ARM vs. Fixed-rate mortgages: how to compare

Adjustable interest rates start low, but change over time, while fixed interest rates stay locked for the life of the loan. Prepare for larger payments if ARM rates are reset after the launch phase. Many home buyers tend to opt for traditional fixed-rate mortgages, often with terms of 15 or 30 years, but home loans are not for everyone. You may be able to get an even lower starting interest rate and a term that works best for you with a variable rate mortgage or ARM.

Comparing ARM and fixed-rate mortgages will help you choose the best mortgage for your current needs and future goals.

Interest on ARMs on fixed-rate mortgages

The biggest difference between ARM and fixed-rate mortgages is the way interest rates work. Fixed-rate loans have interest rates that never change. ARM rates are reset at certain intervals throughout the life of the loan. Variable-rate mortgages can be a powerful tool for home buyers with short term goals in mind, but they have their risks.

ARMs start with an interest rate set for a certain period of time, after which the interest rate is adjusted regularly. The key to knowing how an ARM adjusts is hidden in your name: An ARM 5/1 means that your rate is fixed over five years, then adjusted annually, for example. The most common ARM terms have initial fixed interest rates of three, five, seven, or ten years.

Although ARM interest rates are lower than fixed interest rates, it is still possible that they will be reset several times during the term of the loan, which will increase your mortgage payment.

Is an ARM or fixed-rate mortgage better?

If you are established in your career, have a growing family, or are ready to take root in a community you love, a 15 or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage may be right for you. With fixed fees, you always know how much your payment will be. And if interest rates drop a few years after your mortgage or house has gone up in value, you can always refinance another fixed-rate mortgage with a lower interest rate

Floating rate mortgages are more likely to attract first time buyers. “

Variable-rate mortgages, on the other hand, often attract first-time buyers because falling interest rates increase purchasing power. If you are advancing a career in which you may have to move in a few years, start a family, or simply keep your options open for the long term, an MRA may be a good option. You get a lower introductory price and the ability to move to a larger home before the fixed interest period expires.

Conclusion: ARM vs permanent

ARMs have a certain appeal, especially for owners who want lower down payments or flexibility of movement. You need to do the math to make sure your income can handle the higher monthly payments if rates go up after the introductory period. However, if interest rates stay low or even drop, adjustable-rate mortgages can potentially save a lot of money. Fixed-rate mortgages can be a better option for those who want to stay or who need reliable mortgage payments that never change. Fixed-rate mortgages: comments comparator

Adjustable interest rates appear low but change over time, while fixed interest rates stay locked for the duration of the loan. Prepare for larger payments if ARM rates are reset after the launch phase.

Many home buyers tend to opt for traditional fixed-rate mortgages, often with terms of 15 or 30 years, but home loans are not for everyone. You may be able to get an even lower starting interest rate and a term that works best for you with a variable rate mortgage or ARM.

Comparing ARM and fixed-rate mortgages lets you choose the best mortgage for your current needs and future goals.

Interest on ARMs on fixed-rate mortgages

The biggest difference between ARM and fixed-rate mortgages is the way the interest rates affected. Fixed-rate loans on interest rates that never change.

FHA vs. Conventional loans

FHA loans allow for lower credit scores than conventional mortgages and are easier to qualify. Conventional loans allow slightly lower down payments.

Let’s see, FHA loans are for first-time buyers and conventional mortgages are for more established buyers, right?

Not necessarily.

FHA loans are insured with the Federal Housing Administration, and conventional mortgages are not insured with a federal agency. Both types of loans have their advantages for each type of buyer, but the qualification requirements are different. These are the factors to consider when considering an FHA loan compared to a traditional loan.

Comparison of FHA with conventional loans

Ending the debate between the FHA and the agreement begins with a discussion of your advance payments and your creditworthiness. The two loans differ considerably in terms of minimum requirements in these areas.

Minimum deposit

FHA loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5% for borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher. Some conventional mortgages allow a deposit of at least 3% but are reserved for borrowers with high credit scores of 600 and sufficient savings.

Credit scores

FHA loans are easier to qualify with a minimum credit of 580 to make a down payment of 3.5%. If your credit score is 500 to 579, you can qualify for an FHA loan with a 10% down payment.

Traditional loans typically require a credit rating of 620 or higher, says Joe Parsons, loan manager at PFS Funds in Dublin, California. He adds that a lower credit score is often associated with a higher interest rate on a traditional loan.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your debt to income ratio is the percentage of your monthly pre-tax income you spend to pay off your debt, including mortgage, student loan, car loan, family allowance, and minimum card payment credit. The higher your DTI, the more difficult it is for you to pay your bills.

Your debt to income ratio must be 50% or less to qualify for an FHA loan. Conventional loans also allow debt to income ratios of up to 50% in some cases. Despite the fact that lenders allow such a high debt-to-income ratio, mortgage borrowers are more likely to have an ITR of 43% or less.

Mortgage insurance

Mortgage insurance protects the lender in the event of late payment. With traditional loans, borrowers must purchase mortgage insurance if their deposit is less than 20%. FHA loans require mortgage insurance regardless of the amount of the down payment. The other differences are:

The FHA mortgage insurance premiums are the same regardless of your credit rating. Private mortgage insurance for conventional loans costs more if you have a low credit rating, but it can cost less than FHA mortgage insurance if your credit rating is above 720.

FHA mortgage insurance premiums have a loan term if you make a deposit of less than 10%. You can get rid of FHA mortgage insurance by refinancing a conventional loan. In contrast, private mortgage insurance for conventional loans is automatically canceled when your estate has reached 78% of the purchase price.

The cost of private mortgage insurance and FHA varies depending on the amount of the advance.

Credit limits

Both conventional and FHA loans limit the amount you can borrow, and the maximum loan amounts vary by state. Regulators can change credit limits each year.

The FHA 2020 credit limit is $351,760 in low-cost areas and $865,600 in expensive markets. Conventional loans are subject to the credit limit set by the Federal Housing Agency. In 2020, this limit will be $510,400 for most US non-government mortgages. The United States Those who cross this threshold are called “jumbo loans”.

Real estate standards

The condition of the property and the intended use are important factors when comparing the FHA to conventional loans.

FHA ratings are more stringent than traditional ratings. The value of the property is not only assessed but also carefully checked for safety, structural stability, and compliance with local regulations.


7 Steps to Maximize Mortgage Refinance Savings

When the time comes to refinance your mortgage, you will probably want to make it as painless as possible. It is only natural to contact your current mortgage holder and accept one of the many offers made to you by email and direct mail. However, to get the most savings and make the whole process interesting, you need to add seven key points to your to-do list.

1. Know what you need to do

Before activating mortgage refinancing, review the balance and conditions of your current loan. This way you can determine how much you are likely to save if you take into account current refinancing rates, the payment from your current lender, and the closing costs and costs you face. You can also get a good picture of your best possible savings scenario and the acceptable minimum credit terms that you want to negotiate.

2. Check your credit score

If your credit rating has improved considerably since you took out your existing mortgage, you may be surprised by a pleasant surprise. A higher credit rating can lower the mortgage rate.

Check your credit rating by getting a free report from, the official federal website that guarantees free reports to consumers. Then consider purchasing your current credit rating from one of the three major credit bureaus. There are many variations of the popular FICO score. Make sure to ask for the one that is most used by mortgage lenders.

Many banks and credit card companies offer their customers free credit scores. These can be helpful, but you may not get the most relevant score for a mortgage application. Surveys by the Office for Financial Consumer Protection have shown that different rating models can change the credit quality category for almost a quarter of consumers. (For example, from “good” to “average”).

3. Freeze new debt.

If everything fits well with your credit rating, block your scores by resisting the urge to make additional purchases with a credit card, or open new credit accounts. In any case, get the money back and pay off whatever debt you can. Protecting your credit rating can be essential to maximize your savings when refinancing your mortgage.

4. Buy at least 3 mortgage lenders

Research shows that borrowers get the greatest savings by buying at least three lenders. In a recent study, the CFPB found that 47% of consumers consider a single lender when looking for a mortgage and can lose thousands of dollars in savings bypassing a low-interest mortgage lender.

5. Refinancing mortgage insurance

If you pay less than 20% of your original mortgage, you will likely pay for mortgage insurance. These are fees that protect the lender in the event of borrower default.

To date, your appreciation may have given you enough capital to make mortgage insurance premiums useless. However, some lenders do not have to automatically cancel your mortgage insurance until your loan balance has fallen to 78% of the cost of the home. The original purchase of your home. or until the middle of your mortgage payment, whichever comes first.

Refinancing or at least reducing your mortgage insurance premiums can result in significant savings, especially if your original mortgage has been guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

6. Forget cash withdrawals and long-term refinancing

It is a common temptation to do a cash withdrawal refinance that converts your capital into cash that you can spend. It may even be for a charity like a college funding or paying for high yield credit cards.

The fact is, you get the value of your house and it can be a slippery slope, especially when the house values ​​come back south. 

Should you refinance a short term mortgage?

Refinancing a 30-year mortgage on a 10, 15 or 20-year loan will help you pay off your home faster, but will require a higher monthly payment. Or you can find ways to speed things up without refinancing yourself.

Can I pay a higher mortgage payment?

For some homeowners, especially those with young families or for other reasons having cash flow problems, withdrawing a few hundred dollars more from the monthly budget and restricting access to available money can be a risk. Short term loans offer lower interest rates but can go hand in hand with much higher monthly payments. Since missing payments can hurt your credit and put you at risk of losing your home, you need to make sure the larger payments are on a budget.

Even if you are sure you can make larger monthly payments, your debt-to-income ratio should be low enough to show the lender that you can afford it. According to Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored mortgage guarantee company, your DTI should not exceed 36% for most loans, including real estate expenses.

A higher DTI does not necessarily mean that a loan will be rejected, but it is unlikely that you will get the lowest interest rate from a lender. Note that lenders take all of your debts into account when calculating the DTI. If you have a credit card debt or large car payment, be prepared for a higher mortgage rate.

Can I reach my other financial goals?

Refinancing a mortgage for a short term loan can work if you have little long term debt and get enough money each month to pay your bills (with extra money). However, if your budget is tight or you are not contributing to other savings, investing more money in your home may not be an optimal long-term strategy.

Instead of increasing home equity more quickly, it may make more financial sense to use that money in other ways, such as through a college 529 fund, savings accounts, retirement, life insurance, or investments.

How much of my mortgage have I paid?

Depending on the level of repayment on your mortgage, switching to a short term loan can be a costly mistake.

When you refinance an 18-year mortgage with a 10-year loan, you pay more in advance and can lose money.

Amortization means that mortgage payments are charged with interest. For example, if you are in the third year of your mortgage, you pay more for interest than for your principal. However, if you are 18 on your mortgage, you will likely have to pay more for your principal than for your interest. When you refinance an 18-year mortgage on a 10-year loan, you pay more upfront and can lose money if transaction costs and refinancing costs are taken into account.

Do I intend to move in the coming years?

If you plan to stay in your current home for a few more years, refinancing may not save you money. Calculating your savings is not just about the interest rate, but also the cost of refinancing your mortgage. If you divide the total cost of your loan by your savings into monthly payments, you will get the number of months it takes to break even. If you don’t stay home long enough to break even, you won’t see any savings before you move out.

Can I pay my loan faster in another way?

Refinancing is not the only way to shorten your mortgage. With these strategies, you don’t change your interest rate, but you don’t have to pay closing costs. Here are some ways to pay off your mortgage faster without refinancing a short-term loan.

Take your current mortgage payment, divide it by 12, and add this amount to your monthly payment. (Contact your lender and keep an eye on your monthly statements to make sure the extra amount goes to principal, not interest.) If you make these extra payments consistently, you can be 30 years old.


5 useful tips for Finding the best FHA Mortgage Lenders

Not all FHA mortgage lenders are created equal. Here’s how to find the best FHA lender for you and your particular situation.

Finding the best FHA mortgage lender is not easy. First, you should limit the field to lenders who have been approved by the Federal Housing Administration. Not all lenders offer them. Next, you need to decide what your ideal FHA lender should bring.

How to Find the Best FHA Mortgage Lender

With the help of these five tips to find the best FHA mortgage lender for your situation. Learn more about each tip here.

Know your credit score. For a deposit of only 3.5%, you need a score of at least 580.

Buy more than one FHA lender. Each mortgage provider has different interest rates and services that you want to compare.

Calculate the prices. FHA mortgage insurance is required, but the lender’s fees may be negotiable.

Find the APR. Compare the annual percentage of each lender, not just the interest rate, to choose the best deal.

Find the right FHA lender for your situation. Decide which features and benefits are important to you and don’t decide until you find them.

How to Find an FHA Mortgage Lender

The details, interest rates, and eligible loan conditions vary from one lender to another. How to find the best FHA mortgage lender?

1. Know your credit score.

The FHA is looking for borrowers with a credit score of at least 500. However, if you want to get an FHA loan with a down payment of only 3.5%, you need a FICO 580 or higher.
This is only the first hurdle to credit scoring: lenders often add additional credit requirements. Even if the FHA searches for a 580, a lender could search for 600, 620, or better.
And the FHA typically requires a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, but lenders may also have even stricter benchmarks.

2. Buy more than one FHA lender.

You want to do this not only because one lender can be more forgiving in qualifying one borrower than another, but also because FHA mortgage rates can be anywhere.

Lenders assess their loans based on current market conditions and mark their interest rates based on operating costs and profit targets. It’s like buying gas: a station can cost a lot more than a station down the street.

3. Know the difference between FHA mortgage insurance premiums and lender rates.

Loans guaranteed by the FHA require mortgage insurance to cover default costs. The premiums for FHA mortgage insurance are uniform. You pay the same premiums at Bank A as you do at Credit Union B. Lender rates are not the same from one lender to another.


You will receive an official quote for the loan within three days of applying for the mortgage. It is a standard government-mandated form that you can get from any lender. This makes it easy to compare the terms and prices offered by each lender.

On the second page of the loan estimate, search for “Details of Transaction Costs”. Here you can find the total rates of individual lenders.

In this example, the first fees are labeled “0.25% of the loan amount (points)”. These are reduction points, which are just one option that you can use or leave to reduce the interest rate on your loan. The “registration fees” and “subscription fees” are the costs of the lender. You can see all kinds of rates with all kinds of names here.

Aside from the discount points, the lender’s fees are not a good thing and must be negotiated. An FHA mortgage insurance premium is listed in section B, “Services you cannot purchase” or in the “Other costs” column.

The current mortgage insurance premiums included in your monthly payment can be found on the last page of the credit estimate under “Estimated Payments”.

4. Find the APR.

Another way to check how much you pay in commissions is to directly compare the annual percentages between lenders. Your payment rate, the interest rate on which your monthly payment is based.


How often can you refinance your mortgage?

You can refinance your home as often as it is profitable. When charging, you may need to wait six months between refits.

He was convinced that refinancing his home was the right thing to do the first time. You may have even refinanced the mortgage since then. And yet, in your situation and with the interest rates they are in, you are trying to refinance yourself again.

How often can you refinance your mortgage? Can you really get too much?

NOTE: Refinancing can be difficult due to the epidemic of the coronavirus. Lenders are facing high demand for credit and personnel issues. If you can’t afford your current mortgage, check out our mortgage support resources. For the latest information on managing financial charges during this emergency, see the NerdWallet Financial Guide for COVID-19.

When refinancing, you may have to wait

There are many reasons to refinance your mortgage, perhaps to get a better interest rate or to change the term (term) of your loan or to convert an adjustable-rate loan to a fixed rate. Or you want to refinance in cash by taking out loans on the cumulative value of your home to pay for the renovation or other things.

The point is, you can refinance as many times as you want, but some lenders are looking for a “spicy” period between home loans or a period of time between appraisals.

There is no standard spice requirement for refinancing interest rates and maturities, although some lenders may require it, “said Ray Rodríguez, Regional Director of Mortgage Sales at TD Bank in New York. The industry standard for refinancing retirement is approximately six months.

The only other obstacle to refinancing is a penalty for prepaying your current mortgage. According to Rodríguez, the regulations “prevent” banks or mortgage providers from offering mortgages with prepayment penalties.

The only other obstacle to refinancing is a penalty for prepaying your current mortgage. 

A homeowner can refinance their mortgage as many times as they want, but they have to set goals and find a product that matches their unique financial situation,” said Rodríguez. For example, a short-term loan has a lower interest rate as compared to a 30-year fixed-rate loan, but the payment is higher because you pay faster.”

It is simply a matter of assigning the numbers to a refinance to determine if it suits you, regardless of the number of times you have refinanced before.

Couple refinanced home twice in one year

Holly and Greg Johnson, who lived in central Indiana in 2016, refinance their homes twice a year. How does it work?

We originally refinanced a 30-year mortgage from 6.5% to 5.25% because the savings were worth it,” said Holly Johnson. Then we can also refinanced it again for a 15-year loan at 3.25% as soon as interest rates hit such a low level. This time we did a free refinance, we didn’t so no closing costs paid. If I remember correctly, we could have received a 2.75% loan with a term of 15 years, but we chose 3.25% so that our closing costs were not incurred The savings were back when we did it, so it was definitely worth it. “

Like many young couples, the Johnson bought their house with a small down payment. If they owned less than 20% of the principal (the amount they paid relative to the loan amount), they had to take out private mortgage insurance that protects the lender against losses.

With the lowest interest rate and a shorter loan term from the first refinancing, combined with additional payments for principal, the couple quickly increased by more than 20% of the principal. When they refinanced again, the Johnson’s dropped the private mortgage insurance requirements, saving an additional $135 per month.


When to refinance a mortgage: is it a good time now?

It’s more than a lower mortgage rate. You want to think about how long you want to stay in your home and calculate your break even point.

NOTE: Refinancing can be difficult due to the epidemic of the coronavirus. Lenders are facing high demand for credit and personnel issues. If you can’t afford your current mortgage, check out our mortgage support resources. For the latest information on managing financial charges during this emergency, see the NerdWallet Financial Guide for COVID-19.

With mortgage rates almost at their lowest, this is a good time to refinance a mortgage, right? In many cases, of course, without a doubt. To find out if the time is right for you, first determine how long you want to stay in your home, consider your financial goals, and determine your creditworthiness. All of these things, as well as current refinancing interest rates, should play a role in the decision to refinance and when.

When does refinancing make sense?

The usual trigger for people to think about refinancing is when they find that mortgage rates fall below their current borrowing rate. But there are other good reasons to refinance

  • If you want to pay the loan faster with a shorter term.
  • You have gained enough equity in your home to refinance an uninsured mortgage.
  • You want to use the equity in your property with cash refinancing.

What is a good mortgage rate?

When the Federal Reserve reduces short-term interest rates, many people expected mortgage rates to follow. However, mortgage rates are not always parallel to short-term rates.


Avoid focusing too much on a low mortgage rate on which you have read or seen advertising. Mortgage refinancing rates change daily throughout the day. And the rate they quote can be higher or lower than the rate published at any time. Your mortgage refinancing rate is mainly based on your creditworthiness and the equity in your home.

You are more likely to get a competitive rate as long as your credit rating is good and you have proof of constant income.

Is it worth refinancing half a percent?

A common rule of thumb is that refinancing can be a good idea if your mortgage interest rates are 1% or lower than your current interest rate. But it’s the traditional thought to say that you need a 20% down payment to buy a house. These generalizations often do not work for big-budget decisions. Improving your rate by half a point might even make sense. It is a good idea to calculate the actual numbers using a mortgage refinance calculator.

To calculate your potential savings, you need to add refinancing costs, e.g. B. an appraisal, a credit check, set-up fees, and transaction costs. Also, check if you risk a prepayment penalty on your current loan. Then, when you find out what interest rate you could qualify for on a new loan, you can calculate your new monthly payment and see how much, if any, you save each month.

You should also check that you have at least 20% home equity, the difference between your market value and what you owe. Check property values ​​in your neighborhood to see how far you can assess your home for now, or contact a local real estate agent.

Certain measures are important because lenders generally need mortgage insurance if you have less than 20% of the equity. Prote

Once you have a good idea of ​​the cost of refinancing, you can compare your monthly “all-inclusive” payment with your current payment.

Are there enough savings to make the refinancing worth it?

They spend an average of 2% to 5% of the loan amount on acquisition costs. So you want to calculate how long the monthly savings are needed to recoup these costs.


Frequently Asked Questions About Mortgage Refinancing

What is mortgage refinancing?

When you refinance, you get a new mortgage to replace your current home loan. Just like when you buy the house, you will most likely pass a credit check and pay the closing costs. Some lenders offer zero cost refinancing where you pay a higher interest rate if you pay little or nothing at closing.

Why refinance your mortgage?

There are many reasons to refinance your mortgage. People often refinance to save money in the short or long term and sometimes take out capital loans. Here are some of the main reasons for refinancing:

To get a lower mortgage rate. If mortgage rates go down after getting the loan, you may be able to refinance at a lower interest rate. This can result in lower monthly payments.

To shorten the term. Refinancing a 30-year mortgage on a short-term loan (most often 15 or 20 years) can increase your monthly payment (even with a lower interest rate), but reduce the general interest you pay for life. of the loan.

Get rid of mortgage insurance. If you buy a home with a down payment of less than 20%, you must pay mortgage insurance. Refinancing is one way to stop paying for private mortgage insurance and the only way to get rid of FHA mortgage insurance.

Replace an adjustable-rate mortgage with a fixed-rate loan. Instead of bearing the uncertainty of annual interest rate adjustments with an ARM, you can refinance a fixed-rate loan so you don’t have to worry about rising rates.

Have justice in your hands. With refinancing cash withdrawals, you borrow more than your current loan balance and make the difference in cash. Refinancing cash withdrawals is a popular form of payment for home improvement.

When can you refinance a mortgage?

You can refinance as often as it makes financial sense. There is one exception: some lenders require a “chili” between refinances. In other words, you must have the loan for a certain number of months before you can refinance it again.

How do you refinance your mortgage?

The first step in refinancing is to determine your goal. Do you want to reduce your monthly payment? Short term? Get rid of FHA mortgage insurance? Go from an ARM to a fixed rate? Borrow capital?

Once you have set your goal, buy a refinance lender, apply and close your new mortgage like when you bought the house.


How much mortgage can I pay?

When calculating the amount of housing you can afford, we take into account some key things such as your household income, monthly debts (for example, car loans and student loan payments), and the amount of savings available for a deposit. As a home buyer, you want some convenience in understanding your monthly mortgage payments.

While your household income and regular monthly debts can be relatively stable, unexpected, and unexpected expenses can affect your savings.

A good general rule of accessibility is to have three months of payments in reserve, including payment for your home and other monthly debts. This way you can cover your mortgage payment in the event of an unexpected event.

How Does Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Affect Affordability?

An important measure your bank uses to calculate the amount of money you can borrow is the DTI ratio, which compares your total monthly debt (for example, your mortgage payments, including insurance payments and property taxes) with your monthly income before tax.

Depending on your creditworthiness, you may qualify in a higher proportion, but overall, your housing costs should not exceed 28% of your monthly income.

You can also reverse the process to find out what your living budget should be by multiplying your income by 0.28. In the example above, this would allow a mortgage payment of $1,260 to reach a DTI of 28%. (4500 x 0.28 = 1.260)

How much house can I pay with an FHA loan?

In order to calculate the amount of the house you can afford, we have assumed that with a deposit of at least 20%, you could get a traditional loan. However, if you are considering a deposit of at least 3.5% lower, you can apply for an FHA loan.

FHA guaranteed loans also have more flexible rating standards, which you should keep in mind if you have a lower credit rating. If you want to study an FHA loan in more detail, use our FHA mortgage calculator for more details.

Conventional loans can only result in down payments of 3%, although the qualification is a little more difficult than with FHA loans.

How many homes Can I Pay With a VA Loan?

With a military connection, you can benefit from a VA loan. This is a big problem because mortgages funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs do not usually require a down payment. The NerdWallet Home Accessibility Calculator takes this huge advantage into account when calculating your custom accessibility factors.


Pros and Cons of a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A longer repayment period qualifies buyers for lower payments or a more expensive home. But the interest rate will be higher and you will pay more interest over the life of the loan.

Are you considering a 30-year fixed mortgage? Good idea. This grandfather of all mortgages is the choice of nine out of ten buyers.

It’s no mystery why 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are so popular. The repayment period being long, the monthly payments are low. Because the rate is fixed, homeowners can count on monthly payments that stay the same no matter what, although taxes and insurance premiums may change.

Definition of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

A 30-year mortgage is a mortgage that will be fully repaid in 30 years if you make all the payments as planned. Most 30-year mortgages have a fixed interest rate, which means that the interest rate and the payments stay the same as long as you keep the mortgage.

The Benefits of a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Lower payment: a 30-year term allows a cheaper monthly payment by extending the repayment of the loan over a long period

Flexibility – You can repay the loan faster by increasing your monthly payment or by making additional payments. However, you can always use the smallest payment if necessary.

A 30-year mortgage is a mortgage that will be fully repaid in 30 years if you make all the payments as planned.

Predictability: It’s good to keep your mortgage payment the same regardless of the economic storm or rising interest rates

More homes for the mortgage: lower payments mean you may qualify for a more expensive home

Higher tax deduction – Under current tax laws, homebuyers can deduct mortgage interest from their taxes. In the first years of a loan, most of your mortgage payments are used to pay interest, which is a huge tax deduction.

Easier to qualify: With smaller payments, more borrowers are eligible for a 30-year mortgage

Allows you to finance other objectives: after making mortgage payments each month, there is more money left for other objectives

The Cons of a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Higher interest rates: Since the risk of lenders of not being reimbursed extends over a longer period, they charge higher interest rates

More interest paid: paying interest for 30 years significantly increases the total cost compared to a shorter loan

Slow equity growth: It takes longer to build an equity component in a home

Risk of over-indebtedness: Qualifying for a larger mortgage can encourage some people to buy a bigger and better house that is more difficult to pay. Don’t forget to leave a mattress for the inevitable surprises of life.

Higher maintenance costs – Choosing a more expensive house means higher property taxes, maintenance, and even higher utility bills. “A $100,000 house could require annual maintenance of $2,000, while a $ 600,000 house would require $12,000 a year,” said Adam Funk, a licensed financial planner in Troy, Michigan. It requires 1% to 2% of the purchase price for maintenance.

How to speed up your savings

With a little planning, you can combine the security of a 30-year mortgage with one of the main benefits of a shorter mortgage: a faster way to own a home. How is it possible? Pay off the loan earlier. As simple as that.

If you want to try it out, ask your lender for a repayment plan that shows how much you would pay each month to fully own the home in 15 years, 20 years, or any other period of your choice. Your payments will be higher with a shorter duration, but you will not be subject to a higher payment.