Mortgage Basics: Explaining Fundamental Concepts of Mortgages, Including Types, Interest Rates, and Terms

Aslan understands that for most people, purchasing a home is a significant milestone and a lifelong dream. However, navigating the world of mortgages can often feel daunting, especially for first-time homebuyers. It’s why we we believe if you can understand the fundamental concepts of mortgages you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals. In this blog post, we will delve into the basics of mortgages, exploring the various types of mortgages, interest rates, and terms, empowering you with the knowledge to navigate this important financial journey.

Types of Mortgages:

1. Fixed-Rate Mortgage:

A fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage. With this type, the interest rate remains constant throughout the loan term, providing stability and predictability in monthly payments. This makes your month to month budgeting easier, as you know exactly how much you need to pay each month. Fixed-rate mortgages are available in different terms, typically ranging from 15 to 30 years. 

2. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM):

Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, an adjustable-rate mortgage features an interest rate that fluctuates periodically. Initially, an ARM offers a lower interest rate for a specified period, usually 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, known as the introductory or "teaser" rate. After the introductory period, the interest rate adjusts periodically based on market conditions. ARMs can be advantageous if you plan to sell the property or refinance before the adjustment period begins.

3. Government-Backed Mortgages:

Government-backed mortgages, such as those offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provide alternative options for individuals who may not qualify for conventional loans. These loans often have more lenient qualification requirements and offer competitive interest rates, making homeownership more accessible.

Interest Rates:

Interest rates play a crucial role in determining the overall cost of a mortgage. They represent the cost of borrowing money from a lender. The two main types of interest rates you will encounter are:

1. Fixed Interest Rate:

A fixed interest rate remains constant throughout the loan term for fixed-rate mortgages. This means that your monthly payments will stay the same, providing stability and ease of planning. Fixed interest rates are often preferred when interest rates are relatively low, as they allow borrowers to lock in a favorable rate for the long term.

2. Adjustable Interest Rate:

Adjustable interest rates are applicable to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). These rates are typically tied to an index, such as the U.S. Treasury or the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). When the index changes, the interest rate on the ARM adjusts accordingly. The periodic adjustments can result in fluctuating monthly payments, making them suitable for borrowers with short-term plans or those anticipating future changes in income.

Loan Terms:

The loan term refers to the length of time over which the mortgage is repaid. It is an important factor to consider when choosing a mortgage. Common loan terms include:

1. 15-Year Mortgage:

A 15-year mortgage offers a shorter repayment period, allowing borrowers to build equity faster. While monthly payments are typically higher than those of a 30-year mortgage, a shorter loan term translates to substantial interest savings over the life of the loan.

2. 30-Year Mortgage:

A 30-year mortgage is the most popular option for many homebuyers. With a longer loan term, monthly payments are lower, making homeownership more affordable. However, the overall interest paid over the life of the loan is higher compared to a shorter-term mortgage.


Aslan Home Lending wants to help you navigating the world of mortgages. By grasping the types of mortgages, interest rates, and loan terms, you can make informed decisions that align with your financial goals. Whether you opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage, or a government-backed loan, it's crucial to consider your long-term financial plans and consult with mortgage professionals who can guide you through the process. Armed with this knowledge and choosing Aslan to help you navigate the world of mortgages, you can confidently embark on your homeownership journey, realizing your dreams of owning a place you can truly call home.


* Specific loan program availability and requirements may vary. Please get in touch with your mortgage advisor for more information.