There are multiple mortgage programs available to borrowers that address a range of home financing needs. As outlined below, we provide comprehensive information on over sixty mortgage programs including qualification guidelines, eligibility requirements and program benefits. In addition to addressing program selection, our Mortgage Programs section covers low down payment, home buyer assistance and refinance programs as well as investment property, fixer upper, energy efficient, disaster relief and alternative mortgage programs.
Learn more about the different types of mortgage programs available so you can select the one that is right for you.What Mortgage Program is Right for Me?
Understand how fixed rate, adjustable rate and interest only mortgages work so that you can select the program that best meets your needs. Review the key differences between the programs including interest rates, mortgage terms and risk level. Determine the home loan program that makes the most sense based on your specific financing priorities.What Length of Mortgage Should I Choose?
Determine what length home loan you should get by learning how your loan term affects mortgage qualification, your payment and interest cost. Understand why most borrowers select 30 year mortgage even though loans with shorter terms, such as a 15 year mortgage, save you a significant amount of money in the long run.Fixed Rate Mortgage Overview
Learn how a fixed rate mortgage works and review the loan terms that determine your monthly payment and total interest expense over the life of your mortgage. Understand the mechanics of a fixed rate mortgage and learn why it is the most popular loan program among borrowers.Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Overview
Learn how an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) works and review important loan terms including the ARM margin and index, fully-indexed rate and adjustment caps. Understand when and how much your interest rate can change and how your monthly payment is calculated. Review the reasons to choose an ARM including paying a lower mortgage rate initially.Downside of an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Understand the downside scenario for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) including what happens if your interest rate and monthly payment increase as much as possible as soon as possible when the loan adjusts. Review an informative example the illustrates the risk of payment shock for an ARM so that you are fully are of the potential negatives.Interest Only Mortgage Overview
Learn everything there is to know about an interest only mortgage including how long the interest only period lasts, when you are required to start paying principal and why your mortgage rate and payment can spike. Understand the different phases of an interest only mortgage and review key program terminology. Review the scenarios when it makes the most sense to select an interest only mortgage.Downside of an Interest Only Mortgage
Understand the downside of an interest only mortgage including a significant jump in your monthly payment if your interest rate increases when you start paying principal. Learn if the risks of an interest only mortgage, including a potential payment spike, outweigh the benefits and how the worst case outcome compares to other loan programs.
Understand why your loan size matters when you apply for a mortgage and what it means if you get a jumbo loan.Jumbo Mortgage Overview
Learn what a jumbo mortgage is, how it is defined by lenders and the differences between jumbo and conforming loans. Review jumbo mortgage terms, qualification requirements and loan program eligibility. Learn how the size of your loan impacts your ability to qualify for a mortgage and your loan terms including your interest rate and closing costs.
Review and compare no and low down payment programs that are ideal for borrowers with limited financial resources.Best Low Down Payment, First-Time Buyer & Mortgage Assistance Programs
Review helpful information on over 20 low down payment mortgage programs. Learn about conventional and government backed programs, low down payment fixer upper programs and zero down programs. Our comprehensive list includes both popular and less well-known programs that you may be eligible for. Understand how to buy a home with little or no personal financial contribution.Comparison of No and Low Down Payment Mortgage Programs
Learn how to compare no and low down payment mortgage programs to find the program that best meets your needs. Understand what items you should focus on when comparing programs including eligibility requirements, borrower qualification guidelines, loan limits, income limits, mortgage insurance, interest rates and fees. Learn how to apply for low down payment programs including participating lenders.
We review a wide range of conventional low down payment mortgage programs including widely available and lender-specific programs.1% Down Payment Mortgage Programs
Understand how 1% down mortgage programs work including borrower qualification requirements, program eligibility and how to apply for these programs. Learn how the availability of 1% down programs has changed and how you can create your own program by combining a low down payment mortgage with a down payment grant.3% Down Payment Mortgage Program
Review qualification and eligibility requirements for the conventional 3% Down Payment Mortgage Program including credit score, debt-to-income ratio and loan limits. Learn how to find lenders that offer the 3% Down Program.HomeReady Mortgage Program
Learn how the HomeReady Mortgage Program works including qualification requirements and program eligibility guidelines. Review key program benefits including the ability to use a non-occupant co-borrower, such as a relative, or non-traditional income sources, such as boarder or rental income, to qualify. Understand what lenders offer the HomeReady Program and where you can apply.HomeReady Mortgage and FHA Mortgage Program Comparison
Review a detailed comparison of the HomeReady Mortgage Program to the FHA Mortgage Program to understand the program that is right for you. Compare HomeReady and FHA qualification guidelines, interest rates, mortgage insurance and total monthly payments. Determine the program that saves you money and best meets your needs based on your personal circumstances including your credit score and down payment.Home Possible Mortgage Program
Review our comprehensive Home Possible Mortgage Program Guide including qualification requirements. Learn how to apply for a Home Possible loan and review important program eligibility guidelines including minimum credit score, loan limits, property requirements and private mortgage insurance. Understand how alternate income sources can help you qualify for a Home Possible Mortgage.Home Possible and HomeReady Comparison
Review a detailed comparison of the HomeReady and Home Possible mortgage programs including borrower qualification and program eligibility requirements. Understand both similarities and differences between HomeReady and Home Possible loans to choose the program that is right for you. Learn why the Home Possible compares favorable to HomeReady if you want to buy a multifamily property.HomeOne Mortgage Program
Review our comprehensive HomeOne Mortgage Guide including program eligibility, borrower qualification and property requirements. Understand program benefits including no borrower income limits, no restrictions on where the property is located and the ability to buy a home with a 3% down payment and no borrower financial contribution.Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution
Learn how the Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution Mortgage Program works including applicant eligibility requirements. Understand key program benefits including a low down payment requirement, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), no borrower reserve requirment and the ability to use non-traditional credit profiles to qualify.Chase DreaMaker Mortgage Program
Understand how the Chase DreaMaker Mortgage Program works including program advantages such as favorable loan terms and relatively flexible qualification requirements. Review eligibility guidelines such as borrower income limits, loan limits and private mortgage insurance. Understand how to use a DreaMaker mortgage to buy a home with 3% down and no personal financial contribution.Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program Overview
Learn how the Citi HomeRun Mortgage Program works including qualification requirements and borrower eligibility guidelines. Understand how the down payment and personal financial contribution required to qualify for the program varies based on property type. Review program benefits including no private mortgage insurance and higher loan limits in some areas.Wells Fargo yourFirst Mortgage Program
Understand how the Wells Fargo yourFirst Mortgage Program works including qualification requirements such as minimum credit score and maximum debt-to-income ratio. Understand program benefits including the ability to buy a home with a low down payment and no personal contribution, possible mortgage rate discount and the ability to qualify for the program with a non-traditional credit profile.Your Path Mortgage Program
Understand how the Your Path Mortgage Program works including applying more flexible qualification requirements such as the ability to include alternate income sources and seasonal employment in your loan application. Review program eligibility guidelines including higher borrower income limits and minimum credit score and program benefits including attractive mortgage terms.
We offer comprehensive guides on numerous government-backed low down payment programs. Although these programs are insured by the government, they are offered through traditional lenders such as banks, mortgage brokers and credit unions.FHA Mortgage Program Overview
Our comprehensive FHA Mortgage Guide includes everything you need to know about an FHA Loan such as borrower eligibility, program guidelines, qualification requirements and loan limits. Understand the minimum required credit score, maximum debt-to-income ratio and the FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP) you are required to pay. Learn how to qualify for an FHA mortgage.VA Home Loan Program Overview
Review our complete VA Home Loan Guide including program eligibility and how a VA mortgage works. Understand VA loan requirements including borrower entitlement, residual income and required credit score. Determine the upfront VA funding fee you may be required to pay and that VA loan limit for your county. Learn what lenders offer the VA program and how to get approved.USDA Home Loan Program Overview
Our in-depth USDA Home Loan Guide includes everything you need to know about qualifying for a USDA mortgage including property eligibility guidelines and mortgage insurance fees. Review USDA Home Loan Program requirements including borrower income limits, maximum debt-to-income ratio and required credit score. Learn how to buy a home in a designated rural area with no money down.Section 184 Loan Program Overview
Our helpful Section 184 Loan Guide include includes borrower eligibility guidelines and qualification requirements. Learn how this Native American home loan program works and review guidelines such as minimum down payment, loan limits and mortgage insurance. Determine if the progrm is available in your state and how to find lenders that offer Section 184 Loans.
Learn everything there is to know about the NACA Mortgage Program including how you can use the program to buy a home with no down payment and no closing costs. Learn about the NACA application process, qualification and document requirements, the volunteer participation requirement and how to apply for the NACA Program. Understand how a NACA home loan is different than a regular mortgage including unique benefits for borrowers.
These homebuyer assistance programs can help you pay for your down payment or closing costs.Closing Cost Assistance Grant Overview
Understand how closing cost assistance programs work including eligibility and qualification requirements. Learn about the different types of closing cost assistance programs, how to apply for them and how to combine them with low down payment mortgages. Review an example that shows how these programs make buying a home more affordable.Down Payment Assistance Program Overview
Learn how down payment assistance programs work including the different types of programs available such as grants, conditional grants and subordinated second loans. Review the lenders and housing organizations that offer down payment assistance programs. Understand how to apply for a down payment assistance grant and review program eligibility and borrower qualification requirements.Community Seconds Mortgage Program
Our comprehensive Community Seconds Mortgage Program guide includes how to use the program to pay for your down payment and closing costs when you buy a home. Learn how to find lenders that Community Seconds Mortgages and how to apply for the program. Understand the qualification requirements and program options available to applicants.Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program Overview
Learn how a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) works including how an MCC helps you qualify for a mortgage by reducing your federal tax bill. Understand the tax benefits of an MCC and qualification requirements such as income and property price limits. Determine if you are eligible for an MCC and how to apply for the program. Includes a helpful example of an MCC.Contract for Deed Overview
Understand how a Contract for Deed works including how it is different than a regular mortgage. Review the significant risks and disadvantages of a Contract for Deed including being responsible for property expenses despite not legally owning the property. Know the steps you should take to protect your interests if you use a Contract for Deed to buy a home.Individual Development Accounts Overview
Learn how an Individual Development Account (IDA) works including the organizations that sponsor the program, how an IDA can help you buy a home and how to apply for an IDA. Determine if you are eligible for an IDA, how your funds are matched and when you can take out money from an IDA.
Learn about the mortgage programs available to buy or refinance an investment or rental property.Non-Owner Occupied Mortgage
Understand the differences between owner occupied and non-owner occupied mortgages including comparing loan terms, maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and other qualification requirements. Learn the different guidelines lenders use when you apply for a non-owner occupied mortgage including requiring a higher down payment. Review how lenders treat rental property income when you apply for the mortgage.
Fixer upper and home renovation mortgage programs enable you to buy or refinance a home and include significant renovations or repairs in your loan amount.Fixer-Upper / Renovation Mortgage Program Summary
Learn how fixer upper mortgage programs work and how to find the home renovation program that best meets your needs. Understand how to compare fixer upper mortgages including if the program uses the after renovation property value, a single loan closing and qualification requirements such as project and loan limits. Review a list of fixer upper mortgage programs available to borrowers.Construction Loan Program
Understand how construction loans work including loan terms, disbursement schedule, qualification requirements and property eligibility. Review the reports and documents you are required to provide when you apply for the loan and how to find lenders that offer construction loans. Learn how to use a construction loan to build your dream home.Construction to Permanent (C2P) Loan Program
Learn everything there is to know about Construction-to-Permanent, or C2P, loans including why C2P mortgages are better than construction loans. Review C2P Program benefits including a single close and the ability to lock in your mortgage terms several months in advance. Understand the different phases a, program requirements and how to find lenders that offer C2P loans.CHOICERenovation Mortgage Program
The CHOICERenovation Mortgage Program enables you to finance the purchase of a home or refinance an existing mortgage and include the cost of significant property renovations in your mortgage instead of taking out two separate loans. Review program qualification requirements and eligibility guidelines for this compelling fixer upper loan program and learn how to apply for a CHOICERenovation mortgage.FHA 203(k) Home Loan Program
Understand how the FHA 203(k) Loan Program works including advantages such using the as-completed property value to qualify for the loan and requiring a low down payment. Understand FHA 203(k) mortgage qualification requirements including property eligibility guidelines. Learn how to find lenders that offer FHA 203(k) mortgages and how to apply for the program.HomeStyle Renovation Program
Review everything you need to know about a HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage including how to use the program to purchase and renovate a fixer upper. Understand program qualification requirements including the minimum required credit score and maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Find lenders that offer HomeStyle Renovation mortgages and learn how to apply.
Use energy efficient or green mortgage programs to finance energy upgrades, lower your utility bills and increase your property value.Best Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) / Green Mortgage Programs
Review our comprehensive list of energy efficient mortgage programs. Learn how energy efficient mortgage programs work and how to use them to lower your utility costs and increase your property value. Understand how to compare EEM programs including loan terms and qualification requirements to find the best energy efficient mortgage program for you.HomeStyle Energy Program
Learn how the HomeStyle Energy Mortgage Program works including key process steps, loan requirements, qualification guidelines and what energy efficient property upgrades are eligible under program guidelines. Understand how to apply for the program, the additional documentation your are required to provide and how to find HomeStyle Energy Mortgage lenders.FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) Program
Understand how an FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage works and how the program enables you to use a single loan to buy a home with a low down payment and pay for energy efficient improvements. Review qualification guidelines including eligible energy package upgrades. Learn how the program enables you to exceed FHA loan limits and how to find FHA EEM lenders.VA Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) Program
Learn everything there is to know about the VA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program including how you can use a VA EEM loan to buy a home with no down payment and pay for energy efficiency upgrades. Understand how to apply for the program, how much you can spend on improvements, the home upgrades that are eligible for the program and how to find VA EEM lenders.Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loan
Learn how a PACE Loan works and how it is different than a standard home improvement loan. Understand how a PACE Loan is attached to the property and not the borrower and how you pay for the loan through your property taxes. Review the potential challenges of a PACE Loan and why they can make it more difficult to buy or refinance a property.
Review the loan programs available if you want to access the equity in your home.Home Equity Loan Overview
Learn everything there is to know about a home equity loan including key loan terms, qualification requirements and if home equity loan interest is tax deductible. Understand how to determine what size home equity loan you qualify for and how you can spend the loan proceeds. Review how to shop home equity loan lenders.Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Overview
Understand how a home equity line of credit (HELOC) works including different types of HELOC, qualification requirements and how to determine if you have enough equity to qualify. Make sense of key HELOC terminology and review HELOC borrower benefits and considerations. Learn how to find HELOC lenders.A Home Equity Loan Compared to a HELOC
Review our comprehensive comparison of a HELOC to a home equity loan to select the financing option that is right for you. Understand how each program works, when you receive loan proceeds and the differences in loan terms and monthly payments. Learn how a HELOC provides greater financial flexibility while a home equity loan offers certainty.Home Equity Loan Compared to a Mortgage Refinance
We compare a mortgage refinance to a home equity loan including to help you determine the alternative that best meets your needs. Find out when refinancing your mortgage is better than a home equity loan and the scenarios when a home equity loan makes more sense. Understand how closing costs, total interest expense and other loan terms impact your decision.
Understand the ins and outs of a reverse mortgage so you can determine if it is the right financing option for you.How a Reverse Mortgage Works
Learn everything there is to know about how a reverse mortgage works including borrower eligibility requirements, the different types of programs, how much money you can receive from a reverse mortgage and program costs and fees. Determine what lenders offer reverse mortgages and review the questions you should ask lenders to determine if a reverse mortgage is right for you.Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons
Review our comprehensive list of reverse mortgage pros and cons that all potential applicants should understand. Reverse mortgage pros include eliminating your mortgage payment and taking cash out of your home tax free. Program risks include an increasing loan balance and total loss of homeowners equity if your property value does not increase.Reverse Mortgage Terminology
Make sense of confusing reverse mortgage terminology so that you can decide if it is the right option for you. The terms for a reverse mortgage are different than for a regular "forward" mortgage and we provide helpful explanations for all the key terms you may come accross if you apply for the program.Reverse Mortgage Options: Fixed Rate or ARM
Understand if a fixed rate or adjustable rate reverse mortgage is right for you. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each type of loan program including the differences in disbursement options, loan proceeds and interest rates for the programs. Determine how your mortgage balance changes over time depending on the type of reverse mortgage you select.How to Get a Jumbo Reverse Mortgage
Learn how to get a jumbo reverse mortgage and know the differences between jumbo and standard reverse mortgages including greater loan proceeds, stricter qualification requirements, a higher interest rate, fewer disbursement options and limited program availability. Understand how to find jumbo reverse mortgage lenders.
Find the mortgage refinance program that addresses your unique situation. Many of these programs enable you to refinance with minimal documentation and relaxed qualification requirements.Best Refinance Assistance Programs
Review our comprehensive list of mortgage refinance assistance programs including streamline refinance and loan modification programs. Understand eligibility and borrower qualification requirements so you can determine the best program for you. Learn how to apply for refinance assistance programs that apply more flexible qualification guidelines.RefiNow Mortgage Program
Review the eligibility guidelines and qualification requirements for the RefiNow Mortgage Program including borrower income limits, the minimum required credit score and maximum debt-to-income ratio. Learn about program benefits including reducing your mortgage rate and monthly loan payment. Understand how to determine if you are eligible for the RefiNow Program, what types of properties are allowed and how to apply.High LTV Refinance Option Program
Understand the qualification guidelines for the High LTV Refinance Option Program. Review program advantages including no maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio or debt-to-income ratio , simplified income and employment verification documentation and no minimum credit score required for most applicants. Determine if you qualify for the High LTV Refinance Option and how to use the program to refinance an underwater loan into a more affordable mortgage.Enhanced Relief Refinance Program
Review eligibility guidelines and qualification requirements for the Enhanced Relief Refinance Program. Understand program benefits including the ability to refinance an underwater mortgage, no minimum credit score or maximum debt-to-income ratio, streamlined income verification and no appraisal report requirement in many cases. Determine if you are eligible for the Enhanced Relief Refinance Program and how it can potentially help you lower your monthly payment or loan balance.FHA Streamline Refinance Program
Learn everything there is to know about the FHA Streamline Refinance Program including how you can refinance into an FHA mortgage with no income or credit score verification. Understand program eligibility guidelines including loan status and property occupancy. Review the net tangible benefit requirement to determine if you qualify for an FHA Streamline Refinance.VA Streamline / IRRRL Refinance Program
Understand how a VA Streamline Refinance, also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), works and how this program can lower your monthly payment. Review VA Streamline Refinance requirements including program eligibility and more flexible qualification guidelines. Learn how you can qualify for the program with no minimum credit score or maximum debt-to-income ratio. Find VA Streamline Refinance lenders near you.USDA Streamline Refinance Program
Everything you need to know about a USDA Streamline Refinance including how the program saves you time and money. Understand how USDA Streamline Refinance requirements enable you to qualify with no credit report, property appraisal, income limits or maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Learn if you are eligible for an USDA Streamline Refinance.FHA Cash Out Refinance Program
Review FHA Cash Out Refinance guidelines including borrower qualification requirements and program eligibility. Program benefits include the ability to take more cash out of multi-family properties and more flexible qualification guidelines such as a lower required credit score and higher debt-to-income ratio. Learn how to find FHA Cash Out Refinance Lenders.Student Loan Cash Out Refinance
Understand how a Student Loan Cash Out Refinance works, including program guidelines and qualification requirements. Learn how to use the equity in your home to pay off student loans, refinance your mortgage and lower your total monthly debt expense. Learn why Student Loan Cash Out Refinance rates are lower and find lenders that offer the program.Delayed Mortgage Program
Learn how a Delayed Mortgage works and how you can use the program to take cash out of your home sooner than with a standard refinance. Understand the reasons to get a Delayed Mortgage and the limits on use of proceeds. Review qualification requirements including the extra documentation you submit when you apply for the loan.
These distressed refinance programs are applicable to borrowers who are struggling to pay their mortgage and afford their home.Home Affordable Refinance Program 2.0 (HARP 2.0)
Learn when the HARP 2.0 program ended and what refinance assistance programs replaced it.FHFA Principal Reduction Modification Program
Understand How the FHFA Principal Reduction Modification Program works including eligibility guidelines. Program benefits include lowering your interest rate and forgiving part of your mortgage balance, which combine to reduce your monthly payment. Learn if you are eligible for an FHFA Principal Reduction Modification and where you can find more information.Other Distressed Mortgage Refinance Programs
Review our list of distressed refinance mortgage programs for borrowers who are underwater on the their home. Includes summary information on multiple loan modification and principal reduction programs that are designed to make your mortgage and monthly payment more mangageable.
Learn how the FHA 203(h) Mortgage Program works and how disaster victims can use the program to buy or rebuild a home with no down payment. Review program eligibility requirements including that applicants must live in Presidentially designated disaster area. Determine if you qualify for a FHA 203(h) Mortgage and this program can help you rebuild after losing your home.
These programs are applicable to borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a standard mortgage with a traditional lender. If your loan application has unique circumstances then an alternative mortgage program may be right for you.Alternative Mortgage Programs
Understand the differences between traditional and alternative mortgages including qualification requirements and loan terms including interest rates and fees. Learn when alternative mortgage programs make sense for borrowers and review information on multiple programs.Alt-A Mortgage
Learn what an Alt-A Mortgage is and how it is different than a standard mortgage. Understand Alt-A Loan qualification requirements, loan features and when borrowers should consider using one. Alt-a loans apply more flexible eligibility guidelines but charge a higher interest rate and fees.Asset Depletion Mortgage
Understand how an Asset Depletion Mortgage works including eligible assets, how your income is calculated when you apply for the loan and qualification requirements. Learn how to find lenders that offer Asset Depletion Mortgages.Bank Statement Mortgage
Learn how a Bank Statement Mortgage works and how you can qualify for a mortgage without providing tax returns, W-2s or pay stubs. Understand bank statement loan requirements, including the documents you are required to provide lenders, how lenders calculate your income and why the program is good for self-employed borrowers. Learn how to find bank statement mortgage lenders.Bridge Loan
Understand how to use a Bridge Loan to buy a home including qualification requirements, how they work and loan terms. Review the reasons to use a Bridge Loan including if you have not sold your current home, you cannot qualify for a traditional mortgage or as a fix & flip loan. Understand Bridge Loan mechanics such as your monthly payment and when your loan is due. Learn how to find Bridge Loan lenders.DSCR Mortgage Program
Learn how a Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) mortgage works including how you can buy or refinance a rental property without providing tax returns, W-2s or pay stubs. A DSCR mortgage enables you to finance an investment property by using rental income instead of your personal income. Understand the qualification requirements for a DSCR loan including the coverage ratio used by lenders.Hard Money Loan
Learn how a Hard Money Loan, also known as a Private Money Loan, works including key loan terms such as interest rate, fees and prepayment penalty. Understand when a hard money loan makes sense including if you cannot qualify for a mortgage with a traditional lender. Review qualification requirements including the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio applied by lenders. Find hard money lenders near you.No Documentation Mortgage
Review how a No Documentation Mortgage works and how you can qualify without a lender verifying your income, assets or employment. Understand why these loans are also called NINJA loans and review loan requirements including minimum credit score and maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Learn why No Documentation mortgage rates are higher and how to find lenders that offer the program.Second Mortgage
Learn how to use a second mortgage to buy a home including benefits such as increasing your purchasing power, lowering the rate on your first mortgage and potentially avoiding private mortgage insurance (PMI). Understand second mortgage qualification requirements, rates and fees. Learn how to find lenders that offer second mortgages.Stated Income Mortgage
Understand how a Stated Income Loan works including benefits and risks for both borrowers and lenders. Understand program requirements, how Stated Income Loans contributed to the real estate crisis, current program availability and the alternative document mortgage programs that replaced stated income loans.About the author