18+ Pros And Cons Of Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (Explained)

A home loan that starts with a low fixed-interest “teaser” rate for 3 years to 10 years, followed by periodic adjustments is known as an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM.

With these kinds of mortgages, your payments might fluctuate with interest rate changes, depending upon the terms and conditions of your individual loan and a benchmark interest rate index chosen by your lender.

In some cases, choosing ARM can bring a lot of savings. You must always research well before you start to apply for one.

Advantages of Adjustable- Rate mortgageDisadvantages of Adjustable- Rate mortgage
Low payments in the fixed rate periodInterest rates might also go up  
FlexibleBuying too many houses with an Adjustable-rate mortgage
Rate and payment capsMakes it difficult to plan the budget
The payback amount can decreaseYou can owe more than the worth of the home
Lower interest rate
Could Buy more expensive house
Adjustable-rate mortgage feature flexible payments

Advantages of Adjustable- Rate mortgage

Low payments in the fixed rate period

In the initial, fixed rate phase, a hybrid ARM offers potential savings. Most used ARM terms are 3-year, 5-year, 7-year and 10-year.

For example, with a 5-year ARM, your introductory interest rate is locked in for 5 years. That gives you the assurance of predictable, low payments for five years.


It can be a good idea to opt for ARM if you have plans for a great change in your near life. As an instance- if you have plans to sell the house or move.

One can enjoy the ARM’s fixed rate period and sell before the less predictable adjustable phase starts.

Rate and payment caps

Adjustable-rate mortgages may have numeral types of caps which limit the increment on the mortgage rate and also the size of the payment.

These include caps on the amount of the rate can change every time it adjusts and the total rate change over the loan’s life.

The payback amount can decrease

If someone is planning to gamble from the current market conditions and the downfall of the rates of interest, an Adjustable-rate mortgage is the best choice for them.

If there is a fall in the interest rate and goes down to the index on which the Adjustable-rate mortgage is benchmarked, there are possibilities that the monthly payment can also drop. This is one of the main reasons for considering Adjustable-rate mortgages. 

Lower interest rate

Adjustable-rate mortgage interest rate is typically lower than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. One will straight away get the benefit from this kind of loan by paying the lower interest.

One can also benefit by refinancing or selling the house before the rate on the Adjustable-rate mortgage goes up at the end of the fixed-rate period in the initial stages. 

Could Buy more expensive house

As Adjustable-rate mortgages normally feature a lower starting interest rate than fixed-rate mortgages, your payments will be lower as well.

You might use the fact of lower payments to your advantage and may buy a bigger house with upgraded features and finishes and high-end gadgets and features.

Adjustable-rate mortgage features flexible payments

Adjustable-rate mortgages come with flexible payments which helps you to pay off your mortgage in a fast or slow manner.

As an example, if one cannot pay the full payment, they may only pay the interest-only payment, which also helps you to keep the mortgage current. One can also pay more than the monthly amount and lower the principal balance of the loan.

Disadvantages of Adjustable- Rate mortgage

Interest rates might also go up

While someone is waiting for the interest rates to drop, they can also go up instead which would affect your Adjustable-rate mortgage negatively.

A higher rate can definitely make your monthly payment go up significantly once the fixed rate part is over. In this case people fail to afford the mortgage.

Buying too many houses with an Adjustable-rate mortgage

Previously we saw that we can but bigger houses with proper planning, however, one might also end up buying many houses and the rates of payback may go up significantly. That is the time when you will regret every decision made to consider buying larger house.

Makes it difficult to plan the budget

This kind of loans are not good for long-term financial plans. You cannot predict how much the interest rate can change unless the fixed interest part of the loan. Although lower payment options can be tempting, try to pay as much as you can each month.

You can owe more than the worth of the home

If you always choose the lower payment option on your ARM, it could end up badly; you might even find yourself totally opposite and end up owing more than your home is worth.

Although lower payment options can be tempting, try to pay as much as you can each month. 

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