Adjustable versus fixed loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your payment doesn't change for the life of the mortgage. The amount of the payment allocated to your principal (the loan amount) will increase, but the amount you pay in interest will decrease in the same amount. Your property taxes may go up (or rarely, down), and your insurance rates might vary as well. For the most part payment amounts on your fixed-rate mortgage will increase very little.

At the beginning of a a fixed-rate mortgage loan, most of the payment goes toward interest. As you pay , more of your payment is applied to principal.

Borrowers might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low interest rate. Borrowers choose fixed-rate loans because interest rates are low and they want to lock in the lower rate. For homeowners who have an ARM now, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan can offer more consistency in monthly payments. 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 Reliance Mortgage Service, Inc at 562 320-0510 to learn more.

There are many different kinds of Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Generally, interest rates for ARMs are determined by a federal index. A few of these are: the 6-month Certificate of Deposit (CD) rate, the 1 year rate on Treasure Securities, the Federal Home Loan Bank's 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others.

Most ARM programs have a cap that protects you from sudden increases in monthly payments. Some ARMs won't increase more than two percent per year, regardless of the underlying interest rate. Your loan may feature a "payment cap" that instead of capping the interest directly, caps the amount that the payment can increase in one period. Most ARMs also cap your rate over the life of the loan period.

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 fixed for three or five years. It then adjusts every year. These types of loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then adjust. Loans like this are often best for borrowers who expect to move within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate programs benefit people who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an ARM to take advantage of a lower initial interest rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate expires. ARMs can be risky when property values go down and borrowers cannot sell or refinance.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 562 320-0510. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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