What is a fixed-rate mortgage?
A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the life of the loan. Most people choose a fixed-rate loan for their mortgage because it protects them from the sudden jump in interest rates that they might experience with an adjustable-rate loan. You can get a fixed-rate loan that lasts 30 years, 15 years, or 20 years. The main difference is your interest rate and monthly payment amount. You'll usually pay a lower monthly payment but a higher interest rate for a longer loan term. They're a good option for a first-time home buyer who is using a conventional loan because the fixed interest rate is easier to understand than an adjustable rate. You
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Advantages of a fixed-rate mortgage
- If interest rates increase, your mortgage won't be affected.
- You'll know what to expect from your mortgage payment, making budgeting and planning easier.
- You can refinance this type of loan if rates go down
Disadvantages of a fixed-rate mortgage
- If interest rates drop throughout the term of your mortgage you won't benefit unless you refinance.
- They can be more expensive than an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
Is it right for you?
Fixed-rate mortgages are a good option for people who:
- are buying their first home
- can't commit to watching the markets to judge the impact on their ARM
- are looking for stability in their mortgage payments