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.

Investopedia explains '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.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Market Segmentation

    A marketing term referring to the aggregating of prospective buyers into groups (segments) that have common needs and will respond similarly to a marketing action. Market segmentation enables companies to target different categories of consumers who perceive the full value of certain products and services differently from one another.
  2. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  3. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  4. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  5. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  6. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
Trading Center