At GreenLeaf Bank, we want you to be in control when getting an online mortgage so it’s important to understand the mortgage options available to you.
Fixed rate fully amortizing
A fixed rate mortgage is the go to for nearly all homebuyers and refinancers. There is good reason for its popularity. The interest rate and monthly payments will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the loan. This is appealing for buyers looking for stability.
30-year fixed rate mortgages lock in your interest rate and monthly payment for all 30 years. The slightly less popular 15-year is conceptually the same but calls for payment length in half the time, so the monthly payment will be higher. Another perk, you save some serious cash in saved interest over the lifetime of the loan.
A balloon loan is an option for those borrowers who may not qualify for a fully amortized fixed rate loan due to the property type or not meeting other underwriting conditions. A balloon payment is required at the end of the term to repay the remaining principal balance of the loan. The loan may be required to be paid in full or may be reset for another term at the then prevailing interest rate.
Lenders want to give choices. Every borrower has a unique situation. This can make the decision process a little tricky.
For fixed rate mortgages, you could choose 10, 15, 20, or 30 years to pay back your loan. You could go with any of these, but if you want a standard mortgage, 15 or 30 is ideal.
Remember that different loan terms will result in a very different loan experience. A 30-year loan will have a lower payment paired with a higher interest rate, costing more of the life of the loan. On the flip side, a 15-year loan will have a higher payment paired with a lower interest rate, saving you money over time.
What if you choose a 30-year fixed rate loan, but are not happy with the interest rate? You can change it. Discount points are another option to consider. If you have upfront cash, you can buy down your interest rate.
The cost of each point is equal to 1% of your loan size. A percentage point of your loan size is usually around 0.25% off your interest rate.
Will it be worth the cost? There is generally a break-even point five or more years into your loan where buying down your rate starts saving you significant interest. If you sell or refinance before then, it will be less beneficial.
You don’t have many options when it comes to interest rates. A lot of this is decided for you based on your credit score and borrower profile.
15 and 30-year fixed rate loan terms will have different rates, the 15-year option having the lower rate. The choice here depends on whether you want or need a lower monthly payment, with some consideration for how much interest the longer loan will cost you.
Adjustable rate mortgages are also something to consider. They can be risky and are not for everyone. Introductory rates are typically much lower than either 15 or 30-year fixed loans. If you’re savvy with finances and don’t plan to keep the mortgage past the first adjustment, this could be an option for you.
The amount you put down on your new home has a big impact. It affects your interest rate, monthly payment, and even what loan programs you’re eligible for. Down payments range from as little as 5% to more than 20%, with most lenders ideally looking for 10-20%.
The Learning Center is an educational tool and the content is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal, tax, or accounting advice, nor is it intended to indicate the availability or applicability of any GreenLeaf Bank product or service to your unique circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes. Although we have obtained content from sources deemed to be reliable, GreenLeaf Bank and its affiliates are not responsible for any content provided by unaffiliated third parties. You may wish to consult an appropriate advisor about your unique situation. The applicability of this information to your circumstances is not guaranteed. You should obtain personal advice from qualified professionals.