Should I Get a Fixed Rate Home Loan?

By: Kinan Beck

"If you've started looking into getting a home loan, you've probably already discovered that there are a number of decisions to be made. One of the biggest ones is whether to get a fixed rate home loan or to go with a variable rate home loan. Here are some of the questions that you might have about a fixed rate home loan:

1) What is a fixed rate home loan?

It basically is what it sounds like it is. With a fixed rate home loan, the interest rate on your loan does not fluctuate. This means that the market and economy might change but the interest rate that you locked in at with your fixed rate home loan remains the same.

2) What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate home loan?

At the outset, fixed rate home loans usually have a higher interest rate than those being offered by variable rate home loans. Those individuals who aren't able to pay higher monthly payments on their loan may find that the variable interest rates give them better payment options initially. However, since variable interest rates go up and down, there are times when the fixed rate home loan rates would be cheaper.

Individuals who are able to do well with budgeting and planning often find that the benefits of having a fixed rate home loan payment outweigh the benefits of a lower initial interest rate. This is because the amount of the payment on a fixed rate home loan can always be anticipated, allowing for budgeting. Variable rate loans vary enough to make this planning difficult for some people.

3) Is it possible to adjust the rate on my fixed rate home loan?

What most people want to know when they ask this question is whether it is possible to get a fixed rate loan and then lower that rate when the market changes and lower interest rates become available. The answer is yes, and no. It is possible to refinance your home in order to obtain a lower interest rate at the time that it is being offered. However, there are usually fees associated with changing your fixed rate home loan. These fees almost always outweigh the costs saved on trying to get the lower rate, so it's not often done.

4) How long will it take to pay back my fixed rate home loan?

The term of repayment on your fixed rate home loan depends upon the amount of time that you need to repay the loan as determined by your lender. Fixed rate home loans are almost always either fifteen year loans or thirty years loans, with the latter being more common for most buyers.

That sums up the basic questions that most people have about getting a fixed rate home loan. Basically, if you want to have a stable monthly payment throughout the duration of your home loan, then you should get a fixed rate loan. If you would rather take your chances on playing the market with a variable interest rate in the hopes of paying a lower loan rate, well, that choice is up to you."

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