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March 13, 2018

Potential Disadvantages of an Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Filed under: Mortgage — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:46 am

There are both advantages and disadvantages to adjustable rate mortgages. Your lender may be pushing an adjustable rate mortgage for any number of reasons, including that they are more profitable for the lending company. If you only look at the advantages of an adjustable rate mortgage, they can sound pretty good. You start with a lower interest rate, which means lower monthly payments. Because of the lower payments and rate, you may be able to afford a larger mortgage. Your lender may be pitching it as a way to buy a bigger house than you could otherwise afford, or suggest that it’s a good way to get into the housing market. Most commonly, the lender may suggest that you should take the adjustable rate mortgage for now, and refinance later when the rates adjust up. While all of these things are true, there are also cons to an adjustable rate mortgage. It’s important that you consider both sides of the issue before making a decision on the type of mortgage that you want to take out.What an adjustable rate mortgage is Unlike a fixed mortgage, which comes with a specific interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan, an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that fluctuates according to a specified index. Your adjustable rate may be tied to the interest rate on Treasury Bonds, to the Consumer Price Index or to a number of other indicators. If that index rises, your interest rate – and your monthly payment – will rise. If it drops, so will your interest rate and monthly payment. Why adjustable rate mortgages can be attractive When lenders approve a fixed rate mortgage, they are placing a finite limit on the amount of money they’ll make from that mortgage. An adjustable rate mortgage offers the lender the possibility of making more money if interest rates rise over the life of the loan – which is a good possibility. To offset the limit on fixed rate mortgages and make adjustable rate mortgages more attractive to home buyers, lenders typically offer lower interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages than they do on fixed rate mortgages. In essence, they are offering borrowers a more attractive rate in return for assuming the risk that their mortgage rate and monthly payment will rise over the term of the loan.The down side of adjustable rate mortgages When looked at in that light, some of the cons of an adjustable rate mortgage become obvious.1. Interest rates can go up, raising monthly payments as well. Most borrowers understand and accept that their monthly mortgage payment may rise, but are willing to take the chance that their mortgage will continue to remain affordable. It’s important to know the caps on interest rate rises by which your lender is bound. When you shop around for the best adjustable mortgage, it’s important to look further than the initial interest rate so that you understand exactly what expenses you may be agreeing to.2. Over time, payments nearly always surpass the payments on a fixed rate loan for the same amount. If you’re planning to stay in your home for the long haul, this can be an important consideration. Depending on the specific loan agreement that you make, it may be several years before the interest rate and monthly payment reach and surpass the monthly payment for a fixed mortgage. If you’re only planning to stay in your new home for a few years, this can work to your advantage, because you’ll be paying lower monthly payments for most of that time. If, on the other hand, this is your dream home where you plan to live the rest of your life, a fixed rate mortgage is probably more economical.3. Fluctuating payments can make it difficult for you to make a budget. While many ARMs only adjust once a year, some may adjust as often as once a month. More frequent adjustments can make it very difficult to fit your monthly mortgage payment into your budget because you will only know what your next month’s payment will be when you receive your notice. Even in the longer term, a fluctuating mortgage payment can make it difficult for you to plan long-term savings and investments.4. If fixed rate mortgages become favorable enough that you decide to switch, you’ll have to refinance and incur the costs and fees related to refinancing your mortgage.5. The annual interest cap may not apply to the first interest adjustment, and it may be a big one. Many lenders offer very low initial interest rates on ARMs to attract first time home buyers. Often, these mortgages exempt the first increase from the annual cap on adjustments. This can be especially difficult if the ARM was one of the hybrids that offered a low fixed rate for one to five years, with a jump to market interest rates at the end of the specified period. When that happens, your monthly mortgage payment can suddenly rise by hundreds or even more than a thousand dollars.

Brain Jenkins is a freelance writer who writes about topics and financial products pertaining to the mortgage industry such an adjustable rate mortgage available from a mortgage company.

September 3, 2014

Money Saving Potential in Tracker Mortgages

Filed under: Mortgage — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm

One very underused resource in the mortgage industry is the tracker mortgage or rate tracker mortgage. Due to a general lack of knowledge about tracker mortgages, borrowers tend to go for fixed rate or variable rate mortgages. However, with the uncertainty surrounding interest rates in today’s economy, a tracker mortgage may be a good choice for many potential mortgage customers who are concerned with being trapped in a high fixed rate mortgage.

Tracker mortgages or rate tracker mortgages are an alternative to fixed rate mortgages. It’s called a tracker mortgage because your interest rate will “track” the Bank of England’s base rate.

With a tracker mortgage, the interest rate is anchored to the BoE’s base rate, and your lender will fix your rate at a percentage above the base rate for a period of 2-10 years, or in some cases, it will be a tracker for the entire term of the mortgage. Because your rate is linked to the base rate, whenever the base rate moves up, down, or remains unchanged, yours will do the same.

The advantage of a tracker mortgage is that you are not tied into a single interest rate for the entire term of the mortgage. This means that your interest rate will be able to move up and down along with the base rate. This is unlike a fixed rate mortgage in which you will have the advantage if you’ve got a fixed rate that is lower than the current base rate, but if the base rate dips below your fixed rate, you’ll lose money.

Tracker rate mortgage rates are revised on a monthly basis. The BoE Monetary Policy Committee meets each month to weigh factors such as inflation, the housing market, consumer debt, and consumer spending. Once they consider these factors, they decide whether the base rate needs to be increased, decreased, or whether it’s best left unchanged.

While interest rates should be an exceedingly important part of you of which type of mortgage to go for, it is not the only thing that you need to consider. While having the right type of interest rate can save you a lot of money, if you don’t pay attention to factors like application fees, valuation fees, early termination penalties, and loan flexibility, your are likely to lose a lot of money. All of these different facets of a mortgage are dependent on the lender you choose to work with.

If you think a tracker mortgage is the right type of mortgage for you, take a moment to fill out a short informational form, and a SimplyFinance representative will contact you soon to discuss your tracker mortgage options.We’ll introduce you to the best tracker mortgage lender for your specific financial goals and needs.

September 3, 2012

Potential Risks of a Bi-weekly Mortgage

Filed under: Mortgage — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:48 am

At first it might sound like a really good deal, a way to pay off your mortgage in advance, while at the same time reducing the amount that you have to pay at any single point. Bi-weekly mortgage companies are growing in popularity due to their convenience and the savings that they seem to offer over a person’s standard mortgage, but just because they are becoming a more common payment alternative to regular monthly payment doesn’t mean that they are without risk.How Bi-Weekly Mortgages Work

Bi-weekly mortgages are actually more of a sort of payment plan for your existing mortgage than they are a new loan… you make payments equal to one half of your total mortgage payment every two weeks to the bi-weekly mortgage company and place that money into a trust fund or money market account. The company in turn makes your actual mortgage payment for you when it comes due. Of course, the benefit of this is that you end up paying in the equivalent of 13 mortgage payments each year instead of the usual 12, reducing the total amount that you owe on your mortgage by that amount (and likewise saving you the interest that you would pay on that amount as well. Depending on the amount that you borrowed for your mortgage, this can result in you paying off your loan years in advance and can save you a significant amount of money.Costs of a Bi-Weekly Mortgage

Unfortunately, bi-weekly mortgages aren’t without their problems. One of the more noticeable of these is the fact that the services offered by bi-weekly mortgage companies aren’t exactly free. There is generally a setup fee associated with the service, and sometimes an additional fee to set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account as well. Once automatic withdrawals have been set up, there is generally a small service charge associated with each withdrawal transaction. Some bi-weekly mortgage companies even charge an additional fee when your actual mortgage payment is made. While you will still end up saving both money and repayment time, you might find that the constant fees and service charges have taken away a significant portion of the savings that you were expecting.Potential Problems

The cost of using a bi-weekly mortgage company isn’t the only potential drawback to this sort of service. If you are not careful in choosing the company that you use, you may also end up having problems with your mortgage lender itself. While you’re making payments to the bi-weekly mortgage company, you are still legally the one responsible for making your mortgage payments. This means that if there’s some problem with the payment that the company makes or it’s late in arriving at the bank or mortgage lender’s office, you’ll still be liable for any late fees or other penalties that might arise from the payment problem. You should be able to correct the problem with the bi-weekly mortgage company afterwards, but even so you’ll still have to deal with the hassle and the up-front expense of having to cover those fees in the first place. In the case of major payment problems, you may even have to cover the cost of the full payment in order to keep from falling behind on your mortgage while the errors are sorted out.

Other problems that could occur might involve the account that your money is stored in itself; money market and trust fund accounts generally aren’t federally insured, so if there is a major account problem that results in the loss of funds there may be few options to recover your money without legal action. This is generally a worst-case scenario, but without some form of insurance for the funds you pay you will be left responsible for your mortgage payments while trying to recover any money lost.Increasing the Benefit, Reducing the Risk

One of the biggest risks that you take when using a bi-weekly mortgage, however, is simply the risk of paying that much money for something that you could do yourself just as easily. You can greatly increase your savings by working out your own bi-weekly mortgage equivalent, and should be able to pay off your mortgage even sooner. All that you need to do is take your usual mortgage payment and divide that amount by 12, then add that much to your mortgage payment when you make it each month. This will equal out to the equivalent of an extra payment each year, but because you’re paying it in each month you’ll save even more. Pay half of that into your own savings account every two weeks and you can earn interest on it as well.

About Author:

Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about issues pertaining to the mortgage industry like Mortgage Rate | Mortgage Lender

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