If you're looking to buy a house but don't have enough money, the first thing that will likely come to mind is a mortgage.

Mortgage loans are designed to help people find their own homes. Often they are much more profitable than paying rent for rental housing, but they require a down payment, which must also be taken from somewhere.

Let's take a closer look at mortgages and everything that comes with it.

What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a type of loan that is used to buy a house, land, and other types of real estate. By choosing a mortgage, you agree to make regular payments within the time frame set by the lender. Regular payments will consist of principal and interest. In addition, the acquired property will serve as collateral.

In order to apply for a mortgage, we need to make sure you meet the lenders' requirements. The main things you need to pay attention to are the credit rating and down payment.

All mortgage applications usually go through a rigorous underwriting process. As a result, the types of mortgage loans vary depending on your needs. For example, ordinary loans and loans with a fixed interest rate.

How Does a Mortgage Loan Work?

Mortgage loans are used to buy real estate without paying the full amount. Instead, you will repay the loan and interest for several years, agreed with the lender, until you become the property owner.

Mortgages are usually amortized. That is, the monthly payment amount remains the same, but with each payment during the term of the loan, different proportions of principal and interest will be paid. Typical mortgage terms are 30 or 15 years.

When you take out a mortgage, the first thing you do is decide on a lender by comparing loan terms and interest rates and finding the one that suits you best.

After that, you will need to provide the lender with proof that you will be able to pay the mortgage. This may include bank and investment reports, recent tax returns, and proof of current employment. The lender will usually also conduct a credit check.

Once the application is approved, you will need to sign a loan agreement and make an initial payment. From now on, you will have to make regular payments, the amount of which will be set by the lender.

Types of Mortgages

There is no single mortgage loan. Mortgage terms can vary: the most common is 15 years and 30 years. However, there are mortgages for five years and 40 years.

In addition, there are government-backed mortgages for certain populations who may not have the income, high credit scores, or down payments required to qualify for conventional mortgages. For example, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages are the most common and standard. In three such mortgages, the interest rate remains the same throughout the life of the loan, as make the borrower's monthly mortgage payments.

Typically, fixed-rate mortgages are referred to as traditional mortgages.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

If you choose an adjustable-rate mortgage, the interest rate is fixed for the initial period. Further, it may change from time to time depending on the prevailing interest rates.

The initial interest rate is often below market rates, which can make mortgages more affordable in the short term. However, at the same time, such a mortgage may become less profitable in the long term if the rate increases significantly.

Typically, these mortgages have limits on how much the interest rate can rise when it is adjusted.

Interest-Only Loans

This is a fairly rare type of mortgage, which is used mainly by experienced borrowers. These interest-only mortgages can include complex repayment schedules.

If you decide to apply for this type of mortgage, you will pay only interest for a while, and at the end of the loan, you will have to pay a large amount, sometimes even the entire amount of the mortgage, in one payment.