Fixed rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages Explained

Lance Hulsey  |  January 17, 2023

Fixed rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages Explained

A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan. This means that your monthly payments will stay the same, assuming you have a fixed-rate mortgage. This can be beneficial if you are on a tight budget and need to know exactly how much your mortgage payment will be each month.

On the other hand, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that can change over time. The initial interest rate is usually lower than that of a fixed-rate mortgage, but it can increase or decrease over the life of the loan. This means that your monthly payments can go up or down, depending on market conditions.

Pros of a fixed-rate mortgage:

  • Your monthly payments will stay the same
  • You can budget more easily
  • You may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate if mortgage rates are low

Cons of a fixed-rate mortgage:

  • You may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan if mortgage rates go down
  • You may not be able to take advantage of lower rates if you need to refinance

Pros of an adjustable-rate mortgage:

  • The initial interest rate may be lower than that of a fixed-rate mortgage
  • You may be able to qualify for a larger loan if you have a lower initial interest rate

Cons of an adjustable-rate mortgage:

  • Your monthly payments can go up or down, which can make budgeting difficult
  • The interest rate can increase significantly over time, which can make your mortgage payments unaffordable
  • You may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan if rates go up

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