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  Mortgage Basics   Chapter 2: How mortgages work
You can get a mortgage in many places, but they all share the same characteristics. We explain.
 
   

Fixed-rate mortgages

 

Lenders offer several types of mortgages, but the most common are fixed-rate mortgages. These loans feature fixed rates and monthly payments, generally for 15-year and 30-year periods.

They're popular because:
Consumers balk at the thought of their house payment rising and falling with interest rates.
Whenever rates are low, fixed-rate mortgages are very affordable.

Fixed-rate loan borrowers face one major choice: 15 year or 30? For some, a 30-year loan makes more sense. For others, a 15-year one does. Here are some pros and cons of each.

30-year Fixed Rate
Advantages Disadvantages

15-year Fixed Rate
Advantages Disadvantages
-- Posted: May 1, 2006
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Mortgages
Compare today's rates
NATIONAL OVERNIGHT AVERAGES
30 yr fixed mtg 3.94%
15 yr fixed mtg 3.03%
5/1 ARM 3.33%
Rates may include points
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