30 Year Fixed
A 30-year fixed conventional loan has the same mortgage payments for 360 month: 12 months, 30 years.
Conventional loans are typically harder to qualify for than FHA loans and require a slightly higher downpayment. However, in some cases, rates and closing costs can be lower. Also, monthly mortgage insurance is usually less or even nothing with a 20 percent downpayment.
20 Year Fixed
This loan is the same as the 30-year fixed rate loan but with a shorter loan lifespan of only 240 months. With a shorter pay period than the 30-year, monthly payments for the 20-year are typically higher than the 30-year fixed rate loan. Typically, the shorter the term of a loan the more attractive the interest rate.
15 Year Fixed
With half the loan lifespan of the 30-year fixed rate loan, the 15-year fixed rate loan consists of 180 months of payments. As expected with a shorter pay period than both the 20- and 30-year fixed rate loans, the 15-year will have even higher monthly mortgage payments. General rule of thumb: the longer a lender agrees to keep the interest rate fixed, the greater the risk to the lender, usually leading interest rates on 15-year fixed rate loans to be slightly lower than on 20- and 30-year fixed rate loans.