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15 & 30 Year Loans- Q & A

Q: What about a 15-year v. 30 year loan?
A: The difference in payments and overall savings between a 15-year fixed-rate loan and a 30-year fixed-rate loan depends on the interest rate and the loan amount. Using a $100,000 loan and 7.25% interest rate as an example, monthly payments on the 15-year note would be $912.86. Monthly payments on a $100,000 loan at 7.25% fixed for 30 years would be $682.18.

The 15-year note offers the opportunity to save considerable money over the life of the loan, since the period of amortization is half that of the 30-year note. This means that the total interest paid on a 15-year note as compared to a 30-year note is significantly less.

However, calculating the overall savings of the 15-year note over the 30-year note depends on several individual circumstances, such as the borrower’s changing income status.


Q: What about splitting my mortgage in two and paying bi-weekly?
A: Some people set on paying off their home loan early and reducing interest charges opt for a biweekly mortgage. Monthly payments are divided in half, payable every two weeks.

Because there are 52 weeks in a year, the program results in 26 half-payments, or the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year instead of 12. Using the biweekly payment system, a homeowner with a $70,000, 30-year biweekly mortgage at 10 percent interest could save $60,000 in interest and pay off the balance in less than 21 years.


Q: Are 40-year mortgages a good idea?
A: Smaller monthly payments are the primary advantage of adding 10 years to the traditional 30-year mortgage, but real estate experts say the shorter-term loan usually is more beneficial for the home buyer. The drawback becomes apparent simply by calculating the cost of additional interest payments, which can total thousands for a few dollars difference in mortgage payments.

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