There are various ARMs available, each with different terms. Several of the more common types include:
Generally, the shorter the fixed rate period, the lower the interest rate. In the loans noted above, the 3/1 ARM will offer you the largest initial savings.
ARMs are considered risky because of potential interest rate hikes after your fixed-rate period ends. But, because you receive some of the most competitive rates upfront, you may be able to afford a larger home or put even more money in your pocket each month should you use an ARM to refinance. Just be sure to understand you may be susceptible to an adjustment increase thereafter.
The adjustments are based on a set of indexes defined in the loan agreement. When it comes time to adjust the rate, the lender adds a margin to the current index value to calculate the borrower's new interest rate. But wait, what about the risk? Well, borrowers are protected by industry caps, which limit the frequency of change, the periodic change from one adjustment to another, and the total change in interest rate over the life of the loan.
If your ARM is getting ready to adjust and increase, you may want to consider refinancing. Whether you move forward with a conventional loan, ARM loan, or utilize one of the many government programs, complete your research and ensure you have obtained the best rate and terms. Doing this could save you hundreds every month.
With so many options for adjustable rate mortgages, and even fixed-rate mortgages, American Financing's salary-based mortgage consultants can help you decide if an ARM is right for you, and if so, what type to choose.