A mortgage is basically a loan specific to the real estate market. Typically, it covers 70-90% of the purchase price of a house or other property, with the penalty for non-payment being foreclosure, or reversion of the property to the lender. They are available from most banks, credit unions, portfolio lenders and some government agencies.
Mortgage loans usually employ a 30-year repayment (or amortization) schedule. Payments are a changing combination of interest and principal, so that in the early years a payment mostly consists of interest on the outstanding principal balance, but in later years the mix becomes much more heavily weighted toward paying the principal itself. There also is private mortgage insurance to consider, which is required if less than 20% is put down on the house. It has gotten easier to actually get rid of this extra payment as soon as possible.
Learning the administrative and legal aspects of the loan process is essential for anyone considering a loan. A borrower should know what contracts and documents he or she will encounter, and how to negotiate through the paperwork. Also, it is important to be aware of what fees may be assessed and how to minimize or eliminate them wherever possible.
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