professional studies. Even if you are paying for more than one person's education, you can take only one lifetime learning credit per year.If you claim the credit while you're taking withdrawals from tax-free college savings plans such as a section 529 plan or an education savings account (ESA), you'll have to plan carefully. Your withdrawals will lose their qualified status and be subject to tax and penalty if you use them to pay for the same expenses for which you claim the tax credit. You can't take the credit, though, if you claim a tuition and fees deduction in calculating your adjusted gross income or deduct the amount as a business expense.

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