Differences between fixed and adjustable loans

A fixed-rate loan features a fixed payment for the entire duration of your mortgage. The property tax and homeowners insurance which are almost always part of the payment will go up over time, but in general, payments on these types of loans change little over the life of the loan.

Your first few years of payments on a fixed-rate loan are applied primarily to pay interest. As you pay on the loan, more of your payment goes toward principal.

You might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low rate. Borrowers choose these types of loans because interest rates are low and they want to lock in the lower rate. For homeowners who have an ARM now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can offer greater monthly payment stability. If you currently have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), we can assist you in locking a fixed-rate at the best rate currently available. Call Budica Financial Corporation at (951)840-4188 to discuss your situation with one of our professionals.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, come in even more varieties. ARMs usually adjust twice a year, based on various indexes.

The majority of Adjustable Rate Mortgages feature this cap, so they won't go up above a specified amount in a given period. Some ARMs can't adjust more than two percent per year, regardless of the underlying interest rate. Sometimes an ARM features a "payment cap" which guarantees that your payment can't go above a certain amount in a given year. Most ARMs also cap your interest rate over the life of the loan period.

ARMs usually start at a very low rate that may increase 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 kinds of loans are fixed for 3 or 5 years, then adjust. Loans like this are usually best for people who anticipate moving within three or five years. These types of adjustable rate loans benefit borrowers who will sell their house or refinance before the initial lock expires.

You might choose an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to take advantage of a lower initial rate and count on moving, refinancing or simply absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate goes up. ARMs can be risky in a down market because homeowners could be stuck with rates that go up when they can't sell their home or refinance at the lower property value.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at (951)840-4188. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!