In 2005, it was super-simple to obtain a mortgage. Most lenders were happy to accommodate any borrower. In the days of easy money, no down payments, and huge appraised values, we were all skipping toward financial freedom...until we came to a screeching halt. The housing crisis opened our eyes (and the eyes of our lenders) to the problems in our easy-money system.

Their house was beautiful. We pulled up expecting a small ranch like our own, but found ourselves sitting in a three-car driveway, in front of a three car garage. Really? How many people need a three-car garage?

My mortgage and I didn’t always get along.  We had fights, and my mortgage often made me want to cry.  Recently, however, we came to a truce and decided to play nice with each other.  The following is our love story.

The mortgage – let’s call him Bob – and I met over a three-bedroom ranch in small-town Iowa.  We instantly fell in love.  Bob offered me the ability to own a home with the ease of an affordable down payment and low monthly payments, and I offered Bob hefty interest feedings…I mean payments.