Should I Get an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?

Q: My mortgage broker told me that it would be easier for me to qualify for an adjustable-rate mortgage. Should I get an adjustable-rate mortgage? Monica, Peekskill, NY

A: Monica, your mortgage broker is correct that it will probably be easier for you to qualify for an adjustable-rate mortgage than a fixed rate mortgage, but just because it’s easier to qualify doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. Just for the record, the mortgage payments on a fixed-rate mortgage stay flat and consistent throughout the life of your loan whereas the interest rate is subject to change on an adjustable-rate mortgage–therein lies the potential danger.

When you get an adjustable-rate mortgage, you are gambling on your ability to pay a higher amount on your mortgage if necessary down the road. Unfortunately, nobody has a crystal ball and it’s impossible to know what challenges lay ahead of us. For this reason, I don’t recommend getting an adjustable-rate mortgage particularly on the home you live in. My suggestion is that you focus your efforts on qualifying for a fixed-rate mortgage where the payments are consistent throughout the loan term.

Thanks for your question, Monica, good luck.

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