Differences between fixed and adjustable rate loans

A fixed-rate loan features a fixed payment amount for the entire duration of your mortgage. Your property taxes increase, or rarely, decrease, and your insurance rates might vary as well. But generally payments on your fixed-rate loan will be very stable.

Your first few years of payments on a fixed-rate loan go mostly to pay interest. As you pay , more of your payment goes toward principal.

You might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low rate. People select fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they want to lock in at this low rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan can provide more monthly payment stability. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we'll be glad to assist you in locking a fixed-rate at a good rate. Call Tenby J. Dahman at 3038627760 to discuss how we can help.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, come in a great number of varieties. Generally, interest rates for ARMs are determined by an outside index. Some examples of outside indexes are: the 6-month CD rate, the 1 year Treasury Security rate, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

Most programs have a cap that protects you from sudden increases in monthly payments. Your ARM may feature a cap on how much your interest rate can increase in one period. For example: no more than two percent a year, even though the index the rate is based on increases by more than two percent. Sometimes an ARM features a "payment cap" which guarantees your payment will not go above a fixed amount over the course of a given year. Almost all ARMs also cap your rate over the duration of the loan period.

ARMs most often have the lowest rates toward the start. They usually provide the lower interest rate from a month to ten years. You may have heard about "3/1 ARMs" or "5/1 ARMs". For these loans, the introductory rate is set for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These loans are fixed for a number of years (3 or 5), then adjust after the initial period. These loans are best for people who expect to move within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate loans benefit people who will move before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an ARM to get a lower introductory interest rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate goes up. ARMs can be risky when housing prices go down because homeowners could be stuck with increasing rates if they can't sell their home or refinance at the lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 3038627760. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!