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Understanding Mortgages

If you’re not familiar with the vocabulary of mortgages, it may seem like loan originators are speaking another language when they discuss your loan options. This section will prepare you for the important conversations you will have when it’s time to choose your mortgage.

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What Is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan you take out to purchase, refinance or extract equity from a real-estate property.

It’s very difficult to pay for a home all at once in cash, which is why most Americans get a mortgage and pay the loan off a little at a time every month. Unlike paying rent, though, making mortgage payments can be an investment:

  • When you have your own home, you can sell it for a profit if it rises in value.
  • You can rent all or part of the home out to earn extra income.
  • Once the mortgage is paid off, you can live in your home free and clear, never having to worry about paying for rent or a mortgage every month again.

Besides these financial opportunites, there is the priceless value that comes from having your own home to do whatever you want with.

You’ll never enjoy these benefits if you spend the rest of your life renting.

Cracking the home loan codeThere are many elements that make up a mortgage. All these financial concepts may seem daunting at first, but with the resources in this Learning Center and the guidance of our Loanwise specialists, you’ll understand enough to make the best decisions for your finances and your future.

Mortgage Topics

View Sources
  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (n.d.). What Is a Mortgage? Retrieved from
  2. (n.d.). Mortgage. Retrieved from
  3. Lapeyrolerie, O. (2013, July 15). #Housing101: What Is a mortgage? Retrieved from
  4. (n.d.). What Is a Mortgage? Retrieved from
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Speak with one of our experienced senior loan officers today about buying or refinancing a home.