Differences between adjustable and fixed rate loans

A fixed-rate loan features a fixed payment for the entire duration of the mortgage. Your property taxes may go up (or rarely, down), and your insurance rates might vary as well. For the most part monthly payments for your fixed-rate mortgage will be very stable.

During the early amortization period of a fixed-rate loan, a large percentage of your monthly payment pays interest, and a significantly smaller part toward principal. The amount paid toward your principal amount goes up slowly each month.

Borrowers might choose a fixed-rate loan to lock in a low rate. Borrowers choose fixed-rate loans when interest rates are low and they want to lock in the lower rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can provide greater monthly payment stability. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, we'll be glad to assist you in locking a fixed-rate at the best rate currently available. Call Graves Owens Lending at 405-321-5363 for details.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, come in many varieties. 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. Your ARM may feature a cap on interest rate variances over the course of a year. For example: no more than a couple percent a year, even though the underlying index increases by more than two percent. Your loan may feature a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest rate directly, caps the amount the payment can increase in a given period. The majority of ARMs also cap your rate over the duration of the loan period.

ARMs usually start at a very low rate that usually increases as the loan ages. You've probably read about 5/1 or 3/1 ARMs. For these loans, the initial rate is fixed for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then adjust. These loans are often best for borrowers who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of ARMs are best for borrowers who will sell their house or refinance before the loan adjusts.

You might choose an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to get a very low initial rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the introductory rate expires. ARMs are risky if property values go down and borrowers are unable to sell their home or refinance their loan.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 405-321-5363. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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