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What is a ‘Cap’

A cap is an engagement rate limit on a variable rate credit product. It is the highest imaginable rate a borrower may have to pay and also the highest rate a creditor can pocket. Interest rate cap terms will be outlined in a lending contract or investment conspectus.


A cap is an important aspect of the terms in a variable credit merchandise. Borrowers and investors choose variable rate credit products to annihilate advantage of changes in market interest rates. A cap sets a limit on how much engage a borrower has to pay and how much a creditor can earn. Common types of capped cut rate products include adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and waft rate bonds.

Variable Rate Cap Products

Products with a capped importance rate have a variable rate structure which includes an factored rate and a spread. An indexed rate is based on the lowest rate creditors are acquiescent to offer. The spread or margin is based on a borrower’s credit profile and determinate by the underwriter. If a product has a capped rate then the interest rate wishes rise with increases in the indexed rate until it reaches a cited cap. The cap is advantageous for borrowers since it limits the level of interest they from to pay in a rising rate environment.

Credit products often structured with head covered interest rates include adjustable rate mortgages and floating place bonds. In an adjustable rate mortgage, borrowers pay a fixed rate of hold in the first few years of the loan and then a variable rate after that. Some adjustable worth mortgages may have rates that can change at any time while others participate in rates that reset at a specific time period. In the variable anyway period of the ARM, a cap can be instituted at a specific level. Regardless of the time period for allowable extensions, the rate can not be changed to a level that exceeds its cap if one has been instituted in the creditation agreement terms.

In some cases, creditors may wish to structure a vacillating rate bond offering with an interest rate cap. An interest rebuke cap serves to benefit the bond issuer since it helps to limit their cost of seat of government when interest rates rise. For investors, a rate cap limits the deliver on a bond to a specific level. Generally floating rate bond upshots are not affected by standard market pricing mechanisms when rates climb since their interest rate levels are not fixed. However, if a covenant has an interest rate cap then the cap could adversely affect the secondary buy price when the cap is reached, decreasing the trading value.

Cap versus Confound

Variable interest rate products can have both a cap and a floor. A cap limits the keen on a borrower or bond issuer pays in a rising rate environment and rigs a maximum level of return for the lender or investor. A floor sets a stem level of interest that a borrower must pay and also sets a cheap level of interest that a lender or investor can expect to earn. A puzzle benefits the lender or credit investor in a falling rate environment. Limiting the portion base level however requires a borrower to pay a specified floor attention rate even when the current market rate is lower.

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