Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM)s are loans whose interest rate can vary during the loan's term. These loans usually have a fixed interest rate for an initial period of time and then can adjust based on current market conditions. The initial rate on an ARM is lower than on a fixed rate mortgage which allows you to afford and hence purchase a more expensive home. Adjustable rate mortgages are usually amortized over a period of 30 years with the initial rate being fixed for anywhere from 1 month to 10 years. All ARM loans have a "margin" plus an "index." Margins on loans range from 1.75% to 3.5% depending on the index and the amount financed in relation to the property value. The index is the financial instrument that the ARM loan is tied to such as: 1-Year Treasury Security, LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), Prime, 6-Month Certificate of Deposit (CD) and the 11th District Cost of Funds (COFI).
When the time comes for the ARM to adjust, the margin will be added to the index and typically rounded to the nearest 1/8 of one percent to arrive at the new interest rate. That rate will then be fixed for the next adjustment period. This adjustment can occur every year, but there are factors limiting how much the rates can adjust. These factors are called "caps". Suppose you had a "3/1 ARM" with an initial cap of 2%, a lifetime cap of 6%, and initial interest rate of 6.25%. The highest rate you could have in the fourth year would be 8.25%, and the highest rate you could have during the life of the loan would be 12.25%.
Some ARM loans have a conversion feature that would allow you to convert the loan from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. There is a minimal charge to convert; however, the conversion rate is usually slightly higher than the market rate that the lender could provide you at that time by refinancing.
All loan approvals are conditional, not guaranteed and subject to lender review of all information. Loan is conditionally approved when lender has issued approval in writing, but until all conditions are met, loan cannot be funded. Specified rates may not be available for all borrowers. Rate subject to change with market conditions. C2 Financial Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Mortgage Broker/Lender. In California, This licensee is performing acts for which a real estate license is required. C2 Financial Corporation is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate, Broker # 01821025; NMLS # 135622. For state licensing information outside of California, click here. C2 Financial Corporation is approved to originate VA and FHA loans, and has the ability to broker such loans to VA and FHA approved lenders. C2 Financial Corporation is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the VA.