MortgagesFinancingandCredit.org

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
Interest-Rate Caps and Carryovers

 

An interest-rate cap places a limit on the amount your interest rate can increase. Interest caps come in two versions:

  • Periodic caps, which limit the interest-rate increase from one adjustment period to the next
  • Overall caps, which limit the interest-rate increase over the life of the loan.

By law, virtually all adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) must have an overall cap. Many have a periodic cap.

Let us suppose you have an ARM with a periodic interest-rate cap of 2%. At the first adjustment, the index rate goes up 3%. The example shows what happens.

  

ARM Interest Rate

Monthly Payment

  

1st year @ 10%

$ 570.42

  

2nd year @ 13% (without cap)

$ 717.12

  

2nd year @ 12% (with cap)

$ 667.30

  

Difference in 2nd year between payment with
cap and payment without = $ 49.82

A drop in interest rates does not always lead to a drop in monthly payments. In fact, with some ARMs that have interest-rate caps, your payment amount may increase even though the index rate has stayed the same or declined. This may happen when an interest-rate cap has been holding your interest rate down below the sum of the index plus margin. If a rate cap holds down your interest rate, increases to the index that were not imposed because of the cap may carry over to future rate adjustments.

The following example shows how carryovers work. The index increased 3% during the first year. Because this ARM limits rate increases to 2% at any one time, the rate is adjusted by only 2%, to 12% for the second year. However, the remaining 1% increase in the index carries over to the next time the lender can adjust rates. So when the lender adjusts the interest rate for the third year, the rate increases 1%, to 13%, even though there is no change in the index during the second year.

  

ARM Interest Rate

Monthly Payment

  

1st year @ 10%

$ 570.42

  

If index rises 3% . . .
2nd year @ 12% (with 2% rate cap)

$ 667.30

  

If index stays the same for the 3rd year @ 13%

$ 716.56

  

Even though the index stays the same in 3rd
year, payment goes up $49.26

In general, the rate on your loan can go up at any scheduled adjustment date when the lender's standard ARM rate (the index plus the margin) is higher than the rate you are paying before that adjustment.

The next example shows how a 5% overall rate cap would affect your loan.

  

ARM Interest Rate

Monthly payment

  

1st year @ 10%

$ 570.42

  

10th year @ 15% (with cap)

$ 813.00

Let us say that the index rate increases 1% in each of the next nine years. With a 5% overall cap, your payment would never exceed $813.00 -- compared to the $1,008.64 that it would have reached in the tenth year based on a 19% interest rate.

Page 4 of 7  
<
Back   Next
>
Google
 
Web mortgagesfinancingandcredit.org
The information provided in this website is not legal advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. This website is intended to provide a basic understanding of this information in summary form. This information may not be comprehensive, is subject to change, and may not apply to all individual circumstances. Any information received here should be confirmed with the appropriate government agencies or with an attorney, particularly as it relates to your individual circumstances. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use.