Choosing the right mortgage means doing your homework to fully understand the different types of loans and how each can make a big difference in your monthly payments and the overall cost of your loan. With many different mortgage products available, there is no "one size fits all."
To ensure you obtain a mortgage that’s right for you, talk with your lender about your short- and long-term personal and financial goals. Also consider discussing your options with a certified housing counselor.
Fixed-rate mortgages are the most common type of mortgage selected by homeowners today. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate will be locked in for the life of the loan. This means your monthly mortgage payments will remain the same for the entire term of the loan, whether it's a 15-, 20- or 30-year mortgage.The primary benefit of fixed-rate mortgages is inflation protection – meaning that if mortgage rates increase in the future, your mortgage rate will not change.
Things you may want to consider with a fixed-rate mortgage:
Your interest rate won't change if rates go up or down. Your rate is locked in and will remain the same for the duration of your loan term – good news if rates go up. If rates go down enough you can consider refinancing your mortgage if it makes financial sense.
Your mortgage payment is comprised of principal, interest, taxes and insurance. While your principal and interest payment (typically the bulk of the payment) will not change over the life of your loan, your taxes and insurance may change each year, resulting in changes to your monthly payment.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the product of choice for nearly 90% of today’s homebuyers. Why? Affordability and flexibility.
When selecting the term of a fixed-rate mortgage, it is important to understand the features and benefits of each. Most mortgage lenders offer at least two basic terms: 15 and 30 years. Many also offer 20-year fixed-rate mortgages, and some lenders offer even more terms.
30-Year Term. With this term, your monthly payment will be lower due to the extended period of the loan. Interest rates are typically higher and you pay more interest over time.
15-Year Term. This term has higher monthly payments because the loan term is significantly shorter. However, you can build equity much faster than with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and pay less interest over the life of your loan. Interest rates are typically lower for this term.