Thousands of homeowners are about to get slammed with higher monthly payments

Last year, when Jennifer Hernandez received notice that the mortgage payments on her Houston home would jump about $2,000 per month, she was stunned.

Hernandez refinanced her home loan in 2016 using an adjustable-rate mortgage loan, which has a low introductory rate for a fixed initial period.

Unlike the more popular fixed-rate mortgage loans, ARMs can offer temporary relief for homebuyers who want to avoid paying higher mortgage rates — however, they also come with risk. After the fixed introductory period ­— usually five, seven or ten years ­— the rate on an ARM loan adjusts periodically based on current market conditions.

That means when mortgage rates increase, many ARM loan holders, like Hernandez, experience the unpleasant shock of significantly higher monthly home payments. For thousands of Americans like Hernandez who took out ARM loans five years ago, before interest rates shot up to a four-decade high, that shock is coming this year.


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