A mortgage is a method of using property as security for the payment of a debt. The term mortgage refers to the legal tool used in protecting the property, but it is also frequently used to refer to the debt secured by the mortgage, the mortgage loan.
In most jurisdictions mortgages are strongly related with loans secured on real estate rather than other property and in some cases only land may be mortgaged. Arranging a mortgage is seen as the standard method by which individuals or businesses can purchase residential or commercial real estate without the need to pay the full value immediately. See mortgage loan for residential mortgage lending, and commercial mortgage for lending against commercial property.
In many countries it is normal for home purchases to be funded by a mortgage. In countries where the demand for home ownership is highest, strong domestic markets have developed, notably in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.