Types of Mortgages in Germany

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the different types of mortgages available in Germany. If you are planning to buy a property or invest in real estate in Germany, understanding the various mortgage options is crucial. In this guide, we will walk you through the different types of mortgages in Germany, their benefits, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Understanding Mortgages in Germany

Before diving into the specific types of mortgages, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how mortgages work in Germany. In Germany, mortgages are typically long-term loans that are used to finance the purchase of residential or commercial properties. The borrower (mortgagor) pledges the property as collateral to the lender (mortgagee) in exchange for the loan, with the property serving as security for the repayment of the loan.

In Germany, mortgages are offered by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. The terms and conditions of mortgages can vary depending on the lender, the type of mortgage, and the borrower’s financial situation. It is important to carefully review and compare different mortgage offers to find the one that best suits your needs and financial capabilities.

A quick guide in germany

Types of Mortgages

1. Fixed-Rate Mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage in Germany. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same throughout the entire loan term, providing borrowers with stability and predictability in their monthly mortgage payments. This type of mortgage is ideal for borrowers who prefer a consistent payment schedule and want to avoid interest rate fluctuations.

Benefits of Fixed-Rate Mortgages:

  • Stable monthly payments: With a fixed interest rate, your monthly mortgage payments remain the same throughout the loan term.
  • Predictability: You can plan your budget more effectively as you know exactly how much you need to pay each month.
  • Protection against interest rate hikes: If interest rates increase, your mortgage payment will not be affected.

2. Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

An adjustable-rate mortgage, also known as a variable-rate mortgage or floating-rate mortgage, is a type of mortgage where the interest rate can change over time. The interest rate is typically linked to a benchmark, such as the Euribor or the Libor, and is adjusted periodically based on market conditions. While the initial interest rate is usually lower than that of a fixed-rate mortgage, it can fluctuate in the future, leading to potential changes in your monthly mortgage payments.

Benefits of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages:

  • Lower initial interest rate: Adjustable-rate mortgages often have lower initial interest rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages, making them more affordable in the short term.
  • Potential for lower payments: If interest rates go down in the future, your monthly mortgage payments may also decrease.
  • Flexibility: Adjustable-rate mortgages offer flexibility, as they may allow for early repayment or refinancing options.

3. Interest-Only Mortgages

Interest-only mortgages are a type of mortgage where the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a certain period, typically between 5 to 10 years. The principal amount borrowed remains unchanged during the interest-only period, and the borrower is not required to make any principal repayments. Once the interest-only period ends, the borrower must start repaying both the principal and the interest.

Note: Interest-only mortgages are less common in Germany compared to other countries.

Benefits of Interest-Only Mortgages:

  • Lower initial monthly payments: During the interest-only period, borrowers can enjoy lower monthly payments as they are only required to pay the interest.
  • Flexibility for investors: Interest-only mortgages can be attractive to property investors who plan to sell the property or refinance before the principal repayment period begins.

4. Annuitant Mortgages

An annuitant mortgage, also known as an annuity mortgage, is a type of mortgage where the borrower pays fixed monthly payments throughout the loan term, which includes both the principal and the interest. The monthly payment remains constant over the entire period, but the proportion of interest and principal changes over time. In the early years, the majority of the payment goes towards interest, while in the later years, the majority goes towards the principal repayment.

Benefits of Annuitant Mortgages:

  • Predictable monthly payments: With annuitant mortgages, borrowers enjoy the same monthly payment over the entire loan term.
  • Transparent loan structure: As the proportion of interest and principal is predetermined, borrowers can easily track their progress in repaying the loan.
  • Gradual decrease in outstanding debt: Over time, the outstanding principal decreases, which builds equity in the property.

5. Building Society Mortgages

Building societies (Bausparkassen) in Germany offer a special kind of mortgage known as Bauspar mortgages, or building society mortgages. With this type of mortgage, borrowers first join a building society and make regular savings contributions. Once they have accumulated enough savings, they can apply for a loan from the building society, which is usually offered at a fixed interest rate.

Benefits of Building Society Mortgages:

  1. Annuitätendarlehen (Annuity Loan):
    • Fixed Monthly Payments: With an annuity loan, borrowers make fixed monthly payments throughout the loan term. These payments consist of both interest and principal, with the interest portion decreasing over time as the outstanding loan balance decreases.
    • Predictable Budgeting: The fixed monthly payments make budgeting more predictable for borrowers, as they know exactly how much they need to pay each month.
    • Consistent Interest Rates: Interest rates on annuity loans are typically fixed for the entire loan term, providing borrowers with protection against interest rate fluctuations.
    • Early Repayment Options: Some annuity loans may allow borrowers to make additional payments or repay the loan early without incurring significant penalties.
    • Long-Term Stability: Annuity loans are well-suited for borrowers who prefer long-term stability and predictability in their mortgage payments.
  2. Bauspardarlehen (Building Society Loan):
    • Savings Phase: With a building society loan, borrowers first enter a savings phase where they make regular contributions to a building society (Bausparkasse). During this phase, they accumulate savings and earn interest.
    • Loan Phase: Once a predetermined savings target is reached, borrowers enter the loan phase and receive a loan from the building society. This loan is typically at a fixed interest rate.
    • Lower Initial Costs: Building society loans often involve lower initial costs compared to annuity loans, as borrowers first save up a portion of the loan amount before entering the loan phase.
    • Interest Rate Subsidies: Building society loans may come with interest rate subsidies provided by the government or the building society itself, making homeownership more affordable.
    • Flexibility: Building society loans offer flexibility in terms of savings contributions and loan amounts, allowing borrowers to tailor the loan to their individual financial situation.
    • Community Aspect: Building society loans are based on a cooperative model, fostering a sense of community among members of the building society.

Choosing the Right Mortgage

When choosing a mortgage in Germany, it is important to consider various factors such as your financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Evaluate your financial situation: Assess your income, expenses, and savings to determine how much you can afford to borrow and repay each month.
  2. Compare interest rates: Compare the interest rates offered by different lenders to find the most competitive option.
  3. Consider the loan term: Decide on the loan term that best suits your financial goals. Shorter loan terms result in higher monthly payments but lower overall interest costs, while longer loan terms have lower monthly payments but higher total interest costs.
  4. Seek professional advice: If you are unsure about the mortgage options or need assistance in choosing the right mortgage, it is advisable to seek advice from a professional mortgage advisor or financial planner.

Mortgages in germany

Choosing the right type of mortgage is a crucial step in the property buying process. By understanding the different types of mortgages available in Germany and carefully considering your financial situation and goals, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs. Remember to review the terms and conditions of the mortgage carefully and seek professional advice if needed. Good luck with your mortgage journey!


  1. What is an annuity loan (Annuitätendarlehen)?
    • Borrowers commonly inquire about the features and benefits of annuity loans, including fixed monthly payments, interest rates, and loan terms.
  2. How does a building society loan (Bauspardarlehen) work?
    • Individuals often seek clarification on the savings and loan phases of building society loans, as well as eligibility criteria and interest rate subsidies.
  3. What are the interest rates for mortgages in Germany?
    • Borrowers want to know about prevailing interest rates for both annuity loans and building society loans and how they can secure the best rates.
  4. What are the requirements for obtaining a mortgage in Germany?
    • Prospective homebuyers inquire about the documentation, income requirements, credit checks, and down payment expectations when applying for a mortgage.
  5. How much can I borrow for a mortgage in Germany?
    • Borrowers are interested in understanding how lenders determine the maximum loan amount based on factors such as income, expenses, and property value.
  6. Are there any government subsidies or incentives available for mortgages?
    • Individuals seek information on potential government programs, grants, or tax incentives to assist with homeownership and mortgage affordability.
  7. What are the closing costs associated with getting a mortgage in Germany?
    • Homebuyers want to know about the various fees and charges involved in the mortgage process, including appraisal fees, notary fees, and taxes.
  8. Can I repay my mortgage early without penalties?
    • Borrowers inquire about prepayment options, penalties, and restrictions for paying off their mortgage ahead of schedule.
  9. How do I compare mortgage offers from different lenders?
    • Individuals seek guidance on comparing interest rates, terms, fees, and overall costs to choose the most favorable mortgage option.
  10. What happens if I can’t make my mortgage payments?
    • Borrowers are concerned about potential financial difficulties and inquire about options such as loan forbearance, refinancing, or foreclosure prevention.

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