Option Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - Option ARM

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Option Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - Option ARM'

A type of mortgage where the mortgagor (borrower) has several options as to which type of payment is made to the mortgagee (lender). In addition to having the choice of making payments of interest and principal that amounts to those made in conventional mortgages, option ARMs also have alternative payment options where the mortgagor can make significantly smaller payments by making interest-only payments or minimum payments.

BREAKING DOWN 'Option Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - Option ARM'

Since many option ARMs offer a low teaser rate, many mortgagors unknowingly refinance their present mortgage in hopes of making lower payments. Unfortunately, once these short-term teaser rates expire, the rates of interest are returned back to those similar to conventional mortgages.

Furthermore, for those unlucky mortgagors that elected to make minimum payments, they will find that the principal owed on their mortgage has actually increased. This is because the value of minimum payments did not entirely cover the mortgage's interest. The uncovered interest would then be added to the mortgage's principal.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Mortgage

    A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real ...
  2. Capped Rate

    An interest rate that is allowed to fluctuate, but which cannot ...
  3. Mortgagor

    An individual or company who borrows money to purchase a piece ...
  4. Conventional Mortgage

    A type of mortgage in which the underlying terms and conditions ...
  5. Mortgagee

    An entity that lends money to a borrower for the purpose of purchasing ...
  6. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - ARM

    A type of mortgage in which the interest rate paid on the outstanding ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    ARMed And Dangerous

    In a climate of rising interest rates, having an adjustable-rate mortgage can be risky.
  2. Credit & Loans

    Mortgages: Fixed-Rate Versus Adjustable-Rate

    Both of these have advantages and disadvantages depending on your financial needs and prospects.
  3. Home & Auto

    When (And When Not) To Refinance Your Mortgage

    There are both good and bad reasons to refinance. Learn more about both here.
  4. Home & Auto

    Option ARMs: American Dream Or Mortgage Nightmare?

    Option adjustable rate mortgages could make or break your home-buying experience.
  5. Options & Futures

    This ARM Has Teeth

    Find out how to avoid getting bitten when your mortgage rate resets.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares US Real Estate

    Learn about the iShares US Real Estate fund, which holds shares of equity and nonequity real estate investment trusts incorporated in the United States.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Schedule Loan Repayments with Excel Formulas

    Calculate all the particulars of a loan using Excel, and set up a schedule of repayment for a mortgage or any other loan.
  8. Credit & Loans

    What Qualifies as a Nonperforming Asset?

    A nonperforming asset is a loan made by a financial institution to a borrower who has failed to make any scheduled payments for at least 90 days.
  9. Credit & Loans

    Avoiding Red Flags with Online Mortgage Lenders

    Using an online mortgage lender can be convenient, but how do you know you can trust one? Follow these tips to make sure the lender is legit.
  10. Credit & Loans

    How To Boost Your Credit Score To Save Thousands

    One of the first steps you should follow before buying a home is to boost your credit score. And how do you do that? Here, we tell you how.
RELATED FAQS
  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. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  2. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  3. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  4. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  5. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  6. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
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!