A balloon payment is a large payment due at the end of a balloon loan, such as a mortgage, commercial loan or other amortized loan. A balloon loan typically features a relatively short term, and only a portion of the loan’s principal balance is amortized over the term. At the end of the term, the remaining balance is due as a final repayment.
The word balloon refers to the fact that the final payment is large and has ballooned in comparison to the other payments. Balloon payments tend to be at least double the amount of the loan’s previous payments, but can be as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars. Balloon loans are more common in commercial than consumer lending.