Differences between adjustable and fixed loans

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A fixed-rate loan features the same payment for the entire duration of your mortgage. The property tax and homeowners insurance which are almost always part of the payment will increase over time, but generally, 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 mostly to pay interest. As you pay , more of your payment goes toward principal.

Borrowers might choose a fixed-rate loan in order to lock in a low interest rate. Borrowers choose these types of loans when interest rates are low and they wish to lock in this low 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 a good rate. Call Agape Home Mortgage, LLC at 503-243-5626 to discuss your situation with one of our professionals.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, come in many varieties. ARMs are generally adjusted every six months, based on various indexes.

Most Adjustable Rate Mortgages are capped, so they can't go up over a specified amount in a given period of time. Some ARMs can't adjust more than two percent per year, regardless of the underlying interest rate. Sometimes an ARM has a "payment cap" which ensures that your payment won't increase beyond a fixed amount in a given year. The majority of ARMs also cap your interest rate over the life of the loan.

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

You might choose an ARM to take advantage of a very low initial rate and plan on moving, refinancing or absorbing the higher rate after the initial rate goes up. ARMs can be risky if property values decrease and borrowers can't sell or refinance.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at 503-243-5626. It's our job to answer these questions and many others, so we're happy to help!

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