Adjustable versus fixed rate loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your payment never changes for the life of your mortgage. The portion of the payment that goes to principal (the actual loan amount) increases, but the amount you pay in interest will go down in the same amount. The property taxes and homeowners insurance will go up over time, but in general, payments on fixed rate loans change little over the life of the loan.

At the beginning of a a fixed-rate loan, most of your payment goes toward interest. The amount paid toward principal increases up slowly each month.

You might choose a fixed-rate loan to lock in a low rate. People select fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they want to lock in at this 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 Iltis Lending Group at (941) 954-4252 to learn more.

There are many different kinds of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. ARMs usually adjust twice a year, based on various indexes.

Most ARMs feature this cap, which means they can't go up above a specified amount in a given period of time. Some ARMs won't increase more than two percent per year, regardless of the underlying interest rate. Your loan may have a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest rate directly, caps the amount that your monthly payment can go up in a given period. Almost all ARMs also cap your interest rate over the duration of the loan.

ARMs usually start out at a very low rate that may increase over time. You may hear people talking about "3/1 ARMs" or "5/1 ARMs". In these loans, the introductory rate is fixed for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These types of loans are fixed for a number of years (3 or 5), then adjust after the initial period. Loans like this are often best for borrowers who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate programs most benefit borrowers who plan to sell their house or refinance before the loan adjusts.

Most people who choose ARMs choose them because they want to take advantage of lower introductory rates and do not plan to stay in the home for any longer than the introductory low-rate period. ARMs can be risky when housing prices go down because homeowners can get stuck with rates that go up when they can't sell their home or refinance at the lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at (941) 954-4252. We answer questions about different types of loans every day.