Everyday Math

Math and the Consumer’s Money

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a method of using property as security for the repayment of a loan. It is based on a 14th-century coinage of a Latin word meaning “dead pledge.” The interpretation was that the property was “dead” to the borrower if he defaulted on the debt, and the pledge was “dead” to the lender after the loan was repaid. For centuries, it’s been figured out using mathematics.


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