Dave Says: Can't Afford A 15-Year Mortgage?

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Posted: Jun 04, 2019 12:24 PM
Dave Says: Can't Afford A 15-Year Mortgage?

Source: AP Photo/Steven Senne

Dear Dave,

Is there ever a time when a 30-year mortgage is better than a 15-year mortgage?

Julie

Dear Julie,

Let’s see, how should I put this? No! If you can’t afford a home on a 15-year mortgage, it means you can’t afford the house. Period.

If you currently own a house, and the only way to keep from being foreclosed on or going bankrupt is to refinance into a 30-year mortgage, you’d probably do that – but it doesn’t make it better than a 15-year mortgage. You’ll never hear me recommend a 30-year mortgage. I might tolerate one in an extreme situation, but I wouldn’t tell you to go get one. 

Besides, why would you want to stay in debt for 30 years? Do you have a fear of winning with money? Are you feeling so generous toward the bank that you want to just hand them piles of cash every month for three decades? 

The average millionaire in this country pays off their mortgage in 10.2 years. Do what smart people do, Julie. Do what people who win with money do. A 15-year, fixed rate mortgage is the only kind of home loan I recommend!      

—Dave