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Types of Loans

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

The traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has a constant interest rate and monthly payments that never change. This may be a good choice if you plan to stay in your home for seven years or longer. If you plan to move within seven years, then adjustable-rate loans can be cheaper. As a rule of thumb, it may be harder to qualify for fixed-rate loans than for adjustable rate loans. When interest rates are low, fixed-rate loans are generally not that much more expensive than adjustable-rate mortgages and may be a better deal in the long run, because you can lock in the rate for the life of your loan.

15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

This loan is fully amortized over a 15-year period and features constant monthly payments. It offers all the advantages of the 30-year loan, plus a lower interest rate—and you'll pay off your loan twice as fast. The disadvantage is that, with a 15-year loan, you commit to a higher monthly payment. Many borrowers opt for a 30-year fixed-rate loan and voluntarily make larger payments that will pay off their loan in 15 years. This approach can be safer than committing to a higher monthly payment.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) (3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM)

Increasingly popular, ARMS— 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1—can offer the best of both worlds: lower interest rates and a fixed payment for a predetermined period of time. For example, a "5/1 loan" has a fixed monthly payment and interest for the first five years and then turns into a traditional adjustable-rate loan, based on then-current rates for the remaining 25 years. It's a good choice for people who expect to move (or refinance) before or shortly after the adjustment occurs. When it comes to ARMs there's a basic rule to remember...the longer the initial rate is fixed, the higher that rate may be.

 FHA Mortgage

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) which is part of the HUD plays a major role in supporting homeownership by underwriting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families. FHA assists first-time home buyers and others who might not be able to meet down payment requirements for conventional loans by providing mortgage insurance to private lenders. Anyone, who has a satisfactory credit record, enough cash to close the loan, and sufficient steady income to make monthly mortgage payments can be approved for an FHA-insured mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner over the age of 62 convert a portion of the equity in their primary residence into income. These mortgages have become increasingly popular as more baby boomers enter or near retirement and also because they offer seniors an option to pay for a variety of expenses. The reverse mortgages loans are secured by the home and the owner does not have to repay the loan until they sell or premanently move out of the home.

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