Graduated payment mortgages (GPM) offer financing solutions for those who expect their income to rise in the future. A hybrid of an adjustable rate mortgage and fixed-rate mortgage, a GPM with its fixed interest rate starts with low payments that increase yearly based on the loan’s terms. If you have considered an interest only mortgage loan in the past, you might want to consider the benefits of a graduated payment mortgage instead.
A GPM offers low monthly payments by increasing payments for the rest of the loan’s term. At the beginning your mortgage will not completely cover your interest charges (negatively amortizing), but larger payments will be made later on to cover both interest and principal.
Generally, a GPM’s beginning payments will be a couple of hundred dollars less than a comparable fixed-rate mortgage. However, in later years you can expect to pay at least a hundred dollars more in monthly payments than a fixed rate mortgage payment.
Lenders also offer several different types of payment plans. The most common is to graduate payments annually for the first seven years, after which payments remain the same. Longer graduated periods or a greater rate of increase can lower your initial payments even more.
A GPM allows a borrower to enjoy low monthly payments with the security of a fixed-rate. Most homebuyers expect their income to increase if only due to inflation. A GPM takes advantage of this situation by increase payments as your income should increase.
A GPM also allows you more buying power based on the lower monthly payments and expectation of increased income. With initial reduced payments, you can pay for moving expenses and home furnishings.
Like with any type of mortgage loan, you need to weigh all the factors before choosing a GPM. One of the risks with a GPM is that you may not be able to afford the higher monthly mortgage payments, which could threaten your financial situation.
You may also find that if you have to move within a couple of years that you may owe on the loan after selling due to negative amortization. Even if you don’t owe interest, you will have very little equity in the home until several years into your mortgage.
Consider your financial goals with different financing packages to find the best fit.