What Is Current Index Value?

Current index value is the most current value for the underlying indexed rate in a variable rate loan. It should reflect general market conditions, and changes based on changes in the market. Variable rate loans rely on the indexed rate and a margin to calculate the fully indexed rate that a borrower is required to pay.

Breaking Down Current Index Value

Current index values are used by lenders to calculate the variable rate in a borrower’s loan product. The rate a borrower pays on a variable rate loan product is called the fully indexed rate and is a function of both an indexed rate and a margin. Lenders can offer a variety of variable rate loan products with fully indexed rates that change at differing reset times.

Current index value reflects general market conditions and changes based on the market.

Variable Rate Loans

Variable rate loans have a loan rate that is calculated by adding the indexed rate and the borrower’s margin. An indexed rate is set by the lender and can be based on various indexes including a lender’s prime rate, LIBOR, the Cost of Funds index, the Cost of Savings index, or various U.S. Treasuries. The lender will decide the indexed rate component and will detail the terms in the loan contract; the chosen index usually won’t change after closing.

In a variable rate product’s loan underwriting process, the underwriter will assign the borrower a margin based on their credit profile. The borrower is required to pay the fully indexed rate, which changes with changes in the underlying indexed rate. For many variable rate credit products, the variable rate is volatile, which means that it can change at any time. Thus, when the current index value changes, the borrower’s rate changes.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Adjustable rate mortgage loans are a lending product that incorporates both fixed and variable interest. Adjustable rate mortgage borrowers will pay a fixed rate for the first few years up until a specified reset date occurs. Usually, the fixed rate applies for the first five years of the loan, after which the rate resets yearly; such a loan is known as a 5/1 loan. At the reset date and after that, a borrower will be charged variable rate interest. The variable rate in an adjustable rate mortgage loan is calculated in the same way as standard variable rate products. The borrower pays an underlying indexed rate plus the margin.

In an adjustable rate mortgage, the variable rate interest can be a volatile rate that changes with each change in the underlying current index value or the variable rate can be scheduled. With a scheduled variable rate, borrowers pay a fully indexed rate that is reset at scheduled times. Most adjustable rate mortgages with a scheduled reset date will reset every 12 months. If the variable rate is based on a schedule, then the borrower’s interest rate will change to the current index value plus the borrower’s margin on that specific date and the fully indexed rate will remain unchanged until the next reset date.