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Looking at mortgage rates can be a bit confusing at times. Where do you look? What options do you have? Here are some answers to consider.

Why Are There So Many Different Mortgage Rates?

Looking at mortgage rates can be a bit confusing at times. Where do you look? What options do you have? Here are some answers to consider.

Where to look

You can go to your bank website and search for mortgage interest rates. You can also go to any good Internet search engine. Once there, you may find several types of rates. There are many choices. Here are some of the loans you may encounter.

Thirty Year Fixed

This interest rate is for a thirty-year loan. The interest rate will not change throughout the life of the mortgage. These are usually conventional loans and may require as much as a twenty percent down payment. The down payment amount may fluctuate, depending on the lender. Sometimes it may be more difficult to be eligible for these types of loans.

Five year adjustable

This can be a thirty or fifteen year mortgage. It is also known as ARM. The interest will stay the same for five years. Then the mortgage interest rate will reflect inflation. In good times, your rate and payment will be low. In bad times, your payment can rise considerably. If you do not allow for the bad times, it can mean disaster.

Why would someone want an adjustable rate mortgage? Maybe you expect good economic conditions in the future. You might have to consider your short-term needs. Maybe you can refinance in five years. It depends on your situation.

There are so many choices to consider with adjustable rate mortgages. Most people should talk to a loan professional to understand what is available. You might be able to get an ARM that will convert to a conventional loan. Caps can vary from loan to loan. There can be a cap on how much the interest can rise.

The recent rash of foreclosures was due in part, to these types of loans. Many people flocked to lenders to receive very low loan payments. A great deal of those people made substantial home purchases. The economy changed and their mortgage payments went up hundreds of dollars. They could not continue to make the payments.

Fifteen year fixed

This refers to a fifteen-year loan. The interest will stay the same during the life of the loan. You can usually get a lower interest rate with the fifteen-year mortgage. You will have a much higher payment. Most people consider the higher payment not within their budget.

However, there is a huge advantage to the fifteen-year loan. The first and obvious, is half the payout time. Look at an example of total cost.

A couple finances a $100,000.00 home. Their interest rate is five percent for thirty years. Their payment would be $537.00 a month. They would pay $93,256.00 interest after thirty years. Suppose they get a fifteen year loan at four and one half percent. Their monthly payment would be $765.00. Their total interest would be $37,699.00. That is almost one third of the thirty-year interest amount. If the couple could afford the extra $228.00, they could save a great deal of time and money.

Balloon mortgages

Most balloon mortgages are for five to seven years. You get a very low payment and interest rate for that time. After that, the entire amount is due at once. People that plan a few years ahead may consider this. For example, you may be expecting a financial windfall in the future. Maybe you will have a better job. Perhaps you will refinance when the balloon payment is due?


Sifting through the maze of mortgage information can be quite a task. Take some time to do it. Explore all of the many options. Decide what is best for your situation. Talk to loan professionals to help you make your decision.

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About Emma Gilbert

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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