Fixed Rate Mortgage
Fixed rate mortgages are probably the most common type of mortgage. “Fixed rate” refers to the fact that the interest rate is agreed upon at initiation of the loan and never changes over the life of the loan. This also means that the principal and interest payment is fixed and will not change over the life of the loan.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Adjustable rate mortgages do just that: adjust their rate. Simply put, a loan that starts with an initial rate of 5% may be 7% the next year and 9% the 3rd year. Does my payment change? In most cases, yes. When interest rates change, payments are re-calculated on the remaining principal balance for the remaining term at the new interest rate.
Shorter Term Fixed Loan
A short term fixed mortgage refers to a mortgage which has a set interest rate and set payments based on an amortization of 30 years, however, the loan converts to an adjustable loan after a period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years depending on the program you decide on. This loan is an attractive option for someone who anticipates selling or refinancing their home during the fixed rate period of the loan. What happens if I don’t move or sell? Make sure the loan contains no prepayment penalty, that way you can refinance if and when rates drop.
CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE – Conventional loans originated in the 1930’s after the Depression and are the benchmark of all other loan types. This loan has several traits:
- Set Monthly Payments: The periodic payment never changes.
- Set Interest Rate: The interest rate never changes.
- Set Loan Term: Typically 15 or 30 years.
- Self Amortization: The loan is paid off at the end of the specified term.
VA (Veterans Administration)
This type of loan is also government backed and is available only to Veterans. Some of the features are:
- No down payment required
- Low interest rates
A VA loan has an up front requirement of a funding fee (FF). This funding fee is a one-time charge which can be rolled into the mortgage amount.