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### Main Findings

Balloon loans are a type of loan that offers lower monthly payments in exchange for a larger one-time payment at the end of the term. Balloon loans can be attractive to short-term borrowers who expect to have enough money or income to pay off the balloon payment or refinance the loan before it is due.

## A balloon loan is a type of loan that has lower monthly payments for a short term, usually five to seven years but requires a large lump sum payment at the end of the term to pay off the remaining balance.

This lump sum payment is called the balloon payment. Balloon loans are often used for mortgages, auto loans, and business loans.

### Why use a balloon loan?

Balloon loans can be attractive to borrowers who want to reduce their monthly payments and interest costs in the short term. They may also be useful for borrowers who expect to sell their property, refinance their loan, or increase their income before the balloon payment is due.

Balloon loans can also help borrowers qualify for a larger loan amount or a lower interest rate than they would get with a fully amortized loan.

### Formula for a balloon loan

The formula for calculating the monthly payment of a balloon loan is:

**P** = A / [(1 + r)^n - 1] / [r(1 + r)^n]

Where:

- P = monthly payment
- A = loan amount
- r = monthly interest rate (annual interest rate / 12)
- n = number of months

The formula for calculating the balloon payment of a balloon loan is:

**B** = A(1 + r)^n - P[(1 + r)^n - 1] / r

Where:

- B = balloon payment
- A = loan amount
- r = monthly interest rate (annual interest rate / 12)
- n = number of months
- P = monthly payment

### How to calculate a balloon loan

To calculate a balloon loan, you need to know the loan amount, the interest rate, the term, and the balloon payment percentage. The balloon payment percentage is the percentage of the loan amount that is due at the end of the term.

For example, if you borrow $100,000 for five years at 5% interest and have a 50% balloon payment, you will pay $50,000 at the end of the term.

To calculate the monthly payment and the balloon payment of a balloon loan, you can use the formulas above or an online calculator.

Here is an example using the numbers from above:

Monthly interest rate = 0.05 / 12 = 0.004167

Number of months = 5 x 12 = 60

Balloon payment percentage = 50%

Balloon payment amount = $100,000 x 0.5 = $50,000

Monthly payment = $100,000 / [(1 + 0.004167)^60 - 1] / [0.004167(1 + 0.004167)^60]

= $1884.71

Balloon payment = $100,000(1 + 0.004167)^60 - $1884.71[(1 + 0.004167)^60 - 1] / 0.004167

= $50,000

### Examples

Let's look at some examples of balloon loans and how they work.

#### Example 1: A balloon mortgage

Suppose you want to buy a house that costs $300,000. You have a 20% down payment, so you need to borrow $240,000.

You decide to take out a balloon mortgage with a 5-year term and a 4% interest rate. Your monthly payments are $1,146, which is mostly interest. After five years, you still owe $218,601, which is the balloon payment. You can either pay it off with cash, sell the house, or refinance the loan.

#### Example 2: A balloon auto loan

Suppose you want to buy a car that costs $20,000. You have a 10% down payment, so you need to borrow $18,000. You decide to take out a balloon auto loan with a 3-year term and a 6% interest rate.

Your monthly payments are $288, which is mostly interest. After three years, you still owe $12,462, which is the balloon payment. You can either pay it off with cash, trade in the car or refinance the loan.

#### Example 3: A balloon business loan

Suppose you want to start a business that requires $50,000 in initial capital. You decide to take out a balloon business loan with a 2-year term and an 8% interest rate.

Your monthly payments are $667, which are all interest. After two years, you still owe $50,000, which is the balloon payment. You can either pay it off with cash, sell the business, or refinance the loan.

### Limitations

Balloon loans have some limitations that you should be aware of before choosing them.

Balloon loans are risky because they require a large lump sum payment at the end of the term. If you don't have enough money to pay it off or can't refinance it, you may default on the loan and lose your collateral.

Balloon loans are expensive because they usually have higher interest rates than fully amortizing loans. You also pay more interest over the life of the loan because you don't reduce the principal balance much until the end.

Balloon loans are inflexible because they lock you into a fixed payment schedule for the term of the loan. You can't adjust your payments based on your income or expenses. You also can't prepay the loan without paying a penalty fee.

### Conclusion

Balloon loans are a type of loan that offers lower monthly payments in exchange for a larger one-time payment at the end of the term. They can be used for mortgages, auto loans, and business loans.

Balloon loans can be attractive to short-term borrowers who expect to have enough money or income to pay off the balloon payment or refinance the loan before it is due. However, balloon loans are also risky, expensive, and inflexible compared to other types of loans. Therefore, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of balloon loans before choosing them.

### References

- Investopedia (2023. Balloon Loan: What It Is, How It Works, Example, and Pros & Cons. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/balloonloan.asp
- Investopedia (2023). Balloon Payment: What It Is, How It Works, Examples, Pros and Cons. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/balloon-payment.asp
- Home Buyer (2024). What Is a Balloon Mortgage? https://homebuyer.com/learn/balloon-mortgage

### FAQ

A balloon loan is a type of loan that requires a large payment made at the end of the loan term, known as the balloon payment. The earlier payments are typically smaller and may only cover the interest.

Balloon loans can be suitable for individuals who expect to have a significant amount of money in the future, such as from an inheritance or sale of property, and can make the large balloon payment at the end of the term.

The primary risk is the large lump sum payment due at the end of the loan term. If the borrower cannot make this payment, they may need to refinance the loan, sell the asset, or face foreclosure or repossession.

In a traditional loan, each payment goes towards both the principal and the interest, and the loan is fully paid off at the end of the term. In a balloon loan, the earlier payments may only cover the interest, and the principal is largely paid off in the final balloon payment.

Yes, if a borrower cannot make the balloon payment at the end of the term, they may have the option to refinance the loan. However, this depends on their creditworthiness at the time of refinancing.