The biggest advantage to the 5/1 ARM is the fact that you get a lower mortgage rate than you would if you opted for a traditional 30-year fixed. You get a discount because your interest rate isn’t fixed, and is at risk of rising once the initial five-year period comes to an end.

The most popular adjustable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 ARM. The 5/1 ARM’s introductory rate lasts for five years. (That’s the "5" in 5/1.) After that, the interest rate can change once a year.

A standard 30-year mortgage consists of a fixed interest interest rate, where the monthly payments remain the same for the duration of the loan. While an ARM may also last for 30 years, the interest rate can change at predetermined intervals. With a 5/1 ARM, the interest rate remains fixed for the first five years.

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An adjustable-rate mortgage is a home loan with a fixed interest rate upfront, followed by a rate adjustment after that initial period. The primary difference between a 5/1 and 5/5 ARM is that the 5/1 ARM adjusts every year after the five-year lock period, whereas a 5/5 ARM adjusts every five years.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage – ARM: An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate applied on the outstanding balance varies throughout the life of the loan.

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Why More Homeowners Now Choose ARM Over Fixed - Today's Mortgage & Real Estate News Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMS, are a trade-off. You sacrifice the stability of fixed monthly payments for the life of the loan in exchange for low introductory payments for a limited time. Known as a "hybrid" loan, a 5/1 ARM involves a fixed interest rate for the first five years and a variable rate that changes every year thereafter.