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Mortgage (ARM) Indexes

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London Inter Bank Offering Rates (LIBOR)

London Inter Bank Offering Rate (LIBOR) is an average of the interest rate on dollar-denominated deposits, also known as Eurodollars, traded between banks in London. The Eurodollar market is a major component of the International financial market. London is the center of the Euromarket in terms of volume.

The LIBOR is an international index which follows the world economic condition. It allows international investors to match their cost of lending to their cost of funds. The LIBOR compares most closely to the 1-Year CMT index and is more open to quick and wide fluctuations than the COFI rate, as shown on our graph.

There are several different LIBOR rates widely used as ARM indexes: 1-, 3-, 6-Month, and 1-Year LIBOR. The 6-Month LIBOR is the most common.

6-Month LIBOR vs. 1-Yr CMT, 11th District COFI
6-Month LIBOR vs. 1-Yr CMT, 11th District COFI, 1992-2014 { Obtaining Permission to Reproduce }

LIBOR-indexed ARMs offer borrowers aggressive initial rates (lower than many other ARMs) and has proved to be competitive with such popular ARM indexes as the 11th District Cost of Funds, the 6-Month Treasury Bill, and the 6-Month Certificate of Deposit. With the LIBOR ARMs borrowers are generally protected from wide fluctuations in interest rates by periodic and lifetime interest rate caps. LIBOR ARMs usually do not have negative amortization.

Historical Data: Mortgage-X compiles historical values for the indexes which are widely used on adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Click here for a history of the LIBOR index.

LIBOR: Frequently Asked Questions

Mortgage Professionals Offering LIBOR-indexed Loans: If you are looking for a LIBOR-indexed ARM and need more information or advice, we invite you to take advantage of our database of the most competitive lenders available. Just complete a short loan request form and the best lenders in your local area will contact you with their rates and fees.

Note: Besides the WSJ LIBOR as published in the Wall Street Journal* lenders may use the monthly FNMA LIBOR or a replacement index, since the original Fannie Mae LIBOR index has been discontinued* and has only historical values. So if your ARM is based on a LIBOR, the loan must specify which one is being used.

* The LIBOR (WSJ LIBOR) quoted in the Wall Street Journal (print edition) is the LIBOR posted by the British Bankers' Association (BBA). Each day the Wall Street Journal publishes yesterday's BBA LIBOR rate as part of the Money Rates table in the Money and Investing Section.

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