Just when you thought the mortgage environment was safe….Oh NO! According to USA Today Interest Only loans are back! This can be seen as both a good and bad thing. The fact that Interest Only loans are being offered means that the higher ups in the lending world think that the real estate market will stay flat or go up. The fact that banks are betting on that reminds me of 2006, that makes my insides flip and that’s not good.
What’s an interest only loan you ask? I’ll tell you…An Interest Only loan is a type of balloon loan. Each month you are only required to pay the interest on your loan, not the Principal & Interest. Why is this scary to me? If you only pay the interest, you will not be paying down the principal of the loan. So, in 10 years you will still owe the exact same amount as when you started. Most of the Interest Only loans require that the interest start being paid in five or ten years. That means a big payment increase for you; OUCH! Or possibly your entire loan coming due; OUCH OUCH! Be extremely careful and consider all your other options if you are considering this type of loan.
Is there a benefit to an Interest Only loan? Yes, when you pay over the interest required any principal is applied to your loan balance and the loan is recast. What does that mean? The extra you pay towards your principal is applied to the outstanding balance and your new payment reflects the updated balance. If you are disciplined and want to pay down your mortgage faster, an Interest Only loan may help you achieve that goal. An interest only loan can also be beneficial to those of you on commission. If you can pay your Interest Only payment with your draw or base and when you get your commission or bonus and you put that towards your loan balance that may also benefit you in paying off your loan quicker.
Keep in mind that this type of loan is not for everyone and you need to clearly understand what you’re getting into with this type of loan product.
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