September 29, 2010

15 Year Fixed Rate Loan...Is it Right for Me?

A 15-Year Fixed Rate loan works well for borrowers who are nearing retirement and want to be debt-free when they get there. Because payments in a 15-year scenario are amortized over half the length of a 30-Year Fixed Rate loan, the monthly payments will be significantly higher in comparison. This is an important factor to consider before committing to a 15-year loan. However, the interest rate on a 15-Year Fixed Rate loan will be lower for the same reason - financing for 15 years costs much less than financing for 30 years.

If a borrower is 50 years old and would like to be debt-free when retiring at age 65, then a 15-Year Fixed Rate loan will allow the borrower to meet that goal as far as their mortgage is concerned. However, if there is any question as to whether the borrower will be able to commit to the higher monthly payment, the alternative is to take a 30-Year Fixed Rate mortgage and make pre-payments with some consistency. If the borrower has the discipline to make those extra payments whenever possible, he or she can still attempt to meet the same goal.

I prefer to educate my borrowers so they can compare the benefits of each program and have the opportunity to review loan options with their financial advisors.