Are interest-only mortgages a good deal?

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Many home buyers are turning to mortgages with interest-only payment schedules so they can afford to buy a more expensive home. These mortgages have lower monthly payments, which makes qualifying easier. But the lower payments don't last forever, and interest-only loans aren't for everyone. Mortgages with an interest-only payment feature come in many varieties. Basically, they work like this. The borrower pays interest-only payments for the first five, 10 or 15 years. The monthly payments are lower than they would be with a fully amortized loan during this initial period. However, at the end of the interest-only payment period, the borrower still owes the entire amount borrowed. With a fully amortized loan, part of each monthly payment pays back a portion of the principal (the amount borrowed). A fully amortized payment schedule pays back the loan in full during the term of the loan, which is usually 30 years. At the end of 30 years, you owe nothing. Interest-only is a bit of a mi...