Fully Amortized Loan vs. Partially Amortized Loan

Updated on October 13, 2023
At a Glance: Amortization is the process of repaying a loan, where both the principal amount and the accrued interest are gradually paid off over time through regular installments. A fully amortized loan settles both the principal and interest by the end of the loan term, while a partially amortized loan leaves a portion of the debt unpaid, often requiring a balloon payment at the end. An amortization schedule breaks down the payments, and different compounding frequencies affect the rate at which interest accrues.

Do you want to borrow money soon? Do you perhaps wonder how loans and the corresponding monthly installments work? Two types of loans could determine the monthly payments you are required to make.

You need to decide between a fully amortized loan vs. partially amortized loan. These two loan types have a profound effect on your loan repayment. Let us help you understand how it works. After this, you’ll be able to decide which type of loan repayment schedule is best for you.

What is Amortization?

Lenders rarely offer loans without interest. Most forms have an interest rate which increases the total of the debt as time passes. Lenders need to apply an interest rate to the credit they offer to make money out of the service they offer their customers.

When you take out a loan you can decide which lender you prefer. It’s generally the better decision to opt for a lender who offers you the lowest interest rate. Lower interest rates help cheapen your loan repayments. A lower interest rate slows down the pace at which debt increases over time. If you work smart, you’ll find the lowest interest rates possible for your credit score and also create the best opportunity to be able to repay your debt as fast as possible.

This then brings us to amortization. All forms of credit are amortized even home loans for nurses. The degree to which it is amortized differs. A loan essentially has two concepts that need to be repaid. Firstly, you need to repay the principal amount (the initial amount you borrowed). And secondly, you need to repay the interest that accumulates on the total amount of debt still outstanding as time passes. So, you could repay only the interest that accumulates per month, but then you won’t chip away at the principal amount. You’ll basically remain in a never-ending cycle of monthly interest repayments.

An amortized loan has predetermined payments for a set number of months. If you keep to the loan installments, you’ll settle the debt within the prescribed loan term. Amortized payments simultaneously settle the interest that accumulates and partially settles the principal amount. Using this logic, you will notice that an amortized loan installment during the first month of repayments mostly settles interest and just a little bit of the principal amount. But during the last installments, the repayments mostly settle principal amount as opposed to interest accrued.

But do you know what to choose between a fully amortized loan vs. partially amortized loan? Let’s have a look at their differences.

The Difference Between Fully and Partially Amortized Loans

Lenders have many ways to make credit more accessible to different types of customers. As we’ve established, an amortized loan simultaneously settles interest accrued and principal amount. But, are there different types of amortization? This is the difference in a fully amortized loan vs. partially amortized loan.

Fully Amortized Loans

A fully amortized loan has a set payment for a set number of months. If you follow that plan, you’ll repay the required interest that accrues as well as the principal amount. Throughout the loan period, you settle both the interest and the principal amount.

So let’s assume you have a DACA mortgage of $165’000 at an interest rate of 4.5%. If you repay this within 30 years as a fully amortized loan, you’ll be required to make monthly installments of $836.03. This will settle the loan in full after 30 years of monthly payments. It settles both the interest and the principal amount.

Partially Amortized Loans

The lender must agree to a partially amortized loan. You can’t decide to change your loan type halfway through the process. A partially amortized loan doesn’t settle the loan in full. It repays it partially.

The part of the loan that hasn’t been repaid yet is called a balloon payment. You and the lender decide when the balloon payment is scheduled. It can either be at the start of the loan or it could be at the end of the loan term. The balloon payment has to take place or else that part of the debt remains outstanding.

Partially amortized loans could take many forms. It depends on what you and the lender agree upon. Student loans sometimes turn into partially amortized loans. Some student loans only require interest repayments up until the student graduates. Or it could even allow a grace period when the graduate searches for work. During a grace period repayments are temporarily lowered (or even postponed) to help ease the burden bills placed on the borrower’s cash flow.

The lender and the borrower decide how the loan is settled if it has a set loan term and it has been partially amortized during its lifetime. The lowered repayments cause more interest to accumulate over the lifetime of the loan. Thus leaving more interest to repay. The extra interest either needs to be repaid with a final balloon payment or the set monthly payments after the grace period needs to increase to settle both interest and the principal amount.

Taking our previous example of a $165’000 DACA mortgage into account, let’s assume you asked the lender for a partially amortized loan agreement. You lower your repayment for a few installments. It’s still a 30-year loan at an interest rate of 4.5%. But you need to make up for the extra interest that accumulates if you pay less than the required $836.03 per month and the loan term (30 years) remains the same. You can either make a balloon payment at the end of the loan to settle the outstanding debt, or you need to increase the monthly installments to repay both the interest and the principal amount.

Amortization FAQ

Have you wondered whether an illegal immigrant can buy a house? Perhaps you are still a bit confused about what an amortized loan is. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding amortization.

What is an Amortization Schedule?

An amortization schedule shows you exactly what you repay. It breaks down the monthly payment into the interest repayment and principal repayment. It also shows how much total debt remains after the payment is completed.

What is the Difference Between the Advance Date and Interest Adjustment Date?

A lender sometimes disburses a loan into your account only to require the first payment a month later. The disbursement date is called the advance date. Look at the following example for an explanation.

The lender advances a teacher’s mortgage money on the 26th of May but wants the monthly payments on the first of each month. July 1st is the first blended monthly payment. The payment of June 1st is an interest adjustment payment and is nothing more than the interest due to the use of the money for the first 6 days. The interest adjustment date is June 1st, meaning from this day forward you’ll repay full installments.

What is the Difference Between Monthly Compounding and Semi-Annual Compounding?

Interest compounds based on the terms. Semi-annual compounding accrues twice a year and monthly compounding accrues 12 times a year. Something that accrues more often usually accrues faster.

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Most loans have interest and all loans require repayment. But the loan amortization method determines the type of repayments you need to make. You need to decide which you choose between fully amortized loan vs. partially amortized loan. Use the information supplied here to help make your decision.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.