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Floating Mortgages

Mortgages are now available at an average of 3% per annum, but there is a way to lower that rate – take out a loan with an adjustable rate, the amount of which depends on the state of the interbank market. True, there is a risk that the adjustable rate is higher than fixed, but who does not take risks does not drink champagne.

An adjustable interest rate consists of two parts: a fixed interest rate on the loan and a certain benchmark index, which will affect the final interest rate. If the index goes up, the total interest rate goes up and the borrower must pay more. If the index goes down, the borrower can save on interest payments. At intervals, the index is revised, and each time the borrower pays the loan based on the new value. Typically, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) are on a 5/1 or 7/1 basis. That means that the interest rate on the loan is fixed for the first five or seven years, and then it can change depending on current market conditions.

Statistics show that in the United States, the percentage of loans with adjustable rates is 15%. The following indexes are used for loans: SOFR (for ARMs after June 2020), LIBOR (for ARMs before June 2020), or a U.S. Treasury Note rate. However, not every borrower wants to constantly monitor rate changes and worry about how it might affect the loan. That is why adjustable interest rates are generally used by financially savvy people who are not afraid of a possible interest rate hike and know how to take advantage of this product.
For the time being, there is a clear upward trend in indexes. And in this environment, the benefit of using an adjustable-rate loan is questionable. If you do decide to take an ARM, it is best to choose the shortest possible term for your loan.

Some people take a loan for the long term, but with the expectation to repay it early. If at that time the interest rate is acceptable and even goes down, you can save a lot of money on interest. However, in this case, you should pay attention to the conditions for early repayment, as in most cases the banks charge for early repayment of the mortgage.

By choosing a long credit period with an adjustable rate, you can reduce the monthly payments. Your overall overpayments will increase, but your monthly household budget will be less strained. If the adjustable rate is relatively stable, stretching out the loan term will also result in lower monthly payments. But beyond that, if the index begins to fall, monthly payments will also decrease. The monthly payment will be recalculated based on the new rate, the loan balance at re-calculation time, and the number of payments remaining to the end of the loan term.

It is worth noting that by choosing an adjustable interest rate, you should be prepared for the fact that the index will constantly be “feverish”. A slight increase in interest rates in some periods may be offset by a decrease in rates later- which will allow you to stay ahead and save on interest. But possibly not. To avoid worrying, it is a good idea to choose a fixed-rate mortgage.

LBC Mortgage specialists are always happy to consult and discuss with you the pros and cons of adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages and help you choose the best option that is right for you.

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