Fixed Rate Mortgages
Fixed rate mortgages are popular loans because your payment will not change since the rate will never change.
This "traditional" loan maintains its original interest rate throughout the entire life of the loan. Your monthly loan payments may change if there are insurance or tax impounds that increase. But fluctuations in market rates over the term of your loan won't have any impact on the amount of interest you pay because the rate is "fixed." A fixed rate mortgage loan may be a good choice if:
- You want the security of knowing your interest rate will not change, nor will your monthly payment, unless property tax and insurance amounts change
- You plan to stay in this home for several years
- You don't expect your income to increase significantly in the coming years
Fixed rate mortgage loans come in various terms, such as 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. In determining the length of your loan, you may want to consider:
- Total amount of interest you want to pay over the course of your loan
- For example, the total cost of a 30-year loan in terms of interest paid is higher than the interest paid on a 10, 15, or 20-year loan. But with a 30-year loan, you get lower monthly payments due to the longer loan term.
- With a 15-year loan, you have the advantage of repaying the loan more quickly with higher monthly loan payments.
- Your ability to afford a high monthly payment
- If you can afford to pay more per month, you can reduce the number of months you have to pay. Also, choosing a 15-year term will save you thousands in interest charges vs. the typical 30 year term.
Another option to decrease the amount of interest is to get a 30-year loan, so you don't lock yourself into higher monthly payments, but pay a little "extra" each month towards the principal whenever you can afford to do so.