Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage is a popular loan type where the monthly principal and interest payments remain consistent throughout the loan term. The interest rate on the mortgage will never change over the lifetime of the loan. This stability makes fixed rate mortgages a preferred choice for many homeowners. Below is an expanded overview including different types of fixed rate mortgages, their advantages and disadvantages, comparisons with adjustable rate mortgages, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

Fixed Rate Mortgage Terms

Fixed rate mortgages come in various term lengths, typically ranging from 10 to 30 years. Each option has its unique benefits:

  • 10 Year Fixed Rate: This mortgage is paid off quickly and usually has a lower interest rate compared to longer-term loans, resulting in less interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • 15 Year Fixed Rate: Offers a balance between a relatively short repayment period and a lower interest rate than longer terms, suitable for those who can handle a higher monthly payment.
  • 20 Year Fixed Rate: A middle ground between the 10 year and 30 year options, providing lower payments than a 15 year mortgage but less total interest cost than a 30 year mortgage.
  • 30 Year Fixed Rate: The most common choice, offering the lowest monthly payments spread over a longer period, which makes it easier on the monthly budget but increases the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.

Comparison to Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

Unlike fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) start with a lower interest rate which can change over time based on the market. This means:

  • Initial Lower Payments: ARMs may be cheaper in the short term but pose a risk if interest rates rise significantly.
  • Flexibility: ARMs can be preferable in declining rate environments as they allow borrowers to take advantage of lower rates without refinancing.
  • Risk: Payments can increase unexpectedly, which may be challenging for those without financial flexibility.

Pros of a Fixed Rate Mortgage:

  • Predictability: Monthly payments (principal and interest) are fixed, making budget planning easier.
  • Stability: Payments won't change due to interest rate fluctuations, protecting borrowers from rising interest rates.
  • Simplicity: Straightforward loan structure with no surprises.

Cons of a Fixed Rate Mortgage:

  • Higher Initial Rates: Interest rates are typically higher than those for adjustable-rate mortgages at the onset.
  • Less Flexibility: Beneficial primarily in environments where interest rates are stable or rising. If rates fall, refinancing may be necessary to benefit.

How to Get Pre-approved for a Fixed Rate Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a fixed rate mortgage is quick and easy with our Online Loan Application. After completing the application, you will receive instructions on how to upload your documents. For a list of documents you will need to upload, see our Pre-approval Document Checklist.

Alpine Mortgage provides fixed rate mortgage loans in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Call us today at (800) 876-5626 to speak with one of our fixed rate loan specialists or click here to have one of our fixed rate home loan specialists contact you. 

Fixed Rate Mortgage FAQs

You can view our 30 year fixed mortgage rates on our conventional, FHA and VA loan programs.

  • Long-term Homeowners: Those who plan to stay in their home for a long period, typically over seven years, can benefit from the stability of fixed monthly payments. This helps in financial planning and budgeting without worrying about fluctuating interest rates.
  • Risk-Averse Borrowers: Individuals who prefer predictability and stability over potential savings from fluctuating interest rates often choose fixed rate mortgages. These borrowers value the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what their mortgage payments will be for the duration of the loan, regardless of changes in the market.
  • First-time Homebuyers: The simplicity and stability of fixed rate mortgages make them a favorable option for first time homebuyers who might find the home buying process complex enough without adding variable loan terms into the mix.
  • Low Interest Rate Environment: When interest rates are low, locking in a fixed rate can protect homeowners from future rate increases. This is a strategic move if the market forecasts suggest rising interest rates.

The length of the loan term affects your interest rate. Shorter terms, like a 15 year mortgage, often have lower interest rates compared to longer terms, such as a 30 year mortgage. This is because lenders face less risk of changes in financial conditions over shorter periods. In addition, your credit score and amount of your down payment will also affect the interest rate.

Mortgage insurance is typically required on a fixed rate mortgage if you make a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price.