Adjustable versus fixed rate loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your payment doesn't change for the entire duration of your loan. The longer you pay, the more of your payment goes toward principal. Your property taxes may go up (or rarely, down), and your insurance rates might vary as well. But generally monthly payments on a fixed-rate loan will be very stable.

When you first take out a fixed-rate loan, most of your payment is applied to interest. As you pay on the loan, more of your payment goes toward principal.

Borrowers might choose a fixed-rate loan to lock in a low rate. People select these types of loans when interest rates are low and they want to lock in the lower rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan can provide more consistency in monthly payments. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we can help you lock in a fixed-rate at a good rate. Call Nationwide Home Loans at 5626935048 for details.

There are many types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, interest for ARMs are based on a federal index. A few of these are: the 6-month CD rate, the one-year Treasury Security rate, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

Most ARMs are capped, which means they won't increase over a specific amount in a given period of time. Your ARM may feature a cap on interest rate variances over the course of a year. For example: no more than a couple percent a year, even though the underlying index goes up by more than two percent. Sometimes an ARM features a "payment cap" that ensures that your payment won't go above a fixed amount over the course of a given year. In addition, the great majority of ARMs feature a "lifetime cap" — your rate can't ever go over the cap percentage.

ARMs most often have the lowest rates toward the beginning of the loan. They provide the lower interest rate for an initial period that varies greatly. You've likely heard of 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. In these loans, the initial rate is set for three or five years. After this period it adjusts every year. These loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then they adjust. These loans are best for borrowers who expect to move within three or five years. These types of ARMs most benefit borrowers who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to take advantage of a lower introductory rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate expires. ARMs can be risky when housing prices go down because homeowners could be stuck with increasing rates when they can't sell their home or refinance with a lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 5626935048. We answer questions about different types of loans every day.

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