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Mortgage Loans
   
 



 

Types of Mortgage Loans

All mortgage plans can be divided into categories in two different ways. Firstly, conventional and government loans. Secondly, all the various mortgage programs may be classified as fixed rate loans, adjustable rate loans and their combinations.
 

                Conventional and Government Loans

Any mortgage loan other than an FHA, VA or an RHS loan is conventional one.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various mortgage loan programs. FHA loans have lower down payment requirements and are easier to qualify than conventional loans. FHA loans cannot exceed the statutory limit.

VA loans

VA loans are guaranteed by U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The guaranty allows veterans and service persons to obtain home loans with favorable loan terms, usually without a down payment. In addition, it is easier to qualify for a VA loan than a conventional loan. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not make loans, it guarantees loans made by lenders. VA determines your eligibility and, if you are qualified, VA will issue you a certificate of eligibility to be used in applying for a VA loan. VA-guaranteed loans are obtained by making application to private lending institutions.

RHS Loan Programs

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture guarantees loans for rural residents with minimal closing costs and no down payment.

State and Local Housing Programs

Many states, counties and cities provide low to moderate housing finance programs, down payment assistance programs, or programs tailored specifically for a first time buyer. These programs are typically more lenient on the qualification guidelines and often designed with lower upfront fees. Also, there are often loan assistance programs offered at the local or state level such as MCC (Mortgage Credit Certificate) which allows you a tax credit for part of your interest payment. Most of these programs are fixed rate mortgages and have interest rates lower than the current market.

Jumbo Loans

Loans above the maximum loan amount established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are known as 'jumbo' loans. Because jumbo loans are bought and sold on a much smaller scale, they often have a little higher interest rate than conforming, but the spread between the two varies with the economy.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

With fixed rate mortgage (FRM) loan the interest rate and your mortgage monthly payments remain fixed for the period of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are available for 30, 25, 20, 15 years and 10 years. Generally, the shorter the term of a loan, the lower the interest rate you could get.

The most popular mortgage terms are 30 and 15 years. With the traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage your monthly payments are lower than they would be on a shorter term loan. But if you can afford higher monthly payments a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage allows you to repay your loan twice as faster and save more than half the total interest costs of a 30-year loan.

The payments on fixed rate fully amortizing loans are calculated so that at the end of the term the mortgage loan is paid in full. During the early amortization period, a large percentage of the monthly payment is used for paying the interest. As the loan is paid down, more of the monthly payment is applied to principal.

With bi-weekly mortgage plan you pay half of the monthly mortgage payment every 2 weeks. It allows you to repay a loan much faster. For example, a 30 year loan can be paid off within 18 to 19 years.

Balloon loans

Balloon loans are short-term fixed rate loans that have fixed monthly payments based usually upon a 30-year fully amortizing schedule and a lump sum payment at the end of its term. Usually they have terms of 3, 5, and 7 years.

The advantage of this type of loan is that the interest rate on balloon loans is generally lower than 30- and 15- year mortgages resulting in lower monthly payments. The disadvantage is that at the end of the term you will have to come up with a lump sum to pay off your lender, either through a refinance or from your own savings.

Balloon loans with refinancing option allow borrowers to convert the mortgage at the end of the balloon period to a fixed rate loan -- based upon the outstanding principal balance -- if certain conditions are met. If you refinance the loan at maturity you need not be requalified, nor the property reapproved. The interest rate on the new loan is a current rate at the time of conversion. There might be a minimal processing fee to obtain the new loan. The most popular terms are 5/25 Balloon, and 7/23 Balloon.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Variable or adjustable loan is loan whose interest rate, and accordingly monthly payments, fluctuate over the period of the loan. With this type of mortgage, periodic adjustments based on changes in a defined index are made to the interest rate. The index for your particular loan is established at the time of application.

Combined (Hibrid) Loans

Hibrid loans, a combination of fixed and ARM loans, come in different varieties:

Fixed-period ARMs

With fixed-period ARMs homeowners can enjoy from three to ten years of fixed payments before the initial interest rate change. At the end of the fixed period, the interest rate will adjust annually. Fixed-period ARMs -- 30/3/1, 30/5/1, 30/7/1 and 30/10/1 -- are generally tied to the one-year Treasury securities index. ARMs with an initial fixed period beside of lifetime and adjustment caps usually have also first adjustment cap. It limits the interest rate you will pay the first time your rate is adjusted. First adjustment caps vary with type of loan program.

The advantage of these loans is that the interest rate is lower than for a 30-year fixed (the lender is not locked in for as long so their risk is lower and they can charge less) but you still get the advantage of a fixed rate for a period of time.

Two-Step Mortgage

Two-Step mortgages have a fixed rate for a certain time, most often 5 or 7 years, and then interest rate changes to a current market rate. After that adjustment the mortgage maintains new fixed rate for the remaining 23 or 25 years.

Convertible ARMs

Some ARMs come with option to convert them to a fixed-rate mortgage at designated times (usually during the first five years on the adjustment date), if you see interest rates starting to rise. The new rate is established at the current market rate for fixed-rate mortgages.

The conversion is typically done for a nominal fee and requires almost no paperwork. The disadvantage is that the conversion interest rate is typically a little higher than the market rate at that time.

The other kind of convertible mortgage is a fixed rate loan with rate reduction option. If rates had dropped since the time of closing it allows you, under some prescribed conditions, for a small conversion fee to adjust your mortgage to going market rate. Generally the interest rate or discount points may be a little higher for a convertible loan.

Graduated Payment Mortgages (GPMs)

Graduated payment mortgages have payments that start low and gradually increase at predetermined times. A lower initial payments allow you to qualify for a larger loan amount. The monthly payments will eventually be higher in order to catch up from the lower payments. In fact, your loan will be negatively amortizing during the early years of the loan, then pay off the principal at an accelerated pace through the later years.

Lenders offer different GPM payment plans, which vary in the rate of payment increases and the number of years over which the payments will increase. The greater the rate of increase or the longer the period of increase, the lower the mortgage payments in the early years.

Buydown Mortgage

A temporary buydown is the type of loan with an initially discounted interest rate which gradually increases to an agreed-upon fixed rate usually within one to three years. An initially discounted rate allows you to qualify for more house with the same income and gives you the advantage of lower initial monthly payments for the first years of the loan when extra money may be needed for furnishings or home improvements. To reduce your monthly payments during the first few years of a mortgage you make an initial lump sum payment to the lender. If you do not have the cash to pay for the buydown, the lender can pay this fee if you agree on a little higher interest rate.





 

   
 

 

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