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What is an ARM?

With a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. But with an ARM the interest rate changes periodically, in relation to the index. Your payment could go up or down accordingly.

Lenders generally charge lower intial interest rates for ARMs than for fixed-rate mortgages. This makes the ARM easier on your pocketbook than a fixed-rate mortgage. It also means you may qualify for a larger loan because lenders sometimes make the decision about whether to extend a loan on the basis of your current income and first years payments. Your ARM could be less expensive over a long period of time if interest rates remain steady or move lower.

Against these advantages, you have to weigh the risk that an increase in interest rates would lead to higher monthly payments. It's a trade-off - you get a lower rate with an ARM in exchange for more risk.

Questions you need to consider before making the decision of ARM vs. fixed-rate:

Is my income likely to rise enough to cover higher payments if interest rates go up?

Will I be taking on other debts like car loans, school tuition, or credit card debt in the near future?

How long do I plan to own this home? (If not owning for a long period, then the ARM is a good choice)

Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company MC0002252

Missouri Licensed Mortgage Company 11-1849

NMLS # 245406