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Pros and Cons of a 40-Year Mortgage

Most mortgages have a term of 15 or 30 years. However, if you want to buy a more expensive house than you could afford with one of those loan options, you might be able to purchase your dream home with a 40-year mortgage. You could have a hard time finding such a loan, though, and you would pay more over the term of the mortgage.

How Does a 40-Year Mortgage Work?
There are several variations on the 40-year home loan. Lenders may offer one or more versions. Most have a fixed interest rate, but some have an adjustable rate. The interest rate for a 40-year mortgage is often higher than it is for a 30-year loan. Some 40-year mortgages have interest-only payments for the first several years, while others have low monthly payments and a balloon payment due at the end.

Costs and Equity With a 40-Year Mortgage 
Since a 40-year mortgage spreads out the cost of a loan over a longer period of time than a traditional mortgage, it has lower monthly payments. That could make a 40-year mortgage a good option if you want to keep your monthly payments as low as possible or if you want to buy a more expensive home.

You will pay more in interest with a 40-year mortgage because it will have a higher interest rate and you will be paying interest over a greater number of months. You can also build equity more slowly with a 40-year loan. If you decide to sell your house before you pay off the mortgage, you might have little equity, even after living there for several years.

Is a 40-Year Mortgage Right for You?
If you are considering a 40-year mortgage because you want to buy an expensive house and you can’t afford the monthly payments for a 30-year loan, you may be better off purchasing a less expensive house and taking out a smaller mortgage with a shorter term. If, on the other hand, you want to buy a house in an area where average home prices are high overall, a 40-year mortgage might be a better option.

Be sure to carefully consider the terms of each specific loan. For instance, if you take out a 40-year mortgage with a balloon payment and you’re unable to pay the large sum, you could lose your home. 

How to Find a 40-Year Mortgage
A qualified mortgage meets standards that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set to make sure that borrowers are only approved for home loans that they can afford to repay. A qualified mortgage may not have a term longer than 30 years. 

A 40-year mortgage is an unqualified loan. Many lenders consider unqualified mortgages riskier than qualified mortgages and do not offer them. You may be able to find a 40-year mortgage through a small private lender or a credit union. Before you take out a 40-year mortgage, check the lender’s background to ensure it is reputable.

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