What Is a Mortgage Certificate?

A mortgage is a loan used to pay for a piece of property. The borrower makes periodic, usually monthly, payments that are combined with interest until the loan term expires or the balance is paid off. Mortgage certificates represent this type of loan in two ways--as proof of the mortgage and as a financial instrument.


Mortgage certificates are used to prove the mortgage exists. They are also issued by the government to prove how much interest you paid in the tax year. Mortgage certificates are financial instruments on Wall Street and traded on the open market.

Mortgage Securities

Also known as mortgage-backed securities, these certificates have financial values based on that taken by the mortgages backing it. They can be bought, sold and traded like any other security. The mortgage certificate is representative of more than one mortgage lumped together to create the financial instrument.


A legitimate mortgage certificate displays its value on it. Government-issued certificates for credit display an embossed state, local or federal seal, depending on the issuer. Mortgage certificate--the securities--must display the name of the security.