Basics of Mortgage LoansA mortgage is a loan in which property or real estate is used as collateral. The borrower enters into an agreement with the lender (usually a bank) wherein the borrower receives cash upfront then makes payments over a set time span until he pays back the lender in full.Mortgage loans are usually entered into by home buyers without enough cash on hand to purchase the home. They are also used to borrow cash from a bank for other projects using their house as collateral. There are several types of mortgage loans and buyers should assess what is best for their own situation before entering into one. Types of loans are characterized by their term dates (usually from 5 to 30 years, some institutions now offer loans up to 50 year terms), interest rates (these may be fixed or variable), and the amount of payments per period.