With the plethora of loan programs expanding every year, borrowers are finding themselves faced with decisions about what loan type is best for their individual situation. The potential for difficulties and confusion is significant, and it is for this reason that borrowers seek to educate themselves about the various types of mortgages and their features before committing to any contract.
If a borrower is seeking stability and consistency, the safest type of loan contract is the traditional 30-year fixed mortgage. With this loan, the borrowerís payment and interest rate does not change for the entire duration of the loan. The payment will be predictable and the borrower does not need to concern himself with potential changes in the real estate marketplace or the economy.
However, the 30-year fixed mortgage may not be attractive to the more sophisticated buyer, or to the buyer with less disposable income. These individuals often choose ARMís, Interest Only loans, or Balloon loans. All three of these loans have their own unique set of characteristics that make them attractive, but each of these loan types carry the potential for confusion and significantly higher monthly payments in the future.
Any time a borrower gets a mortgage with a fluctuating payment schedule, there is the potential for problems in the future, which could ultimately result in damage to credit profiles or even foreclosure. The safest type of loan is one that the borrower can afford every month, and one with a guaranteed fixed payment. The alternative loan types mentioned above all have payments that will undoubtedly increase at some point in the future, thereby presenting risk to the home ownerís financial situation if he fails to adequately prepare for those changes.
When borrowers get ARM's or Balloons or Interest Only loans knowing that they can barely afford the initial fixed payments, they are putting themselves in serious danger. Lenders and mortgage brokers often fail to adequately prepare the borrower for the increases in payments looming on the horizon. Realistically, borrowers should only apply for and obtain such contracts when they can legitimately afford the highest permissible payment in the contract, rather than just the initial reduced payment.