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30 Year vs 15 Year Mortgages

Do I Want a 15 or a 30-Year Mortgage?

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Before you start courting lenders, and getting into all the discussions that you will about borrowing the money you need, you should first decide whether a 15 or 30-year mortgage is what you want. This is the first, and one of the most important decisions of many, that you will need to resolve when borrowing for your prospective property. Whilst 15-year mortgages carry higher monthly payments and build equity faster than 30-year mortgages, 30-year mortgages do have less of a monthly payment requirement. Something that has a lot of bearing on people's ability to maintain their payment schedule and not default and go into foreclosure.

You must decide if you want to pay down the debt faster and increase your equity share or if there are other monthly needs for the money that may offer better rewards and financial stability in the long run.

Comparing the Differences in Benefits:

Because a 30-year mortgage amortizes the payments over a longer period of time, making them smaller, you could opt to raise the payment a bit and get a larger property. By entering into a 15-year mortgage, however, you will take full possession of your home that much sooner.

Fifteen-year mortgages help buyers own their homes sooner. Although the payments are larger with 15-year terms, you will build up equity much faster because more of each payment goes toward the principal, rather than the interest. Plus, the lower interest rates and shortened terms make the loan cheaper by lowering the overall interest you will pay. However, if you need to keep the monthly payments lower, and eliminate the risk of non-payment, stick with 30-year terms. If your income situation improves over the years you can always refinance for shorter terms.

The single most important factor to consider between a 15 and a 30-year mortgage is will you be able to save money, and at the same time make the payments on a 15-year mortgage. You cannot put yourself, and your home, in jeopardy if your income is interrupted or a family emergency arises that will require a lot of quick cash. You should always try to secure insurance that will help to cover you during these kinds of unforeseen circumstances.

Do You Have a sense of Personal Financial Responsibility?

If you are someone who is well disciplined about your finances and savings then a 15-year mortgage needs to be considered, but if you lack the financial will and stability needed, steer clear. It is always suggested that you take the 30-year terms, protect yourself, but try to make principal only payments whenever you can. By doing this, you protect yourself from your old habits, build equity in your home whenever possible and lower your risk of foreclosure. You will also have a bit more cash on hand for purchases that might have otherwise forced you to use your credit cards or take out additional loans.

Never Allow Tax Deductions for Interest to Be a Factor!

No matter how much you think you will be able to save by writing off taxes do not let that determine your choice between a 15-year mortgage and a 30-year one. Never purchase property for the tax deductions. Always try to get the smallest loan, with the shortest terms, and minimize your exposure to risk and build equity as quickly as you can. It is worth the few extra dollars in the long run to protect yourself and your investment. Try to leave as much money available as possible to contribute to your other financial needs such as an IRA, 401 (K) plan or tuition savings plans for your kids. You need to take a holistic approach to your finances by covering as many bases as possible, while still eliminating risk.

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