What’s a balloon fee?

Regardless of the way it sounds, balloon funds don’t have anything to do with shopping for inflatable novelties, and every thing to do with automotive loans and car finance.

This non-compulsory additional will help make your automotive mortgage repayments extra inexpensive from month to month, although balloon funds might not at all times prevent cash in the long term.

So, what precisely IS a balloon fee?

A balloon fee refers to a one-off lump sum that you just conform to pay your lender on the finish of your automotive mortgage’s time period – it swells up a lot bigger than your earlier repayments, therefore the “balloon”.

As a result of this fee can account for a major chunk of your automotive mortgage’s steadiness (the precise proportion will rely in your lender, and the age and sort of your car), your remaining automotive mortgage repayments will be lowered because of this.


Nick takes out a mortgage for $30,000 to purchase a automotive, agreeing to a 5-year time period. This may usually contain making 60 month-to-month funds of $500, plus curiosity costs on the total mortgage steadiness.

If Nick agrees to incorporate a remaining balloon fee of $15,000, or 50% of the steadiness, in his automotive mortgage, his 60 month-to-month repayments will as a substitute cowl the remaining $15,000 owing, and price simply $250 per 30 days, plus curiosity costs on the total mortgage steadiness. 

By making your automotive mortgage repayments extra inexpensive from month to month, a balloon fee could possibly assist you to purchase a automotive chances are you’ll in any other case wrestle to afford in your common month-to-month family finances.

Balloon funds for companies

Balloon funds are usually extra generally present in automotive loans for enterprise and business functions, whether or not as a sole dealer, small enterprise, or bigger firm fleet. Lowering the month-to-month repayments on a automotive mortgage will help a enterprise to handle its short-term prices.

What’s extra, as a result of balloon funds imply that every automotive mortgage reimbursement consists extra of curiosity costs and fewer of mortgage principal, enterprise house owners could possibly declare these curiosity funds as enterprise bills on their taxes. It’s best to seek the advice of a tax accountant or monetary adviser to search out out if a balloon fee would probably profit your online business.

Is a balloon fee the identical as a residual fee?

The phrases “residual worth” and “residual fee” are sometimes heard in the identical conversations as balloon funds. Whereas each check with paying a lump sum on the finish of a automotive mortgage to scale back the common repayments, there are essential variations between residual funds and balloon funds.

Residual funds are usually extra widespread on automotive leases, reasonably than loans, and are calculated based mostly on the forecast remaining worth of the car after depreciation. Balloon funds are mounted values or percentages, and are usually not based mostly on the worth of the automotive.

What to do with the balloon?

It’s essential to think about precisely what you’ll do when you attain the tip of your mortgage time period and the balloon fee comes due.

Your choices might embody:

  • Paying it – In case your finances permits, you could possibly get your self debt-free in a single fell swoop, although balloon funds are sometimes too giant to simply repay in a single go.
  • Refinancing – To maintain your present automotive, you possibly can take out a brand new mortgage together with your present lender or a brand new one, and repay the worth of the balloon over the time period of the brand new mortgage. This may increasingly maintain your mortgage reimbursement comparatively inexpensive, although you’ll probably find yourself paying extra in complete curiosity costs.
  • Promoting the automotive – Don’t want the automotive anymore? Promote it, and use the sale worth to repay the balloon. After all, this does go away you and not using a automotive…
  • Upgrading to a greater automotive – Mix the earlier two choices by promoting your present car, and utilizing your present fairness plus the sale worth to refinance your automotive mortgage, borrowing the additional cash you should purchase a greater automotive. Some debtors (significantly enterprise debtors) have been recognized to refinance automotive mortgage after automotive mortgage, upgrading their car every time.

Evaluate automotive loans:

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