Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2013

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident loan decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one loan provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about loans. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything loan related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage loan refers to money that is lent specifically for the purchase of real estate while simultaneously being secured by that purchased real estate. These financing tools are also called home loans, property loans, or shortened to simply “mortgages.”

To apply for a mortgage loan, fill out the form above. If approved, you will be notified and a lender will be in touch with you soon. Regardless of whether our lenders accept your application, we will do our best to find you other mortgage loan offers (with their approximate interest rates) that you can click on to learn more about.

Different types of home loans

There are several different types of mortgages. Some are meant for home purchases, some are meant for reducing your interest rate on an existing property loan, and some are designed to extract equity from the real estate you already own.

The different types of home loans include:

  • Conventional mortgage loans
  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • Home refinance loans

Conventional mortgage loans are usually low-interest options that are reserved for borrowers with a substantial down payment. FHA home loans are backed by the government, but come with a mandatory mortgage insurance requirement. VA home loans are only available to service members, veterans, and their spouses, but come with a variety of benefits.

Home loan refinances are a little different from the three above-mentioned mortgage types. Refinance loans are designed to reduce the interest rate on an existing mortgage. The way they work is by having a borrower taking out a brand new home loan (at a lower rate) that’s equal to or greater than the value of his or her existing mortgage. Then that existing mortgage is paid off with the proceeds acquired from the refinance and the borrower is left with a new home loan but at lower interest rate. To qualify for an FHA or VA loan, first identify a lender or lenders, then talk to them specifically about FHA and VA loans.

Mortgage refinances enable borrowers to score lower monthly payments, shorter or longer terms, or liquid equity from their homes, but borrowers should discuss their personal goals with a lender upon submitting an application.

Mortgage Loan Qualifications

Some of the following questions may be floating around your head:

  • I have bad credit, can I still get a mortgage?
  • Am I old enough to borrow a home loan?
  • Will student loan debt hinder my ability to get a home loan?
  • Can I take out a property loan alone, without considering my spouse’s credit?
  • If I don’t have a downpayment, can I still qualify for a mortgage?

While answers to these questions and most others you may have can be found in our frequently asked questions, the subject of credit scores and credit history is one of the most popular of applicant concerns.

Bad credit mortgage loans are certainly available, but lenders will take each application on a case-by-case basis. We welcome applicants with any credit score, even if that credit score is low, and we will do our best to match them up with a lender who can accommodate them.

Outside of credit, here are some other basic home loan requirements. You must:

  • Be 18-years-old or older
  • Have a steady flow of income (either from a job, benefits, subsidiary, or aid)
  • Afford monthly payments given any and all outstanding debts