Why would you want an adjustable rate mortgage?

The main difference between a fixed- and an adjustable-rate loan is that the interest rate will never change for a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, an ARM’s interest rate can change multiple times over the loan term. The monthly mortgage payment will change, too, if the index rises and falls.

There are also a few other ways that ARMs and fixed-rate loans are different. Let’s learn more.


Your ARM rate can never fall below a certain margin specified in your loan documentation. For example, if the margin specified is 3%, the margin is added to the current index number on the date your rate adjusts.

Rate Caps

ARM loans have rate caps that limit the amount your interest rate can rise or drop in a single period and over the lifetime of your loan. Your loan might not increase or decrease exactly along with the market if it hits its cap.

An initial cap is the maximum percentage your rate can increase or decrease in a single period after your fixed-rate period expires. A periodic cap limits the maximum amount that an interest rate can change from one adjustment period to the next.

A lifetime cap puts a limit on the total amount that your interest rate can increase or decrease from the introductory rate over the mortgage term. Your lender will express your ARM caps as a series of three numbers separated by forward slashes in this format: initial cap/periodic cap/lifetime cap. This is your “cap structure.”

So, an ARM with a 2/1/5 cap structure means that your loan can increase or fall 2% during your first adjustment and up to 1% with every periodic adjustment after that. Finally, your interest rate can’t increase or decrease more than 5% above or below the initial rate over the entire lifetime of your home loan.

Interest Rates

Interest rates for ARMs are lower than fixed-rate loans, at least for a few years. Lenders usually charge a higher interest rate for fixed-rate loans because they must predict interest changes over time. Because an ARM’s rate changes to fit the market, lenders can be more lenient with initial loan charges and give you a lower mortgage rate to begin with. 

Ease Of Qualification

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender looks at how much income your household brings in a month versus how much you spend each month. This is your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and it’s a major factor when you get a loan. If you have a slightly higher DTI ratio, you may have an easier time qualifying for an ARM than a fixed-rate mortgage.

Owning a home is one of the best investments anyone could make. It is an invaluable asset that gives you and your family the comfort, convenience, and protection you envision. Yet, purchasing a home can be daunting, thanks to the cost involved. If you're overwhelmed by the cost, it would be best to consider various mortgage loans. An adjustable-rate mortgage is an excellent choice. The following insights will help you understand what the benefits of this loan are.

What Is the Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loan

Before we get into the benefits of the loan, you'll need to know what this loan is. An adjustable-rate mortgage loan, or ARM, is a mortgage loan with an interest rate that changes periodically. This change will often be based on the economy's performance and inflation. Its adjustability and flexibility imply that monthly payments can increase or decrease whenever there is a shift in the economy.

Notably, this fluctuation often happens only when the economy shifts. However, it gets back to the previously pegged rate once the situation normalizes. Its initial pegging is usually much lower than the fixed-rate interest.

This loan has various features that set it apart. By understanding these elements, you'll be able to effortlessly compare different options in the market. ARM has three critical pillars: introductory rate, actual rate, and conversion option. The following is a breakdown of what you need to know about these elements of adjustable-rate mortgage loans.

An introductory rate applies at the beginning of the credit facility term. This rate is often much lower than the prime rate for a fixed-rate mortgage. At the agreed introductory period's elapse, the rate changes to an indexed one, referred to as the actual rate. Only after this can the borrower consider converting the ARM arrangement to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Types of Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loans

There are three types of ARMs: hybrid, payment-option, and interest-only. The hybrid arrangement is the traditional ARM approach. It entails an introductory period with a fixed rate. This period lasts between three and ten years, depending on what you agree with the lender. After this period, the rate can adjust after preset periods, mostly once a year.

The payment-option ARM allows the borrower to select their payment structure and schedule.  The minimum payment is usually about 30 years. However, this approach contributes to negative amortization, as you will not be paying enough to cover the interest.

You could also opt for the interest-only method. This approach requires you to only pay interest for a specified period. After the period elapses, you resume paying the principal and the accrued interest. This approach offers you unrivaled convenience, particularly at the outset of the credit facility.

You might also need to choose between conforming and non-conforming adjustable-rate mortgages. Conforming loans meet particular guidelines that allow them to be sold. Most of these loans originate from government entities, meaning lenders can only repackage them to sell to consumers. Conversely, non-conforming loans do not meet specific guidelines. While they could be flexible and friendly, they do not assure you of the consistency you need.

Top Reasons for Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loans

Now that you know what an adjustable-rate mortgage loan is, it's time to dive into the benefits. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, an average home loan is about $282,660. You need an excellent credit lender to finance this. Its multiple benefits make it a perfect choice for any homeowner, whether first-time or repeat. The following seven benefits indicate why you should consider this arrangement.

Lower Initial Interest Rate

Everyone looks forward to enhanced financial stability, excellent cash flow, and minimal debt burden. You can achieve all these by choosing the ARM arrangement. Its initial low interest rate means you will pay relatively lower monthly installments, giving you the convenience you envision.

At the same time, this initial interest rate relieves you of the significant debt burden. You will not have to pay too much interest. Besides, you could avoid getting entrapped in the debt by making substantial payments during this period. Your principal amount remains relatively lower, attracting little interest in the long run.

Multiple Options

Suppose you are looking for multiple options that can comfortably suit your needs. In that case, you will be free to consider an adjustable-rate mortgage loan. It comes in various kinds, allowing you to choose a less burdensome option.

For instance, you could consider the interest-rate only approach to minimize exposure. It is an excellent choice when purchasing a commercial property. It allows you to gain significant stability before you start repaying the principal and the interest together.

Multiple options offer convenience and flexibility. You can get a customized arrangement that appeals to your financial situation and goals. This move will cushion you against various financial constraints in the long run.

Enhanced Borrower Protection

Protection against adverse economic situations ensures that you get the comfort you envision. First, the interest charged on your mortgage will likely increase or decrease after the introductory period. However, this increase or decrease will not go beyond a specified limit.

There are ceilings and floors attached to the interest rate, ensuring that the consumer is not exposed to the extreme financial burden in the long run. These caps are often agreed upon at the beginning of the term. Various regulatory bodies will also contribute to this protection.

Enhanced Savings

Suppose you look forward to enhanced savings and investments in the long run. In that case, it would be best to consider the adjustable-rate mortgage arrangement. This arrangement allows you to take advantage of falling rates without refinancing. These falling rates imply that you will make considerable savings, allowing you to indulge in other meaningful activities.

You can use the amount saved on investments. Create a comprehensive investment plan and portfolio to ensure that this works well. Pumping your savings into this investment portfolio could help you get the most returns in the long run.


You'll love how flexible the ARM arrangement is. This mortgage allows you to convert it into a fixed rate once the introductory period elapses. This option is handy if the economic situation seems less certain. On the other hand, you can stick to the arrangement if the economy is pretty predictable, giving you the confidence of consistency.

At the same time, you will be free to choose an arrangement that allows you to play around with your payment plan. The idea is to get something that gives you the convenience you deserve. With multiple options at hand, this will be much easier in the long run.

Perfect for Refinancing

Suppose you want an excellent refinancing option. In that case, you will not go wrong with the adjustable-rate mortgage plan. This arrangement assures you of unrivaled stability. Using it to refinance your mortgage will help ease your financial burden. Ideally, this arrangement offers enhanced flexibility as you get your finances in order.


A straightforward application process will likely be appealing to you. Fortunately, that is what you get from this arrangement. Its application process requires the least paperwork. It will also won't take a long time, ensuring that you do not lose your preferred property. However, it would be best to compare different lenders before settling on one. It will ensure that you get the best deal in the long run.

As you look forward to financing the purchase of a new home or refinancing your mortgage, an adjustable-rate mortgage will be an excellent choice. It offers you enhanced flexibility and less financial burden. Its unmatched convenience is all you need. With the insights above, deciding on this credit facility will be simple. Call us today at Chemung Canal to get started!

Why would an applicant choose an adjustable

An adjustable-rate mortgage loan is an ideal choice for buyers who don't plan to stay in their homes for very long. With lower-than-average interest rates for the first five, seven or ten years, the borrower can save money before switching to a variable interest rate.

When would an adjustable

Adjustable-rate mortgages are gaining popularity because their relatively low introductory rates can give borrowers more homebuying power amid today's soaring home prices. If you plan to relocate or pay off your mortgage in 10 years or less, an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, is worth considering.

When should you get an adjustable

Many homeowners choose an ARM to take advantage of the lower mortgage rates during the initial period. You may consider an adjustable-rate mortgage if: You plan on moving or selling your home within five years, or before the adjustment period of the loan. Interest rates are high when you buy your home.

What are the pros and cons of adjustable rate mortgages?

Pros include low introductory rates and flexibility; cons include complexity and the potential for much bigger payments over time.