We offer many different types of loans that can be tailored to fit your particular situation. Us this guide to help figure out which loan might be best for you.
A fixed rate mortgage has an interest rate and monthly payments that never change. These mortgages afford borrowers stability because they are unaffected by the ups and downs of fluctuating rates. There is no risk of a sudden rate increase making monthly payments unaffordable. Consequently, many people find that the consistent payment amounts aid them in managing their budgets. This is also a popular and practical option for people planning to stay in their homes for several years because they can end up saving money in the long run.
Fixed rate mortgages can be more difficult to qualify for than other types of loans, however. And if interest rates decrease significantly, refinancing is required to capitalize and obtain lower payments.
Shorter-term fixed rate mortgages offer significant interest savings over longer-term fixed rate mortgages, but have higher monthly payments.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) feature an interest rate that adjusts up or down at specified intervals of the mortgage term. The initial interest rates for ARMs are lower than those of fixed rate mortgages. However, after that preliminary low-rate period ends, the rate adjusts periodically – usually upwards. This makes ARMs a viable choice for borrowers who do not plan to stay in their home for an extended period of time. Others choosing an ARM run a risk of suddenly being faced with unaffordable monthly payments.
ARMs are typically easier to qualify for than fixed rate loans because the starting rate and payments are lower.
A wide variety of ARMs are available, offering varying initial fixed rate periods and adjustment terms. ARMs featuring initial fixed rate periods of three, five, and seven years, with rates adjusting annually thereafter, are common. These are generally referred to as 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1.
Loans that are not insured by the federal government and for amounts under limits established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (government-regulated private corporations) are considered conventional loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac administer these loans. Currently, the conventional loan limit for single families is $417,000 in the continental United States.
Jumbo loan amounts exceed the conventional loan amount limit. These mortgages are funded by the private investment market.
FHA loans are insured, but not funded, by the Federal Housing Authority. Essentially designed for low- and middle-income borrowers and first-time borrowers, FHA loans tend to have more lenient qualifying criteria than conventional loans.
The Veterans Administration insures, but does not fund, loans for those with qualified military service. These loans offer more relaxed qualifying criteria and less stringent down-payment requirements than conventional loans.