What are the advantages of fixed rate versus adjustable rate loans?
With a fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment of principal and interest never change for the life of your loan. Your property taxes may go up (we almost said down, too!), and so might your homeowner’s insurance premium part of your monthly payment, but generally with a fixed-rate loan your payment will be very stable.
Fixed-rate loans are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes: 30-year, 20-year, 15-year, even 10-year. Some fixed-rate mortgages are called “biweekly” mortgages and shorten the life of your loan. You pay every two weeks, a total of 26 payments a year — which adds up to an “extra” monthly payment every year.
During the early amortization period of a fixed-rate loan, a large percentage of your monthly payment goes toward interest, and a much smaller part toward principal. That gradually reverses itself as the loan ages.
You might choose a fixed-rate loan if you want to lock in a low rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can give you more monthly payment stability.