Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) – A mortgage in which the interest rate is adjusted periodically based on an index. Also called a variable rate mortgage.
Adjustment Interval – For an adjustable rate mortgage, the time between changes in the interest rate charged. The most common adjustment intervals are one, three or five years.
Amortization – Literally to “kill off” (root: mort) the outstanding balance of a loan by making equal payments on a regular schedule (usually monthly). The payments are structured so that the borrower pays both interest and principal with each equal payment.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – The interest rate which reflects the cost of a mortgage as a yearly rate. This rate is usually higher than the stated loan rate for the mortgage, because it takes into account points and other charges.
Application Fee – The fee charged by the lender to the borrower for applying for a loan. Payment of this fee does not guarantee that a loan will be approved. Some lenders may apply the cost of the application fee to certain closing costs.
Appraisal – The determination of property value based on recent sales information of similar properties.
Assumable Loan – These loans may be passed on from a seller of a home to the buyer. The buyer “assumes” all outstanding payments.