The commonest mortgage term periods in the US are a 15 year mortgage or a 30 year mortgage.
Regardless, of what duration you choose, you usually always have the option of paying off the home loan faster by making extra payment, lump sum payments or prepaying the loan.
There are two parties involved in deciding on what the duration of a mortgage loan should be, the consumer and the lender.
The consumer decides on the duration of the mortgage loan based on how much money he requires to purchase the home and the amounts that he can pay comfortably as monthly instalments. Getting a mortgage for a shorter duration may mean a higher monthly installment but it means that you save money in the long run on the interest. Getting a longer tenure for a mortgage may be a necessity if you cannot afford high installments every month and prefer to pay a little extra money in the long run.
The lender also has a say in the duration of the mortgage loan. For example lender may be willing to give you a mortgage for 15 years but not for 25 years. The lender may feel that you will be in a better position to make the monthly payments earlier on in your life than later.
A long tenure may also be not agreeable to the lender if he calculates that the mortgage is going to last beyond the consumer’s retirement age. They may resort to the traditional outlook that a person retiring at 60 or 65 may not be able to afford the mortgage on the basis of the pension that he receives.
However, if you have your own strong reasons for choosing a particular tenure for a mortgage and you find that the lender is not willing to extend the same to you feel free to shop around as there is plenty of competition in the market. Different lenders have different underwriting rules and guidelines were giving out mortgage.