What is an interest-only mortgage?

Interest-Only Mortgage: Understanding the Basics

What is an interest-only mortgage?

An interest-only mortgage is a type of mortgage where, for a set period of time, your monthly payments consist solely of interest charges on the loan balance; unlike a conventional loan, where monthly repayments include both interest and principal fees, an interest-only loan allows borrowers to defer principal payments for a certain period. This feature can lower monthly mortgage payments initially, making it an attractive option for specific borrowers.

How Does It Work?

In an interest-only mortgage, the term is typically divided into two phases. Initially, during the interest-only period, you must pay only the interest on the mortgage loan. This period can vary but often lasts between 5 to 10 years. After this period, the loan converts to a standard repayment mortgage, where your monthly payments include interest and principal payments, typically resulting in a higher monthly payment.

How does an Interest-only mortgage calculate payments?

Calculating payments for an interest-only mortgage involves a straightforward process, primarily focusing on the interest component of the loan during the interest-only period. Here’s how it’s typically done:

  • Determine the Loan Amount: This is the total amount you are borrowing.

  • Annual Interest Rate: Find out the annual interest rate of your mortgage. Your lender usually provides this rate.

  • Calculate the Annual Interest: Multiply the loan amount by the annual interest rate. For example, if you borrow AED200,000 at an annual interest rate of 4%, the yearly interest would be AED200,000 x 0.04 = AED8,000.

  • Monthly Interest Payment: Divide the annual interest by 12 (the number of months a year) to get your monthly interest payment. Continuing the above example, AED8,000 / 12 = AED666.67 monthly.


What are the Types of Interest-Only Mortgages?

Interest-only mortgages come in various forms, including adjustable-rate loans and hybrid mortgages. An adjustable-rate loan has a variable interest rate, which means your monthly interest payment can change over time. A hybrid mortgage combines features of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, offering a fixed interest rate for an initial period before converting to an adjustable rate. Types of interest-only mortgages:

  • Adjustable-Rate Interest-Only Mortgages: These mortgages start with an interest-only period, followed by adjustable rates that can change over time, impacting your monthly payments.


  • Fixed-Rate Interest-Only Mortgages:Rare but available, these offer a fixed interest rate during the interest-only period, providing stability in your initial monthly payments.


  • Hybrid Interest-Only Mortgages: A combination of fixed and adjustable rates; these start with a fixed interest rate for a set period before switching to an adjustable rate.


  • Balloon Payment Interest-Only Mortgages: These require a large lump sum payment at the end of the interest-only period, a significant consideration for your financial planning.


  • Jumbo Interest-Only Mortgages: Designed for loan amounts exceeding conventional loan limits, these are often used for high-value property purchases.
interest-only mortgage

Who Should Consider an Interest-Only Mortgage?

Interest-only mortgages present a unique financing option that might not be suitable for everyone but can be beneficial for specific financial profiles. Understanding who this type of mortgage best serves is critical to making an informed decision.

  • Expecting Future Income Growth: If you anticipate a significant increase in income in the future, an interest-only loan could provide financial flexibility during periods of lower income.


  • High Income with Diverse Earnings: Those with a high-income ratio, mainly if it includes substantial rental income or other earnings, might find this option more manageable and strategic.


  • Short-Term Investment Seekers: Individuals looking at property as a short-term investment may prefer interest-only loans, particularly if they plan to sell the property before principal payments begin.


  • Prepared for Increased Expenses: Borrowers must be ready for potential increases in monthly expenses once the principal payments kick in.


Interest-only mortgages offer a unique way to finance a home, providing flexibility in monthly payments and catering to specific financial situations. However, they require careful consideration and planning. As you explore your mortgage options, consider how an interest-only loan aligns with your long-term financial goals.

After visiting eMortgage, please understand the terms, risks, and benefits of an interest-only mortgage before deciding. Our experts will help you know every single point to help you make better decisions for your future.

However, while interest-only mortgages can be attractive for specific borrowers, they are not without their complexities and risks. By understanding these key aspects and seeking professional financial advice, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial objectives and plans.