Skip to Content
Two people standing by the sun with their hands together heart shaped over the sunshine

News & Insights Blog

Latest Posts

January 03, 2024

Navigating 5-Year ARM Loans and ARM Mortgage Rates

Discover the benefits of 5-Year ARM Mortgage Rates in our comprehensive guide. Dive into the world of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages, exploring how MIDFLORIDA Credit Union offers affordable options without sacrificing stability. Learn about ARM nuances, qualification criteria, and find out if a 5-Year ARM aligns with your homeownership goals. Navigate the realm of ARMs for informed mortgage decisions.

This blog is for educational purposes only, not an offer of credit or advertisement for current loan terms. It does not provide legal advice. Refer to our loan web pages or consult professional advisors for specific information.

Starting on a path toward homeownership or refinancing? Understanding the intricacies of different mortgage types is essential—not just for saving money but to protect your largest investment.

Among the available choices for mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs or ARM loans) stand out as a significant option for many borrowers.

Let’s look into the world of ARMs, specifically on how the 5-year ARM mortgage rates can hold some of your best advantages for saving money and securing your loan.

Start your application with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

What is an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?

Unlike fixed-rate mortgages—where the interest rate remains constant throughout the loan term—ARMs have interest rates that fluctuate over time.

This change is typically tied to a financial index plus a set margin, reflecting broader economic trends.

ARM loans can be highly beneficial under certain economic conditions and personal financial scenarios. However, like any financial product of this caliber, they also carry unique risks and complexities.

A thorough comprehension of how ARMs work, their rate adjustment mechanisms and overall market trends is essential before making any commitment.

Understanding adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

ARM loans begin with an initial fixed-rate period, after which the rate adjusts at predetermined intervals. The initial rate is often lower than that of fixed-rate mortgages, making ARMs an attractive short-term option.

Types of ARMs: Focusing on 5-year ARM mortgage rates

Among various ARM types, the 5-year ARM is particularly popular—a fixed interest rate for the first five years, after which the rate adjusts annually.

This structure offers a balance between the lower initial rate of an ARM and the stability of a longer fixed-rate period, making it a compelling choice for many borrowers.

What are the current 5-year ARM mortgage rates?

The 5-year ARM mortgage rates are always going to vary—reflecting the variations in market conditions.

For the most current rates, consult a financial advisor or check with lending institutions for real-time information. You can also look online at trusted real estate and mortgage institutions.

Advantages of choosing an ARM loan

  • Lower initial payments: The initial lower interest rates of ARMs translate to lower monthly payments, providing affordability in the initial years.
  • Flexibility: ARMs are ideal for those who plan on moving or refinancing within the initial fixed-rate period, allowing them to benefit from the lower rates without the risk of significant rate increases.

Disadvantages of ARM mortgages

  • Interest rate risk: Post the fixed-rate period, the fluctuating interest rates can lead to higher payments, which might not be feasible for all borrowers.
  • Complexity: Understanding the index, margin, adjustment frequency and caps associated with ARMs can be challenging, requiring borrowers to be more financially savvy.

While 5-year ARM mortgage rates, in particular, can be an attractive option under the right circumstances, any ARM loan requires careful consideration of your long-term financial stability and understanding of the mortgage market.

The process of securing an ARM mortgage

Navigating the path to securing an ARM requires understanding its qualification criteria and the application steps, especially for a 5-year ARM.

How hard is it to get an ARM loan?

The qualification criteria for ARM loans are similar to those for traditional mortgages, with a few nuanced differences:

  1. Credit score: A robust credit score is essential. Generally, lenders are going to look more favorably on borrowers with higher credit scores for an ARM loan, given the risk of future rate increases.
  2. Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): This ratio measures your monthly debt against your income. Lenders typically look for a DTI that's somewhere below 43%.
  3. Income and employment verification: Steady income and employment history are critical. Lenders will check for consistent income and employment status to ensure you can handle potential rate increases.
  4. Down payment: While down payments can vary, a higher down payment might secure more favorable terms.
  5. Reserve funds: Having reserve funds to cover several months of mortgage payments can strengthen your application.

5 Steps to apply for a 5-Year ARM mortgage

  1. Research lenders: Start by researching various lenders to find the best rates and terms for a 5-year ARM.
  2. Pre-approval: Obtain pre-approval to understand how much you can borrow. This step involves submitting financial documents for preliminary review.
  3. Loan application: Once you select a property, complete the loan application. Provide detailed information and all required documentation.
  4. Loan processing and underwriting: The lender will process and underwrite your application, which includes verifying financial information and assessing the property's value.
  5. Closing: Once approved, the loan moves to closing, where you'll sign the final documents and complete the mortgage process.

Making an informed decision: Is an ARM right for you?

To determine if a 5-year ARM is suitable, assess your financial situation and goals.

Consider your current income, job stability and whether you plan to stay in your home long-term.

If you anticipate a significant income increase or plan to move or refinance before the rate adjusts, an ARM could be beneficial.

How to determine if a 5-year ARM meets your needs

Consider these points:

  • Flexibility vs. stability: Are you comfortable with potential rate changes, or do you prefer the predictability of a fixed rate?
  • Short-term savings: Will the initial lower payments of a 5-year ARM help you meet other financial goals?
  • Future goals: If you think you might sell or refinance before the fixed-rate period comes to an end, an ARM might be more advantageous.

Consider an ARM loan with MIDFLORIDA

ARM loans—particularly 5-year ARMs—offer a blend of initial affordability and potential long-term variability.

Remember, choosing the right mortgage type is a decision that impacts your financial future. Take time to understand your options, consult with a trusted lender and choose a path that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle needs.

With more than 60 branches from Tampa Bay to the Treasure Coast, up to Gainesville, and down to Naples, MIDFLORIDA offers a full range of banking products and services to Florida residents.

We pride ourselves on delivering a higher level of convenience and personal attention than you’ll find anywhere else—without sacrificing competitive rates.

Apply for a Mortgage

Get the home you want with the lender you trust.