Fixed versus adjustable loans
With a fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment stays the same for the life of your loan. The longer you pay, the more of your payment goes toward principal. The property tax and homeowners insurance which are almost always part of the payment will go up over time, but for the most part, payment amounts on fixed rate loans don't increase much.
Early in a fixed-rate loan, a large percentage of your monthly payment goes toward interest, and a significantly smaller percentage goes to principal. The amount applied to principal goes up gradually every month.
You might choose a fixed-rate loan to lock in a low interest rate. Borrowers select fixed-rate 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 monthly payment stability. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we can assist you in locking a fixed-rate at a favorable rate. Call Morgage 27 at 4054206125 to learn more.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, as we called them above — come in many varieties. Generally, interest for ARMs are determined by an outside index. A few of these are: the 6-month Certificate of Deposit (CD) rate, the 1 year rate on Treasure Securities, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.
Most ARMs feature this cap, so they won't go up above a certain 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 two percent per year, even though the index the rate is based on increases by more than two percent. Your loan may feature a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest directly, caps the amount the monthly payment can go up in a given period. Additionally, almost all ARMs have a "lifetime cap" — the interest rate will never go over the capped percentage.
ARMs usually start out at a very low rate that may increase as the loan ages. You've likely read about 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. In these loans, the introductory rate is set for three or five years. After this period it adjusts every year. These loans are fixed for a certain number of years (3 or 5), then adjust. These loans are often best for borrowers who anticipate moving in three or five years. These types of ARMs are best for borrowers who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.
Most people who choose ARMs do so because they want to get lower introductory rates and do not plan on staying in the home longer than the initial low-rate period. ARMs can be risky when housing prices go down because homeowners could be stuck with rates that go up if they can't sell their home or refinance with a lower property value.
Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 4054206125. We answer questions about different types of loans every day.