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Mortgage! Defenition, Who and Where can You Get a Morgage?


For many, owning a home is part of the American dream. For most homeowners in America, getting a mortgage is just one of the steps to getting there.

If you’re contemplating homeownership and wondering how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll cover all the mortgage basics, including loan types, mortgage lingo, the home buying process and more.

A Simple Definition Of A Mortgage

Before we dive in, let’s talk about some mortgage basics. First, what does the word “mortgage” even mean?

A mortgage, also referred to as a mortgage loan, is an agreement between you (the borrower) and a mortgage lender to buy or refinance a home without having all the cash upfront. This agreement gives lenders the legal rights to repossess a property if you fail to meet the terms of your mortgage, most commonly by not repaying the money you’ve borrowed plus interest.

Who Gets A Mortgage?

Most people who buy a home do so with a mortgage. A mortgage is a necessity if you can’t pay the full cost of a home out of pocket.

There are some cases where it makes sense to have a mortgage on your home even though you have the money to pay it off. For example, sometimes mortgage properties to free up funds for other investments.

Finding the best mortgage loan is about more than just securing the lowest interest rate. It’s also important to make sure you’re comfortable with the company that’s originating the loan.

Although many parts of the mortgage process are the same across all lenders, there are some differences that can affect the fees you are charged and the service you receive that are worth considering when you shop around.

Where Can You Get a Mortgage?

There are many companies that can help you get a mortgage loan. You could consider a local bank branch where you have a savings account, an online lender or a mortgage broker that works with many lenders.

Lenders that accept your application and lead you through the mortgage process up until closing are loan originators. Once you close on a mortgage, the loan might be sold from the loan originator to another company, which will then be in charge of collecting payments from you.

1.       Conventional Banks

Mortgage loans are part of the portfolio of services at banks, which also offer checking and savings accounts, other types of loans and possibly investment services.

You can apply in person or online at a bank and will be assigned a loan officer. You might prefer this option if you already have accounts at the bank and want to get personal service from a community bank or local branch of a larger institution.

2.       Credit Unions

There are more than 5,100 federally insured credit unions in the U.S., ranging from small lenders to multi-state operations. Like banks, they have a variety of financial offerings—including savings and checking accounts—and more than half of the loans they issue are mortgages.

To get a mortgage loan with a credit union, you need to be a member, which usually means you have to have a “common bond” with others. For example, you could have a family member who is a member, be required to live in particular geographic areas or need to have worked at or retired from companies or governmental agencies connected with the credit union.

You might prefer credit unions to other options because of their personal service and members-only deals.

3.       Nonbank Mortgage Lenders

More mortgages are issued with nonbank mortgage lenders—which include companies that offer their services exclusively online—than other options. These companies might specialize in just mortgage loans or offer a few types of loans in addition to mortgages.

One advantage of working with one of these lenders is speed—some of the largest online mortgage companies in the country have built their brand on quick loan turnaround. Also, if your credit history has some blemishes or you need a non-conventional loan—such as an FHA loan—nonbank lenders might be more likely to work with you than a conventional bank.

4.       Mortgage Brokers

If you want to have someone search multiple lenders for you and come up with the best loan option, working with a mortgage broker might be your best bet. A mortgage broker reviews offers from a network of lenders and advises you on the best loan offer, then acts as an intermediary between you and the lender by gathering your documents and providing them for the underwriter.

A mortgage loan through a broker could cost more because brokers often earn a fee and/or a commission that you may have to pay at closing. It’s important to review and compare fees for mortgage brokers with other options.

5.       Mortgage Marketplaces

Some companies offer services that allow you to review interest rate quotes from multiple lenders and choose which one you would like to work with on your loan. You might be able to find a great rate as well as a deal on the closing fees. The lender you choose will take over the process from there, but it’s one way for you to see different options without visiting multiple websites.

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