Differences between fixed and adjustable loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your payment stays the same for the life of your loan. The longer you pay, the more of your payment goes toward principal. The property taxes and homeowners insurance will go up over time, but in general, payments on these types of loans change little over the life of the loan.

Your first few years of payments on a fixed-rate loan go 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 interest rate. People choose these types of loans when interest rates are low and they want to lock in at the lower rate. For homeowners who have an ARM now, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan can provide more monthly payment stability. If you currently have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), we can help you lock in a fixed-rate at the best rate currently available. Call VSI Home Lending at 2603382561 for details.

There are many different types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, interest rates on ARMs are determined by an outside index. A few of these are: the 6-month CD rate, the 1 year Treasury Security rate, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

The majority of Adjustable Rate Mortgages feature this cap, so they can't increase over a specific amount in a given period of time. Some ARMs can't adjust more than 2% per year, regardless of the underlying interest rate. Sometimes an ARM has a "payment cap" which guarantees that your payment can't increase beyond a certain amount in a given year. Almost all ARMs also cap your interest rate over the life of the loan period.

ARMs most often feature their lowest, most attractive rates at the start. They guarantee that rate from a month to ten years. You've likely read about 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. For these loans, the introductory rate is fixed for three or five years. After this period it adjusts every year. These kinds of loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then they adjust after the initial period. Loans like this are usually best for borrowers who anticipate moving in three or five years. These types of adjustable rate programs most benefit people who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an ARM to get a very low introductory interest rate and plan on moving, refinancing or simply absorbing the higher rate after the introductory rate goes up. ARMs are risky if property values decrease and borrowers can't sell their home or refinance their loan.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 2603382561. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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