ARM loan rates

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Bankrate's lowest ARM rates for Oct. 19, 2021

Today's national ARM loan rate trends

For today, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the national average 5/1 ARM APR is 3.910%, flat compared to last week’s of 3.910%. The national average 5/1 ARM refinance APR is 3.980%, flat compared to last week’s of 3.980%.

Whether you're buying or refinancing, Bankrate often has offers well below the national average to help you finance your home for less. Compare rates here, then click "Next" to get started in finding your personalized quotes.

We’ve determined the national averages for mortgage and refinance rates from our most recent survey of the nation’s largest refinance lenders. Our own mortgage and refinance rates are calculated at the close of the business day, and include annual percentage rates and/or annual percentage yields. The rate averages tend to be volatile, and are intended to help consumers identify day-to-day movement.

Here's how it works:

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Today's ARM loan rates

Lenders nationwide provide weekday mortgage rates to our comprehensive national survey to bring you the most current rates available. Here you can see the latest marketplace average rates for a wide variety of refinance loans. The interest rate table below is updated daily to give you the most current refinance rates when choosing a home loan. APRs and rates are based on no existing relationship or automatic payments. For these averages, the customer profile includes a 740 FICO score and a single-family residence. To learn more, see understanding Bankrate rate averages.

Product Interest Rate APR
30-Year Fixed Rate 3.170% 3.340%
20-Year Fixed Rate 3.030% 3.190%
15-Year Fixed Rate 2.440% 2.680%
10/1 ARM Rate 3.360% 3.990%
7/1 ARM Rate 2.910% 3.820%
5/1 ARM Rate 2.800% 3.910%
30-Year VA Rate 2.820% 2.990%
30-Year FHA Rate 2.720% 3.590%
30-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate 3.170% 3.270%
15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate 2.450% 2.520%
7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate 3.090% 3.660%
5/1 ARM Jumbo Rate 2.950% 3.600%

at 6:30 AM

Top 5 Bankrate ARM lenders

  • Third Federal Savings Bank and Loan Association – Best bank lender
  • Amalgamated Bank – Best for low-credit score borrowers
  • Cardinal Financial Company – Best non-bank lender
  • Better.com – Best online lender
  • CFBank – Best overall

Methodology

Bankrate helps thousands of borrowers find mortgage and refinance lenders every day. To determine the top mortgage lenders, we analyzed proprietary data across more than 150 lenders to assess which on our platform received the most inquiries within a three-month period. We then assigned superlatives based on factors such as fees, products offered, convenience and other criteria. These top lenders are updated regularly.

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association – Best bank lender

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association is a bank and lender in 25 states and Washington, D.C., with branches in Ohio, its founding state, and Florida. The bank offers a suite of loans ranging from fixed- and adjustable-rate loans to bridge loans.

Strengths: At Third Federal Savings and Loan, you could pay as little as $295 in closing costs when you take out an adjustable-rate or other type of mortgage, as well as take advantage of a free 60-day rate-lock. The bank’s website lists daily 5/1 ARM rates and APRs, and allows you to sign up for a rate-watch email. Plus, if you find a competitor offering a lower ARM rate, Third Federal promises to beat it or pay you $1,000.

Weaknesses: There are rates for purchases and refinances displayed online for some states, and just refinance rates displayed for others.

Read Bankrate's Third Federal Savings and Loan Association user reviews

Amalgamated Bank – Best for low-credit score borrowers

Amalgamated Bank offers mortgages in 30 states and Washington, D.C.

Strengths: If you’re looking for current rates, Amalgamated Bank’s website is helpful, showcasing rates for both 7/1 conforming and 10/1 nonconforming ARMs. In addition, like other lenders, the bank offers low-down payment conventional loan programs to those who qualify.

Weaknesses: Not all borrowers have the opportunity to take advantage of Amalgamated Bank’s home loans, as the bank doesn’t offer mortgages nationwide.

Read Bankrate's Amalgamated Bank user reviews

Cardinal Financial Company – Best non-bank lender

Cardinal Financial Company, which you might also know as Sebonic Financial, is a mortgage lender offering the complete suite of loan products, including conventional and government-insured loans.

Strengths: Cardinal Financial’s Octane platform allows you to view different ARM rates and compare options, and helps guide you through the loan process.

Weaknesses: Cardinal Financial doesn’t offer adjustable rates on jumbo loans. Additionally, you won’t find interest rates or fees listed on the lender’s website; you’ll need to call or fill out a form online to get a rate quote and start the application process.

Read Bankrate's full Cardinal Financial Company mortgage review

Better.com – Best online lender

Better.com, also known as Better Mortgage, is a digital mortgage lender offering purchase and refinance options. The lender is one of Bankrate’s best picks overall and best refinance lenders.

Strengths: Whether you want to take out a fixed-rate mortgage or an ARM, Better.com offers instant loan estimates so you’ll know how much you can expect to pay in a matter of seconds. You also won’t have to worry about paying an origination fee.

Weaknesses: Better.com offers 10/6, 7/6 and 5/6 ARMs, which means the interest rate adjusts every six months, instead of annually. This can be a downside if you’re needing more stability in your budget.

Read Bankrate's full Better.com mortgage review

CFBank – Best overall

CFBank offers mortgages to borrowers in all 50 states, from conventional loans to interest-only, construction and bridge loans.

Strengths: CFBank doesn’t charge an origination or underwriting fee, and can close loans in as little as 10 days, and typically within 30.

Weaknesses: To get a rate quote, you’ll have to fill out a questionnaire with some basic information about your situation, and the bank’s branches are located in Ohio only.

Read Bankrate's full CFBank mortgage review

What is an ARM loan?

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, are home loans that come with a floating interest rate. In other words, the interest rate can change periodically throughout the life of the loan, unlike fixed-rate mortgages.

Since the rate on ARMs can increase or decrease, your monthly payment can, too. ARMs are structured with a fixed-rate period and a floating-rate period. During the first few years your rate is fixed, but after that period ends your rate becomes adjustable. These are typically 5/1 or 7/1 ARMs, which signify that the first five or seven years of the loan will have a fixed rate.

The time between rate changes — called the adjustment period — will appear in the fine print, so you’ll know exactly when it may go up or down. Typically, ARM interest rates adjust annually after the initial fixed period.

How do adjustable-rate mortgages work?

Adjustable-rate mortgages are loans with an interest rate that changes after an initial fixed period. The most common adjustable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 ARM, has a fixed period of 5 years at the start of the loan, which usually has a lower interest rate relative to market conditions. After that initial period ends, the /1 represents that the rate will adjust based on the prevailing market rate annually.

Mortgage rates are just above their all-time lows right now, so if you close on a 5/1 ARM tomorrow, your interest rate may rise, and your monthly payment along with it, once the annual adjustments start. But really no one can say what rates will look like five years from now.

When should you consider an ARM?

Adjustable-rate loans are usually best for borrowers who plan to move before the fixed period ends, or who are prepared to refinance once the loan starts adjusting.

The benefits of an ARM usually include low interest rates during the initial fixed stage, but once the rate adjustments start, it can be more difficult to budget for your payments, especially if the market pushes your interest rates up.

Most ARMs take 30 years to fully amortize, so you could be stuck with up to 25 years of variable payments if you stay put and don’t refinance to a fixed loan.

Is an ARM better than a fixed-rate mortgage?

There are pros and cons of both ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages. Your financial goals will dictate which one makes sense for you.

ARMs generally have lower introductory rates compared with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. So, for someone who plans to sell their house, pay off the loan or refinance before the fixed-portion of the ARM expires (see above), then an ARM might be a cheaper option.

If you’re comparing ARM rates to shorter-term fixed-rate options, then you might find that those rates are about the same. The difference is that with ARMs you can spread the payment over 30 years, so you can get a low rate (on par with a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage) without the high monthly costs. The ARM option, in this scenario, might make sense if you don’t plan on staying in the house long-term.

Do ARM loans have a rate cap?

A rate cap puts a limit on how much your interest rate can go up.

There are two types of caps:

  • Period adjustment cap: how much your rate can go up or down within an adjustment period
  • Lifetime cap: limits rate increase throughout the lifetime of the loan (by law ARMs must have a lifetime cap)

Keep in mind that a drop in interest rates doesn’t mean your monthly payments will go down (or up) right away. Some lenders may hold on to some or all of the rate decline and move it over to the next adjustment period — referred to as a carryover.

For example, if your rate cap is 1 percentage point and interest rates went up by 2 percent, your lender can hold onto the “extra” 1 percent and increase your monthly payment in the future even if the index rate hasn’t gone up.

Are there any requirements associated with ARM loans?

ARM loans have a few requirements which are similar to other types of mortgages.

Loan amount: Typically, homeowners can borrow up to $510,400 for a conforming ARM (limits may be higher in areas with higher home prices). You can take on a jumbo ARM which exceeds the conforming loan limit, though both these types of loans can be harder to secure.

Credit history: The higher your credit score, the more likely you’ll be approved for a loan with competitive interest rates. Lenders will also look at other factors such as your payment history, other loans and income.

Down payment: Ideally, you’ll want to put down a 20 percent down payment to avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance) but most conventional ARM loans allow as little as a 5 percent down payment. Government backed loans such as FHA or VA loans may have even lower minimum down payment requirements.

What are the different types of ARM loans?

The most common types of ARMs are also known as hybrid ARMs. These have initial fixed-rate periods followed by a floating rate for the remainder of the loan. Hybrid ARMs include:

  • 5/1 ARM: The first 5 years have a fixed rate followed by a floating rate for the remainder of the loan.
  • 7/1 ARM: The first 7 years have a fixed rate followed by a floating rate for the remainder of the loan.
  • 10/1 ARM: The first 10 years have a fixed rate followed by a floating rate for the remainder of the loan.

Usually, 5/1 ARMs have the lowest interest rate of the bunch. For those who think they’ll refinance or sell within five years, this could be a cost-effective mortgage option.

Of course, it’s also a gamble. If your income or credit situation changes for the worse, you might not be able to refinance. And, if you can refinance, you might end up with a higher rate than if you would have gotten a fixed-rate loan in the first place.

VA and FHA ARMs

There are also VA and FHA ARMs which are basically the same loans, with the same qualifications and requirements as their fixed-rate counterparts, but with an adjustable rate.

If you know that you won’t keep the house longer than the initial period, you could end up saving money. If you stay with an ARM past the fixed-rate period, you run the risk of your rate rising (it could also fall if rates drop).

Learn more about adjustable-rate mortgages

Written by: Zach Wichter, mortgage reporter for Bankrate

Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.

Read more from Zach Wichter

Learn more about specific loan type rates
Loan Type Purchase Rates Refinance Rates
The table above links out to loan-specific content to help you learn more about rates by loan type.
30-Year Loan 30-Year Mortgage Rates 30-Year Refinance Rates
20-Year Loan 20-Year Mortgage Rates 20-Year Refinance Rates
15-Year Loan 15-Year Mortgage Rates 15-Year Refinance Rates
10-Year Loan 10-Year Mortgage Rates 10-Year Refinance Rates
FHA Loan FHA Mortgage Rates FHA Refinance Rates
30-Year FHA Loan 30-Year FHA Loan Rates 30-Year FHA Refinance Rates
VA Loan VA Mortgage Rates VA Refinance Rates
ARM Loan ARM Mortgage Rates ARM Refinance Rates
5/1 ARM 5/1 ARM Rates 5/1 Refinance Rates
7/1 ARM 7/1 ARM Rates 7/1 Refinance Rates
10/1 ARM 10/1 ARM Rates 10/1 Refinance Rates
Jumbo Loan Jumbo Mortgage Rates Jumbo Refinance Rates
30-Year Jumbo Loan 30-Year Jumbo Loan Rates 30-Year Jumbo Refinance Rates

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