Choosing a mortgage isn’t all that painful if you know the lingo. Once you’ve done some homework and nailed down a budget and down payment amount, and you’ve reviewed your credit, you’ll have a better idea of what loan works best for your needs. Here’s a primer on some of the most common types of mortgages.
A conventional mortgage is a home loan that’s not insured by the federal government and consist of conforming and non-conforming loans. The following are common conventional loans…
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) – A loan with an interest rate that is tied to a specified financial index, this increases or decreases at scheduled time periods during the life of the loan. The loan includes a margin that is tied to the index.
Fixed-Rate Loan – A loan with an interest rate and payment that remains constant throughout the life of the loan. Interest is amortized over the loan period and factored into the monthly mortgage payment.
Interest Only – Monthly mortgage payments consist of interest only for a specific period, usually 5 to 10 years. During the interest only period, your balance remains the same unless you choose to pay extra toward your principal.
The U.S. government isn’t a mortgage lender, but it does play a role in helping more Americans become homeowners. Three government agencies back loans…the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA loans) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA loans). Here’s more information on each:
Federal Housing Administration Loan (FHA) – FHA loans are available as fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and can offer low down payments as well as higher qualifying ratios. There is a maximum FHA loan limit that varies from region to region.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Designed for rural property purchase or refinance loans.
VA Loan – Available to eligible veterans. The Veterans Administration guarantees the repayment of VA Loans to the lender in case of borrower default.
It’s important to get familiar with these common types of mortgages and mortgage terms, but always feel free to contact us anytime with your questions.