Conversion Option


DEFINITION of 'Conversion Option'

A clause associated with some adjustable-rate mortgages that allows the borrower to convert the variable interest rate to a fixed rate within a certain time period, or at certain future dates. The conversion option is not free; an adjustable-rate mortgage with a conversion option will typically have a higher margin, and therefore higher fully indexed interest rate, or higher costs than an adjustable-rate mortgage without a conversion option.

BREAKING DOWN 'Conversion Option'

To analyze the economics of a conversion option, borrowers should total up the cost of the conversion option (an initial higher interest rate and/or higher loan costs) plus the cost of the actual conversion to a fixed rate, then compare this total to the costs of refinancing into a fixed interest rate at a future date.

Remember that a fee must often be paid to convert to the fixed rate, and the fixed rate that the ARM is converted to is typically based upon the market rate at the time of conversion plus a certain percentage. If the future refinancing costs are estimated to be less than the total costs of the conversion option, then the conversion option is not economical. The borrower would be better off with a traditional ARM with the intent to refinance into a fixed interest rate at a future date.

  1. Droplock Security

    A security that is issued with a variable or floating interest ...
  2. Capped Rate

    An interest rate that is allowed to fluctuate, but which cannot ...
  3. Fixed Interest Rate

    An interest rate on a liability, such as a loan or mortgage, ...
  4. ARM Margin

    A fixed percentage rate that is added to an index value to determine ...
  5. Rate-Improvement Mortgage

    A type of fixed-rate mortgage, which contains a clause that entitles ...
  6. Variable Interest Rate

    An interest rate on a loan or security that fluctuates over time, ...
Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    4 Steps To Attaining A Mortgage

    It starts with knowing your choices as well as your price range. We show you how to get there.
  2. Credit & Loans

    How Mortgage Refinancing Affects Your Net Worth

    Find out how to determine whether refinancing will put you ahead or even more behind.
  3. Economics

    How Interest Rates Affect The Housing Market

    Understand how rate changes can affect home prices, and learn how you can keep up.
  4. Personal Finance

    Understanding Your Mortgage

    We walk through the steps needed to secure the best loan to finance the purchase of your home.
  5. Options & Futures

    Make A Risk-Based Mortgage Decision

    Find out how to choose which mortgage style is right for you.
  6. Insurance

    What is a Force Majeure?

    A force majeure clause frees both parties in a contract from fulfilling their obligations in the event of some catastrophic or unexpected occurrence.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Equated Monthly Installments

    An equated monthly installment is a fixed payment a borrower makes to a lender on the same date of each month.
  8. Investing Basics

    Tiny House Movement: Making Market Opportunities

    The tiny house movement throws all assumptions about household budgeting and mortgage management out the window, and creates new market segments too.
  9. Investing

    Where Should I Keep My Down Payment Savings?

    While saving up for a down payment, where should you keep your money. A bank? The stock market? It all depends on your timeline.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender

    When buying a house, avoid nasty surprises by asking the right questions about your mortgage lender's qualifications and the mortgage process.
  1. What is the difference between "closed end credit" and a "line of credit?"

    Depending on the need, an individual or business may take out a form of credit that is either open- or closed-ended. While ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. In what instances does a business use closed end credit?

    The most common types of closed-end credit used by both businesses and individuals are mortgages and auto loans. Businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the long-term effects of delinquent accounts?

    Delinquency occurs when borrowers fail to make payments on their loans. All loan borrowers should do their best to avoid ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How was the American Dream impacted by the housing market collapse in 2008?

    The American Dream was seriously damaged by the housing market collapse in 2008. In many ways, the American Dream is a self-fulfilling ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How much risk is associated with subprime mortgages?

    A large amount of risk is associated with subprime mortgages. Since the mortgages are specifically for people who do not ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the financial consequences of filing for bankruptcy?

    The financial consequences of filing for bankruptcy are substantial and can be long-lasting. They include impacts on your ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!