fbpx Skip nav to main content.

What is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Loan?

An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Loan is a type of home loan where the interest rate can change periodically based on the performance of a specific benchmark or index. This means that the monthly payments can fluctuate over time. Here are the key features of an ARM:

  1. Initial Fixed-Rate Period: The loan starts with a fixed interest rate for an initial period, typically 3 to 10 years. During this period, the monthly payments remain stable.
  2. Adjustment Periods: After the initial fixed-rate period ends, the interest rate adjusts at predetermined intervals, usually annually. The new rate is calculated based on the index plus a margin specified in the loan agreement.
  3. Rate Caps: ARMs often include rate caps that limit how much the interest rate can increase or decrease at each adjustment period and over the life of the loan. These caps help protect borrowers from significant payment shocks.
  4. Potential for Lower Initial Rates: ARMs usually offer lower initial interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages, making them attractive to borrowers who plan to sell or refinance before the adjustable period begins.
  5. Risk and Reward: While ARMs can provide lower initial payments and potential savings if interest rates remain stable or decrease, they also carry the risk of higher payments if interest rates rise.

Overall, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage can be a good option for borrowers who anticipate changes in their financial situation or plan to stay in their home for a short period. However, it’s essential to understand the terms and potential risks associated with ARMs before deciding if it’s the right mortgage for you.