The 30 year fixed loan is one of the most popular mortgage programs. With a 30 year fixed rate mortgage you lock in today's interest rate for thirty years. The opposite of a fixed rate mortgage is an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). With interest rates near historic lows, locking in today’s rate is a very smart move for most people.
The primary advantage of a fixed rate mortgage is predictability. Unlike an ARM, your rate will never change for the life of your loan, and, therefore, your payments will never increase. You don’t have to worry about changes in interest rates, the financial index they are based on or how the payments are structured. Because of the length of the term, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage has the additional benefit of significantly lower payments than those of shorter term fixed rate products. As a result, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage could save you hundreds of dollars a month. However, keep in mind that since the term of the loan is longer, you’ll pay more total interest over the life of the loan than you would on a mortgage with a shorter term.
Is a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage the right choice for you?
Do you plan to move or refinance in the next five to ten years? Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, if you expect to be in your home for an extended period of time, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is likely the way to go. This is especially true today with mortgage rates at record lows, since it allows homeowners to lock in a low payment.
Are you looking to lower your mortgage payments? If so, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage can offer you low monthly payments. That can make home ownership more affordable on a month-to-month basis. And remember, if you choose a 30 year mortgage, there's nothing to stop you from paying down the loan quicker than 30 years* by making a higher payment whenever you want.
Does the stability of a fixed payment give you peace of mind? If you’re the type of person who might stay up late at nights worrying about the uncertainty of an adjustable rate mortgage, a 30 year fixed may be the right choice for you. Many people are more comfortable with a fixed rate mortgage, because they know what tomorrow’s payment will be.
* Check your loan documents for a pre-pay penalty, however, most loans do not have a pre-pay penalty.