15 Mortgage Concepts You Should Know Before Applying

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The process of acquiring a home through a mortgage is a tedious one. This can be even more difficult for intending homeowners who are new to the real estate industry. This is because they have no working knowledge of the common terms used. Below is a list of the most important mortgage concepts you should be familiar with before applying.

Mortgage Term

A mortgage term refers to the duration of your loan. There are different mortgage terms ranging from about 10, 15, 20, 25, to 30 years. The term is expected to last through the agreed period. However, a borrower may choose to conclude the repayment earlier than the original term.

Mortgage Rate (Interest Rate)

This rate is the interest payable on a mortgage loan. It is also known as the interest rate. Interests are paid throughout the duration of a mortgage. Two types of interests exist, they are ‘fixed’ and ‘accruable’ interests. Interest rates can be high or low based on the mortgage term and specific lender.


The principal refers to the particular loan amount you acquired to purchase your home. It is distinct from all other costs. The interest is charged on this principal, both of which are to be repaid on or before the mortgage term.

Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker serves as an intermediary between a lender and a borrower. The mortgage broker’s job is to help potential homeowners find suitable loans and interest rates. The mortgage broker will be an important agent in your search for a home. From the beginning to the end, you’ll find them present.


The lender is the mortgage bank or financial institution that will be providing the mortgage loan for interest payable for the duration of the mortgage term.

Debt-To-Income Ratio

A Debt-To-Income ratio determines how much of your monthly or annual income is left after servicing your debts. You calculate it by deducting your monthly (or annual) debt from your income then multiplied by 100. Lenders use this ratio to determine whether to grant your loan request. It also helps to determine the principal amount and interest rate. A good DTI is less than 36%. So, the lower your DTI ratio is, the higher your chances of securing a loan.


This is another tool employed by lenders in the loan process. FICO is a model used to measure your creditworthiness. It helps lenders to determine your rank, after appraising your credit history. A FICO score of less than 580 is poor, while 670 and above is a good score.


A title is a document that contains information regarding the owner of a property. It also includes the property’s description. Before purchasing a property, it is important to make inquiries about the title. This is in order to avoid legal issues in the future. This is done by conducting a ‘title search’ to ascertain the owner of the property. Title companies usually issue property titles.

Title Insurance

After acquiring the property, title insurance is an important next step. There are two types, the borrower’s and the lender’s title insurance. Title insurance protects you or the lender from losses that may arise even due to issues with the title. Title insurances protect you for as long as you own the property.


A mortgage deed is a legally binding document that is issued on the closing of a mortgage. It details the transfer of ownership of the property from one party to another. In the mortgage concepts, this transfer is in the form of security. A mortgage deed has this inside; information about the parties involved, including the house’s physical description, amount, payments, etc.

Down Payment

When you conclude your new home loan, you need to make a substantial initial payment to the lender. This initial payment is referred to as a down payment. There is no fixed amount, but initial payments are usually between 20-25% of the total home price. Your initial payment affects your total remaining loan as well as the interest repayable.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

If you make an initial payment that is less than 20%, you will have to take a Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). A mortgage with little down payment is considered risky. This is unlike one with a substantial down payment. So, the PMI protects the lender in the incidence of default.


This acronym is used in place of Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. They are the four major components of your home mortgage.


You get a pre-approval after the lender has conducted an assessment of your creditworthiness. They will subsequently determine that you qualify for a loan. Pre-approval takes place before you find a property. The pre-approval process involves an estimate of the potential loan amount as well as the interest.

Loan Estimate

A loan estimate is a document that includes all the information about the mortgage you are applying for. Information contained in a loan estimate includes the principal, interest rate, monthly repayments, closing costs, tax costs, etc. The prospective lender supplies the loan estimate and can help the borrower make an informed choice compared to other offers.

If you are ever in doubt, learn more about all you need to know before your application.

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