A fixed rate mortgage carries an interest rate that will be set at the inception of the loan and remain constant for the length of the mortgage. A 30year mortgage will have a rate that is fixed for all 30-years. At the end of the 30th year, if payments have been made on time, the loan is fully paid off. To a borrower the advantage is that the rate will remain constant and the monthly payment will remain the same throughout the life of the loan. The lender is taking the risk that interest rates will rise and it will carry a loan at below market interest rates for some or part of the 30 years. Because of this there is usually a higher interest rate on a fixed rate loan than the initial rate and payments on adjustable rate or balloon mortgages. If the rates fall, homeowners can pay off the loan by refinancing the house at the then lower interest rate.