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Home buyers and lenders sometimes overlook 20-year mortgages, preferring the more popular 15- and 30-year loans. But for certain home buyers, 20-year mortgages can provide a good middle ground: You'll save money on interest compared to a 30-year mortgage, but your monthly payment won't be as high as 10- and 15-year home loans.
If you're shopping for a mortgage, take a look at today's 20-year mortgage rates below before making a decision.
A 20-year fixed-rate mortgage is an amortized loan that will be paid back fully during that period. Your lender will calculate the principal and interest each month to ensure you're paying back the entirety of your loan. Your monthly payments remain the same.
Your interest rate also remains the same throughout your 20-year term. In many cases, these types of mortgages have slightly lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages. However, they have higher rates than 15-year home loans.
Initially, the majority of each monthly payment will go toward interest. Over time, more will go toward the principal (the amount you actually borrowed).
When comparing mortgages, make sure they all have the same loan term so you can see which one truly offers the best mortgage rates. Also consider a variety of mortgage lenders. These include both local and national banks and credit unions, as well as online lenders. In some cases, seeking the help of a mortgage broker could pay off. Some may offer very competitive rates.
Since applying for a loan might result in a ding to your credit score, find lenders that offer mortgage prequalification. This involves a "soft" credit inquiry, which won't affect your credit score. When you receive a few quotes, take a look at items such as any loan origination fees, interest rates, closing costs, and mortgage points. (Mortgage points allow you to pay more up front to reduce your interest rate.) Don't forget to look at what you may need to qualify for the best rates. These include a high FICO? Score, a minimum income amount, and a history of on-time payments.
A 20-year mortgage offers borrowers the chance to pay off their loan faster than the popular 30-year term. They also charge less interest. And while a 15- or 10-year mortgage could save you even more in interest, you may not want the higher monthly payments.
Paying off your mortgage faster than 30 years is a worthy goal. Be sure to evaluate your financial situation first to see if that's feasible. Many lenders may require a higher credit score and a lower debt-to-income ratio because of the higher monthly payment.
Likewise, take a look at your household income and cash flow (your budget) to see if you can afford a higher monthly mortgage payment. Remember to budget for other housing expenses such as homeowners insurance.
As long as you can meet the minimum payment requirements, you should be good to go. For homeowners who want to pay off their mortgage faster, there's always the option of making extra payments. Check to make sure your lender doesn't charge a prepayment penalty. That way, you can simply put extra money toward your mortgage when you're able.
For more on 20-year mortgages, check out our guide on 20-year mortgages vs. 30-year mortgages to decide which is right for you.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is an important step in the home buying process. Our experts recommend mortgage pre-approval before you begin looking at houses or deciding on a real estate agent.
A 20-year fixed-rate mortgage is an amortized loan that will be paid back fully during that period.
You should compare and shop around with a variety of mortgage lenders to find the most competitive rates offered.
A 20-year mortgage may be a good option if you're looking to pay off your mortgage faster and pay less interest.
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