Everyone knows that 15-year mortgages have been smash hits this year - but 10-year loans?

HSH Associates, a Butler, N.J., research firm, has identified nine lenders that are offering the mortgages.

The target consumers are customers for refinancing who are in their 50s and have built up substantial equity in their homes.

By switching into a 10-year model, people can pay off their balances by retirement.

Lenders that write the loans can benefit by capturing assets that match their portfolios better than 15-year or 30-year loans.

"About 25% of our loan volume over the last several months has been in the 10-year mortgages," said Raymond Teed, head of marketing for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association, Lake Success, N.Y.

Astoria Federal has been holding the loans. However, to keep open the option of selling them in the future, the thrift has been following the underwriting guidelines of the federally chartered secondary market agencies.

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