Whether you’re considering buying your first home or are a long-time homeowner, the mortgage process can feel intimidating and confusing. Much of this is due to mortgage-related terms that aren’t well-understood by the general public. To help you become better prepared for your mortgage process, here are some important mortgage-related terms and their definitions.

Amortization Schedule

A payment schedule showing the amount of your monthly mortgage payment for paying off the principal (the amount you borrowed and have to pay back), and the amount that pays interest.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

A broad measure of costs you’re responsible for in your home loan. The APR includes your interest rate, points, mortgage broker fees and other charges you have to pay. Because it includes more fees and charges, your APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Mortgage payments that can increase or decrease as interest rates change. In most cases, there’s an initial fixed-rate period where the borrower’s rate doesn’t change, followed by a longer period where the rate changes at preset intervals.


A borrower paying an up-front fee to reduce a mortgage rate and monthly payment. While not recommended often, a buydown can help a borrower qualify for a loan.

Combined Loan-to-value

The total mortgage obligations on a property compared to its market value.

Debt-to-income-ratio (DTI)

A borrower’s monthly liability payments divided by their gross monthly incomes. Your DTI plays an important part in the mortgage you can obtain.


Failure to pay a mortgage on time, or a mortgage payment less than the amount due.


Documents that a lender, buyer and seller sign during a mortgage transaction or real estate purchase. These documents notify all parties of their rights and obligations.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

An industry standard mortgage loan in which the interest rate stays the same through the loan’s entire term.

Gross Income

Your total taxable income. Lenders usually verify your gross income using tax returns and W2’s.

HUD-1 Statement

A comprehensive list of closing costs in a mortgage purchase or refinance. You receive a HUD-1 statement when you close your mortgage and should keep it as a record.

Joint Liability

More than one person obtaining a mortgage.

Loan-to-value (LTV)

The amount of a first mortgage lien as a percentage of the appraised value of a property. For example, if a person wants to borrow $130,000 to purchase a house valued at $150,000, the loan to value ratio is 87% ($130,000 / $150,000). Loan-to-value is a key risk-factor that’s assessed when you apply for a mortgage.

Liquid Assets

Money in a bank account that can be obtained quickly.

Mortgage Insurance

An insurance policy that compensates lenders for losses due to a mortgage loan default. Mortgage insurance can be public or private depending on the insurer.

Ask your loan officer about any of these terms

Mortgages are a big commitment, and you should always be completely aware about what you’re getting into. We hope this post gives you some clarification on some common mortgage-related terms and definitions. Please contact us today if you have any questions about the mortgage process.

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  • Rachel Frampton says:

    My sister would like to buy a residential home this year, whcih is why she’s thinking of applying for a home loan. Well, it’s a good thing that you were able to educate your readers about the various mortgage terms, such as the Amortization Schedule, which means that this is the amount that we borrowed and must return. I’ll keep in mind to show this to my sister so she’ll be able to familiarize herself with the terms.

  • Eli Richardson says:

    It really helped when you talked about mortgage vocabulary and how they could help you understand a loan better. Recently, my wife and I decided we’d like to buy a house for our family. We’re not loan experts, so we’re researching them, and your article will definitely help us! Thanks for the advice on mortgages and how applying for one could be complex.

  • Rachel Frampton says:

    If I were to buy a residential house, I would make sure to apply for a mortgage. Thank you for sharing here as well the importance of making the payment on time. I also agree with you that she should compare the fee first.

  • Sydney Best Mortgage Broker says:

    Amazing tips. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Best Mortgage Broker Sydney says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing your article.

  • Best Mortgage Brokers Sydney says:

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I love it.

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