What is a Mortgage? Simply put, a mortgage is a financial loan, which makes it possible for most people to purchase a home. Only a small percentage of the population has the cash lying around to buy a house outright. It is important to learn all there is to know about mortgages to arrange the one that is best for you.

If you have ever been shopping for or have bought a house or even if you haven’t done either of these things, you probably have heard of a mortgage. How have things changed recently?

Where do you get a Mortgage?

You have a couple of options, but the majority of home buyers will obtain their mortgages through a bank, or mortgage loan company. These can be arranged through either a loan officer at a bank, or you can use a mortgage broker. A mortgage broker shops around for you, finding you a financial institution that will give you the best interest rate and terms.

Some of the bigger players in the mortgage industry have survived the housing crisis and continue to keep lending. Their approval process has had to change, however.

Some of the top mortgage companies in the U.S. are Aegis Mortgage, Countrywide, Alaska U.S. and Option One Mortgage Company.

New Strategies for Borrowers and Lenders

There is no doubt with the housing crisis, banks and lending institutions have had to reevaluate the way they offer and approve the loans they offer. They are tightening up the process and not offering things such as no doc loans, or high risk loans, as often. Borrowers have had to change their approach to home buying as well.

Many people are turning to online resources, such as mortgage companies who are online, researching the best strategies for their particular situation and even chasing down foreclosures in order to get the best home for the least amount of money.

In today’s market there is no doubt that the best educated borrowers are the ones who will come out on top when it comes to arranging for a mortgage. Make sure you arm yourself and bring your patience.