When shopping loans, look into graduated payment mortgages (GPM) and compare the features and benefits for you.
In a GPM, the payments start low and rise gradually over a period of time. This period is typically set at five years. Its relation to the FRM (fixed rate mortgage) is solely in that fact that the interest rate is fixed for the duration of the loan.
A GPM is used when a borrower is not able to qualify for a standard FRM. As with any loan that holds a benefit for the borrower, it ends up costing more. The initial payment is used to qualify the borrower. As a result, the difference is added to the principal at the end of the graduation term, so you should consider the trade off with this type of mortgage vs home equity.
How it can work for you.
As an example, we will assume a loan of $100,000 with an interest rate of 6% for 30 years and the payments rise 7.5% a year for 5 years. With a standard FRM, the payments would be approximately $600 a month. On a GPM with the same term (30 years) at 6.5% where the payments increase at 7% a year for 5 years, the initial payment would be around $450. This would graduate to around $765 in the 61st month where it would stay for the remainder of the loan term.
With graduated payment mortgages, the initial payment is used to qualify the borrower and will cover no interest. This is called negative amortization and the difference is added to the principal. This is why it costs the borrower more money. It is a convenience and a guarantee of loan approval. The principal will not begin to pay down until around the 36th or 37th month of the term.
Can a GPM help with poor credit borrowers?
This rising balance is not a favorite feature for lenders as it is considered more risky. You can expect a higher interest rate on graduated payment mortgages than on standard fixed rate loans. But it could help to qualify for poor credit home equity loans.
Some graduated payment mortgages have different payment increase rates. One may have a 3% increase for 10 years whole another offers 7% over 5 years. It is simply a matter of the particular lender’s policies. It should be noted that a GPM with a lower increase rate over a longer period of time will have less negative amortization, so it ends up costing you less in the long run. Of course the initial payment is going to be higher.
The benefits of this type of home loan
GPMs have advantages over adjustable rate mortgages (ARM). After the period of increase is over, the payments on the GPM will be fixed for the remainder of the term. The ARM payments could continue to rise depending on the performance of contributing indexes and lending rates. This could be a significant increase each and every year throughout the term of the ARM.
The good thing about a graduated payment mortgage is that they can qualify first time buyers with less than favorable credit histories. Even though lenders view these as a risk, they will still want you to borrow from them so they may underwrite the risk and suggest a GPM in place of a fixed rate mortgage or an ARM.