Home » Finance

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Aug 17, 2007
An adjustable rate mortgage, ARM, is a mortgage that has a varying interest rate on the note. The interest rate on the mortgage periodically adjusts based on an index. Because of the varying interest rate, borrowers may notice their payments changing over time.

Adjustable rate mortgages are sometimes confused with graduated payment mortgages. With a graduated payment mortgage the interest rate remains fixed while the payment amounts change.

With adjustable rate mortgages much of the interest rate risk is transferred from the lender to the borrower. Borrowers benefit when interest rates on the mortgage fall. On the other hand, borrowers lose out when interest rates rise. Usually the loans are available when fixed rate mortgages are more difficult to obtain.

Key Terminology
Index - the guide used by lenders to measure changes in the interest. Each adjustable rate mortgage is linked to an index.

Margin - the part of the interest rate from which the lenders profits. The margin plus the index rate is the total interest rate. While the index will change throughout the duration of the adjustable rate mortgage, the margin will not.

Adjustment period - the period between interest rate adjustments, usually denoted in the format of 1-1. The first number is the initial period of the loan for which the interest rate will remain the same. The second number is the adjustment period. It shows denotes the frequency at which the interest rate can be adjusted.

Loan Choosing Tips
The index is one of the most important considerations in choosing an adjustable rate mortgage. Even though you don't have control over the specific index that is used by a particular lender, you can choose a loan and lender according to the index that will apply to the particular loan in which you are interested.

A lender you are considering can give you an indication of the performance of the loan in the past. The ideal loan is one that has an index that has historically remained stable. As you consider loans and lenders, make sure you also consider the margin rate that the lender offers.

Many borrowers wonder about the benefits of an adjustable rate mortgage since the payments can increase over time. In most cases, the benefit of an adjustable rate mortgage comes into play when the interest rate of the ARM is lower than the fixed rate mortgage. The possibility of a payment increase is sometimes inconsequential. This is true if you do not plan to occupy the house for an extended period or if you expect your income to increase over the life of the loan.

Avoid Negative Amortization
Negative amortization is a key watch-out when you are choosing an adjustable rate mortgage. This can occur when a particular loan as a cap on payments that keeps them from covering the amount of interest on the mortgage. As a result, unpaid interest is added to the loan, causing the amount of the loan to increase, even though you are making payments.

You can start out with a positive amortization on your adjustable rate mortgage but end up with a negative one due to interest rate increases. The best way to avoid negative amortization is to avoid adjustable rate mortgages that have a payment cap.
About the Author
T. J. Madigan has been established in online business since 1998 and is director of a number of successful online projects. Home-Sale.com.au offers a free For Sale By Owner Real Estate Listing Directory.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 164
Print Email Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources