Is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Right for you?

By Kevin Pierce

Not too long ago, the Adjustable Rate Mortgage was the best way to buy a home. Especially if you were just getting started in your career and expected your income to increase. If you do not have the money to buy the perfect home, you could elect a Adjustable Rate Mortgage and have a much lower payment. An Adjustable Rate Mortgage interest rate can change every year based on market conditions. A Fixed rate mortgage is not dependent on market conditions and your payment would remain fixed.

As of just a few years ago, an adjustable rate mortgage was a smarter option among the two main types of mortgages. Each year the rate of interest for the adjustable mortgage was decreasing and hence people had to pay a lesser amount towards their mortgage payment. However, these things are cyclical. Because of rising interest rates in the world market cycle, people have been losing out under an adjustable rate mortgage scheme, as it is dependent on current market scenarios.

The exact rate of interest for an Adjustable Rate Mortgage is determined by the index to which your mortgage is attached and the frequency at which your mortgage is allowed to adjust. These terms are defined in your mortgage note, a document you sign prior to the close of escrow. Your index is influenced by a number of factors like inflation, world market conditions and many other complex factors.

Keeping these various factors in mind, the rate of adjustable mortgage is determined. This pre-determined rate of interest is applicable for the rest of the fiscal year, though it can be revised at any time. Depending on the credit cycle, it is seen that the interest rate for adjustable mortgages diminishes or rises with every passing year.

The problem with the ARM is that the rate and associated payment can increase substantially in any one cycle. For instance, if the rate goes up by just 1% the borrowers actual payment could increase from several hundred dollars to in the thousands.

Any sudden increase in adjustable rate mortgage payments will make it more and more difficult for people to retain their property, especially if their income is either constant or shrinking due to wage cut amidst an increase in the interest payment on their property.

If you are in an industry or business where your income is expected to be fixed, it is best to opt for a Fixed Rate Mortgage. The only thing certain about interest rates in the future is that they are uncertain.

When shopping for the best rate and terms for your mortgage refinance or purchase, make sure you check There is no obligation to apply and it always helps to shop for the best Adjustable Rate and Fixed Rate Mortgage.

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