Q: Which Is Better, a 15-Year or 30-Year Loan?
A: The 15-year mortgage offers you a chance to save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. This is because the interest rate is typically lower and amortization is half that of the 30-year loan, which means that the total interest paid on the 15-year note, as compared to a 30-year note, is significantly less because of the shorter borrowing period.
Put another way, a 15-year loan accrues principal much more quickly than a 30-year loan, so you get to own your house in half the time.
However, because you are building equity faster and paying down the loan sooner, a 15-year mortgage requires higher monthly payments.
Get a lender to help you calculate the overall savings of the 15-year loan versus the 30-year mortgage. In the end, though, base your decision on your circumstances and overall financial plan, such as whether you are nearing retirement age and also will have to shell out college expenses for children, in which case a 15-year loan may not be for you. Remember that your spending habits, budget, and financial goals should all be considered before making a final decision.