Differences between fixed and adjustable loans

A fixed-rate loan features the same payment over the life of your loan. Your property taxes may go up (or rarely, down), and so might the homeowner's insurance in your monthly payment. For the most part monthly payments for your fixed-rate mortgage will be very stable.

When you first take out a fixed-rate loan, most of your payment goes toward interest. As you pay , more of your payment is applied to principal.

Borrowers might choose a fixed-rate loan to lock in a low interest rate. Borrowers choose these types of loans when interest rates are low and they wish 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 Alternative Mortgage Group at 561-395-4264 for details.

There are many different types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. ARMs are normally adjusted twice a year, based on various indexes.

Most programs feature a "cap" that protects borrowers from sudden monthly payment increases. There may be a cap on interest rate increases over the course of a year. For example: no more than two percent a year, even though the underlying index goes up by more than two percent. Sometimes an ARM features a "payment cap" that guarantees that your payment will not increase beyond a fixed amount in a given year. Almost all ARMs also cap your rate over the life of the loan.

ARMs usually start at a very low rate that usually increases as the loan ages. You've likely heard of 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. In these loans, the introductory rate is set for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These loans are fixed for a certain number of years (3 or 5), then they adjust. These loans are often best for borrowers who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate loans benefit people who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an ARM to take advantage of a very low introductory interest rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the introductory rate expires. ARMs can be risky when property values decrease and borrowers are unable to sell their home or refinance.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 561-395-4264. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!