Table of Contents
- Fixed-Rate Mortgages
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
- Interest-Only Mortgages
- Balloon Payment Mortgages
A fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular type of mortgage, especially among first-time homebuyers. It offers a predictable monthly payment and fixed interest rate over the life of the loan. This means you won’t be affected by rising interest rates, which can affect some adjustable-rate mortgages.
Fixed-rate mortgages are available for 10, 15, 20, and 30 year terms. The longer the term, the lower your monthly payment, but the higher your interest rate. A shorter term means a higher monthly payment, but a lower interest rate.
An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, is a type of mortgage that allows the lender to adjust the interest rate over time. This means that the monthly payments can go up or down depending on market conditions. While this can be beneficial in times of low interest rates, it can also be a risk if rates go up.
ARMs are usually offered in 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 terms, where the first number indicates the number of years the interest rate is fixed and the second number indicates how often the interest rate is adjusted after the initial fixed period.
An interest-only mortgage is a type of mortgage where the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a certain period of time. This can be a beneficial option for borrowers who are expecting their income to increase over time, as they can keep their monthly payments low in the short-term by only paying the interest.
However, it’s important to note that after the interest-only period has ended, you will have to start paying both the principal and the interest, which can result in significantly higher payments. This can be a risky option for borrowers who are not sure if their income will increase enough to cover the higher payments.
A balloon payment mortgage is a type of mortgage where the borrower makes payments over a set period of time, usually five to seven years, and then pays the remaining balance in a single lump sum. This means that the borrower will have to make a large lump sum payment at the end of the loan period, which can be a burden.
This type of loan can be beneficial if you expect your income to increase significantly over the loan period, as you can take advantage of low monthly payments in the short-term. However, it can also be risky if you are unable to make the large lump sum payment when it’s due.
How Do I Know Which Mortgage to Choose?
Choosing the right mortgage for you will depend on your financial situation and goals. It’s important to take the time to compare different mortgages to find the one that best fits your needs.
If you’re looking for a predictable monthly payment and a fixed interest rate, a fixed-rate mortgage is probably the best option. If you’re looking for lower monthly payments in the short-term, an adjustable-rate mortgage or an interest-only mortgage may be a better option. And if you’re expecting a big income increase over the loan period, a balloon payment mortgage may be the right choice.
It’s also important to consider other factors, such as closing costs and fees, when choosing a mortgage. Taking the time to compare different mortgages can help you make an informed decision and get the best deal available.