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Balloon Loan Calculator

This tool figures a loan's monthly and balloon payments, based on the amount borrowed, the loan term and the annual interest rate. Then, once you have calculated the monthly payment, click on the "Create Amortization Schedule" button to create a report you can print out.

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Everything You Need to Know About Balloon Mortgages

A Balloon mortgage is a loan that doesn't wholly amortize over the life of the home loan, resulting in a balance at the conclusion of the term. Consequently, the final payment is substantially higher than the regular payments. Obviously, the majority of homeowners who choose this type of financing plan on either refinancing prior to the term ending, or selling the property. A balloon mortgage requires monthly payments for a period of 5 or 7 years, followed by the remainder of the balance (the balloon payment). The monthly payments for the time period prior to the balloon's due date are generally calculated according to a 30 year amortization schedule.

Why a Balloon Loan?

A balloon mortgage is often chosen by individuals who want to have low, fixed monthly payments, with the end goal being to sell the property (often investment properties), at a profit prior to the balloon payment coming due.

What Are 15 Year Balloons Used For?

A 15 year balloon is a form of home loan in which the homeowner makes principal and interest payments for 15 years. Subsequently, at the conclusion of the 15 year term, they are required to pay the amount of money still owed. The 15 year has also become a preferred loan choice for a second mortgage in a "piggyback" agreement. It's becoming more and more common for borrowers that put less than 20% down to opt for piggyback options instead of purchasing mortgage insurance. A "piggyback" can be a first mortgage for 80% of the home's value and a second mortgage for 5% to 20% of value, depending upon how much the borrower puts down as a payment. In some cases the second mortgage is an adjustable rate; however an increasingly common option is the 15 year balloon.

Paying Off Your Loan Early Vs. Conserving the Money

Property owners who have the available resources to make a partial or full early payment on their balloon amount have the advantage of selecting from a number of different options. Your best option is dependent on your financial goals and any other investment or savings options you have. One of the main variables that determine whether it’s a better idea to pay off the balloon ahead of time is the interest rate on the loan in comparison to the interest that could be earned from investing the money elsewhere until the balloon is due. If the loan carries a higher interest rate, you would save money by paying the balloon off early. It's important to keep in mind that an early balloon payoff requires that you pay not only the balloon amount, but any principal reduction that would be included in the regular monthly payments that are yet to be paid. One last consideration with investing or paying down your loan would be the tax implications. People in a higher tax bracket have to earn a significantly larger rate of return in the market for the after-tax returns to match the yield on paying off their debt early.

Refinancing a Balloon Mortgage When You're Underwater

Housing Market.A mortgage debtor with a balloon balance higher than the property value faces challenging problems. Since no other lender will refinance an underwater home, either their current lender will need to refinance it or the homeowner will be pushed to default. In some cases an offer might be presented by the lender to extend the term of the loan for an additional 5 years at the same rate.

If you're underwater, keep in mind that your current lender is aware that you don't have any other option but to default, a fact that would inflict a substantial loss on the lender. A considerably better result from their standpoint would be to refinance which would keep your payments coming in and give you an opportunity to pay off your mortgage. In some cases the lender may be willing to modify the terms of your loan as well, relieving your payment problems. Basically, whatever deal emerges, you'll be able to negotiate and if your lender understands that you see your choices as either defaulting on your mortgage or refinancing at terms you can handle, they'll more than likely be reasonable.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

If you're wondering why a homeowner would decide on a balloon mortgage instead of a fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage, the answer is that balloon mortgage rates come at a discounted APR, making them a more affordable alternative early in the term. An example would be that if you don't plan on keeping the property (or loan) for more than a few years, a balloon would be a viable option. That being said, there are always associated risks.

Disadvantages

The obvious negative aspect is the uncertainty at the conclusion of the loan term. For instance, after 7 years, the existing balance is owed. Just imagine if your property drops in value, leaving you owing more than the remaining balloon payment - you’d have a big problem on your hands if you can't refinance or execute a short sale. This wouldn't be the case if you had an ARM or fixed rate loan. ARMs may adjust higher, established by their caps which limit the amount the payments can rise, providing a certain level of protection. Even if you're underwater on your loan, thanks to the caps, your payments will probably be manageable. Fixed rate home loans have the same payment throughout the life of the loan.

What is a Negative Amortization Balloon Mortgage?

Negative amortization develops when the monthly payment is less than the interest due which causes the loan balance to increase instead of decreasing. ARMs that permit negative amortization could increase the affordability of the home as well as provide lower interest rates, if the interest rates don’t rise consistently. As with just about everything else regarding finance, the benefits come with risks.

In conclusion

The most important thing you should do before you decide on a home loan is to evaluate all of your options and consult with a trusted mortgage broker/lender. You just might be surprised to find that today’s fixed rate loan rates may be better than a ARM or balloon mortgage and without as much risks.