Refinancing a Home - 15 Years vs. 30 Years Mortgage: What's the Difference?

15-Year vs. 30-Year Mortgage: An Overview

A bewildering variety of mortgages may be available, but for most homebuyers, in practice, there is only one. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is practically an American archetype, the apple pie of financial instruments. It is the path that generations of Americans have taken to first-time homeownership.

But many of those buyers might have been better served if they had opted instead for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

The loans are structurally similar—the main difference is the term. While a 30-year mortgage can make your monthly payments more affordable, a 15-year mortgage generally costs less in the long run.


  • Most homebuyers choose a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, but a 15-year mortgage can be a good choice for some.
  • A 30-year mortgage can make your monthly payments more affordable.
  • While monthly payments on a 15-year mortgage are higher, the cost of the loan is less in the long run.

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