Some load mutual funds impose a recurring sales charge, called a level load, each year you own the fund rather than a sales charge to buy or sell shares.
The level-load rate is generally lower than the sales charge for front- or back-end loads. But the annual asset-based management fee on these funds is higher than for front-load funds.
This means the total amount you pay over time with a level load can be substantially more than a one-time sales charge, especially if you own the fund for a number of years.
If a fund company offers you a choice of the way you prefer to pay the load, level-load funds are generally identified as Class C shares. Front-end loads are Class A shares and back-end loads are Class B shares.