Private mortgages are generally issued for a year or less. Because they are designed as a stop-gap measure to help the homeowner through a tough period, they are a short term option. This will give the borrower the time it takes to secure better rates or another alternative. Because of their nature, private loans are on the pricey side. There is always the possibility that the private lender will extend or renew the loan, but it is at his or her discretion.