Definition of Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A mortgage that has a fixed interest rate for the entire term of the loan. The distinguishing factor of a fixed-rate mortgage is that the interest rate over every time period of the mortgage is known at the time the mortgage is originated. The benefit of a fixed-rate mortgage is that the homeowner will not have to contend with varying loan payment amounts that fluctuate with interest rate movements.
There is typically a tradeoff when it comes to choosing a mortgage between risk and reward, or between an adjustable-rate mortgage and a fixed-rate mortgage. Depending on market conditions (the shape of the yield curve), an adjustable-rate mortgage might have a large initial payment advantage over a fixed-rate mortgage. However, if such a scenario exists, there is a probability that the payments on the adjustable-rate mortgage will rise over time. Mortgage borrowers need to understand and measure risks when deciding between an adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgage.