Finally, your interest rate cannot rise or fall by more than 5% above or below the initial rate for the entire life of your home loan. An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is normally a 30-year loan with full repayment that has an interest rate that will be adjusted once the initial fixed-rate period has expired. ARMs have a “fully indexed” rate that is determined by a margin and an index. An ARM also has limits that limit the amount that an interest rate can change after the initial fixed period has expired, as well as a minimum limit that limits the lowest rate that can be achieved after the initial fixed period.
In month 61, the rate will adjust to the fully indexed rate, and that will be determined based on the current 1-year U.S. Treasury Index. Suppose that the United States Treasury will be 2.0% for the first adjustment. This means that the new payment will be 4.75% (the margin of 2.75% plus 2.0% of UST).
So let's suppose that 12 months later the UST is 2.5%. This means that the rate for that year will be 5.25% (margin of 2.75% + 2.5% UST). Now let's look at some numbers for a very extreme example where all capital letters would come into play. For our example, suppose that 5 years have passed and the 1-year UST is 10% during the first adjustment period (that is,.
The fully indexed rate should be 12.75% (margin of 2.75% + 10% UST); however, the first “5” means that the maximum rate can only be 8.5% (the initial rate of 3.5% + 5% 3D 8.5%) and not 12.75%. The minimum rate, which is 4.5% in this example, limits the lowest the rate can reach after the first adjustment. Which means that if the index is 1% and fully indexed rates should be 3.75% (margin of 2.75% + 1% UST); however, the fully indexed rate will be 4.5%, since the floor will not allow the rate to fall below that amount. The second number represents how often the rate will adjust after the first change; in other words, the “1” means that it will change every 1 year after the first adjustment.
Some mortgage lenders specialize in ARM, while others focus their best prices on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. The “1” is the frequency with which the rate can be adjusted after the initial fixed-rate period ends; in this case, the “1” represents a year, so the rate is adjusted annually. However, for those who are buying a starting home or have an ever-changing lifestyle, buying their home or refinancing it with an adjustable rate mortgage (or ARM loan) may better meet their needs. The adjustment period is the period during which your interest rate will remain unchanged after the end of the initial period, as well as between each new adjustment.
Understanding how the rate is restored after the initial period of low rates ends will help you decide if the temporarily low payment is worth it. In the past, ARMs were linked to the yield on 1-year Treasury bills, the Eleventh District Fund Cost Index (COFI), or the London Interbank Supply Rate (LIBOR). For example, a fixed-rate loan may be good for those who want to put down roots and have the reliability of an interest rate that never changes. Once that initial fixed-rate period is completed, the rate will be calculated based on the index, the current reference interest rate plus a fixed margin amount.
If your original interest rate (before any adjustment) during the fixed period is 5 percent, the highest rate you could reach during the mortgage term would be 11 percent. This means that the interest rate will never increase more than 5% from the initial initial rate during the life of the loan. An adjustable rate mortgage is a great option if you are buying a starting home and are planning to move to a larger home within the next 5 years. It may make more sense to get an adjustable-rate mortgage when interest rates are rising, as long as you plan to change before your rate adjusts.
If your career path is likely to include a predictable increase in income, you can rest assured that you will be able to manage any increase in market rates in the future. Before signing on the dotted line, borrowers evaluating an ARM option should always consider how long they plan to stay in the home, as well as the starting rate, the initial rate period and the adjustment period. . .