A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is ideal for buyers who want to minimize interest payments and pay off their loan faster.

Get the latest interest rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Be sure to check back regularly, as rates change.

What is a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage?

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage means you agree to pay off the loan in 15 years with an interest rate that doesn’t change throughout the life of the loan.

What are the advantages of a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage?

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage usually has a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Additionally, since you’ll be paying less interest over a shorter amount of time, the total interest will be significantly lower.

This is attractive to folks who want to pay less interest over the life of their loan and can afford higher monthly payments than what 30-year terms offer. These borrowers will pay off their loan in half the time.

People approaching retirement might choose this option so that they can finish paying off their loan before transitioning to a fixed income.

What are the disadvantages of a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage?

The most significant drawback to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is that the monthly payments will be larger than loans with longer terms.

To see your monthly payments and total interest, you can use Bankrate’s 15-year or 30-year fixed mortgage calculator to compare the two loan terms. Remember that the mortgage rate you qualify for varies depending on your down payment amount, credit profile, income and other factors.

Learn more about how to get the best mortgage rate.

Comparing 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgages

Before you choose a mortgage, crunch the numbers to make sure the terms and monthly payments work for your budget and goals.

Here’s a simple calculation for a $200,000 mortgage without a down payment:

15-Year Fixed vs 30-Year Fixed

15-Year Fixed 30-Year Fixed
Interest rate 4.00% 4.5%
Monthly payment $1,479 $1,013
Interest over first 5 years $34,881 $43,118
Total interest $66,288 $164,813
*Interest rates differ because 15-year fixed rate mortgages typically have lower interest rates than a 30-year fixed rate.

Your monthly payments are $466 lower with a 30-year loan, but you pay an additional $98,525 in interest over the life of the loan compared with a 15-year loan.

Don’t forget to factor in property taxes, mortgage insurance (if you put less than 20% down), homeowners insurance, HOA fees, utilities and maintenance expenses when setting your monthly housing budget.

Remember that the mortgage rate you qualify for varies depending on your down payment amount, credit profile, income and other factors.

Learn more about how to get the best mortgage rate.

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