The interest rate and the principal payments remain fixed throughout the loan. Keep in mind your monthly escrow account payment could vary from year-to-year as taxes and insurance rates change.
Variable or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
The interest rate on the loan fluctuates over the period of the loan. Periodic adjustments to the interest rate are made based on changes to a defined index. The loan's interest rate is determined by adding a fixed number of points to the defined index.
Short term, fixed-rate mortgage that has monthly payments usually based on a 30-year amortization schedule and a lump sum payment due at the end of term, usually 3, 5 or 7 years. The interest rate on balloon loans is usually less than a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
A second mortgage that closes with the first. Often the first mortgage is for 80% of the purchase price and the "piggyback" is for 10%. The home buyer covers the remaining 10% with their down payment. (Some lenders will write a second mortgage of 15% or even 20% of the purchase price.) Over the past few years, this "piggyback" mortgage is not commonly available as it was prior to the market crash.
Housing Finance Agencies
These agencies offer special loan programs to low- and moderate-income buyers, buyers interested in rehabilitating a home in a targeted area, and other groups as defined by the agency. Working through a housing finance agency, you can receive a below market interest rate, down payment assistance and other incentives.
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Loans for borrowers who cannot meet the credit guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The purpose is to offer temporary financing to someone whose credit history disqualifies them for a conforming loan (including someone who has recently filed for bankruptcy, foreclosure or late payment on their credit report). Typically the interest rates run higher and vary depending upon the individual credit situation.