Types of Loans

Thirty-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 are usually 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.

Fifteen-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 own your home 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 is often safer than committing to a higher monthly payment, since the difference in interest rates isn't that great.

VA Loan

A mortgage loan program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families obtain home financing. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not directly originate VA loans; instead, they establish the rules for those who may qualify, dictate the terms of the mortgages offered and insure VA loans against default. These loans require NO downpayment to those who qualify.

USDA

The USDA Rural Development Home Loan is a flexible zero down payment government guaranteed program that is growing in popularity. It is designed to promote home-ownership to residents in rural communities with low to moderate incomes and who have limited savings for a down payment. A common misconception about the USDA loan program is that it is only for farmers, but you will find that just outside most metropolitan areas there are many suburban areas that qualify for this program.

HECM Refinance

 A loan available to homeowners, 62 years or older, that allows them to convert part of the equity in their homes into cash.The product was conceived as a means to help retirees with limited income use the accumulated wealth in their homes to cover basic monthly living expenses and pay for health care. However, there is no restriction how reverse mortgage proceeds can be used.

Hybrid ARM (3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM)

These increasingly popular ARMS—also called 3/1, 5/1 or 7/1—can offer the best of both worlds: lower interest rates (like ARMs) and a fixed payment for a longer period of time than most adjustable rate loans. 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.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)

When it comes to ARMs there's a basic rule to remember...the longer you ask the lender to charge you a specific rate, the more expensive the loan.