Mortgage Basics

What is it?

So you’re ready to buy a house. You’re probably going to need help financing such a large purchase, which usually means getting a mortgage. A mortgage is an interest in property, created by a written document, that secures the repayment of a loan. When you take out a mortgage loan to buy a home, the home becomes the collateral for the loan. If you don’t repay the loan as agreed, the lender may take your property and sell it to satisfy the debt.

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If I owe more than my home is worth, will I be able to refinance?

Home values across the country have declined, and many homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. When you’re “underwater” on your mortgage, it may be possible to refinance, but it will depend on your circumstances and the type of mortgage you have.

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