Adjustable versus fixed rate loans

A fixed-rate loan features a fixed payment amount for the entire duration of your loan. Your property taxes increase, or rarely, decrease, and so might the homeowner's insurance in your monthly payment. For the most part payment amounts on a fixed-rate loan will be very stable.

Your first few years of payments on a fixed-rate loan are applied primarily toward interest. This proportion gradually reverses itself as the loan ages.

You can choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low rate. Borrowers choose fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they wish to lock in at the low rate. For homeowners who have an ARM now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can offer 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 favorable rate. Call CHASE MORTGAGE INC #317430 at 435-755-6622 to learn more.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, come in a great number of varieties. Generally, interest rates for ARMs are determined by a federal index. A few of these are: the 6-month CD rate, the one-year rate on Treasure Securities, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

Most ARM programs feature a cap that protects borrowers from sudden increases in monthly payments. There may be a cap on interest rate increases over the course of a year. For example: no more than a couple percent a year, even though the index the rate is based on increases by more than two percent. Your loan may have a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest directly, caps the amount the monthly payment can go up in a given period. In addition, the great majority of ARM programs have a "lifetime cap" — your interest rate can never exceed the cap percentage.

ARMs usually start out at a very low rate that usually increases as the loan ages. You may hear people talking about "3/1 ARMs" or "5/1 ARMs". In these loans, the introductory rate is fixed for three or five years. After this period it adjusts every year. These types of loans are fixed for a certain number of years (3 or 5), then they adjust after the initial period. Loans like this are best for borrowers who expect to move in three or five years. These types of adjustable rate programs most benefit borrowers who plan to move before the loan adjusts.

Most borrowers who choose ARMs do so because they want to get lower introductory rates and do not plan on staying in the home longer than this introductory low-rate period. ARMs can be risky when property values go down and borrowers cannot sell or refinance their loan.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 435-755-6622. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!