A reduction in the mortgage payment made by a homebuyer in the early years of the loan in exchange for an upfront cash deposit provided by the buyer, the seller, or both. How Temporary Buydowns Work: Temporary buydowns are a tool for borrowers purchasing a home who don't have enough income, relative to their monthly mortgage payment and other expenses, to meet lender requirements. To use a temporary buydown, the borrower must have access to extra cash. The cash can be the borrower's or it can be contributed by a home seller anxious to complete a sale. The cash funds an escrow account from which the payments that supplement the borrower's payments are drawn. While the borrower's payments are reduced in the early years, the payments received by the lender are the same as they would have been without the buydown. The shortfalls from the borrower are offset by withdrawals from the escrow account. Temporary buydowns are not a type of mortgage. They are an option that can be attached to any type. Most temporary buydowns, however, are attached to fixed-rate mortgages. Temporary Versus Permanent Buydowns: Another way in which borrowers with excess cash can reduce their mortgage payment is by paying additional points in order to reduce the interest rate. This is sometimes called a 'permanent buydown' because the reduced payment holds for the life of the loan. For the same number of dollars invested, however, temporary buydowns reduce the monthly payment in the first year, which is the payment used to qualify the borrower, by a larger amount than a permanent buydown. This reflects the concentration of the payment reduction in the early years of the loan.