Types of Mortgage Loans

What type of mortgage loan is right for you?

Types of Mortgages

When it comes to financing your home, it’s important to understand the differences between the types of mortgage loans available so you can feel confident about the one you choose. 

Fixed-rate mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage offers a set interest rate over the term of the loan. Your monthly payments will remain the same throughout that term, which could be 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.

A fixed mortgage may be right for you if:

Just keep in mind that if a lower interest rate becomes available, a fixed interest rate mortgage will not allow you to automatically take advantage of the lower rate. Instead, you may need to refinance. Try this fixed-rate mortgage calculator to compare ARM and fixed-rate home loans.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) offers a set adjustment period when the interest rate may increase or decrease, depending on current market conditions. The introductory interest rates for ARMs are usually lower than fixed rate mortgages during the fixed period. Rate caps are put in place so that the interest rate can never increase or decrease by more than the determined percentage over a pre-disclosed period of time.

An ARM loan may make sense if:

Just keep in mind that your payments may increase once the loan’s introductory rate period ends. And monthly payments will be harder to predict, making it more difficult to budget for other expenses. Use this adjustable rate mortgage calculator to find out if an ARM is right for you.

Jumbo mortgages

Also known as ‘non-conforming’ mortgage, a jumbo mortgage may become an option if you’re planning to borrow more than $424,100 for your primary residence. Just keep in mind that jumbo mortgages may have different interest rates and underwriting requirements compared to the traditional, ‘conforming’ mortgages. 

Mortgage refinancing

If current interest rates are lower than the one on your current loan, you may be able to reduce your monthly loan payments by refinancing your loan. You also may be able to shorten the length of your loan, which may keep your payments the same or potentially increase depending on the rate and term. 

Just keep in mind that refinancing your mortgage may require upfront cost. See how much you can potentially save with our mortgage refinance calculator.

Compare mortgage loan features and benefits

Compare our mortgage options in the chart below to help you decide what type of borrowing solution is right for you.

Fixed Mortgages Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Jumbo Mortgage Mortgage Refinance
Interest Rates Fixed Variable Fixed or Variable Fixed or Variable
Terms1 10, 15, 20 or 30 years 30-year with initial fixed rate period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years 15, 30 years or 5/1 ARM 10, 15, 20 or 30 years

Interest rate and monthly payment remains stable for the length of the loan

No pre-payment penalties

Variety of terms available

Usually lower monthly payments for the first few months or first few years

No pre-payment penalties

Allows you to purchase a more expensive property

Variety of terms available

May be able to secure a lower interest rate based on market conditions

Draw on your home’s equity to afford home repairs, consolidate debt or pay for education

Potentially shorten your mortgage term or replace one mortgage type with another

Best If You Plan to stay in your home for many years Want to stay in your home for 3-10 years Will buy a primary residence that is above $417,000 Currently have a higher interest rate on your mortgage and have already built equity in your home

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