Adjustable Rate Mortgage – ARMS

What Are Adjustable Rate Mortgages?
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a mortgage in which the interest rate may change over time in a specific amount of years. With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate may change periodically, usually in relation to an index (London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR), and payments may “adjust” up or down. Unlike a fixed rate mortgage, homeowners with this type of home loan aren’t guaranteed the same interest rate, or principal and interest payment for the duration of their loan. The risk of an increasing interest rate is something that borrowers should consider when evaluating an adjustable rate mortgage for their home financing.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ARM is a mortgage loan where the note will adjust periodically based on the set index.

Arm Rate Formula: Index + Margin = Rate

Adjustable Rate

Advantages of ARM  

  • Allows a borrower to lower their initial monthly payment upfront. This is great for those planning to move in a few years or before the end of the initial interest rate period expires and the adjustment period starts.
  • Beneficial to borrowers who are expecting an increase in their income.
  • Rate financial borrowers who believe interest rate will go down in the future.
  • Beneficial as a short-term residence instead of renting.
  • Relocating but, not sure how long the job will keep you at the location.

Disadvantages of ARM  

  • If you keep the property you might have to refinance in the future incurring more closing costs.
  • The interest rate will increase in a rising rate environment since the index is tied to directly to rate.
  • An increase in interest rate will result in higher future monthly payment.
  • An increase in interest rate will reduce or prolong the accumulation of equity in the property.
  • Not good for low credit clients as future refinancing might be hard to qualify.

Types of Hybrid ARMs – Annual rate changes can make budgeting difficult if your payment is going up and down, so calculate your monthly payment in the worst-case scenario for each adjustment period, and if it fits your budget and is an acceptable level of risk, the ARM can save you money if used properly. ARMS should not be used for long-term purposes for most home owners. We’ll help you choose the best option:

3/1 ARM – Interest rate is fixed for the first 3 years. After 3 years, the rate can change based off the index and margin.

5/1 ARM – Interest rate is fixed for the first 5 years. After 5 years, the rate can change based off the index and margin.

7/1 ARM – Interest rate is fixed for the first 7 years. After 7 years, the rate can change based off the index and margin.

10/1 ARM – Interest rate is fixed for the first 10 years. After 10 years, the rate can change based off the index and margin.

Interest Rate Caps
Pay attention to the details of the caps. Depending on the type of mortgage selected, interest rate caps offer some protection for homeowners who opt to finance their home with an adjustable rate mortgage. An interest rate cap sets a limit on the amount the interest rate can increase. There are two types of interest rate caps. A periodic adjustment cap limits the amount an interest rate can increase or decrease between two adjustment periods after the first adjustment. A lifetime cap limits the amount the interest rate can increase over the duration of the loan.

Most ARMs have caps-limits the lender puts on the amount that the interest rate or mortgage payment may change at each adjustment, as well as during the life of the mortgage. With an ARM, you typically have the benefit of lower initial rates for the first year of the loan. Plus, if interest rates drop and you want to take advantage of a lower rate, you may not have to refinance as you would with a fixed rate mortgage. An ARM may be especially advantageous if you plan to move after a short period of time.

Payment Caps
Payment caps follow a similar structure as interest rate caps. Payment caps limit the amount the monthly payment may increase from one adjustment period to another, instead of the amount the interest rate can increase.

Get Pre-Qualified for An Adjustable Rate Mortgage
With flexible options available, program expertise and 5-star customer service, we’ll work with you from application to close to ensure a smooth loan process and create a loan program that meets your financial needs and goals. Your situation is unique, and we’ll help you navigate the various ARM options to choose.

For more information about Adjustable mortgage loans, their benefits and loan options and how it may apply to you, please contact us direct or submit the “Quick Quote” form on this page.