Personal Finance

Finding the Best Mortgages For Your Future

Mortgages refer to “claims against real estate.” They are sometimes called “claims on real property.”


A mortgage is a loan that is secured by an asset, such as a home, and used to pay monthly mortgage payments. A fixed rate mortgage allows the borrower to make one fixed payment at the beginning and one payment at the end of the term of the loan and at specified points throughout the term of that loan. A growing share of today’s mortgage market consists of non-traditional lenders.

In the past, mortgages were backed primarily by homes. Homes typically had to be bought and financed by banks. Now mortgages can be issued by any financial institution, including credit unions and non-traditional lenders. While traditional mortgages do not come with any down payment, they do require homeowners to have equity in the home as security.

Interest rates are usually determined by the amount of money needed to repay the mortgage and the interest rate charged for that amount. Mortgage payments can be spread over the remaining period of the term of a mortgage loan, or if the mortgage is a fixed rate mortgage, they are made all at once. In most cases, payments are made each month but there may be other times where the payments are paid out over a longer period of time.

Some of today’s mortgages include both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. Fixed rate mortgages have a pre-determined interest rate that cannot be changed until the borrower becomes delinquent on the loan, usually about six months. If the interest rate is raised, borrowers are required to make further payments. Adjustable rate mortgages can be set at a higher interest rate, however, and if they drop, borrowers will need to pay the lower interest rate plus additional payments. A third type of mortgage is called an “optical” mortgage.

Some people prefer adjustable rate mortgages because they can decrease the amount of payments that are due at the end of the term of the loan and pay the reduced amount to the bank instead. When interest rates rise, they do not affect the payments as much as fixed rate mortgages. Adjustable rate mortgages are sometimes set at an adjustable rate that increases and decreases at certain points during the term of the mortgage loan. The mortgage interest is reset when the new interest rate is reached. In most cases, this resetting of the interest rate is permanent.

Before applying for a mortgage loan, it is a good idea to research several different mortgage lenders to make sure you understand the terms and conditions of each lender. Your credit rating should be good to avoid paying more than you can afford.

When you get your credit report, review it carefully to see if you have any errors on it that could lead to higher interest rates when you refinance your existing mortgage loan. You should check all statements for late payments and payment inquiries. There may be instances when you find a mistake on your report that could be causing you to pay more in the future. This could lead to a late payment fee and/or a higher interest rate.

It is also important that you keep track of your monthly payments and interest rates. If your payments go up but your interest rate remains the same, then you could be paying too much in mortgage payments.

Before applying for a mortgage, consider if you can afford the total cost of the mortgage. If you have to borrow a larger amount of money to purchase your new home, you may want to look at getting a fixed rate mortgage. This type of mortgage usually allows the mortgage lender to charge the same interest rate throughout the life of the loan, regardless of what the current interest rate is. In this case, you would only have to pay interest on the principal value of the home, not on the amount borrowed.