Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) differ from fixed-rate mortgages in that the interest rate and monthly payment can change over the life of the loan.
ARMs also generally have lower introductory interest rates vs. fixed-rate mortgages. Before deciding on an ARM, key factors to consider include how long you plan to own the property, and how frequently your monthly payment may change. You can also know more about best Mortgage Rates in Ontario.
Why choose an adjustable-rate mortgage?
The low initial interest rates offered by ARMs make them attractive during periods when interest rates are high, or when homeowners only plan to stay in their home for a relatively short period. Similarly, homebuyers may find it easier to qualify for an ARM than a traditional loan.
However, ARMs are not for everyone. If you plan to stay in your home long-term or are hesitant about having loan payments that shift from year-to-year, then you may prefer the stability of a fixed-rate mortgage.
Components of adjustable-rate mortgages
Adjustable-rate mortgages have three primary components: an index, margin, and calculated interest rate.
The interest rate for an ARM is based on an index that measures the lender's ability to borrow money. While the specific index used may vary depending on the lender, some common indexes include U.S.
Treasury Bills and the Federal Housing Finance Board's Contract Mortgage Rate. One thing all indexes have in common, however, is that they cannot be controlled by the lender.