They're Called Sub-Prime Lenders for a Reason

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How many times have you heard that? How many times have we as Americans forgotten that?

For example, take this notion that you can borrow on the cheap to buy something expensive.

That you can mortgage yourself to the hilt with one of those incredibly low mortgage teaser rates and simply refinance with the certain increased equity in your home to yet another low teaser rate… until the next refinancing and the next teaser rate.

Sounds simple. And for many, it was.

Then it wasn't.

Then the teaser rates weren't so low and the follow-up rates weren't so hot. And then... well, you know the rest of the story.

Sometimes we forget that if it sounds like a sure thing, it probably is not.

Many of us looked for easy outs. And more than a few eager, risky lenders obliged.

And now they're holding the bag. And so are we.

They're called "sub-prime lenders" for a reason. Not only for the way they feed off the weak, but for the way they take advantage of the reckless, promoting a financial Ponzi scheme that can't be sustained and dreams that can't be realized.

There are no short cuts to saving for a home or handling the burden of a home.

All I'm saying is, assume the worst when you're buying a home.

Consider the highest rate possible on that adjustable mortgage. Can you pay it?

And assume no growth at all in real estate values in your area. Can you handle it?

Likely, things will never get that bad and you can sleep.

But far better you're prepared, so you don't have to wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, because you can't.

Watch Neil Cavuto weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on "Your World with Cavuto" and send your comments to