Differences between adjustable and fixed loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment remains the same for the life of the mortgage. The longer you pay, the more of your payment goes toward principal. Your property taxes increase, or rarely, decrease, and so might the homeowner's insurance in your monthly payment. For the most part payment amounts for your fixed-rate mortgage will increase very little.

At the beginning of a 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 in order to lock in a low interest rate. Borrowers choose fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they want to lock in this lower rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can provide greater monthly payment stability. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we can help you lock in a fixed-rate at a good rate. Call Chris Caggiano - Grand Oaks Funding, LLC at (718) 477-4405 to discuss how we can help.

There are many kinds of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, the interest rates on ARMs are determined by an outside index. Some examples of outside indexes are: the 6-month Certificate of Deposit (CD) rate, the one-year Treasury Security rate, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

The majority of ARMs are capped, which means they won't increase above a certain amount in a given period of time. Your ARM may feature a cap on how much your interest rate can increase in one period. For example: no more than two percent per year, even though the underlying index increases by more than two percent. Your loan may have a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest directly, caps the amount that the payment can go up in a given period. Most ARMs also cap your interest rate over the life of the loan period.

ARMs usually start out at a very low rate that may increase over time. You may hear people talking about "3/1 ARMs" or "5/1 ARMs". In these loans, the initial rate is set for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These types of loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then adjust. These loans are usually best for people who anticipate moving in three or five years. These types of ARMs benefit people who will move before the loan adjusts.

You might choose an ARM to get a very low initial rate and count on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the introductory rate expires. ARMs are risky when property values go down and borrowers are unable to sell or refinance.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at (718) 477-4405. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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