ELI5: The 5/6 Hybrid Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

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Last updated: Jul 27, 2023

5/6 Hybrid ARM Explained

Imagine you are on a treasure hunt to find magical coins, and you have two magical paths to choose from. The 5/6 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is a bit like that - it's a way to pay for a house with different interest rates. Don't worry; I'll explain it in simple terms using our magical treasure hunt example!

💡 Key Ideas

  • Magical Treasure Hunt Analogy: The 5/6 Hybrid ARM is likened to choosing different paths during a treasure hunt to collect magical coins. It involves two options for paying for a house with different interest rates.

  • 5/6 Hybrid ARM Explained: The "5" indicates a fixed interest rate for the first five years, and the "6" means that after those five years, the interest rate can change once a year.

  • Comparing Options: The article compares the 5/6 Hybrid ARM with collecting all the magical coins at once or collecting them gradually over time to help understand the concept better.

  • Pros and Cons: The 5/6 Hybrid ARM offers lower initial payments, potential for lower payments later, and flexibility for short-term homeownership plans. However, there is uncertainty about future interest rate changes.

  • Choosing the Best Option: Just like choosing the best path during a treasure hunt, consider your long-term plans and financial situation to select the most suitable option for your magical homeownership journey!

The Magical Treasure Hunt Scenario

Let's say you're searching for magical coins worth $100. You have two ways to collect them:

  1. Option 1 - Fixed Collection: You decide to collect all $100 right away. It's like choosing a fixed interest rate, where you know exactly how much you'll collect from the magical coins at the start.

  2. Option 2 - Gradual Collection: Alternatively, you choose to collect $5 every year for 6 years, until you reach $30. But after the first 6 years, the collection method changes to something else. It's a bit like an adjustable rate, where your collection changes after a certain period.

Making Sense of the 5/6 Hybrid ARM

Okay, let's break it down further:

5/6 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage

The 5/6 Hybrid ARM works in a similar way to Option 2 for collecting magical coins.

  • The 5: The "5" part means you have a fixed interest rate for the first five years, just like collecting $5 every year for the first 5 years of the treasure hunt.

  • The 6: The "6" part means that after those first five years, the interest rate can change once a year, just like changing your collection method after the first 6 years of the magical treasure hunt.

Why Choose a 5/6 Hybrid ARM?

You might wonder why anyone would choose a 5/6 Hybrid ARM for their home. Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. Lower Initial Collections: With the fixed interest rate for the first five years, your initial collections are lower, which can help if you have other expenses.

  2. Potential for Lower Collections: After the initial five years, the collection amount might decrease, which could be helpful if your income changes.

  3. Short-Term Homeownership Plans: If you plan to own the house for only a few years, the 5/6 Hybrid ARM can be a great option, just like collecting magical coins for a limited period during the treasure hunt.


The 5/6 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage is like having two magical paths for collecting treasure during a treasure hunt. You can start with lower collections for the first five years and then have a chance of lower collections afterward. It's a flexible option, just like a magical adventure with different paths to explore. Remember, always compare your choices and choose the one that fits your magical homeownership journey the best!