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A balloon mortgage is a mortgage that does not fully amortize over the term of the loan, and therefore, a large portion of the principal balance is repaid with a single payment at the end of its term (hence the term, balloon payment)). Typical terms are five or seven years.
A balloon payment is a lump sum paid at the end of a loan’s term that is significantly larger than all of the payments made before it. On installment loans without a balloon option, a series of fixed payments are made to pay down the loan’s balance.
With balloon mortgages, you’ll pay a much smaller amount every month (usually, only the cost of borrowing money), and pay a big chunk at the end – and that’s the balloon payment! Think of your payments like a balloon deflating. slowly, and then all at once.
Drawbacks of a Balloon Mortgage. There is a big risk associated with a balloon mortgage, though. Most homeowners who don’t plan to sell their homes before the balloon payment is due expect to refinance their balloon loan to a standard fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage before facing that big payment.
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These payments are known as balloon payments and can often be found within fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages. The use of a balloon payment can allow for lower monthly payments when compared to a fully-amortizing loan (a loan that is paid off during its life), but can also result in a truly massive payment at the end of a loan.
Remember this payment schedule that we set up is based on a 30-year amortization, just as if we were doing a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. But in the balloon payment, if you had a 10-year term with a 30-year amortization, the payments are the same, but after the 10 years, at the end of the loan you don’t just make that 120th payment, you have to.
If you’re considering a balloon mortgage or other type of balloon loan, make sure you understand all the potential dangers first. Balloon loans are loans that only require borrowers to pay interest for the first few years. In other words, unlike with a traditional loan where you’re paying partly interest and partly principal (the money you borrowed).