15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage: Which Should You Choose?

15-Year vs 30-Year Mortgage: Which Should You Choose?

Deciding whether to pick a 15- or 30-year mortgage largely boils down to what kind of monthly payment you can afford and whether you need financial flexibility.

There’s a reason that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is most popular by far: Manageable payments that ideally allow room for other needs and wants.

But borrowers who can afford the higher payments of 15-year mortgages, and who like the lower rate, may find them compelling.

How Does a 15-Year Mortgage Work?

Borrowers who opt for a 15-year mortgage when choosing a mortgage term — and let’s just talk about fixed-rate, not variable-rate loans, which can be useful in certain situations but are more complicated — will pay off their loan faster and save significantly more in interest over the life of the loan. The main trade-off is the fact that your monthly payment will be significantly higher than a comparable 30-year home loan.

Fifteen-year mortgages typically carry lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages. Consequently, the combination of a lower rate and compressed payoff time means a much lower interest cost overall.

A 15-year mortgage loan for $300,000 with a rate of 4.6% would result in $115,860 in interest paid. That same loan amount with a 30-year term at 5.8% would translate to about $333,700 in interest, a difference of $217,840.

The basic monthly payment, however, would be $2,310 vs. $1,760 in this example. Use an online mortgage calculator to compare home loans.

Lenders charge lower rates for 15-year mortgages because it costs them less to underwrite 15-year mortgages than 30-year loans. Generally speaking, the longer term a loan, the riskier it is to lenders, which they price into the loan through a higher interest rate.

Here are the main pros and cons of 15-year mortgages.

Pros Cons

•   Interest cost savings

•   Faster loan payoff

•   Lower interest rate

•   Equity built at a faster rate

•   Much higher monthly payments

•   Less cash available for other opportunities

•   Smaller range of homes in the budget, thanks to high payments

When to Consider a 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

You might want to consider a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage if you’re trying to pay off the loan faster, you want to save on total interest paid, want a lower rate, and can afford the higher monthly payments.

If you’re buying a home close to retirement and you’re interested in building generational wealth, a 15-year mortgage also is an attractive option as it ensures a faster payoff.

The 15-year mortgage is more frequently used for refinancing than buying, thanks to the lower rate and because most borrowers who choose to refinance are usually several years into their loan.

Consequently, borrowers who have longer-term mortgages with higher interest rates may want to consider refinancing to a 15-year home loan to save on interest costs. However, if you qualify as a first-time homebuyer or a typical U.S. family, expect a 15-year mortgage to restrict your budget.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


30-Year Mortgage vs. 15-Year Mortgage

Borrowers will find the payments on 30-year mortgages to be much more affordable than on 15-year mortgages. The longer the repayment term, the lower the monthly payment, potentially leaving more cash in your pocket every month.

Increased cash flow may allow borrowers to pursue other opportunities like preparing for retirement.

And shoring up emergency savings. Paying off higher-interest debt is always a good plan.

Homeowners may want to have enough cash to add or expand a home office, rev up the kitchen, and generally maintain the value of their home.

What about vacations and buying stuff? Yes and yes.

And some buyers will want to set up a college fund.

Like most things, 30-year home loans have upsides and downsides to consider.

Pros Cons

•   Lower monthly payments

•   Extra monthly cash to dedicate to other opportunities

•   Making extra payments or refinancing will shorten term

•   Greater mortgage interest deduction if you itemize than a shorter-term loan allows

•   Higher interest expense than a 15-year loan

•   Builds equity at a slower rate

•   Longer time to pay off loan

When to Consider a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

You may wish to consider a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage if you’re looking for the most affordable option when buying a home.

Fixed-rate 30-year home loans are the most straightforward and common type of mortgage loan on the market.

Between rising home prices and interest rates, 30-year home loans have started looking more attractive than other options. Despite the higher overall interest cost, the lower monthly payments on 30-year mortgages make it easier to afford a home.

Borrowers always have the option of paying off the mortgage early. Every extra principal payment reduces your overall loan balance and reduces the amount of interest that compounds over time as well.

The final thing to consider is that a 30-year mortgage provides a greater tax benefit than a shorter-term mortgage if you take the mortgage interest deduction. Some homeowners use this strategy when itemized deductions on a primary and second home total more than the standard deduction.

Should You Choose a 15-Year or 30-Year Mortgage?

For many homebuyers, the choice of 15- vs. 30-year mortgage will not be voluntary: The monthly payments will force the decision.

If you are able to choose one or the other, you’ll want to consider whether you’re able to comfortably commit to a series of high monthly mortgage payments in exchange for the earlier loan payoff and interest savings, or whether any money left over monthly after making the relatively low mortgage payment on a 30-year loan could be put to other uses.

Your income level, career stability, and debt-to-income ratio may largely determine your course.

The Takeaway

The decision on a 15- vs. 30-year mortgage depends on your personal budget and financial goals. If you can swing the shorter term, you’ll benefit from a lower interest rate, faster loan payoff, and substantial interest savings.

SoFi offers fixed-rate mortgages with a variety of terms and competitive rates. Check out all the advantages of SoFi Mortgages.

FAQ

Is a 30-year mortgage better than a 15-year mortgage?

It’s a matter of personal choice and affordability.

Is it better to pay off my mortgage for a long period?

You’ll pay a lot more in total interest than you would with a shorter-term loan, but payments will be more affordable.

Can I pay off my 30-year mortgage in 15 years?

Yes, assuming that your mortgage doesn’t have a prepayment penalty, there’s nothing stopping you from paying off the balance ahead of schedule.

Are the interest rates for a 30-year mortgage higher than a 15-year mortgage?

Yes, the interest rates for 30-year mortgages are typically higher than 15-year mortgages because of the extra risk of longer-term loans.


Photo credit: iStock/Tatomm
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SOHL0322024

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What Is a Mortgage Lien? And How Does It Work?

What Is a Mortgage Lien? And How Does It Work?

A mortgage lien may sound scary, but any homeowner with a mortgage has one.

Then there are involuntary liens, which can be frightful. Think tax liens, mechanic’s liens, creditor and child support liens.

What Is a Mortgage Lien?

Mortgage liens are part of the agreement people make when they obtain a mortgage. Not all homebuyers can purchase a property in cash, so lenders give buyers cash upfront and let them pay off the loan in installments, with the mortgage secured by the property, or collateral.

If a buyer stops paying the mortgage, the lender can take the property. If making monthly mortgage payments becomes a challenge, homeowners would be smart to contact their loan servicer or lender immediately and look into mortgage forbearance.

Mortgage liens complicate a short sale.

They will show up on a title report and bar the way to a clear title.

Recommended: Tips When Shopping for a Mortgage

Types of Mortgage Liens

Generally, there are two mortgage lien types: voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary

Homeowners or homebuyers agree to a voluntary, or consensual, lien when they sign a mortgage. If a homeowner defaults on the mortgage, the lender has the right to seize the property.

Voluntary liens include other loans:

•  Car loans

•  Home equity loans

•  Reverse mortgages

Voluntary liens aren’t considered a negative mark on a person’s finances. It’s only when they stop making payments that the lien could be an issue.

Involuntary

On the other side of the coin is the involuntary, or nonconsensual, lien. This mortgage lien type is placed on the property without the homeowner’s consent.

An involuntary lien could occur if homeowners are behind on taxes, HOA payments, or mortgage payments. They can lose their property if they don’t pay back the debt.

Property Liens to Avoid

Homeowners will want to avoid an involuntary lien, which may come from a state or local agency, the federal government, or even a contractor.

Any of the following liens can prohibit a homeowner from selling or refinancing property.

Judgment Liens

A judgment lien is an involuntary lien on both real and personal property and future assets that results from a court ruling involving child support, an auto accident, or a creditor.

If you’re in this unfortunate position, you’ll need to pay up, negotiate a partial payoff, or get the lien removed before you can sell the property.

Filing for bankruptcy could be a last resort.

Tax Liens

A tax lien is an involuntary lien filed for failure to pay property taxes or federal income taxes. Liens for unpaid real estate taxes usually attach only to the property on which the taxes were owed.

An IRS lien, though, attaches to all of your assets (real property, securities, and vehicles) and to assets acquired during the duration of the lien. If the taxpayer doesn’t pay off or resolve the lien, the government may seize the property and sell it to settle the balance.

HOA Liens

If a property owner in a homeowners association community is delinquent on dues or fees, the HOA can impose an HOA lien on the property. The lien may cover debts owed and late fees or interest.

In many cases, the HOA will report the lien to the county. With a lien attached to the property title, selling the home may not be possible. In some cases, the HOA can foreclose on a property if the lien has not been resolved, sell the home, and use the proceeds to satisfy the debt.

Mechanic’s Liens

If a homeowner refuses to pay a contractor for work or materials, the contractor can enforce a lien. Mechanic’s liens apply to everything from mechanics and builders to suppliers and subcontractors.

When a mechanic or other specialist files a lien on a property, it shows up on the title, making it hard to sell the property without resolving it.

Lien Priority

Lien priority refers to the order in which liens are addressed in the case of multiple lien types. Generally, lien priority follows chronological order, meaning the first lienholder has priority.

Lien priority primarily comes into play when a property is foreclosed or sold for cash. The priority dictates which parties get paid first from the home’s sale.

Say a homeowner has a mortgage lien on a property, and then a tax lien is filed. If the owner defaults on their home loan and the property goes into foreclosure, the mortgagee has priority as it was first to file.

Lien priority also explains why lenders may deny homeowners a refinance or home equity line of credit if they have multiple liens to their name. If the homeowner were to default on everything, a lender might be further down the repayment food chain, making the loan riskier.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How to Find Liens

Homeowners or interested homebuyers can find out if a property has a lien on it by using an online search. Liens are a public record, so interested parties can research any address.

For a DIY approach:

•  Search by address on the local county’s assessor or clerk’s site.

•  Use an online tool like PropertyShark.

Title companies can also search for a lien on a property for a fee.

If sellers have a lien on a property they’re selling, they’ll need to bring cash to the closing to cover the difference. If the seller doesn’t have enough money, the homebuyer is asked to cover the cost, or they can walk away from the deal.

How Can Liens Affect Your Mortgage?

An involuntary lien can affect homeowners’ ability to buy a new home, sell theirs, or refinance a mortgage. Lenders may deem the homeowner too big a risk for a refinance if they have multiple liens already.

Or, when homeowners go to sell their home, they’ll need to be able to satisfy the voluntary mortgage lien or liens at closing with the proceeds from the sale. If they sell the house for less than they purchased it for or have other liens that take priority, it may be hard to find a buyer willing to pay the difference.

Liens can also lead to foreclosure, which can impede a person’s chances of getting a mortgage for at least three to seven years.

How to Remove a Lien on a Property

There are several ways to remove a lien from a property, including:

•  Pay off the debt. The most straightforward approach is to pay an involuntary lien, or pay off your mortgage, which removes the voluntary lien.

•  Ask for the lien to be removed. In some cases, borrowers pay off their debt and still have a lien on their property. In that case, they should reach out to the creditor to formally be released from the lien and ask for a release-of-lien form for documentation.

•  Run out the statute of limitations. This approach varies by state, but in some cases, homeowners can wait up to a decade and the statute of limitations on the lien will expire. However, this doesn’t excuse the homeowner from their debt. It simply removes the lien from the home, making it easier to sell and settle the debt.

•  Negotiate the terms of the lien. If borrowers are willing to negotiate with their creditors, they may be able to lift the lien without paying the debt in full.

•  Go to court. If a homeowner thinks a lien was incorrectly placed on their property, they can file a court motion to have it removed.

Before taking any approach, you might consider reaching out to a legal professional or financial advisor to plan the next steps.

Recommended: Home Loan Help Center: Tips, Tools, and Education for Home Buyers

The Takeaway

Mortgage liens can be voluntary and involuntary. Many homeowners don’t realize that the terms of their mortgage include a voluntary lien. It’s involuntary liens they would be smart to avoid.

Mortgages can be complicated, but SoFi is here to make things simple. If you need a mortgage on a primary home or investment property, a jumbo loan, a refinance, or home equity loan, get pre-qualified painlessly with SoFi.

Explore the advantages of SoFi fixed rate mortgages and find your rate.

FAQ

What type of lien is a mortgage?

A mortgage lien is a voluntary lien because a homeowner agrees to its terms before signing the loan.

Will having a lien prevent me from getting a new loan?

Some liens can keep people from getting new loans. Lenders are unlikely to loan applicants money if they have multiple liens.

Is it bad to have a lien on my property?

A mortgage lien is voluntary and not considered bad for a borrower. But an involuntary lien prohibits owners from having full rights to their property, which can include selling the home.

How can I avoid involuntary liens?

Homeowners can avoid involuntary liens by staying up to date on payments, including property taxes, federal income taxes, HOA fees, and contractor bills.

Can an involuntary lien be removed?

Yes, an involuntary lien can be removed in several ways, including paying off the debt, filing bankruptcy, negotiating the debt owed, and challenging the lien in court.


Photo credit: iStock/adaask
SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SOHL0322027

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How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years

How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage in 15 Years: Tips and Tricks

Want to know how to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years? A homeowner can use one of a few strategies to pay off a home loan early and save a boatload of interest.

Here’s what you need to know about how to pay a 30-year mortgage in 15 years and what to consider before you do.

Paying Off a 30 Year Mortgage Faster

When you start paying on a 30-year mortgage, most of your payment will go toward interest rather than the principal (the amount you borrowed). This makes it hard to pay down your mortgage and build equity.

Over time, the percentage of your payment that goes toward interest vs. principal will change. Toward the end of your 30-year loan, you will pay more toward the principal than interest. This is what’s known as mortgage amortization.

Instead of following the amortization schedule, paying more on your mortgage — in one way or another — will reduce the principal more quickly, which means you’ll pay less interest on your loan.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster?

Paying off your mortgage faster may give you a sense of accomplishment and save you a lot of money in interest charges, but if it takes you further away from your financial goals, it may not be worth it to you. Consider what you value most before deciding to put extra money toward paying off your mortgage.

Recommended: Is is Smart to Pay Off a Mortgage Early?

Pros and Cons of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Paying off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years has benefits, but in some cases, it may not make sense to. Consider these pros and cons.

Pros

Cons

Higher monthly payment
Own your home outright sooner You will lose the home mortgage interest tax deduction (if you itemize)
Ultimately no mortgage payment
Build equity faster Less money available for retirement, higher-interest debt, a rainy day fund, etc.
Save money on interest Gains by investing could trump interest saved

Factors to Consider Before Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster

While paying off your mortgage early — a few zealous borrowers aim to pay off a mortgage in five years — can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest, the lost opportunities from not having money readily available for other things could be more valuable. Think about:

•   Have I been contributing enough to my retirement plans as an employee?

•   Have I been funding retirement as a self-employed person?

•   Do I have three to six months of expenses, or more, if my personal situation calls for it, in an emergency fund?

•   Am I able to secure a lower rate or shorter term for a refinance to pay off my mortgage faster? Would a cash-out refinance make sense?

•   Do I have higher-interest debt like credit card debt or student loans I should tackle first?

•   Have I set up a college fund for the kids?

•   Does my mortgage carry a prepayment penalty (unlikely for loans originated after January 2014)?

How to Pay Off a 30-Year Mortgage Faster

There are at least three methods to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years if that’s your goal.

Make Extra Principal Payments

Paying more toward principal is the primary way to pay off a 30-year mortgage early.

Here’s an example of how interest adds up: Assuming you buy a $350,000 house and put 10% down on a 30-year mortgage at 5.5%, this mortgage calculator shows that total interest will be $328,870. Even by the 120th payment, you will have paid only $55,000 of the $315,000 principal and will have paid nearly $160,000 in interest.

Putting just $200 more per month toward principal, you’d save $80,837 in interest and pay off the mortgage six years and four months earlier.

Switch to Biweekly Payments

Biweekly payments are half-payments made every two weeks instead of a full payment once a month. Making biweekly payments instead of monthly payments results in one additional payment each year.

Using the example above, making one full, extra mortgage payment each year will reduce the amount of time it takes to pay off your 30-year mortgage by five years.

Look Into Refinancing

Refinancing your loan into one with a lower interest rate and/or a shorter term can help you pay off your mortgage faster. A shorter term usually comes with a lower interest rate, so you’re saving on interest while also paying your mortgage off sooner than 30 years.

Refinancing to a lower interest rate will reduce your monthly mortgage payment, so if you continue to make the higher payment, you’ll pay your mortgage off faster.

Recommended: Mortgage Questions for Your Lender

The Takeaway

There are a few ways to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years. Paying off your mortgage early will result in substantial interest savings, but the tradeoff for many borrowers is not having extra money to put toward retirement and other purposes.

Whether you’re on the path to paying off your mortgage or shopping for a new mortgage, SoFi is here to help. SoFi offers traditional refinancing and cash-out refinancing. SoFi Mortgages come with competitive rates, flexible terms, and Mortgage Loan Officers who can help.

Take a look at SoFi home mortgage loans, and then get your own rate quote.

FAQ

Is it cheaper to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 15 years?

The amount of interest you’ll save by paying off your mortgage in 15 years instead of 30 is substantial.

Why shouldn’t you pay off your mortgage early?

Homeowners who haven’t fully funded their retirement accounts, who don’t have an emergency fund, or who have other debt with high interest rates may not want to pay off a mortgage early. Also, those who think they can earn a better return on their money with investments may not want to pay off their mortgage early. (They need to keep in mind that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.)

How do you pay off a 30-year mortgage in half the time?

Paying more toward the principal early in the mortgage can help you cut the amount of time you spend paying on your mortgage in half. The good news is you don’t have to make double payments to cut the amount of time you pay on your mortgage in half. Because each payment will reduce the principal, you will pay less overall.

Are biweekly mortgage payments a good idea?

Biweekly mortgage payments, or half-payments made every two weeks, will add a full mortgage payment every year. Using this method can take a few years off your mortgage.


Photo credit: iStock/everydayplus

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

SOHL0322023

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How Much a $300,000 Mortgage Will Cost You

How Much Will a $300,000 Mortgage Cost You?

If you plan to take out a $300,000 mortgage, the costs of the loan can vary considerably based on your rate, term, property tax and insurance costs, and whether you need mortgage insurance.

Read on to learn how much a $300,000 mortgage could cost over the life of the loan.

What Are the Monthly Payments on a $300k Mortgage?

In April 2022, Redfin found that the monthly mortgage payment on the median asking price home had risen 39% from a year earlier, thanks to rising mortgage rates.

Ouch. But calculating the average monthly payment on $300,000 mortgages is not straightforward.

The lower the interest rate, the lower the monthly mortgage payment, holding other loan terms constant. The interest rate can be calculated differently for different types of mortgages. For instance, fixed-rate mortgages maintain a steady interest rate, whereas an adjustable-rate mortgage fluctuates over time based on market conditions.

The mortgage term also affects mortgage costs. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is by far the most popular choice, but a 15-year loan translates to a higher monthly cost for a $300,000 mortgage yet much less total interest paid.

Owning a home comes with annual property taxes based on the local tax rate and the home’s assessed value, which can change over time. Generally, this expense is divided across your monthly mortgage payments.

Your down payment also matters. Borrowers putting less than 20% down on a conventional mortgage usually need to pay for private mortgage insurance, often 0.5% to 1.5% of the original loan amount per year, until the mortgage balance reaches 80% (homeowner requests cancellation) or 78% of the home’s value, or the mortgage hits the halfway point of the loan term.

FHA loans require mortgage insurance premiums, which will last for the whole loan term if your down payment is less than 10%. MIP ranges from 0.45% to 1.05% of the loan balance, divided by 12 and added to your monthly payments.

Homeowners insurance is typically required by mortgage lenders regardless of the down payment amount.

How Much Income Is Needed to Qualify?

When taking out a home loan, lenders often ask for proof of consistent income, such as W-2s. But income is just one aspect of your personal finances a lender will evaluate to determine if you qualify for a mortgage on a $300,000 house.

Lenders use borrowers’ debt-to-income ratio to get a more holistic assessment of their ability to make monthly payments. DTI is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income, then coming up with a percentage.

For example, if you gross $5,000 a month and have a $400 car payment and a $600 student loan bill, your DTI ratio is 20%.

A DTI ratio of 43% is usually the highest a borrower can have to obtain a qualified mortgage, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However, lenders may prefer a lower DTI ratio — usually below 36% — for greater certainty that borrowers can afford their mortgage payments.

Programs like the FHA loan and Fannie Mae HomeReady® loan allow a DTI of up to 50% when compensating factors like a higher credit score exist.

Your credit history is another important factor to qualify for a mortgage on a $300k house, and will determine the rate you’ll pay.

How Much of a Down Payment Is Needed?

So how much do you have to put down for a $300k mortgage? The traditional ideal of a 20% down payment is not always necessary or doable. In fact, the latest median down payment is 13%.

How much you need for a down payment depends on the mortgage type, the lender, and if you’re planning to occupy or rent the property.

This is how much you’ll need to put down for different loan types.

•   Conventional loan: As little as 3% down for a primary residence. Buying a second home or investment property typically calls for at least 10% down and 25% down, respectively.

•   FHA loan: As little as 3.5% down if your credit score is 580 or higher. Borrowers with lower credit scores will need to put down at least 10%.

•   VA loan: Usually available with no down payment. This option is only available for active and veteran service members and some surviving spouses.

•   USDA loan: No down payment required. Eligibility is based on income and buying a home in a designated rural area.

But do down payment requirements change for different types of houses?

If you’re planning on buying a duplex or up to four units, you’d still qualify for residential financing, with the same parameters, if you plan to live in one of the units.

Recommended: A Guide to Buying a Single-Family Home

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


What Are the Parts of a Mortgage Payment?

What you pay to your lender each month includes more than just what you owe on the loan. The mortgage payment consists of the principal, interest, and potentially, escrow costs.

Principal

The principal portion of the mortgage payment goes toward gradually paying the amount initially loaned to you.

When you start making mortgage payments, the amount paid toward the principal is somewhat low. Over time, greater proportions of each monthly payment will chip away at the principal balance.

Interest

The interest rate — how much you’re being charged to borrow the money — is determined by the type of loan, your personal finances, and market factors outside your control.

Borrowers with high credit scores are usually able to snag the best rates. Just a 1% increase in mortgage rate can add tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year loan.

The bulk of the mortgage payment goes toward interest at the beginning of an amortized loan.

You may be able to recoup some of the interest cost through the mortgage interest deduction.

Escrow

Most lenders require an escrow account to roll tax and insurance bills into monthly mortgage payments. This includes property taxes, homeowners insurance, and, if applicable, mortgage insurance.

How Much Interest Will Be Paid on a $300k Mortgage?

If you have a fixed-rate loan, the total interest can be easily calculated for the life of the loan. Borrowers with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.6% APR would pay about $320,000 in interest on a $300,000 home loan.

Shortening the loan term to 15 years and getting a rate of 4.8% APR would reduce the total interest paid to $121,302.

With an adjustable-rate mortgage, the interest rate can change over time with market conditions.

Try out this mortgage payment calculator to see how much you might pay in interest with different rates and down payments. You can also toggle the amortization chart on a desktop.

How Much Is the Mortgage on a $300k House?

Using the previous example of a 30-year fixed-rate loan with a 5.6% annual percentage rate, the principal and interest would be $1,720 per month, and would total about $620,000 over the 30 years. To capture the full mortgage cost, you also need to estimate the tax and insurance costs.

•   PMI (if applicable): often 0.5% to 1.5% of the original loan amount but up to 2.25%. Assuming a 1% rate, monthly PMI would be $250, with $21,303 the total amount of PMI you’d pay until you reach 20% equity.

•   Homeowners insurance: $2,305 on average annually, or $192 per month.

•   Property taxes: 0.28% to 2.49% of assessed value on average, depending on U.S. state. Most states have a homestead exemption that gives homeowners a tax break.

Recommended: A Guide to Mortgage Relief Programs

How to Get a $300k Mortgage

Prospective homebuyers can take steps to help qualify for a $300k mortgage and obtain more favorable terms.

•   Budget: First, it’s important to estimate how much you can afford.

•   Check your credit: Assess your credit history and take care of any late payments to improve your FICO® scores.

•   Get pre-approved: Starting the mortgage pre-approval process with one or more lenders gives you tentative approval for a loan amount and type, making you a more competitive buyer.

   Consider the interest rate, fees, and closing costs among lenders when shopping for a mortgage.

•   Make an offer: When you find a home that meets your needs and budget, consult with a real estate agent to submit an offer with your pre-approval letter.

•   Apply for the mortgage and get loan estimates: Now that you have a property address, you might want to request loan estimates from a number of lenders. A loan estimate is a three-page standard form that details the loan after you apply for a mortgage. Applying with more than one lender within 14 to 45 days counts as a single credit inquiry.

•   Choose a lender, and wait for the lender to verify your finances and appraise the property to underwrite the loan.

•   Close the deal: Get your cash to close and homeowners insurance ready and finalize the paperwork to close on your $300,000 mortgage.

Recommended: SoFi’s 2022 Home Loan Help Center

Where to Get a $300k Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others recommend getting quotes from multiple lenders. Buyers can choose from banks, credit unions, online lenders, and mortgage brokers to finance a home purchase.

While we’ve identified the interest rate and loan term as key information to compare, keep an eye out for fees paid directly to the lender, like origination fees and mortgage points.

The Takeaway

How much will a $300,000 mortgage cost you? The interest rate, loan term, insurance costs, and taxes will determine the amount you pay each month and over the life of the loan.

As you begin comparing lenders, give SoFi a look. SoFi fixed rate mortgage loans require as little as 3% down for qualifying first-time homebuyers.

Check your rate in just minutes

FAQ

How much is a $300,000 mortgage per month?

The monthly payment on a $300,000 mortgage depends on the loan length, interest rate, whether mortgage insurance is required, and more.

How much do I need to earn to get a mortgage of $300,000?

The required annual income to get a $300,000 mortgage is affected by your other debts and the down payment amount.

Can I get a $300,000 mortgage with a bad credit history?

You might be able to obtain a $300,000 mortgage with subpar credit, but the terms may be less competitive. For instance, borrowers with credit scores from 500 to 579 could be eligible for FHA loans, but they’ll have to make a down payment of at least 10% instead of 3.5%.


Photo credit: iStock/Vertigo3d

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

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Chattel Mortgages: How They Work and When to Get One

Chattel Mortgages: How They Work and When to Get One

Looking to buy a manufactured home, a boat, or a piece of equipment for your business? You may need a chattel mortgage.

Chattel mortgages are used to finance movable assets separately from the land they occupy. They come with a higher cost than a traditional mortgage, so manufactured home dwellers who qualify for a standard mortgage will save money by choosing that route.

Here’s what you need to know about how chattel loans work and when you might want to look for alternative financing.

What Is a Chattel Mortgage?

First of all, a chattel mortgage is used for personal property, not real property. Real property includes land and property that cannot be easily removed from the land.

When a chattel mortgage is used for a large, movable asset like a manufactured home — called a mobile home before June 15, 1976 — or a piece of equipment (the “chattel”), the asset is held as collateral on the loan. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can recoup costs by selling the asset.

A chattel loan may have a lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan but a higher rate than a traditional mortgage.

How Does a Chattel Mortgage Work?

Chattel mortgages are used in two main instances: when an asset can be moved or when the land the asset sits on, or will, is leased. (In fewer cases, a chattel loan may be used when a borrower doesn’t want to encumber their owned land with a loan, as when land is owned jointly in a trust.)

Applying for a chattel loan is similar to applying for other types of loans, such as home equity loans and personal loans. The lender will look at your creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan before making a decision.

Chattel loans are typically small, with relatively short terms, but usually require no appraisal, title policy, survey, or doc stamps.

What Are Chattel Loans Used For?

Here are some of the most common applications for chattel loans.

Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes are built in a factory on a permanent chassis and can be transported in one or more sections. Formerly known as mobile homes, they’re designed to be used with or without a permanent foundation, but must be elevated and secured to resist flooding, floatation, collapse, or lateral movement.

Many are titled as personal property. Manufactured housing that is titled as personal property or chattel is only eligible for chattel financing.

When a manufactured home is titled as chattel, you’re also going to pay vehicle taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of property taxes.

Many consumers may encounter a chattel loan at the sales office of a manufactured home builder. They’re convenient with quick closing times, but come with a higher interest rate and a shorter term than most traditional mortgages.

This makes the financing cost of the manufactured home high, even if the payment is low thanks to the lower cost of a manufactured home compared with a site-built home. Around 42% of loans for manufactured homes are chattel loans, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

When you own a manufactured home and rent the land it occupies, such as in a mobile home park, you will need a chattel mortgage, except when an FHA Title I loan is used.

Tiny Houses

A chattel mortgage may be used for tiny house financing when the tiny house is not affixed to a permanent foundation and/or when the land is leased.

Tiny houses are usually too small to meet building codes for a residential home, so even if the home is on a foundation and on owned land, a traditional mortgage is almost always out of the question. Even if Fannie Mae or FHA allows the property, the lender won’t.

Tiny houses on foundations are usually classified as accessory dwelling units.

Vehicles

A chattel loan may finance assets that are not permanently affixed to the property, such as vehicles. Dump trucks and construction vehicles may qualify.

Equipment

A chattel loan can be used to purchase large equipment for a business, such as a forklift or a tractor. Even livestock can be purchased with a chattel loan.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How Much Does a Chattel Mortgage Cost?

Chattel mortgages are more expensive than many other different mortgage types. The Urban Institute concluded that interest rates on chattel loans were several percentage points higher than on non-chattel loans. Owners of manufactured homes would spend thousands more per year in interest compared with a traditional mortgage.

These types of mortgages are not being purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on the secondary mortgage market. When a conventional mortgage is purchased by one of these entities, the loan originator obtains more liquidity and can provide more loans to more people. This drives the cost of the mortgage down.

A chattel mortgage, on the other hand, must stay on the books of the lender, making the loan riskier and more expensive.

If you qualify, you might want to consider refinancing your chattel mortgage into a traditional mortgage.

Chattel Mortgage vs Traditional Mortgage

To qualify for a conventional or government-backed mortgage instead of a chattel mortgage, you must own the land your home sits on, the home must be permanently affixed to a foundation, and it must have at least 400 square feet of living space (600 for Fannie Mae’s conventional loan for manufactured homes).

Mobile homes built before June 15, 1976, will not qualify for a mortgage loan. A personal loan is about the only option.

You must also meet all other requirements set forth by the lender to qualify for a traditional mortgage. A mortgage calculator tool can help with this.

For some types of assets, a chattel mortgage may be a good option to consider. Take a look at the major differences.

Chattel Loan

Traditional Mortgage

For movable property only Includes the land and all attached structures
May have a lower interest rate than an unsecured personal loan Usually has a lower interest rate than a chattel mortgage
Shorter terms (e.g., 5 years) Longer terms (e.g., 15 years, 30 years)
Lower origination fees Higher loan fees
Shorter close time Longer close time
Lender holds the title, which is only given to the buyer when it is paid off Lender holds a lien on the property, not title

Pros and Cons of a Chattel Mortgage

A chattel mortgage is more expensive than a traditional mortgage, so anyone who can qualify for a traditional mortgage may wish to pursue that option first. It’s not all bad news for chattel mortgages, though, especially for other types of property where a chattel loan is desirable.

Pros

Cons

Lender only has a security interest in the movable property, not the land If you default on the loan, the lender can take your asset. Also, the lender owns the asset until the loan is paid off
Taxes may be lower on property titled as “chattel” rather than “real” property Higher-cost loan than a traditional mortgage
Possible faster close and lower loan fees than a standard mortgage Fewer consumer protections. Chattel loans are not covered by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or CARES Act
Lower interest rate than a personal loan Higher interest rate than a traditional mortgage
Pays down more quickly than a traditional mortgage Shorter term may create higher payments
Interest paid is tax deductible Interest paid is also tax deductible with a traditional mortgage

Consumer Protection and Chattel Mortgages

Chattel mortgages on manufactured homes are a special concern to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because that type of housing:

•   Serves an important role in low-income housing

•   Is typically taken on by financially vulnerable people

•   Has fewer consumer protections

Manufactured home sellers often have an on-site lender where borrowers can walk away with a chattel loan the same day as the home purchase. In certain scenarios, though, better financing options might be available.

The Takeaway

Buying a manufactured home, a plane, or a dump truck? A chattel loan could be the answer. If, though, you are buying a manufactured home and own the land, a traditional mortgage makes more sense than a chattel mortgage.

Find answers to home financing questions at SoFi’s help center for mortgages.

3 Home Loan Tips

  1. Traditionally, mortgage lenders like to see a 20% down payment. But some lenders, such as SoFi, allow fixed rate mortgages with as little as 3% down for qualifying first-time homebuyers.
  2. Thinking of using a mortgage broker? That person will try to help you save money by finding the best loan offers you are eligible for. But if you deal directly with a mortgage lender, you won’t have to pay a mortgage broker’s commission, which is usually based on the mortgage amount.
  3. Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better loan terms you’ll be offered. One way to improve your ratio is to increase your income (hello, side hustle!). Another way is to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly debt payments.

FAQ

Where can I get a chattel loan?

Lenders specializing in chattel or manufactured housing loans will offer this type of loan.

How much does a chattel mortgage cost?

The interest rate of a chattel mortgage could be up to 5 percentage points higher than that of a standard mortgage loan.

What happens at the end of a chattel mortgage?

When a chattel mortgage is paid off, the borrower receives legal title to the property or asset borrowed against. It’s also possible for landowners with permanently affixed manufactured homes to refinance into a traditional mortgage to end their chattel loans.

Is a chattel mortgage tax deductible?

A chattel mortgage qualifies for the same tax deductions that a traditional mortgage does. This includes a deduction on mortgage interest paid throughout the tax year.


Photo credit: iStock/MicroStockHub

SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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