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Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland CU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight! To learn about retirements, investments and financial planning, check out Invested now.

Wrap Your ARMs Around a Lower Interest Rate

By K-Staff


"You used to say the word ARM and the borrower would stop you in your tracks."

– Abigail Lucero, Mortgage Sales Manager

Let’s be honest, in the past few decades, ARM loans have gotten a bad rap. However, with interest rates more than doubling in the past 12 months, ARM loans have become more attractive because of their dramatically lower rate. In today’s environment, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage generally ranges from 6.00 to 8.00 percent, depending on your credit score. With an ARM loan, the interest rate can be as low as 4.50 percent.

So, what is an ARM loan and how does it work?

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan in which the interest rate may change periodically, usually based upon a pre-determined index. The ARM loan has an initial fixed-rate period that is typically 3 to 10 years. The interest rate usually changes (adjusts) each year thereafter once the initial fixed period ends.

"In simple terms, the first number you will see is the duration of time for which the interest rate is fixed, and the second number is the frequency of the adjustment."

– Abigail Lucero, Mortgage Sales Manager

Here’s a quick example: An ARM loan that is 10/1 means that your interest rate will be fixed for 10 years and change every year thereafter. That’s a decade without any change in the rate! How high can the rate go up? Great question! Your interest rate is based on the 1-Year Treasury Security Rate index plus a margin. It cannot increase or decrease more than 2.00 percentage points at each adjustment, and it cannot increase or decrease more than 6.00 percentage points over the term of the loan.

It is important to note: rates change daily, and your rate and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may vary depending on loan terms, including, but not limited to: points, loan amount, your credit score, mortgage/rent payment history, property valuation and property occupancy.

What are the benefits to an ARM loan?

There are countless benefits to an ARM loan, but here are a few of the biggest ones:

  • Flexible loan options
  • Lower interest rate
  • Lower payments
  • Easier to qualify
  • Up to 10 years with a fixed rate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I refinance before the rate adjustment? Yes! You can refinance at any point if the rate is more attractive. Kirtland Credit Union’s local experts will discuss the profitability of the refinance at any time.

Is there a pre-payment penalty? Nope! There is no pre-payment penalty.

Ready to get started? Our team is ready to meet you! Our ABQ Lending Experts are ready to assist you in making your homebuying experience quick and easy. Visit for more information.

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