The Federal Reserve Board Consumer Handbook on ADJUSTABLERATE MORTGAGES Table of contents What is an ARM? ....................................................................................................... 3 Mortgage shopping worksheet .................................................................................................................. 4 How ARMs work: the basic features Initial rate and payment .................................................................................................................... 5 The adjustment period ........................................................................................................................ 5 The index ......................................................................................................................... 5 The margin ....................................................................................................................... 6 Interestrate caps ......................................................................................................................... 6 Payment caps ......................................................................................................................... 8 ..................................................................................................................... 5 Types of ARMs Hybrid ARMs ......................................................................................................................................... 9 Interestonly ARMs ............................................................................................................................... 9 Paymentoption ARMs .......................................................................................................................... 9 ................................................................................................................................ Consumer cautions Discounted interest rates ....................................................................................................................... 10 Payment shock .................................................................................................................................... 10 Negative amortization.when you owe more money than you borrowed ..................................................................................................................... 11 Prepayment penalties and conversion ................................................................................................... 12 Graduatedpayment or steppedrate loans ............................................................................................ 13 ................................................................................................................................... 10 Where to get information Disclosures from lenders ....................................................................................................................... 13 Newspapers and the Internet ............................................................................................................... 13 Advertisements .................................................................................................................................... 13 ........................................................................................................................... 13 Glossary .................................................................................................................................................... 14 Where to go for help ................................................................................................................................. 16 More resources and ordering information ................................................................................................ 17 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Online Documents, Inc. Page 2 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 This information was prepared by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of Thrift Supervision in consultation with the following organizations: AARP American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators America’s Community Bankers Center for Responsible Lending Conference of State Bank Supervisors Consumer Federation of America Consumer Mortgage Coalition Consumers Union Credit Union National Association Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council Federal Trade Commission Financial Services Roundtable Independent Community Bankers Association Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Insurance Companies of America National Association of Federal Credit Unions National Association of Home Builders National Association of Mortgage Brokers National Association of Realtors National Community Reinvestment Coalition National Consumer Law Center National Credit Union Administration TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: The Federal Reserve Board Consumer Handbook on ADJUSTABLERATE MORTGAGES This handbook gives you an overview of ARMs, explains how ARMs work, and discusses some of the issues that you might face as a borrower. It includes: ways to reduce the risks associated with ARMs; pointers about advertising and other sources of information, such as lenders and other trusted advisers; a glossary of important ARM terms; and a worksheet that can help you ask the right questions and figure out whether an ARM is right for you. (Ask lenders to help you fill out the worksheet so you can get the information you need to compare mortgages.) An adjustablerate mortgage (ARM) is a loan with an interest rate that changes. ARMs may start with lower monthly payments than fixedrate mortgages, but keep in mind the following: Yourmonthlypayments couldchange.They couldgoup.sometimesbyalot.evenif interestratesdon’tgoup.Seepage10. Your payments may not go down much, or at all.even if interest rates go down. See page 7. You could end up owing moremoney than you borrowed.even if you make all your payments on time. See page 11. If you want to pay off your ARM early to avoid higher payments, you might pay a penalty. See page 12. You need to compare the features of ARMs to find the one that best fits your needs. The Mortgage Shopping Worksheet on page 4 can help you get started. What is an ARM? An adjustablerate mortgage differs from a fixedrate mortgage in many ways. Most importantly, with a fixedrate mortgage, the interest rate stays the same during the life of the loan. With an ARM, the interest rate changes periodically, usually in relation to an index, and payments may go up or down accordingly. To compare two ARMs, or to compare an ARM with a fixedrate mortgage, you need to know about indexes, margins, discounts, caps on rates and payments, negative amortization, payment options, and recasting (recalculating) your loan. You need to consider the maximum amount your monthly payment could increase. Most importantly, you need to know what might happen to your monthly mortgage payment in relation to your future ability to afford higher payments. Lenders generally charge lower initial interest rates for ARMs than for fixedrate mortgages. At first, thismakes the ARM easier on your pocketbook than would be a fixedrate mortgage for the same loan amount. Moreover, your ARM could be less expensive over a long period than a fixedrate mortgage.for example, 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 in the future. It’s a tradeoff.you get a lower initial rate with an ARM in exchange for assuming more risk over the long run. Here are some questions you need to consider: Is my income enough.or likely to rise enough.to cover higher mortgage payments if interest rates go up? Will I be taking on other sizable debts, such as a loan for a car or school tuition, in the near future? How long do I plan to own this home? (If you plan to sell soon, rising interest rates may not pose the problem they do if you plan to own the house for a long time.) Do I plan to make any additional payments or pay the loan off early? Online Documents, Inc. Page 3 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Mortgage Shopping Worksheet Ask your lender or broker to help you fill out this worksheet. FixedRate ARM 1 ARM 2 ARM 3 Mortgage Name of lender or broker and contact information Mortgage amount Loan term (e.g., 15 years, 30 years) Loan description (e.g., fixed rate, 3/1 ARM, paymentoption ARM, interestonly ARM) Basic Features for Comparison Fixedrate mortgage interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) (For graduatedpayment or steppedrate mortgages, use the ARM columns.) ARM initial interest rate and APR How long does the initial rate apply? What will the interest rate be after the initial period? ARM features How often can the interest rate adjust? What is the index and what is the current rate? (See chart on page 6.) What is the margin for this loan? Interestrate caps What is the periodic interestrate cap? What is the lifetime interestrate cap? How high could the rate go? How low could the interest rate go on this loan? What is the payment cap? Can this loan have negative amortization (that is, increase in size)? What is the limit to how much the balance can grow before the loan will be recalculated? Is there a prepayment penalty if I pay off this mortgage early? How long does that penalty last? How much is it? Is there a balloon payment on this mortgage? If so, what is the estimated amount and when would it be due? What are the estimated origination fees and charges for this loan? Monthly Payment Amounts What will the monthly payments be for the first year of the loan? Does this include taxes and insurance? Condo or homeowner’s association fees? If not, what are the estimates for these amounts? What will my monthly payment be after 12 months if the index rate. .stays the same? .goes up 2%? .goes down 2%? What is the 1 year? What is the 3 years? What is the 5 years? most my minimum monthly payment could be aftermost my minimum monthly payment could be aftermost my minimum monthly payment could be after Online Documents, Inc. Page 4 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Lenders and Brokers Mortgage loans are offered bymany kinds of lenders.such as banks,mortgage companies, and credit unions. You can also get a loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers .arrange. loans; in other words, they find a lender for you. Brokers generally take your application and contact several lenders, but keep in mind that brokers are not required to find the best deal for you unless they have contracted with you to act as your agent. How ARMs work: the basic features Initial rate and payment The initial rate and payment amount on an ARM will remain in effect for a limited period.ranging from just 1 month to 5 years or more. For some ARMs, the initial rate and payment can vary greatly from the rates and payments later in the loan term. Even if interest rates are stable, your rates and payments could change a lot. If lenders or brokers quote the initial rate and payment on a loan, ask them for the annual percentage rate (APR). If the APR is significantly higher than the initial rate, then it is likely that your rate and payments will be a lot higher when the loan adjusts, even if general interest rates remain the same. The adjustment period With most ARMs, the interest rate and monthly payment change every month, quarter, year, 3 years, or 5 years. The period between rate changes is called the is called a 1year ARM, and the interest rate and payment can change once every year; a loan with a 3year adjustment period is called a 3year ARM. adjustment period. For example, a loan with an adjustment period of 1 year Loan Descriptions Lenders must give you written information on each type of ARM loan you are interested in. The information must include the terms and conditions for each loan, including information about the index and margin, how your rate will be calculated, how often your rate can change, limits on changes (or caps), an example of how high your monthly payment might go, and other ARM features such as negative amortization. The index The interest rate on an ARM is made up of two parts: the index and the margin. The index is a measure of interest rates generally, and the margin is an extra amount that the lender adds. Your payments will be affected by any caps, or limits, on how high or low your rate can go. If the index rate moves up, so does your interest rate in most circumstances, and you will probably have to make higher monthly payments. On the other hand, if the index rate goes down, your monthly payment could go down. Not all ARMs adjust downward, however.be sure to read the information for the loan you are considering. Lenders base ARM rates on a variety of indexes. Among the most common indexes are the rates on 1year constantmaturity Treasury (CMT) securities, the Cost of Funds Index (COFI), and the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). A few lenders use their own cost of funds as an index, rather than using other indexes. You should ask what index will be used, how it has fluctuated in the past, and where it is published.you can find a lot of this information in major newspapers and on the Internet. To help you get an idea of how to compare different indexes, the following chart shows a few common indexes over an 11year period (1996.2008). As you can see, some index rates tend to be higher than others, and some change more often. But if a lender bases interestrate adjustments on the average value of an index over time, your interest rate would not change as dramatically. Online Documents, Inc. Page 5 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: The margin To set the interest rate on an ARM, lenders add a few percentage points to the index rate, called the amount of the margin may differ from one lender to another, but it is usually constant over the life of the loan. The indexed rate called a the fully indexed rate would be margin. Thefullyis equal to the margin plus the index. If the initial rate on the loan is less than the fully indexed rate, it isdiscounted index rate. For example, if the lender uses an index that currently is 4% and adds a 3% margin, Index 4% + Margin 3% ______________________ _____ Fully indexed rate 7% If the index on this loan rose to 5%, the fully indexed rate would be 8% (5% + 3%). If the index fell to 2%, the fully indexed rate would be 5% (2% + 3%). Some lenders base the amount of the margin on your credit record. the better your credit, the lower the margin they add.and the lower the interest you will have to pay on your mortgage. In comparing ARMs, look at both the index and margin for each program. NoDoc/LowDoc Loans When you apply for a loan, lenders usually require documents to prove that your income is high enough to repay the loan. For example, a lender might ask to see copies of your most recent pay stubs, income tax filings, and bank account statements. In a .nodoc. or .lowdoc. loan, the lender doesn’t require you to bring proof of your income, but you will usually have to pay a higher interest rate or extra fees to get the loan. Lenders generally charge more for nodoc/lowdoc loans. Interestrate caps An interestrate cap places a limit on the amount your interest rate can increase. Interest caps come in two versions: period to the next after the first adjustment, and a lifetime cap. A periodic adjustment cap, which limits the amount the interest rate can adjust up or down from one adjustmentA lifetime cap, which limits the interestrate increase over the life of the loan. By law, virtually all ARMs must have Periodic adjustment caps Let’s suppose you have an ARM with a periodic adjustment interestrate cap of 2%. However, at the first adjustment, the index rate has risen 3%. The following example shows what happens. Selected Index Rates for ARMs over an 11Year Period 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 8% 6 4 2 Online Documents, Inc. Page 6 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 1Year London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI) 1Year ConstantMaturity Treasury (CMT) Securities TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Examples in This Handbook All examples in this handbook are based on a $200,000 loan amount and a 30year term. Payment amounts in the examples do not include taxes, insurance, condominium or homeowner association fees, or similar items. These amounts can be a significant part of your monthly payment. In this example, because of the cap on your loan, your monthly payment in year 2 is $138.70 per month lower than it would be without the cap, saving you $1,664.40 over the year. Some ARMs allow a larger rate change at the first adjustment and then apply a periodic adjustment cap to all future adjustments. A drop in interest rates does not always lead to a drop in your monthly payments. With some ARMs that have interestrate caps, the cap may hold your rate and payment below what it would have been if the change in the index rate had been fully applied. The increase in the interest that was not imposed because of the rate cap might carry over to future rate adjustments. This is called though the index rate has stayed the same or declined. The following example shows how carryovers work. Suppose the index on your ARM 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 8% 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, even if there has been no change in the index during the second year, the rate still increase by 1%, to 9%. 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. carryover. So at the next adjustment date, your payment might increase even 1st year’s monthly payment at 6% 2nd year’s monthly payment at 9% (without cap) 2nd year’s monthly payment at 8% (with cap) Difference in 2nd year between payment with cap and payment without = $138.70 per month $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 $1,600 $1,199.10 $1,600.42 $1,461.72 Online Documents, Inc. Page 7 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 $1,600 $1,199.10 $1,461.72 $1,597.84 1st year at 6% If index rises 3%, to 9%, 2nd year with 2% rate cap at 8% If index stays the same for the 3rd year, at 9% TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 1st year at 6% 10th year at 12% (with lifetime cap) 10th year at 15% (without lifetime cap) $1,199.10 $1,998.84 $2,409.11 Online Documents, Inc. Page 8 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 Lifetime caps The next example shows how a lifetime rate cap would affect your loan. Let’s say that your ARM starts out with a 6% rate and the loan has a 6% lifetime cap.that is, the rate can never exceed 12%. Suppose the index rate increases 1% in each of the next 9 years. With a 6% overall cap, your payment would never exceed $1,998.84.compared with the $2,409.11 that it would have reached in the tenth year without a cap. Payment caps In addition to interestrate caps, many ARMs.including paymentoption ARMs (discussed on page 9).limit, or cap, the amount your monthly payment may increase at the time of each adjustment. For example, if your loan has a payment cap of 7½%, your monthly payment won’t increase more than 7½% over your previous payment, even if interest rates rise more. For example, if your monthly payment in year 1 of your mortgage was $1,000, it could only go up to $1,075 in year 2 (7½% of $1,000 is an additional $75). Any interest you don’t pay because of the payment cap will be added to the balance of your loan. A payment cap can limit the increase to your monthly payments but also can add to the amount you owe on the loan. (This is called Let’s assume that your rate changes in the first year by 2 percentage points, but your payments can increase no more than 7½% in any 1 year. The following graph shows what your monthly payments would look like. While your monthly payment will be only $1,289.03 for the second year, the difference of $172.69 each month will be added to the balance of your loan and will lead to negative amortization. Some ARMs with payment caps do not have periodic interestrate caps. In addition, as explained below, most paymentoption ARMs have a builtin recalculation period, usually every 5 years. At that point, your payment will be recalculated (lenders use the term are at the end of year 5, your payment will be recalculated for the remaining 25 years. The payment cap does not apply to this adjustment. If your loan balance has increased, or if interest rates have risen faster than your payments, your payments could go up a lot. negative amortization, a term explained on page 11.)recast) based on the remaining term of the loan. If you have a 30year loan and you 1st year at 6% 2nd year at 8% (with 7½% payment cap) 2nd year at 8% (without payment cap) Difference in monthly payment = $172.69 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 $1,600 $1,199.10 $1,289.03 $1,461.72 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Online Documents, Inc. Page 9 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 Types of ARMs Hybrid ARMs Hybrid ARMs often are advertised as 3/1 or 5/1 ARMs.you might also see ads for 7/1 or 10/1 ARMs. These loans are a mix.or a hybrid.of a fixedrate period and an adjustablerate period. The interest rate is fixed for the first few years of these loans.for example, for 5 years in a 5/1 ARM. After that, the rate may adjust annually (the 1 in the 5/1 example), until the loan is paid off. In the case of 3/1 or 5/1 ARMs: the first number tells you how long the fixed interestrate period will be, and the second number tells you how often the rate will adjust after the initial period. You may also see ads for 2/28 or 3/27 ARMs.the first number tells you how many years the fixed interestrate period will be, and the second number tells you the number of years the rates on the loan will be adjustable. Some 2/28 and 3/27 mortgages adjust every 6 months, not annually. Interestonly (IO) ARMs An interestonly (IO) ARM payment plan allows you to for3 to 10years.This allows you tohavesmaller monthly paymentsforaperiod.After that,yourmonthly payment will increase. even if interest rates stay the same.because you must start paying back the principal as well as the interest each month. For some IO loans, the interest rate adjusts during the IO period as well. For example, if you take out a 30year mortgage loan with a 5year IO payment period, you can pay only interest for 5 years and then you must pay both the principal and interest over the next 25 years. Because you begin to pay back the principal, your payments increase after year 5, even if the rate stays the same. Keep in mind that the longer the IO period, the higher your monthly payments will be after the IO period ends. pay only the interest for a specified number of years,typically Paymentoption ARMs A paymentoption ARM is an adjustablerate mortgage that allows you to choose among several payment options each month. The options typically include the following: payments are based on a set loan term, such as a 15, 30, or 40year payment schedule. you make your payments. amount you owe on your mortgage. If you choose this option, the amount of any interest you do not pay will be added to the principal of the loan, a traditional payment of principal and interest, which reduces the amount you owe on your mortgage. Thesean interestonly payment, which pays the interest but does not reduce the amount you owe on your mortgage asaminimum (or limited) payment that may be less than the amount of interest due thatmonth andmay not reduce theincreasing the amount you owe and your future monthly payments, and increasing the $800 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 $1,600 Monthly interestonly payments in year 1 at 6% Monthly principal and interest payments in year 6 at 6% Monthly principal and interest payments in year 6 at 8% $1,000.00 $1,228.60 $1,543.63 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan. In addition, if you pay only the minimum payment in the last few years of the loan, you may owe a larger payment at the end of the loan term, called a The interest rate on a paymentoption ARM is typically very low for the first few months (for example, 2% for the first 1 to 3 months). After that, the interest rate usually rises to a rate closer to that of other mortgage loans. Your payments during the first year are based on the initial low rate, meaning that if you only make the minimum payment each month, it will not reduce the amount you owe and it may not cover the interest due. The unpaid interest is added to the amount you owe on the mortgage, and your loan balance increases. This is called after making many payments, you could owe more than you did at the beginning of the loan. Also, as interest rates go up, your payments are likely to go up. Paymentoption ARMs have a builtin recalculation period, usually every 5 years. At this point, your payment will be recalculated (or .recast.) based on the remaining term of the loan. If you have a 30year loan and you are at the end of year 5, your payment will be recalculated for the remaining 25 years. If your loan balance has increased because you have made only minimum payments, or if interest rates have risen faster than your payments, your payments will increase each time your loan is recast. At each recast, your new minimum payment will be a fully amortizing payment and any payment cap will not apply. This means that your monthly payment can increase a lot at each recast. Lenders may recalculate your loan payments before the recast period if the amount of principal you owe grows beyond a set limit, say 110% or 125% of your original mortgage amount. For example, suppose you made only minimum payments on your $200,000 mortgage and had any unpaid interest added to your balance. If the balance grew to $250,000 (125% of $200,000), your lender would recalculate your payments so that you would pay off the loan over the remaining term. It is likely that your payments would go up substantially. More information on interestonly and paymentoption ARMs is available in a Federal Reserve Board brochure, balloon payment.negative amortization. This means that even InterestOnly Mortgage Payments and PaymentOption ARMs.Are They for You? www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/mortgages.htm). (available online at Consumer cautions Discounted interest rates Many lenders offer more than one type of ARM. Some lenders offer an ARM with an initial rate that is lower than their fully indexed ARM rate (that is, lower than the sum of the index plus the margin). Such rates.called discounted rates, start rates, or teaser rates.are often combined with large initial loan fees, sometimes called rates after the initial discounted rate expires. Your lender or broker may offer you a choice of loans that may include .discount points. or a .discount fee.. You may choose to pay these points or fees in return for a lower interest rate. But keep in mind that the lower interest rate may only last until the first adjustment. If a lender offers you a loan with a discount rate, don’t assume that means that the loan is a good one for you. You should carefully consider whether you will be able to afford higher payments in later years when the discount expires and the rate is adjusted. Here is an example of how a discounted initial rate might work. Let’s assume that the lender’s fully indexed 1year ARM rate (index rate plus margin) is currently 6%; the monthly payment for the first year would be $1,199.10. But your lender is offering an ARM with a discounted initial rate of 4% for the first year. With the 4% rate, your firstyear’s monthly payment would be $954.83. With a discounted ARM, your initial payment will probably remain at $954.83 for only a limited time.and any savings during the discount period may be offset by higher payments over the remaining life of the mortgage. If you are considering a discount ARM, be sure to compare future payments with those for a fully indexed ARM. In fact, if you buy a home or refinance using a deeply discounted initial rate, you run the risk of payment shock, negative amortization, or prepayment penalties or conversion fees. points, and with higher Payment shock Payment shock may occur if your mortgage payment rises sharply at a rate adjustment. Let’s see what would happen in the second year if the rate on your discounted 4% ARM were to rise to the 6% fully indexed rate. Online Documents, Inc. Page 10 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: As the example shows, even if the index rate were to stay the same, your monthly payment would go up from $954.83 to $1,192.63 in the second year. Suppose that the index rate increases 1% in 1 year and the ARM rate rises to 7%. Your payment in the second year would be $1,320.59. That’s an increase of $365.76 in your monthly payment. You can see what might happen if you choose an ARM because of a low initial rate without considering whether you will be able to afford future payments. If you have an interestonly ARM, payment shock can also occur when the interestonly period ends. Or, if you have a paymentoption ARM, payment shock can happen when the loan is recast. The following example compares several different loans over the first 7 years of their terms; the payments shown are for years 1, 6, and 7 of the mortgage, assuming you make interestonly payments or minimum payments. The main point is that, depending on the terms and conditions of your mortgage and changes in interest rates, ARM payments can change quite a bit over the life of the loan.so while you could save money in the first few years of an ARM, you could also face much higher payments in the future. Negative amortization.When you owe more money than you borrowed Negative amortization means that the amount you owe increases even when you make all your required payments on time. It occurs whenever your monthly mortgage payments are not large enough to pay all of the interest due on your mortgage.meaning the unpaid interest is added to the principal on your mortgage and you will owe more than you originally borrowed. This can happen because you are making only minimum payments on a paymentoption mortgage or because your loan has a payment cap. Year 1 $1,199.10 Year 6 Year 7 Year 1 $954.83 Year 6 $1,165.51 Year 7 $1,389.51 Year 1 $666.68 Year 6 $1,288.60 Year 7 $1,536.29 Year 1 $739.24 Year 6 $1,603.10 Year 7 $1,708.22 30year fixed 5/1 ARM 5/1 IO ARM Paymentoption mortgage $954.83 $1,192.63 $1,320.59 $800 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 Year 1 with discounted initial rate at 4% Year 2 at 6% Year 2 at 7% $600 $800 $1,000 $1,200 $1,400 $1,600 $1,800 Online Documents, Inc. Page 11 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: For example, suppose you have a $200,000, 30year paymentoption ARM with a 2% rate for the first 3 months and a 6% rate for the remaining 9 months of the year. Your minimum payment for the year is $739.24, as shown in the previous graph. However, once the 6% rate is applied to your loan balance, you are no longer covering the interest costs. If you continue to make minimum payments on this loan, your loan balance at the end of the first year of your mortgage would be $201,118.or $1,118 more than you originally borrowed. Because payment caps limit only the amount of payment increases, and not interestrate increases, payments sometimes do not cover all the interest due on your loan. This means that the unpaid interest is automatically added to your debt, and interestmay be charged on that amount.Youmightowe the lendermore later in the loan termthan you didat the beginning. A payment cap limits the increase in your monthly payment by deferring some of the interest. Eventually, you would have to repay the higher remaining loan balance at the interest rate then in effect. When this happens, there may be a substantial increase in your monthly payment. Some mortgages include a cap on negative amortization. The cap typically limits the total amount you can owe to 110% to 125% of the original loan amount. When you reach that point, the lender will set the monthly payment amounts to fully repay the loan over the remaining term. Your payment cap will not apply, and your payments could be substantially higher. You may limit negative amortization by voluntarily increasing your monthly payment. Be sure you know whether the ARM you are considering can have negative amortization. Home Prices, Home Equity, and ARMs Sometimes home prices rise rapidly, allowing people to quickly build equity in their homes. This can make some people think that even if the rate and payments on their ARM get too high, they can avoid those higher payments by refinancing their loan or, in the worst case, selling their home. It’s important to remember that home prices do not always go up quickly.they may increase a little or remain the same, and sometimes they fall. If housing prices fall, your home may not be worth as much as you owe on the mortgage. Also, you may find it difficult to refinance your loan to get a lower monthly payment or rate. Even if home prices stay the same, if your loan lets you make minimum payments (see paymentoption ARMs on page 9), you may owe your lender more on your mortgage than you could get from selling your home. Prepayment penalties and conversion If you get an ARM, you may decide later that you don’t want to risk any increases in the interest rate and payment amount. When you are considering an ARM, ask for information about any extra fees you would have to pay if you pay off the loan early by refinancing or selling your home, and whether you would be able to convert your ARM to a fixedrate mortgage. Prepayment penalties Some ARMs, including interestonly and paymentoption ARMs, may require you to pay special fees or penalties if you refinance or pay off the ARM early (usually within the first 3 to 5 years of the loan). Some loans have prepayment penalties for any reason (because you refinance or sell your home, for example). Other loans have meaning that you will pay an extra fee or penalty only if you refinance the loan, but you will not pay a penalty if you sell your home. Also, some loans may have prepayment penalties even if you make only a partial prepayment. Prepayment penalties can be several thousand dollars. For example, suppose you have a 3/1 ARM with an initial rate of 6%. At the end of year 2 you decide to refinance and pay off your original loan. At the time of refinancing, your balance is $194,936. If your loan has a prepayment penalty of 6 months’ interest on the remaining balance, you would owe about $5,850. Sometimes there is a tradeoff between having a prepayment penalty and having lower origination fees or lower interest rates. The lender may be willing to reduce or eliminate a prepayment penalty based on the amount you pay in loan fees or on the interest rate in the loan contract. If you have a hybrid ARM.such as a 2/28 or 3/27 ARM.be sure to compare the prepayment penalty period with the ARM’s first adjustment period. For example, if you have a 2/28 ARM that has a rate and payment adjustment after hard, meaning that you will pay an extra fee or penalty if you pay off the loan during the penalty periodsoft prepayment penalties, Online Documents, Inc. Page 12 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: the second year, but the prepayment penalty is in effect for the first 5 years of the loan, it may be costly to refinance when the first adjustment is made. Most mortgages let you make additional principal payments with your monthly payment. In most cases, this is not considered prepayment, and there usually is no penalty for these extra amounts. Check with your lender to make sure there is no penalty if you think you might want to make this type of additional principal prepayment. Conversion fees Your agreement with the lender may include a clause that lets you convert the ARM to a fixedrate mortgage at designated times. When you convert, the new rate is generally set using a formula given in your loan documents. The interest rate or upfront fees may be somewhat higher for a convertible ARM. Also, a convertible ARM may require a fee at the time of conversion. Graduatedpayment or steppedrate loans Some fixedrate loans start with one rate for 1 or 2 years and then change to another rate for the remaining term of the loan. While these are not ARMs, your payment will go up according to the terms of your contract. Talk with your lender or brokerandreadtheinformation providedtoyoutomakesureyouunderstandwhenandbyhowmuch thepayment willchange. Where to get information Disclosures from lenders You should receive information in writing about each ARM program you are interested in before you have paid a nonrefundable fee. It is important that you read this information and ask the lender or broker about anything you don’t understand.index rates, margins, caps, and other ARM features such as negative amortization. After you have applied for a loan, you will get more information from the lender about your loan, including the APR, a payment schedule, and whether the loan has a prepayment penalty. The APR is the cost of your credit as a yearly rate. It takes into account interest, points paid on the loan, any fees paid to the lender for making the loan, and any mortgage insurance premiums you may have to pay. You can compare APRs on similar ARMs (for example, compare APRs on a 5/1 and a 3/1 ARM) to determine which loan will cost you less in the long term, but you should keep in mind that because the interest rate for an ARM can change, APRs on ARMs cannot be compared directly to APRs for fixedrate mortgages. You may want to talk with financial advisers, housing counselors, and other trusted advisers. Contact a local housing counseling agency, call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tollfree at 8005694287, or visit www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hccprof14.cfm to find an agency near you. Also, see our assistance. Where to go for help on page 16, for a list of federal agencies that can provide more information and Newspapers and the Internet When buying a home or refinancing your existing mortgage, remember to shop around. Compare costs and terms, and negotiate for the best deal. Your local newspaper and the Internet are good places to start shopping for a loan. You can usually find information on interest rates and points for several lenders. Since rates and points can change daily, you’ll want to check information sources often when shopping for a home loan. The Mortgage Shopping Worksheet on page 2 may also help you. Take it with you when you speak to each lender or broker, and write down the information you obtain. Don’t be afraid to make lenders and brokers compete with each other for your business by letting them know that you are shopping for the best deal. Advertisements Any initial information you receive about mortgages probably will come from advertisements or mail solicitations from builders, real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, and lenders. Although this information can be helpful, keep in mind that these are marketing materials.the ads and mailings are designed to make the mortgage look as attractive as possible. Online Documents, Inc. Page 13 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: These ads may play up low initial interest rates and monthly payments, without emphasizing that those rates and payments could increase substantially later. So, get all the facts. Any ad for an ARM that shows an initial interest rate should also show how long the rate is in effect and the APR on the loan. If the APR is much higher than the initial rate, your payments may increase a lot after the introductory period, even if interest rates stay the same. Choosing a mortgage may be the most important financial decision you will make. You are entitled to have all the information you need to make the right decision. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about ARM features when you talk to lenders, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, sellers, and your attorney, and keep asking until you get clear and complete answers. Glossary Adjustablerate mortgage (ARM) A mortgage that does not have a fixed interest rate. The rate changes during the life of the loan based on movements in an index rate, such as the rate for Treasury securities or the Cost of Funds Index. ARMs usually offer a lower initial interest rate than fixedrate loans. The interest rate fluctuates over the life of the loan based on market conditions, but the loan agreement generally sets maximum and minimum rates. When interest rates increase, generally your loan payments increase; and when interest rates decrease, your monthly payments may decrease. Annual percentage rate (APR) The cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. For closedend credit, such as car loans or mortgages, the APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees, and other credit charges that the borrower is required to pay. An APR, or an equivalent rate, is not used in leasing agreements. Balloon payment A large extra payment that may be charged at the end of a mortgage loan or lease. Buydown When the seller pays an amount to the lender so that the lender can give you a lower rate and lower payments, usually for an initial period in an ARM. The seller may increase the sales price to cover the cost of the buydown. Buydowns can occur in all types of mortgages, not just ARMs. Cap, interest rate A limit on the amount your interest rate can increase. The two types of interest rate caps are caps next. cap. periodic adjustmentand lifetime caps. Periodic adjustment caps limit the interestrate increase from one adjustment period to theLifetime caps limit the interestrate increase over the life of the loan. All adjustablerate mortgages have an overall Cap, payment A limit on the amount that your monthly mortgage payment on a loan may change, usually a percentage of the loan. The limit can be applied each time the payment changes or during the life of the mortgage. Payment caps may lead to negative amortization because they do not limit the amount of interest the lender is earning. Conversion clause A provision in some ARMs that allows you to change the ARM to a fixedrate loan at some point during the term. Conversion is usually allowed at the end of the first adjustment period. At the time of the conversion, the new fixed rate is generally set at one of the rates then prevailing for fixedrate mortgages. The conversion feature may be available at extra cost. Discounted initial rate (also known as a start rate or teaser rate) In an ARM with a discounted initial rate, the lender offers you a lower rate and lower payments for part of the mortgage term (usually for 1, 3, or 5 years). After the discount period, the ARM rate will probably go up depending on the index rate. Discounts can occur in all types of mortgages, not just ARMs. Online Documents, Inc. Page 14 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Equity In housing markets, equity is the difference between the fair market value of the home and the outstanding balance on your mortgage plus any outstanding home equity loans. In vehicle leasing markets, equity is the positive difference between the tradein or market value of your vehicle and the loan payoff amount. Hybrid ARM These ARMs are a mix.or a hybrid.of a fixedrate period and an adjustablerate period. The interest rate is fixed for the first several years of the loan; after that period, the rate can adjust annually. For example, hybrid ARMs can be advertised as 3/1 or 5/1.the first number tells you how long the fixed interestrate period will be and the second number tells you how often the rate will adjust after the initial period. For example, a 3/1 loan has a fixed rate for the first 3 years and then the rate adjusts once each year beginning in year 4. Index The economic indicator used to calculate interestrate adjustments for adjustablerate mortgages or other adjustablerate loans. The index rate can increase or decrease at any time. rates for ARMs over an 11year period, See also the chart on page 6, Selected indexfor examples of common indexes that have changed in the past. Interest The rate used to determine the cost of borrowing money, usually stated as a percentage and as an annual rate. Interestonly (I/O) ARM Interestonly ARMs allow you to pay only the interest for a specified number of years, typically between 3 and 10 years. This arrangement allows you to have smaller monthly payments for a prescribed period. After that period, your monthly payment will increase.even if interest rates stay the same.because you must start paying back the principal and the interest each month. For some IO loans, the interest rate adjusts during the IO period as well. Margin The number of percentage points the lender adds to the index rate to calculate the interest rate of an adjustablerate mortgage (ARM) at each adjustment. Negative amortization Occurs when the monthly payments in an adjustablerate mortgage loan do not cover all the interest owed. The interest that is not paid in the monthly payment is added to the loan balance. This means that even after making many payments, you could owe more than you did at the beginning of the loan. Negative amortization can occur when an ARM has a payment cap that results in monthly payments that are not high enough to cover the interest due or when the minimum payments are set at an amount lower than the amount you owe in interest. Paymentoption ARM An ARM that allows the borrower to choose among several payment options each month. The options typically include (1)atraditionalamortizingpaymentofprincipalandinterest,(2)aninterestonlypayment, or (3) aminimum(or limited)payment that may be less than the amount of interest due that month. If the borrower chooses the minimumpayment option, the amount of any interest that is not paid will be added to the principal of the loan. See also Negative amortization on page 15. Points (also called discount points) One point is equal to 1 percent of the principal amount of a mortgage loan. For example, if the mortgage is $200,000, one point equals $2,000. Lenders frequently charge points in both fixedrate and adjustablerate mortgages to cover loan origination costs or to provide additional compensation to the lender or broker. These points usually are paid at closing and maybepaidbytheborrower or thehome seller, or may be splitbetween them. Insome cases, the money neededtopaypoints canbe borrowed (incorporated in the loan amount), but doing so will increase the loan amount andthe total costs. Discount points (also called discount fees) are points that the borrower voluntarily chooses to pay in return for a lower interest rate. Prepayment penalty Extra fees that may be due if you pay off your loan early by refinancing the loan or by selling the home. The penalty is usually limited to the first 3 to 5 years of the loan’s term. If your loan includes a prepayment penalty, make sure you Online Documents, Inc. Page 15 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: understand the cost. Compare the length of the prepayment penalty period with the first adjustment period of the ARM to see if refinancing is costeffective before the loan first adjusts. Some loans may have a prepayment penalty even if you make a partial prepayment. Ask the lender for a loan without a prepayment penalty and the cost of that loan. Principal The amount of money borrowed or the amount still owed on a loan. Where to go for help For additional information or to file a complaint about a bank, savings and loan, credit union, or other financial institution, contact one of the following federal agencies, depending on the type of institution. Statechartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System Federal Reserve Consumer Help PO Box 1200 Minneapolis, MN 55480 (888) 8511920 (toll free) (877) 7668533 (TTY) (toll free) (877) 8882520 (fax) (toll free) email: ConsumerHelp@FederalReserve.gov www.FederalReserveConsumerHelp.gov Federally insured statechartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Consumer Response Center 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite 100 Kansas City, MO 64108 (877) ASKFDIC (8772753342) (toll free) email: consumeralerts@fdic.gov www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/ccc/index.html National banks (banks with .National. in the name or .N.A.. after the name) and nationalbankowned mortgage companies Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Customer Assistance Group 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450 Houston, TX 77010 (800) 6136743 (toll free) (713) 3364301 (fax) email: customer.assistance@occ.treas.gov www.occ.treas.gov www.helpwithmybank.gov Savings and loan associations (federally chartered and some state chartered) Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Consumer Affairs 1700 G Street NM, 6th Floor Washington, DC 20552 (800) 8426929 (toll free) (800) 8778339 (TTY) (toll free) www.ots.treas.gov Online Documents, Inc. Page 16 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM LOAN #: Federally chartered credit unions (those with .Federal. in the name) National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Office of Public and Congressional Affairs 1775 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (800) 7551030 (toll free) (703) 5186409 (fax) email: consumerassistance@ncua.gov www.ncua.gov/ConsumerInformation/index.htm Statechartered credit unions Contact the regulartory agency in the state in which the credit union is chartered. Finance companies, stores, auto dealers, mortgage companies, and other lenders, and credit bureaus Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center  240 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20580 (877) FTCHELP (8773824357) (toll free) (866) 6534261 (TTY) (toll free) www.ftc.gov www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft More resources and ordering information Looking for the Best Mortgage.Shop, Compare, Negotiate (at www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/mortgage/mortb_1.htm) InterestOnly Mortgage Payments and PaymentOption ARMs.Are They for You? (at www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/mortgage_interestonly/) A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage LockIns (at www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/lockins/default.htm) A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Settlement Costs (at www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/settlement/default.htm) Know Before You Go . . .To Get a Mortgage: A Guide to Mortgage Products and a Glossary of Lending Terms (at www.bos.frb.org/consumer/knowbeforeyougo/mortgage/mortgage.pdf) Partners Online Mortgage Calculator (at www.frbatlanta.org/partnerssoftwareonline/dsp_main.cfm) Formore information onmortgage and other financial topics, includinginteractivecalculators, visit www.federalreserve.gov/ consumerinfo. To order print copies of brochures, visit www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/order.htm. Online Documents, Inc. Page 17 of 17 GBKCHJ 1001 TRANSPARENT LINE OF TEXT TO FIX SWIFTVIEW ORIENTATION PROBLEM
