Isn't the article beneath wrong to interpret a Fully Amortized Loan as a loan with 7 years maturity? Isn't the correct comparator a Fully Amortized Loan with 30 years maturity, and 30 years amortization?
How does the 30-year maturity Loan compare? Here are the numbers.
What a Partially Amortized Loan Might Look Like
Imagine you wanted to take on a $1,000,000 partially amortizing loan. You have a fixed interest rate of 8.5%. The bank agrees to give you a 7-year maturity with a 30-year amortization schedule.
Your payment is going to be $7,689.13 per month. You'll end up paying $645,886.92. At the end of seven years, you'll owe a lump sum of $938,480.15, and you must repay the entire amount somehow or you'll default. The bank will seize the collateral and perhaps force you or the project to declare bankruptcy depending upon how it is structured. You'll end up repaying $1,584,367.07 total.
In contrast, if you had a traditional, fully amortizing loan with a seven-year maturity [I emboldened.], you would have paid $15,836.49 per month. You'll end up repaying $1,330,265.16. At the end of the term, you'll owe nothing. The balance is repaid in full.
Why would someone opt for the partially amortized loan in this situation? Despite the higher cost and the end-period liquidity demand, for 7 years, the borrower got to enjoy $8,147.36 more cash each and every month than he or she otherwise would have as a result of the lower monthly payment.
That could have given the project enough time to get off the ground or to sell whatever it was that the backer was developing. In other cases, the theory is the underlying business growth will be sufficient to wipe out the balance (e.g., a fast-expanding beverage company that can't keep up with demand so it builds a much larger factory that, at its rate of current expansion, should make the balloon payment a rounding error)