Choosing the Right Home Loan

Types of Home Loans

Which loan is right for me?

Years you plan to stay in the house Recommended program
1-3 3/1 ARM, 1 year ARM or 6 month ARM
3-5 5/1 ARM
5-7 7/1 ARM
7-10 10/1 ARM, 30 year fixed or 15 year fixed
10+ 30 year fixed or 15 year fixed

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each plan?

There are loans for many different situations including: First Time Buyer Programs, Home Improvement Loans, Refinancing, Lines of Credit, Purchases, Real Estate Loans, Mortgages, and Home Equity Lines of Credit. Please review the different loan programs below to see which one may be best for you.

Loan Programs Advantages Disadvantages
Fixed Rate Mortgages
30 year fixed
15 year fixed
  • Monthly payments are fixed over the life of the loan
  • Interest rate does not change
  • Protected if rates go up
  • Can refinance if rates go down
  • Higher interest rate
  • Higher mortgage payments
  • Rate does not drop if interest rates improve
Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)
10/1 ARM
7/1 ARM
3/1 ARM
1 year ARM
6 month ARM
1 month ARM
  • Lower initial monthly payment
  • Lower payment over a shorter period of time
  • Rates and payments may go down if rates improve
  • May qualify for higher loan amounts
  • More risk
  • Payments not predictable as they will change over time
  • Potential for high payments if interest rates go up
Balloon Mortgages
7 year
5 year
  • Lower initial monthly payment
  • Lower payment over a shorter period of time
  • Many balloon mortgages offer the option to convert to a new loan after the initial term.
  • Risk of rates being higher at the end of the initial fixed period
  • Risk of foreclosure if you cannot make balloon payment or if you cannot refinance or if you cannot exercise the conversion option
First Time Buyer Programs
  • Lower down payment
  • Easier to qualify
  • Sometimes you may get lower rates
  • May be subject to income and property value limitations
  • Some programs which have government subsidies may have a recapture tax if you sell the house too early.
Stated Income Programs
  • Don’t need to verify income
  • Faster approval
  • Higher rates
  • Higher down payment
No point, No fee Programs
  • No closing costs
  • Less money required to close
  • Higher rates
  • Higher payments
Imperfect Credit Programs
  • Potential for reestablishing credit if you pay your mortgage on time.
  • When used for debt consolidation, you may be able to reduce your monthly debt payment
  • Higher rates
  • Terms may not be as favorable
  • Harder to get long term fixed loans
  • Loans may have prepayment penalties
Home Equity Line of Credit
  • You only borrow what you need
  • Pay interest only on what you borrow
  • Flexible access to funds
  • Interest may be tax deductible
  • Rates can change. The maximum interest rate is normally high.
  • Payments can change
  • Harder to refinance your first mortgage
Home Equity Fixed Loan
  • Fixed payments
  • Interest may be tax deductible
  • Higher interest rates than on first mortgages
  • Harder to refinance your first mortgage


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