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One of the most important parts of taking on a mortgage to buy a house is making sure the terms of the loan best suit your financial needs. Not only does this involve securing the lowest interest rate possible, it also means choosing the right mortgage term.
The mortgage term tells you how much time you have to repay your loan in full. The two most common home loan terms borrowers typically find themselves having to pick between are 15-year and 30-year mortgages, though some lenders will let you take on terms as low as eight or 10 years.
These 15-year and 30-year mortgages each come with their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to make the choice that’s best for your financial goals.
Below, Select takes a closer look at the trade-offs of 15-year and 30-year terms on a home loan and what you should consider if you’re choosing between them.
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Will the monthly payment fit into your budget?
Generally, the longer the life of your loan (or loan term) is, the lower your monthly payments will be. That’s because borrowers repay their home loans in fixed, equal monthly payments over the entire life of the loan — someone who has a longer time horizon will end up with smaller payments compared to someone with a shorter time horizon for the same loan amount.
Rocket Mortgage, one of the largest home loan lenders in the U.S., uses an example of a $240,000 home loan with a 4% interest rate to illustrate this point. If the borrower chooses a 30-year loan term, they’ll be making a monthly payment of $1,145.80 including principal and interest (insurance and other expenses are not included in this instance). If they choose a 15-year loan term, however, the monthly payment works out to be $1,775.25 — that’s a difference of more than $629.45 a month.
If you anticipate not having enough wiggle room in your monthly budget to take on a higher mortgage payment, it could make more sense to go with a 30-year term so you can have smaller monthly payments stretched out over a longer time horizon.
Is your goal to save on interest?
One major drawback of having a 30-year mortgage is you’ll end up …….