Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM): Also known as a floating rate mortgage, or variable rate mortgage
ARM’s are a great marketing scheme, because the interest rates look attractive in the beginning but soon increase, making you stuck with payments you may not be able to afford. Sound familiar? This is how so many people got hurt recently and are now in foreclosure. Once the interest rates went up on the market index, the banks were able to raise the rates on home loans to a rate most people coun’t afford. This is a loan a lot of banks try to pass off, but are never worth it, Read the fine print! The interest rates start at an attractive rate that is lower than the fixed rate mortgages, but can be raised without your approval (because you already accepted their terms when you signed with them). They also usually have pre-payment penalties if you decide to pay off your loan and get out before they raise the rates too much. Ask your lender if there is a maximum percentage change allowed on the loan, and how much it is. This way you know how large your interest rate can get for the duration of the loan.
Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM):
This is the safest type of mortgage you can get. The rate may appear higher than an ARM, but its a fixed rate, and you know how much there charging you for the entire duration of the loan. Fixed rate mortgages are great to get when the market is depressed and interest rates are low. If you can lock in a great interest rate, take advantage of the market! Check with your lender to find out average fixed rate loans depending on your credit score and how long you want your term to be (typically 30 years, but can get 15 or 20 years instead).