An alternative mortgage is any mortgage that is not a traditional, fixed-rate mortgage. The alternative mortgage might be an adjustable-rate mortgage or an interest-only mortgage. Some people even classify short-term and longer term mortgages as alternative. These mortgages are a relatively new phenomenon, as many banks have come up with innovative loan products to attract new borrowers. Alternative mortgages are generally riskier than the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. Many people do not like alternative mortgages because of the volatility that they create in uncertain economic times. When interest rates are constantly shifting, a homeowner's monthly payment can vary depending upon where the rate falls that year. The advantage of alternative mortgages is that they can provide savings for people who are able to get them at the right time. Homeowners who get lucky can see their rates go down when they have the right alternative mortgage.