Points: 1% of the amount of the mortgage loan. For example, if a loan is made for $50,000, one point equals $500.

Pre-approval Letter: A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you are a serious buyer.

Predatory Lending: Abusive lending practices that include making a mortgage loan to an individual who does not have the income to repay it or repeatedly refinancing a loan, charging high points and fees each time and "packing" credit insurance on to a loan.

Pre-qualification letter: A letter from a mortgage lender that states that you are pre-qualified to buy a home but does not commit the lender to a particular mortgage amount.

Principal: The amount of money borrowed to buy your house or the amount of the loan that has not yet been paid back to the lender. This does not include the interest you will pay to borrow that money. The principal balance (sometimes called the outstanding or unpaid principal balance) is the amount owed on the loan at any given time. It is the original loan amount minus the total repayments of principal you have made to date.

Private Mortgage Insurance: see Mortgage Insurance

Property Appreciation: see Appreciation