What Is a Mortgage?

What Is a Mortgage?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A mortgage is a type of loan that individuals or businesses acquire to finance the purchase of a property. Typically, this loan is obtained from a bank or other financial institution. The borrower, who is the person acquiring the loan, will need to pay back the loan with interest over a specified period of time through a series of scheduled payments. The property purchased with the mortgage serves as collateral. This means that if the borrower cannot make the payments, the lender has the right to take over the property.

Related Questions

1. What are the types of mortgages?

There are mainly two types of mortgages: fixed-rate and adjustable-rate. In a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same throughout the loan term. On the other hand, the interest rate in an adjustable-rate mortgage can change over time based on market conditions.

2. How long does it usually take to pay off a mortgage?

Want More Financial Tips?

Get Our Best Stuff First (for FREE)
We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Typically, mortgages are paid off over a long period of time, with the most common terms being 15, 20, or 30 years. However, the length of the mortgage can vary depending on the specifics of the mortgage agreement and the borrower’s financial situation.

3. What is mortgage refinancing?

Mortgage refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage to replace the original one. The purpose of refinancing could be to get a lower interest rate, reduce monthly payments, shorten the mortgage term, or switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one.

4. How does one qualify for a mortgage?

Qualifying for a mortgage primarily involves proving to the lender that you have the financial capacity to repay the loan. This is typically done by evaluating your credit score, employment history, income, and other debts. The amount of loan you can qualify for will largely depend on these factors.

5. What happens if I default on my mortgage?

If you default on your mortgage, meaning you fail to make the agreed-upon payments, the lender can initiate a legal process known as foreclosure. This process allows the lender to seize the property and sell it in order to recoup the funds lent.