Graphic saying Fixed Rate Mortgage vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgage and showing a scale.

Fixed rate mortgage vs. adjustable rate mortgage

Which type may be best for you?

There are two types of mortgages, fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Each mortgage type has its advantages and disadvantages.

What is a fixed rate mortgage?

A fixed rate mortgage loan locks in an interest rate for the life of your mortgage. This type of loan helps protect borrowers from rising interest rates. It also has a variety of term options, typically 15 or 30 years.

Fixed rate mortgage pros and cons

  • Pro: This loan type has predictable payments that may allow for easier budgeting.
  • Pro: The loan seems to be simple to understand and may be good for first-time buyers.
  • Con: You may pay more interest over the life of the loan.
  • Con: You have to refinance to get a lower interest rate, which can be costly.

Other considerations with a fixed rate mortgage

  • The future: How long do you think you will stay in your home: 20-30 years?
  • Budget: Do you want consistent monthly payments?
  • Interest rates: Are current mortgage rates historically low for this type?

What is an adjustable rate mortgage? (ARM)

An ARM has a fixed interest rate usually for about 5-, 7- or 10-year terms and then the rate adjusts annually. They generally have a cap on interest rates so they only increase to a certain point.

Adjustable rate mortgage pros and cons

  • Pro: The initial interest rate may be lower than on fixed rate mortgages.
  • Pro: The loan can be customized to individual borrowers.
  • Con: The interest rate on the loan may increase significantly.
  • Con: The loan could seem more complex than a fixed rate mortgage.
  • Con: The loan payment may fluctuate so you may not have consistent monthly payment amounts.
  • Con: You may be required to pay more interest over the life of the loan, depending on how adjustable rates fluctuate over time.

Other considerations with adjustable rate mortgages

  • The future: Do you plan to move or refinance before the adjustment period?
  • Budget: Can you handle the fluctuating monthly payments?
  • Interest rates: Are mortgage rates historically high?

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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