What is a Mortgage?

Mortgages are financial commitments that allow you to borrow money to purchase or refinance a home. Before applying for one, it’s essential that you have an in-depth understanding of its workings.

A Mortgage is a Secured Loan
A loan secured by a mortgage (usually on real property) gives the lender the right to foreclose on your property if you fail to repay it. This could occur if you default on payments or the value of your property drops below what you still owe on it.

The terms of a mortgage vary by country and location, but in general they must be repaid over an extended period with periodic payments toward principal and interest. This process is known as amortization, with payments calculated according to a formula that takes into account the time value of money – thus giving rise to monthly payments.

When purchasing a home, you typically must make a down payment to cover the purchase price. Usually, this amount ranges from 6% to 12% of the total home price; however, some lenders provide loans with even lower down payments available.

Your mortgage payment covers part of your loan’s balance and interest, plus property taxes and homeowners insurance that is paid on your behalf by the lender. It also covers costs related to escrow – an account set up by your lender to hold money for certain expenses related to owning a home.

You must meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirement, verify your income and debts with W-2s and pay stubs, and evaluate your debt-to-income ratio to see if you can afford your mortgage payments and repay the loan on schedule.

Mortgages can be an option for those who may not be able to purchase a house outright, such as those with low credit scores or poor employment histories. Some private lenders also provide government-backed mortgages that help low- to middle-income families and those with bad credit purchase homes.

Finding a Mortgage is Simple
When looking to purchase your home, it’s essential that you do some research and find the best mortgage for your requirements. Most lenders provide various options and fees so make sure to compare quotes from multiple providers before signing on the dotted line.

A Mortgage is a Secured Mortgage
A mortgage is an obligation secured by the property you’re purchasing, with the lender holding title to your new home as collateral if you fail to make payments on time. It’s essential that you understand that without lender approval, you cannot sell your house.

Your Mortgage Will Be Repaid Over Time
A standard mortgage has a term of 30 years, but you have the option to pay it off sooner or later and/or extend the term. Ultimately, what works best for your budget and how much money you want to save for retirement or other goals depends on what works best within your financial constraints.