EDU Articles

Help CenterFind Your WayFree ProductsPremium Products
Expert's OpinionsTradingInvestingCryptoArtificial Intelligence
IntroductionMarket AbbreviationsStock Market StatisticsThinking about Your Financial FutureSearch for AdvisorsFinancial CalculatorsFinancial MediaFederal Agencies and Programs
Investment PortfoliosModern Portfolio TheoriesInvestment StrategyPractical Portfolio Management InfoDiversificationRatingsActivities AbroadTrading Markets
Investment Terminology and InstrumentsBasicsInvestment TerminologyTradingBondsMutual FundsExchange Traded Funds (ETF)StocksAnnuities
Technical Analysis and TradingAnalysis BasicsTechnical IndicatorsTrading ModelsPatternsTrading OptionsTrading ForexTrading CommoditiesSpeculative Investments
Cryptocurrencies and BlockchainBlockchainBitcoinEthereumLitecoinRippleTaxes and Regulation
RetirementSocial Security BenefitsLong-Term Care InsuranceGeneral Retirement InfoHealth InsuranceMedicare and MedicaidLife InsuranceWills and Trusts
Retirement Accounts401(k) and 403(b) PlansIndividual Retirement Accounts (IRA)SEP and SIMPLE IRAsKeogh PlansMoney Purchase/Profit Sharing PlansSelf-Employed 401(k)s and 457sPension Plan RulesCash-Balance PlansThrift Savings Plans and 529 Plans and ESA
Personal FinancePersonal BankingPersonal DebtHome RelatedTax FormsSmall BusinessIncomeInvestmentsIRS Rules and PublicationsPersonal LifeMortgage
Corporate BasicsBasicsCorporate StructureCorporate FundamentalsCorporate DebtRisksEconomicsCorporate AccountingDividendsEarnings

What is a No-Fee Mortgage?

A No-Fee Mortgage, also known as a no-cost mortgage, is a financial arrangement in which the lender does not charge the borrower for various services associated with the mortgage process. These services typically include applications, appraisals, underwriting, processing, private mortgage insurance, and third-party closing costs. In the world of home financing, the allure of a no-fee mortgage is potent as it eliminates the need for immediate cash outlay for these services.

The fundamental principle of a no-fee mortgage is straightforward: instead of paying upfront costs for application, appraisal, underwriting, processing, and third-party services, these fees are wrapped into the loan. This is usually achieved through a slightly higher interest rate over the lifespan of the loan. In essence, the fees that a bank would typically charge are built into the interest rate of a no-fee mortgage, thereby increasing the borrower's monthly payment but decreasing the upfront costs in addition to the down payment.

Despite the attractive veneer, borrowers must be aware that "no-fee" does not necessarily mean "free." Even if a mortgage is marketed as no-fee, lenders usually do not cover specific expenses such as transfer taxes or attorney fees. Additional costs like flood and private mortgage insurance are often excluded as well. This highlights the importance of thoroughly reading and understanding all aspects of the mortgage contract before signing.

Another aspect to consider is the requirement by many lenders that borrowers hold the no-fee mortgage for a minimum period. Failure to do so may result in an early repayment or cancellation fee. Some lenders even charge a prepayment penalty for making payments ahead of schedule. These strategies are designed to protect the lender's profit by ensuring they recoup their upfront investments in the loan over a specified period.

The financial viability of a no-fee mortgage for a borrower largely depends on the duration for which the mortgage is held. Borrowers can save on closing costs in the short term, but over a longer timeframe, such as the duration of a 30-year mortgage, they might end up paying thousands of dollars in extra interest.

Closing costs and fees are typically calculated based on the total amount loaned and are generally between 1.5% to 3% for a first mortgage and around 1.5% for a refinanced mortgage. When these costs are waived for the borrower, they are usually baked into a higher interest rate on the loan.

 A no-fee mortgage can be an attractive proposition for those seeking to minimize upfront costs. However, potential borrowers must weigh the short-term benefits against the long-term costs and consider other factors such as holding period requirements and excluded costs. Like any financial product, a no-fee mortgage is not one-size-fits-all and should be carefully evaluated based on individual financial circumstances and objectives.


No-fee mortgages are synonymous with no-cost mortgages, which might apply to first mortgages or refinancing arrangements where the closing costs are paid by the lender, broker, or bank, but a higher interest rate is charged on the loan as a means of recouping those waived fees.

Closing costs and fees are calculated based on the total amount being loaned, and might be about 3% for a first mortgage and 1.5% for a refinanced mortgage. When the fees and closing costs associated with a mortgage loan are waived for the borrower, they are usually baked in to a higher interest rate on the loan.

The bank, lender, or mortgage company may pay the closing costs for the borrower (also called a mortgagor), but will recoup their loss with the higher interest rate. These are also called no-cost mortgages or no-closing-cost mortgages.

The fees which would otherwise be due include a wide array of potential sources, such as appraisal fees, surveyor fees, application fees, underwriting fees, home inspection fees, closing attorney fees, broker or agent commission, and so on. They typically add up to an amount between 1.5% and 5% of the total value of the loan, and this is generally due at the time of the closing.

What is Mortgage Refinancing?
What is a No-Appraisal Mortgage?