An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that fluctuates periodically. This is in contrast to a fixed rate mortgage, which always has the same interest rate.
Every ARM has basic components:
An ARM’s interest rate is tied to one of many economic indices, some examples of which are the 1-year constant maturity Treasury security, the Cost of Funds Index, or the London Interbank Offered Rate. Different indices move at different rates so know the characteristics of the index used for your ARM.
The interest rate for your ARM will be calculated by adding a margin to the interest rate from the index. The margin is basically the markup charged by the lender that allows them to make a profit off of your loan, such as adding 2% to the index, where the 2% is the margin. The margin of your loan usually does not fluctuate.
The Adjustment Period controls when and how often your interest rate changes. For example, if your ARM has an adjustment period of 1 year, your interest rate will be subject to change at the end of each year and your monthly mortgage payment will be recalculated to reflect this change.
Interest rate caps are built into the loan to protect the borrower from drastic interest rate fluctuations. The caps limit how much the interest rate or monthly payment can change at the end of each adjustment period. An ARM can also have a cap for the life of the loan. For example, during the life of a loan, the interest rate can only be increased by 5%.
The Initial Interest Rate is the interest rate that you start with at the beginning of your loan period. The length of time your loan stays at this rate is built into the loan. For example, you may stay at the initial interest rate for 1 year, 5 years, or another length of time depending on your specific mortgage. This type of ARM is generally referred to as a Hybrid ARM. The initial interest rate for an adjustable rate mortgage is generally lower than that of a fixed rate mortgage.Back to Table of Contents
SEEK Real Estate® | 5251 W. 116th Place Suite 200, Leawood KS 66211 | 888.644.7335 | Equal Housing Opportunity
SEEK REAL ESTATE® is a registered trademark of Seek Real Estate, LLC. SEEK Real Estate® is a licensed real estate Brokerage in the states of Kansas & Missouri. © 2017 SEEK Real Estate, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The information displayed on this page is confidential, proprietary, and copyrighted information of Heartland Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (Heartland MLS).© 2017, Heartland Multiple Listing Service, Inc. Heartland MLS and Seek Real Estate do not make any warranty or representation concerning the timeliness or accuracy of the information displayed herein. In consideration for the receipt of the information on this page, the recipient agrees to use the information solely for the private non-commercial purpose of identifying a property in which the recipient has a good faith interest in acquiring. The data relating to real estate displayed on this website comes in part from the Heartland Multiple Listing Service database compilation. The properties displayed on this website may not be all of the properties in the Heartland MLS database compilation, or all of the properties listed with other brokers participating in the Heartland MLS IDX program. Detailed information about the properties displayed on this website includes the name of the listing company. Information last updated on 2017-11-18. Terms of Usage Agreement