Whether you’re in the process of becoming a first-time homeowner or have been at it a while, your mortgage will set the tone for your finances. Not only will it impact what kind of home you’re able to afford upfront, but it will have long-standing implications in the form of your monthly payment.
If you’re wondering how long those payments will last and how high they’ll be, the answer lies in what kind of mortgage you choose to pursue. As with anything involving home ownership, there are plenty of choices, sometimes an overwhelming amount. Securing a 15-year fixed mortgage is one option — read on to find out if it’s right for you!
What Is a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage?
In short, a 15-year mortgage is one in which you will repay your home loan over the course of 15 years, or 180 monthly payments. Given the comparatively short term, your monthly payments will be higher than those of a 20- or 30-year mortgage, but the interest rate will most likely be lower. Given the lower number of payments and the lower interest rate, the total amount you pay over the life of the loan will be significantly lower than that of a loan with a longer term.
As a fixed-rate mortgage, this type of loan repayment is fairly straightforward for buyers, since the rate will stay the same over the course of the loan. Regardless of inflation, home value, or any other factors, your monthly rate in year one will be the same as in year 15.
Pros and Cons of a 15-Year Mortgage
When determining whether to seek a 15-year mortgage or to refinance into a 15-year plan, there are a number of financial questions to consider. A short-term mortgage may not be the right answer for you now, but it may be down the road. Here are some of the key considerations to determine what type of mortgage your priorities dictate.
- Although your monthly payment will be higher, you will ultimately have to pay back less total money. Even refinancing an existing mortgage into a short-term mortgage can save you thousands of dollars. So if you have the ability to pay off your loan sooner, it can mean a pretty penny for your nest egg. Check out our mortgage calculator to crunch some numbers and see how a higher monthly payment can pay off long term!
- Similar to the point above, lower interest rates (see current rate comparisons) coupled with fewer payments means the total amount you pay will be far less. A shorter mortgage period means less time before you own your home outright. Equity, or the amount of a home you own, is a major plus for your financial assets, and a faster repayment means you gain equity more quickly. This is especially valuable if you choose to sell and move to a new house.
- The higher monthly payment can be a dealbreaker for many people, and often the discussion starts and ends here. Look at your finances and determine what other big-ticket budget items — such as childcare, student loans, credit card debt, or car payment — impact your bottom line. In some cases, the long-term savings don’t make up for the short-term burden.
- In general, a mortgage with a shorter term means a smaller loan. Lenders want to feel confident about your ability to repay, so if they know you will be embarking on an aggressive repayment with a higher monthly payment, they are likely to be more conservative with how much they lend you. If you want to go for a bigger home, a short-term mortgage may put a dent in your dream home plans.
In short, your decision about mortgage type will depend on what you value. If you can find the money for a higher monthly bill and want a lower overall repayment, a 15-year mortgage is probably right for you. If you’d rather have that money available every month for other things — whether it’s bills, investments, or retirement savings — maybe a longer repayment period is for you.
If you can make a higher monthly payment and still have money left for those other investments, paying off your house quickly and moving on to your next financial project can be worth far more than a little extra monthly savings. In the end, it all depends on you!
How Do I Qualify for a 15-Year Mortgage Rates?
In order to qualify for a 15-year mortgage, you need to show your lender that you are capable of meeting the higher monthly payments. This means having less debt and more income. If you aren’t in a position to pay a higher mortgage but want to, it may be time to take another look at your budget and earning capability. Start paying off your other debts where you are able to; you’ll be surprised how quickly your options expand once you start clearing out items in your monthly budget!
The Home Loan Expert team is here to get you the mortgage help you need quickly. Whether you want to purchase a home or refinance your existing mortgage, our five-minute loan approval will put you on the home stretch before you know it!
If you’re unsure about the right mortgage for you, our experts are happy to walk you through your options. Give us a call at (866)-221-1926 or take advantage of the Live Chat option on our website!