There are benefits and negatives to both a fixed rate and an ARM mortgage, but for the borrower who is thinking about refinancing their ARM into a fixed rate, there are many things to consider. By Refinancing your ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage you will avoid the payment increase when your ARM interest rate begins to adjust. You will also lock into a more stable payment for the term of your mortgage.
Rates are rising rapidly for short term, adjustable rate mortgages. If your loan is adjusting, the payments could increase by up to 50% or more. You may be able to substantially reduce your adjusted payment by locking in a fixed rate today. Some Fixed Rate mortgages even have payment options as low as 1.95%
If you are currently in a sub-prime 2/28 ARM you may want to consider refinancing to a fixed rate. If property values are starting to drop in your area It is even more critical that you refinance out of your ARM in the near future.
Refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage can be advisable when your interest rate is going to reset higher. Having a fixed rate mortgage will provide stability in a rising interest rate environment.
Many people take adjustable rate mortgages because credit challenges prevented them from having a low fixed rate. If you have made all of your mortgage payments on time and your credit score has increased you may be able to refinance into a Fixed Rate Mortgage without increasing your payments.
If affordability is a determining factor in deciding your mortgage structure, ask your loan officer or mortgage broker if structuring your loan as an Adjustable Rate will give you more flexibility.
Changing your Adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage loan will give you peace of mind knowing that the interest rate will never change.
When deciding to refinance your adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) into a fixed rate mortgage, you first need to decide how long you think you will be in your home. If you are in the second year of a 5 year ARM, and only see yourself in the house for another 2-3 years, then you may want to wait until it is absolutely necessary to make the change. Your mortgage broker can advise you as to what the market may do, but they will not know what is in store for years to come. Concurrently they will also not know the number of years you will be in the home, along with any changes in your life that may require you to move.
If you are in a situation in which you MUST refinance, pay close attention to what is going on in the market. Make sure you are dealing with a savvy and honest loan officer or Mortgage Broker. Sometimes the yield curve becomes inverted, and you can actually refinance into a 30 year fixed mortgage, at a lower or equal rate than a 3 or 5 year ARM!
You need to find what your break even point is for your current loan. Have you already broken even? If not how much more will it cost you to continue in your current loan? Have an honest discussion with a broker to decide what the best course of action is.
In an economic climate where short term rates and long term rates are about the same, it may be better to refinance adjustable rate mortgages into fixed rate loans. Home buyers are willing to share the risks of an adjustable rate mortgage when the adjustable rate is significantly lower than fixed rate mortgages. If such advantage no longer exists, fixed rate mortgage is often a preferred choice.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM's) are good loans if they are made for the right situation. Usually, ARM's will give you a lower interest rate than a traditional 30 year fix. The only reason to refinance an ARM, is when it comes time to adjust. No one wants to see a huge jump in their payments. Make sure you stay on top of your adjustment date!