Obtaining a mortgage is an important part of buying a home for most people. Interest rates rise and fall but not everyone can lock in low rates. Learn about three popular types of mortgages and which type may be best.
30-year Fixed Mortgage - Lenders offer these types of mortgages at locked in interest rates for the entire life of home loans. Since 30 years is considered a long period of time, interest rates for this type of mortgage are higher than loans set up for shorter periods. While these plain jane mortgages don't offer flashy teaser rates, they give homebuyers the opportunity to take the slow and steady route. These tried and true favorites have proven themselves over time and are often viewed as the bread and butter for the mortgage industry.
15-year Fixed Mortgage - This type of mortgage allows a homebuyer to pay off his loan in half the time than that of a traditional 30-year mortgage. The interest rate is fixed through the life of the loan. Even if interest rates drop sharply, a buyer must stick with the rates he accepted unless he refinances the home. Payments are higher but interest rates are lower than longer mortgages.
5/1 Adjustable-rate Mortgage - While adjustable-rate mortgages have recently been touted as the bad boys due to an economic slump, the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage is more secure. Under this home mortgage plan, an owner receives a lower fixed rate for the first five years of the loan, then gets adjustable interest rates beginning in year six. Rates are capped so they don't increase past a certain point but be sure to check just how much they can jump.
Current economic trends can dictate interest rates but buyers with stable income histories and solid credit scores stand much better chances at getting the homes they want. Higher interest rates can cause a buyer hundreds of thousands of dollars or prevent him from buying his home of choice. Working with a loan officer to clear up any issues beforehand can give buyers the best shot at getting low interest rates.