How Do Mortgages Work

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or lender to help you finance the purchase of a home. When you take out a mortgage, you make a promise to repay the money you’ve borrowed, plus an agreed-upon interest rate. The home is used as "collateral."

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In simple terms, a mortgage is a loan in which your house functions as the collateral. The bank or mortgage lender loans you a large chunk of money (typically 80 percent of the price of the home), which you must pay back — with interest — over a set period of time.

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Mortgage insurance usually adds to your costs. Depending on the loan type, you will pay monthly mortgage insurance premiums, an upfront mortgage insurance fee, or both. Mortgage insurance protects the lender if you fall behind on your payments. It does not protect you.

In plain English, a mortgage is a loan. For many people, it’s the biggest loan they will ever borrow. With a regular loan, there’s no explicit collateral. The lender looks at your credit history, your income and your savings, and determines if you’re a good risk. With a mortgage, the collateral for the loan is the house itself.

So you’ve got to discipline yourself not to do that. As easy as it is to do, whatever position it is, we’ve had those all.

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When you refinance your mortgage, you are essentially trading in your old loan for a fresh one with a new interest rate and mortgage term. And possibly even a new loan balance. You may elect to receive this new mortgage from the same bank that held your old loan previously, or you may refinance your home loan with an entirely different lender.

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work. A reverse mortgage is a loan made by a lender to a homeowner using the home as security or collateral. With a traditional mortgage, the homeowner uses their income to pay down the debt over time.