adjustable rate mortgages are unique because the interest rate on the mortgage adjusts with interest rates in the marketplace. This is important because mortgage payment amounts are determined (in part) by the interest rate on the loan. As the interest rate rises, the monthly payment rises. Likewise, payments fall as interest rates fall.
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan in which the interest rate may change periodically, usually based upon a pre-determined index. The ARM loan may include an initial fixed-rate period that is typically 3 to 10 years.
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a type of mortgage where the interest rate you pay on your home periodically changes, which impacts your monthly mortgage payment. The interest rates you’ve probably seen advertised for ARMs are usually a little bit lower than conventional mortgages.
Adjustable-rate mortgage loan products feature an initial fixed-rate and adjustable-rate periods. The most common fixed-rate periods are 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. After the initial fixed-rate period, periodical adjustment periods vary between every 1, 3 or 5 years.
The most common adjustable rate mortgage is called a "hybrid ARM," in which a specific interest rate is guaranteed to remain fixed for a specific period of time. Often, this initial rate is lower than what you could otherwise get in a traditional 30-year fixed loan.
Generally speaking, an adjustable rate mortgage is linked to some major benchmark rate; for example, the interest rate may be stated as "LIBOR + 1%." The mortgage may or may not have a cap on how much the interest rate can rise or fall, or on how often the interest rate may change.
The interest rate that you secure when you first get an adjustable rate mortgage is called the initial rate. In many cases, the lender may offer a fixed rate for a period before the adjustment period begins. PennyMac, for example, offers adjustable rate loans with 3, 5, 7, and 10 years of an initial fixed rate.
DEFINITION of ‘Adjustable-Rate Mortgage – ARM’. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate applied on the outstanding balance varies throughout the life of the loan. Normally, the initial interest rate is fixed for a period of time, after which it resets periodically, often every year or even monthly.