Adjustable versus fixed loans

A fixed-rate loan features a fixed payment amount for the entire duration of your mortgage. The property taxes and homeowners insurance which are almost always part of the payment will increase over time, but for the most part, payment amounts on these types of loans vary little.

During the early amortization period of a fixed-rate loan, a large percentage of your monthly payment pays interest, and a significantly smaller part goes to principal. As you pay on the loan, more of your payment is applied to principal.

You might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low interest rate. People select fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they wish to lock in at this lower rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can offer more stability in monthly payments. If you currently have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), we'll be glad to assist you in locking a fixed-rate at a good rate. Call One Source Lending 303-220-7500 at 303-220-7500 to learn more.

There are many types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, the interest rates for ARMs are based on an outside index. A few of these are: the 6-month 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 feature this cap, so they can't increase over a specified amount in a given period of time. There may be a cap on interest rate variances over the course of a year. For example: no more than two percent a year, even though the underlying index goes up by more than two percent. Sometimes an ARM has a "payment cap" that guarantees your payment won't increase beyond a certain amount in a given year. Most ARMs also cap your interest rate over the duration of the loan.

ARMs most often feature their lowest, most attractive rates at the start. They guarantee the lower interest rate from a month to ten years. You've likely heard of 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. In these loans, the initial rate is set for three or five years. After this period it adjusts every year. These kinds of loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then adjust after the initial period. These loans are usually best for people who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate loans benefit borrowers who plan to sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to take advantage of a very low introductory rate and count on moving, refinancing or simply absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate expires. ARMs can be risky in a down market because homeowners can get stuck with rates that go up if they can't sell their home or refinance at the lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 303-220-7500. We answer questions about different types of loans every day.