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1. Fixed Rate Mortgages
Fixed rate mortgages are based upon the national average, but vary from state to state. These mortgages possess the same interest rate throughout the duration of the loan. Consumers desire these loans if they plan to remain in their homes for the duration of the loan. For example, the consumer obtains a mortgage when interest rates are at their lowest and then interest rates rise. The consumer does not have to worry about their mortgage rates increasing because the interest rate is “fixed”. If the interest rates decrease, the consumer may have the option of refinancing, if the costs of refinancing are less than the overall savings.
These loans are typically available in 15 year and 30 year loan options. The rates are higher than variable rate loans. The longer the term, the higher the rate, because banks will lose money as purchasing power decreases.
2. Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Adjustable rates are typically lower than fixed rates when the loan is initially established. ARMs may adjust on a monthly basis in keeping with the Federal Reserve or on a bi-annual or annual basis. The consumer should be aware that as interest rates increase, so will the monthly mortgage. While ARMs may be appealing because the rates are lower, ARMs can also be a gamble. ARMs may be beneficial to investors or consumers who only plan to keep the loan for a short period of time. During this time, the consumer can enjoy low interest rates.
3. Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages offer the consumer a low interest rate for a certain period of time. Then, they increase or adjust to the current rate after fixed rate period has elapsed. These rates can be an entire point lower than 30 year fixed rates. Therefore, there may be significant savings in terms of interest paid to the lender. Some common hybrid ARMs are 1 year fixed, 1 year adjustable rates (1/1); 5 years fixed, 1 year adjustable (5/1); and 7 years fixed, 1 year adjustable (7/1). The adjustable rates will be based upon the federal rate when the fixed term elapses. These loans are also appealing to investors or home buyers who plan to sell in a short period of time.
4. FHA Loans
FHA secures loans made by private lenders. These loans are provided to Americans who have a low to middle income. This loan is available to those people who cannot afford a large down payment or higher interest rates. Interest rates for these loans are lower than the National Average for a Fixed Rate Loan. Individual banks determine the interest rates; therefore, the consumer should do research prior to accepting a loan at a particular bank. The consumer can receive a loan for as little as 3 percent down and also receive as much as 6 percent on closing costs. This means that the consumer can borrow up to 97 percent of the cost of the home.
5. VA Loans
VA loans are offered to veterans. The loans assist veterans in obtaining 100 percent financing. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is the governing body that establishes the rules for the recipients of the VA loans. They also insure the VA loans and establish the terms of the loans offered to veterans.
Comparison of Mortgage Rates
Fixed rate mortgages are best for individuals who intend to remain in their homes for the duration of the loan. The interest rate may be higher than an ARM; however, there will be no hidden mortgage increases over the duration of the loan.
During the fixed rate period of a hybrid ARM, the consumer can enjoy the low interest rates and low mortgage payments. However, individuals who are not prepared may see an increase in their mortgage premiums that they cannot afford.
ARM mortgage interest rates change each month with the Federal Reserve. This loan is typically recommended for a short term investor who will sell quickly.
Fixed rate loans are by far the safest loans for consumers over a period of time.