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Fully Amortizing Payment: Definition, Example, Vs. Interest-Only

File Photo: Fully Amortizing Payment: Definition, Example, Vs. Interest-Only
File Photo: Fully Amortizing Payment: Definition, Example, Vs. Interest-Only File Photo: Fully Amortizing Payment: Definition, Example, Vs. Interest-Only

What Exactly Is a Fully Amortizing Payment?

Fully amortizing debt payments are recurring. The borrower pays off the loan by the end of its term if it follows the amortization schedule. Every thoroughly amortizing fixed-rate loan payment is the same amount. Adjustable-rate loans have thoroughly amortized payments that alter with the interest rate.
Understanding Fully Amortizing Payment

Self-amortizing loans have fully amortized payments. Most mortgages are self-amortizing and have fully amortized payments. An amortization plan from the lender shows homebuyers how much interest they’ll pay on the loan.

Interest-only vs. fully amortizing payments

Interest-only payments are the opposite of fully amortizing payments. Our borrower will not pay off the loan before the end of the term if they merely pay the interest. A loan with lower beginning payments than the fully amortizing payment will have much larger fully amortizing payments later on. These are common in adjustable-rate mortgages.

Suppose someone gets a $250,000, 30-year, 4.5% mortgage. However, the interest rate is changeable, and the lender only guarantees 4.5% for the first five years. Once that happens, it adjusts automatically.

As seen in the first example, an utterly amortizing borrower would pay $1,266.71, which would change with the loan’s interest rate. If the loan requires interest payments for the first five years, the borrower pays $937.50 monthly. Yet, they are not fully amortizing. After the introductory interest rate ends, his payments may reach $1,949.04. The borrower commits to higher, thoroughly amortizing payments later in the loan’s term by making non-fully amortizing payments early on.

Refinance your interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) before the rate adjusts to avoid a significant monthly payment increase.

Fully Amortised Loan Payment Example

A man with a $250,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5% pays $1,266.71 monthly, a thoroughly amortizing payment. At the start of the loan, most payments go to interest and a small proportion to principal; near the end, most go to principal and a small fraction to interest. These monthly payments are fully amortized, so the borrower pays off the loan by the end of the period.

Note: In escrowed mortgages, your amortization schedule may also show homeowners’ insurance and property taxes.

Fully Amortized Loan Pros and Cons

The key benefit of fully amortized loans is seeing your mortgage or loan payment breakdown each month. If you choose a fixed-rate loan, you’ll always know your mortgage payments, making budgeting easier.

The main drawback of completely amortized loans is that you must pay most of the interest upfront. In the wholly amortized loan example, the borrower pays mostly interest in the first five years.

The loan amount may have barely decreased if they sold the home after five years. If the home hasn’t appreciated, they may have less equity, making a sale less profitable. However, the lender wins because they collected those interest payments for five years.

Different Loan Payments

Borrowers may choose to amortize or make other loan payments in full. In particular, an ARM gives borrowers four monthly payment options: 30-year fully amortizing, 15-year amortizing, interest-only, and minimum. The minimum payment is required. They must make the fully amortizing payment to maintain their 15- or 30-year loan repayment plan.

Minimum payments may increase your loan balance if you don’t pay off the interest.

A fully amortizing loan?

A completely amortizing loan allows the borrower to repay principal and interest by a defined date. Fully amortizing loans assumes timely and complete payments.

What’s an amortization schedule?

Amortization schedules show how loan payments affect principal and interest. Full-amortized loans pay more interest early on and more principal as the loan term nears its end.

Can You Pay Off a Fully Amortized Loan Early?

Yes, provided your lender allows. Paying off a fully amortized loan early may save interest. If you pay off a loan early, your lender may charge a prepayment penalty to recover missed interest.


  • A completely amortizing payment is a scheduled loan payment that ensures repayment by the end of the term.
  • Self-amortizing loans are those with fully amortizing payments.
  • Traditional fixed-rate, long-term mortgages usually have fully amortizing payments.
  • Interest-only payments, standard in adjustable-rate mortgages, differ from fully amortizing payments.

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