Balloon Or Reset Mortgage Loans - Understanding The Basics
Written by: Carrie Reeder
A balloon mortgage, also called a reset mortgage, offers lower
interest rates with the option in 5 or 7 years to pay off the
balance or resent the loan. Considered more risky than an ARM
since interest rates can jump significantly, it is a valid
option for those expecting to move or interest rates to drop.
Balloon Mortgage Features
Balloon mortgages are based on a 30 year amortization schedule,
but you only pay those payments for 5 or 7 years depending on
your loan's terms. At the end of that period, you are required
to make a balloon payment for the rest of the principal or
resent the mortgage at current interest rates. Some financing
companies also offer the option of refinancing the home loan.
With its unique interest rate structure, you can qualify to
borrow more than a with a fixed rate mortgage. Balloon mortgages
also have interest rates lower than a traditional home loan.
Balloon Mortgage Numbers
Balloon mortgages, like ARMs, use numbers to describe terms. The
first number is the number of years until you reset the loan or
make the balloon payment. The second number equals the rest of
the loan term. Together both numbers equal the loan's
So a 7/23 mortgage means that you have 7 years until the balloon
payment is due, 23 year's worth of principal. Adding the two
numbers together, your loan is amortized for 30 years.
In order to reset your loan, you have to qualify by still
occupying the home, having no liens against the property, and
having made on time monthly payments for the last year. If you
don't qualify to reset the mortgage, you may be able to still
refinance the loan.
Balloon Mortgage Considerations
Balloon mortgages don't have the fluctuating interest rates of
an ARM, but they don't have the caps to safeguard against
extremely high future rates. You may also find that due to a
reverse in your financial situation you many not qualify to
reset or refinance your home, and have to sell it to meet the
balloon payment. In the end you are trading security of a fixed
rate for lower interest payments.
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