Do you know your loan?
Nationwide Advantage Mortgage® offers tips to prepare for ARMs to adjust
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2007
Liz Christopher 614-249-7705
Des Moines, IA– A record number of adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) are coming due and homeowners are feeling the pressure. Planning and basic education on the mortgage product can help homeowners survive their adjustment and be prepared for possible payment shocks.
“With an ARM loan, timing is key,” said Paul Swan, President of Nationwide Advantage Mortgage. “Some people wait until their rate resets before they do anything. But, it may benefit you to act early, especially if interest rates are expected to rise.”
When your ARM loan approaches its first rate reset, here are some tips to consider:
- Make sure you understand how an ARM works. The adjusted rate of an ARM is determined by adding together the current index and the margin. The margin is determined by your lender at loan closing and will never change; however, the index fluctuates. Lenders may look at a variety of common indexes or use its own cost of funds as an index to determine the adjusted rate. To better understand how your payments may fluctuate, find out what index your lender uses and where it is published. Also, review the CHARM booklet that was recently released by the Office of Thrift Supervision at www.ots.treas.gov/docs/7/777006.html. This booklet provides detailed information on how ARMs work.
- Review all of the rate adjustment terms. Many ARMs have periodic adjustment caps and lifetime caps, which limit the amount your interest rate can increase periodically and in total over the life of the loan. Commonly, there is a lower percentage interest rate cap on the first rate adjustment and a higher lifetime cap on the interest rate above the original Note rate. If you’re unable to locate your rate adjustment terms, contact your mortgage lender for assistance.
- Review all the terms of your current loan. In addition to the rate terms of your loan, you should also review any other terms that may influence your decision to continue your current ARM loan or refinance. Common terms you should look for in your loan documents include prepayment penalties and balloon payments.
Know your options:
- Continue your ARM loan. After reviewing your loan and rate adjustment terms, it may make sense to continue your ARM loan and manage the risk
- Refinance. Be sure you see the total picture before making a decision. The lowest rates are not always the best deal. Lender fees, discount points, and the schedule for principal reduction are some major points to consider. Also,while today’s 30-year fixed rates may be higher than your current ARM rate, they are still among the lowest in history and would offer long-term stability.
- Consult with a reputable mortgage professional who will provide you guidance in comparing the options above.
About Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company:
Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company has originated and serviced single-family residential loans at its West Des Moines headquarters since 1987. It offers mortgage products in 49 states and the District of Columbia through a centralized direct lending call center, loan officers in six regional locations and its correspondent and wholesale lending channels. The company also services mortgage loans in all 50 states. Nationwide Advantage Mortgage is a subsidiary of Nationwide, one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world with more than $160 billion in assets. Nationwide Advantage Mortgage prides itself on speed, simplicity and savings. Its mortgage solutions feature free 10-minute loan decisions, competitive rates, reduced fees and a dramatically simplified application process. For more information, visit www.NationwideAdvantage.com or call 800-811-5385.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $160 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #104 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark, On Your Side and Nationwide Advantage Mortgage are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company 7760 Office Plaza Drive S. West Des Moines, IA 50266-2336