Glossary

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Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular home loan product. The interest on a fixed-rate mortgage remains the same for the life of the loan. Typically, a fixed-rate mortgage has a term of 15 or 30 years. However, longer terms are sometimes available in areas with high property values. Shorter term loans help borrowers build equity faster while longer term loans make monthly payments more affordable. Interest rates are usually lower for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages than 30 year or longer loans. Because fixed-rate mortgages are not affected by fluctuations in the market, borrowers have a stable monthly payment. Unlike balloon mortgages, fixed-rate mortgages are paid in full at the end of their term. While interest rates are usually slightly higher for new fixed-rate mortgages, over time, they become less expensive than adjustment-rate home loans.