Differences between adjustable and fixed loans

A fixed-rate loan features the same payment amount over the life of your mortgage. The property taxes and homeowners insurance will go up over time, but generally, payments on fixed rate loans don't increase much.

When you first take out a fixed-rate loan, most of your payment is applied to interest. As you pay , more of your payment goes toward principal.

You might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low rate. People select 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 into a fixed-rate loan can offer more monthly payment stability. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we can assist you in locking a fixed-rate at the best rate currently available. Call Channel Mortgage LLC at (718) 639-9500 for details.

There are many different types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, the interest for ARMs are determined by an outside index. A few of these are: the 6-month Certificate of Deposit (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 Adjustable Rate Mortgages feature this cap, which means they can't go up above a certain amount in a given period of time. There may be a cap on interest rate increases over the course of a year. For example: no more than a couple percent per year, even though the index the rate is based on goes up by more than two percent. Your loan may feature a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest rate directly, caps the amount your monthly payment can go up in one period. Almost all ARMs also cap your rate over the duration of the loan.

ARMs most often have the lowest, most attractive rates at the beginning of the loan. They guarantee that rate from a month to ten years. You've likely heard of 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. In these loans, the introductory 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. Loans like this are best for borrowers who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate loans most benefit people 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 lower introductory interest rate and plan 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 increasing rates when they cannot sell their home or refinance with a lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at (718) 639-9500. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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