Types of Mortgages

Fixed-Rate

A fixed-rate mortgage offers a monthly payment that stays the same over the life of the loan. The amount you pay is “fixed” no matter what happens with interest rates or anything else in the market. It is very popular because many people like the security of knowing exactly what their payments will be. If you plan on being in your home for the long term, a fixed-rate mortgage would most likely be your best option.

ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage

This mortgage has two parts. It starts off with a fixed interest rate for a certain number of years (typically, 3, 5, 7, or 10 years) then it becomes adjustable. What that means is that the interest rate you pay is tied to what’s going on in the market. That means it can go up and down. Who usually chooses this mortgage? It tends to work best for buyers who plan on selling or refinancing their home before it hits the adjustable period.

FHA

FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration. It’s a government insured loan and is often considered a mortgage for first-time homebuyers. Why? Because it requires a smaller down payment and is more flexible on income and credit requirements. If the down payment you can make is less than 20%, this may be the right loan for you. With an FHA loan, you must take out Mortgage Insurance.

VA

VA stands for Veterans Affairs and these loans are insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs. To qualify, you must be a current or former member of the U.S. armed forces. You can also qualify if you are the current or surviving spouse of someone who is serving or has served. These loans often have lower interest rates and down payment requirements. The available terms are 15 years and 30 years.