What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan you take against your property. In a typical mortgage agreement, the lender has the right to cease your property if you fail to repay the agreed amount. The lender will also have the right to repossess the property and sell it in order to recover their money.

The lender may charge interest on the loan’s outstanding balance, which can be paid monthly or annually. If you cannot repay the loan when due, the lender may increase the interest rate. This means that you will end up paying more for the same amount borrowed.

The term ‘mortgage’ comes from the Latin word mortuus, meaning dead. Mortgages were initially used as security for loans made by banks to farmers and other small businesses.  

One of the many things to consider when choosing a loan amount is the value of your house that you plan to use as collateral. 

You can get a mortgage from a bank, building society, or credit union.

Loan to value 

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a number lenders use to determine how much risk they take with a secured loan. It measures the relationship between the loan amount and the asset’s market value securing the loan.

When calculating LTV, most lenders look at the home’s current market value, not its original cost. For example, if the home was purchased five years ago for $200,000 but now sells for $250,000, then the LTV would be 80%.

The higher the LTV, the greater the risk the lender takes on. A low LTV indicates the lender is willing to lend less than the home is worth.

If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender could lose the home and any equity built up over time. 

Types of Mortgages

There are mainly three kinds of mortgages: Conventional, Government, Jumbo, Fixed-interest rates, and Adjustable-rates; now, understand them better by reading the explanations below.

Conventional mortgages

A conventional mortgage is a loan from a home buyer that government agencies do not back. This loan is provided by private agencies like banks, finance companies, etc. Fannie Mae and Freddie mac only guarantee it. “conventional mortgage” or “conventional loan” is more beneficial for a good credit score.

Government mortgage 

The US government doesn’t offer loans directly; instead, they provide insurance through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These mortgages may be suitable for people with bad credit scores, low incomes, and/or low payments. If you qualified for a mortgage, you could buy a house without spending money.

Jumbo mortgage 

This type of loan is helpful for exceeding the limits regulated by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). A Jumbo mortgage is set for an expensive mortgage, and if you enter more than $647,200of a conventional home loan, this is a jumbo mortgage loan. This type of mortgage help you buy a house that’s cost is more expensive than a regular home.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

These are loans where the rate remains constant throughout the life of the loan. There is no chance of rising interest rates affecting your repayments. A fixed-rate mortgage is a popular mortgage.

They are suitable for borrowers who do not expect their circumstances to change significantly during repayment. In terms 10,15, 20, or 30 years. Usually, most are 15 and 30 years.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

With ARMs, the rate of interest charged fluctuates with market rates. First-time buyers often use these because they offer lower initial costs than fixed-rate mortgages. Your first adjustable period could be 5,8 or 10 years. After the first period, your mortgage rate changes based on the fluctuation of the market interest rate. 

 After finishing your interest period of time, your lender adjusts the interest rate with various market index to how the market is going in the current situation and then decide your next mortgage rate.

How Mortgages Work

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will ask about your financial situation. They will look at your current debts, savings, and assets. They will also check whether you have had previous bad debt problems.

They will calculate what size mortgage you can afford based on these figures. Once you agree to the mortgage terms, the lender will issue a contract. This sets out all the details of how much you owe, how long you have to repay the money, and what happens if you default on the agreement.

You will sign the contract and return it to the lender. You will then start making monthly payments to the lender.

If you fail to make any payments, the lender has the right to repossess the property. Repossession means taking back possession of the property from you.

What factors determine mortgage rates?

The cost of borrowing depends on several things. Most importantly, the type of mortgage you choose affects the overall cost.

Lenders charge different rates depending on the risk involved in lending to them. A higher risk means that there is a greater chance of non-payment.

Other factors include the loan’s length, the borrower’s age, and the value of the bought property.

Some lenders offer special deals to attract new customers. For example, some banks offer low introductory rates for new customers. However, this means that the rates rise after a particular time.

Some lenders offer discounts for paying off existing debts before applying for a mortgage. If you have other outstanding debts, such as credit cards, student loans, or car finance, this could help you get a better deal.

Who Gets A Mortgage?

Anyone can get a mortgage who wants to buy a home. There are no restrictions on who can take out a mortgage.

However, some people may find it more challenging to get a mortgage than others. The main reason someone might struggle to get a mortgage is that they don’t meet the minimum income requirements set by the bank.

In order to qualify for a mortgage, you must meet certain criteria. Your income should be enough to cover your living expenses and mortgage repayment.

Your personal circumstances, such as your health and employment status, should not prevent you from getting a mortgage.


What is a 1st mortgage loan?

This is the most common type of mortgage. It is usually taken out when buying a house.

It is called a ‘1st’ mortgage because the person taking out the loan becomes the property owner.

Who should consider the 1st mortgage?

Anyone looking to buy a property should consider the 1st loan. It offers good flexibility and is relatively easy to qualify for.

Is a mortgage a lien?

Yes. You become legally bound to pay the money back when you take out a mortgage. This means that if you don’t keep up with your repayments, the bank can repossess the property and sell it to recover the money owed.

Who owns a mortgage?

The lender owns a mortgage. The lender holds legal title to the property until they receive full repayment.

Where does mortgage money come from?

Most people borrow money from their local bank. Banks lend money to individuals who want to buy a home.

Who is the legal owner of a mortgaged property?

The legal owner of a mortgaged property is the person who took out the mortgage.

Who is the legal owner of a mortgaged property?

The legal owner is the person who takes out the mortgage.

How do I know if my mortgage is fixed or variable?

Fixed mortgages are easier to understand than variable ones. With a fixed mortgage, the interest rate remains constant throughout the life of the loan. Variable mortgages work differently. The interest rate changes over time.

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