Fixed VS variable interest rates

Fixed VS variable interest rates
fixed interest

Taking out a mortgage or consumer loan involves making a crucial choice from the outset: the one between a fixed or variable interest rate. What are the practical differences between these two options? How do you know which one will be the most advantageous financially over the entire duration of your loan?

In this article, we will dissect in detail how fixed and variable rates work, their respective advantages and disadvantages. Thanks to this insight and practical advice, you will know exactly what type of rate best suits your borrower profile and your economic forecasts. And you will choose the most suitable rate to optimize your financing in the long term! But before we begin, here is How To Create Your Business On The Internet.

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🔰 What is an interest rate?

An interest rate is the cost a borrower has to pay to borrow money. This is the percentage that the borrower must pay in addition to the original amount borrowed. Interest rates are generally expressed as an annual percentage and can be fixed or variable.

Interest rates are used in many types of loans, such as mortgages, car loans, etc. They can vary depending on various factors, such as the risk associated with the borrower, the amount borrowed, the term of the loan and market conditions.

Fixed interest rates remain the same throughout the term of the loan. The variable interest rates may fluctuate depending on market conditions. Borrowers should consider interest rates when choosing a loan, as this can have a significant impact on the total cost of the loan and their ability to repay the loan.

🔰 Fixed interest rates

A fixed interest rate is an interest rate that does not change during the term of the loan. This means that the amount you pay in interest each month remains the same, regardless of the current market interest rate. Fixed interest rates are commonly used for long-term loans, such as mortgages, because they provide greater financial stability for borrowers.

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✔️Examples

A common example of applying fixed interest rates is the mortgage loan. When you take out a mortgage, you can choose a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan, usually 15, 20 or 30 years old.

If you choose a fixed interest rate of 4%, for example, you will pay the same amount in interest each month for the duration of the loan, even if interest rates rise. Another example of applying fixed interest rates is the student loan. Federal student loans offer fixed interest rates. Which means that the interest rate will not change during the life of the loan.

fixed interest

This provides greater financial stability for students who repay their loan for several years after graduation.

✔️Advantages and disadvantages of fixed interest rates

One of the advantages of fixed interest rates is that they are predictable. You know exactly how much you'll pay each month, making budgeting and financial planning easier. Additionally, if the interest rate increases, you will not be affected because your interest rate is already fixed.

However, fixed interest rates also have drawbacks. If the interest rate falls, you will not be able to benefit from this reduction because your interest rate is already fixed. Additionally, fixed interest rates may be higher than variable interest rates, meaning you'll pay more in interest over the life of the loan.

✅ Benefits❌ Disadvantages
✔️ No bad surprises: the APR is known in advance✔️Does not take advantage of a possible drop in market rates
✔️ The monthly payment is constant throughout the duration of the loan✔️ Rate generally a little higher than a variable rate
Allows you to plan and organize your budget serenelyLack of flexibility in case of rate cuts
✔️Security and long-term visibility✔️ Less interesting in the event of stability or falling rates
✔️ Protection against a possible rise in rates 

This table summarizes the pros and cons of a fixed rate. The advantage of predictability but the disadvantage of not benefiting from a drop in rates.

🔰 Variable interest rates

A variable interest rate is an interest rate that can change during the term of the loan. The variable interest rate is typically based on a benchmark, such as the prime rate or LIBOR. If the benchmark index increases, your interest rate will also increase. If the benchmark falls, your interest rate will also fall.

✔️Examples

A common example of the application of variable interest rates is car loan. Auto loans can offer variable interest rates based on the market benchmark. If the benchmark index rises, your interest rate will also rise.

Which means you'll pay more in interest each month. If the benchmark falls, your interest rate will also fall, meaning you'll pay less in interest each month. A another example application of variable interest rates is the personal loan. Personal loans may offer variable interest rates based on the market benchmark.

This can provide greater flexibility for borrowers who can benefit from a lower interest rate if market rates decline. However, variable interest rates can also be riskier for borrowers because they can increase if market rates rise.

✔️Advantages and disadvantages of variable interest rates

One of the advantages of variable interest rates is that they can be lower than fixed interest rates. It means you pay less in interest over the duration of the loan. Additionally, if interest rates go down, you will benefit from that drop because your interest rate will go down as well. However, variable interest rates also have drawbacks. First of all, they are unpredictable.

Looking don't know how much you'll pay in interest each month, which can make budgeting and financial planning more difficult. Plus, if the interest rate increases, you'll pay more in interest each month.

BenefitsDrawbacks
✔️ Take advantage of a possible drop in interest rates on the market✔️ Fluctuating monthly payments that can vary up or down
✔️ Rate generally 0,5 to 1 point lower vs fixed rate at origin✔️ Risk of a significant increase in monthly payments in the event of a sharp rise in rates
✔️ More attractive financially if rates fall permanently over several years✔️ Impossibility of knowing the total cost of credit in advance

In conclusion, fixed and variable interest rates have their pros and cons. Fixed interest rates offer a greater financial stability but may be higher than variable interest rates.

Variable interest rates can be cheaper but are unpredictable and may increase at any time. It is important to understand these differences before choosing the type of loan that best suits your financial needs.

🔰 FAQs

Here is an interest rate FAQ

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✔️ What is an interest rate?

An interest rate is the cost a borrower has to pay to borrow money. This is the percentage that the borrower must pay in addition to the original amount borrowed.

✔️How are interest rates determined?

Interest rates are determined by a combination of factors, such as the risk associated with the borrower, the amount borrowed, the term of the loan and market conditions.

✔️What are the advantages of fixed interest rates?

Fixed interest rates offer predictability to borrowers, financial stability and protection against rate hikes.

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✔️What are the disadvantages of fixed interest rates?

Fixed interest rates may lack flexibility, be more expensive than interest rates variables and not allow prepayment without penalties.

✔️What are the advantages of variable interest rates?

Variable interest rates may offer lower rates than fixed interest rates and may allow you to benefit from rate cuts.

✔️ What are the disadvantages of variable interest rates?

Variable interest rates can be unpredictable, offer less financial stability and not protect against rate increases.

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