When you take out a mortgage, options are to choose between fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages interest stays the same for the entire life of your loan. In contrast, adjustable-rate mortgages have interest rates that change according to external market conditions.
Virtually all home loans are “fixed rate,” but they can be either short- or long-term loans. If you’re planning to buy a property, refinance your current mortgage, or consolidate debt, knowing the difference between 15-year fixed vs. 30-year fixed loans can help you make an informed decision.
Key differences between these two mortgages:
Length of the Repayment Period
Your monthly repayments will be higher than with a 30-year loan, but you’ll pay less total interest throughout the loan. This means you’ll own your home sooner and can potentially make a much larger payment towards equity, as the interest will build up over a shorter time.
A 15-year loan is often referred to as a “half-a-loan” because you’ll make half the number of payments you would with a 30-year loan.
The interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is always lower than that on a 15-year fixed mortgage. That’s because a borrower who opts for a 30-year term commits to paying the loan off in half the time so that they can expect a lower interest rate as compensation for the increased risk of such a long-term loan.
The interest rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, by contrast, is generally higher than that charged on a 30-year fixed mortgage. That’s because the shorter term makes it less risky for lenders, so they are willing to charge a higher interest rate.
If you take out a 30-year fixed mortgage, your monthly repayments will be lower than an equivalent 15-year fixed mortgage. That means you’ll have more money available each month to pay your property taxes and insurance premiums at the start of your mortgage term, which will significantly reduce the amount of mortgage insurance you’ll need to pay.
However, this comes at a cost: Longer-term mortgages are riskier for lenders, requiring mortgage insurance. Your mortgage payments will include monthly MIP premiums, also called private mortgage insurance or PMI.
Why Bother With 15-Year Fixed vs. 30-Year Fixed?
As you can see, fixing the interest rate on a home loan for longer-term will result in a lower monthly repayment. This can be of major benefit to many borrowers.
One significant advantage is that you can afford a larger home by stretching out the loan term and still keeping your monthly repayments low enough to manage.
The biggest benefit of a 15-year fixed mortgage for many borrowers is that your monthly repayments will be lower than if you took out a 30-year fixed loan.
Banks typically require you to pay higher MIP premiums when you don’t have much to put down as a down payment or if your credit history is marred. A 15-year term allows you to put off paying higher premiums in the short term, even though your monthly premiums will be larger in the long term.
Contact Pacific Lending Group to Make the Right Choice
Pacific Lending Group has an extensive track record delivering competitive interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed loans to all credit profiles. Contact us today at 954-227-4727