[ mawr-gij ]
literally ‘death pledge’, from mort (from Latin mortuus ‘dead’) + gage ‘pledge’.
Hi, I’m Marc! Your anti-jargon mortgage expert. I look forward to helping you understand this crazy world of home loans.
Marc Erickson Waving Ready To Help You Learn About Mortgages

Who Am I?

Marc's journey into the mortgage realm began back in 2012 during the HARP refinance frenzy. Starting as a Loan Processor, he quickly learned the importance of efficiency and precision, as the underwriting standards were exceptionally strict. This knowledge was carried along into Loan Origination when Marc obtained his license in 2014. Fast-forward to 2019, and Marc decided to become a Mortgage Broker and start his own 3rd Party Processing Company, Top-Shelf Processing. His primary focus is now educating clients on mortgage loans, while providing the highest level of service and expertise.

Marc Erickson Ready To Teach You About Mortgage Loans Rates and TermsMarc Erickson Enjoying Kayaking While He was a mortgage rate specialist in Fort Collins ColoradoMarc Erickson Playing Hockey As a Child Before He was a mortgage rate specialist in Fort Collins Colorado

Acronyms & Definitions


A Burden placed on a piece of collateral (property) to ensure that loaned funds are repaid. Once the loan is paid in full, the lien is often released

Deed of Trust

A Publically Recorded Agreement between a borrower and lender for financing on a purchase or refinance of a property


A review of a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan. You either qualify or you don't. No points for extra credit


A Valuation of Real Estate. Full appraisals and Drive-by Apprasials are common versions.

LTV - Loan to Value

The percentage of the mortgage loan to the value of the home. Lenders MUST qualify loans based upon the LESSOR of purchase price or Appraised Value

Freddie Mac

A Government Sponsored Entitiy that is the other 1/2 of all Conventional Loan. Provides the Loan Prospector (LP) AUS System.

Fannie Mae

A Government Sponsored Entitiy that is 1/2 of all conventional loans. Provides the Desktop Underwriter (DU) AUS System

TBD Approval - “To Be Determined”

Prior to having a purchase contract signed, the application is reviewed and underwritten to ensure a majority of any issues are caught early.


An estimate of a borrower's ability to qualify for a loan based upon information provided on the loan application

Conditional Approval

A commitment to lend provided by a lender via their underwriter, once all conditions are met, naturally.

Clear to Close

Also known as a final approval. Once conditions are met by a borrower, the loan can move toward the closing and balancing of figures with the title company.

FICO - Fair Issac Corporation. Eg. Credit Scores

A Borrower's ability to repay debt reflected in a numerical fashion

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I'd love to answer any questions you may have, go over some of the latest news in mortgage rates, or expand even further into these terms and definitions.

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