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An upper limit on the interest rate on a floating-rate note (FRN) or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Also, an OTC derivatives contract consisting of a series of European interest rate call options; used to protect an issuer of floating-rate debt from interest rate increases. Each individual call option within the cap is called a caplet. Opposite of a floor.


1. Informal for market capitalization.

2. In a floating-rate note or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the highest possible interest rate. For example, if one has an adjustable-rate mortgage on a house, the interest rate fluctuates periodically. However, if the homeowner has a cap on the interest rate, there is a guarantee that it will never rise above a certain percent, no matter what the ARM formula would otherwise dictate. A cap is designed to protect the person or company making the interest payments. See also: Floor, Collar.


1. An upper limit on the interest rate to be paid on a floating-rate note.


A cap is a ceiling, or the highest level to which something can go.

For example, an interest rate cap limits the amount by which an interest rate can be increased over a specific period of time. A typical cap on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) limits interest rate increases to two percentage points annually and six percentage points over the term of the loan.

In a different example, the cap on your annual contribution to an individual retirement account (IRA) is $4,000 for 2006 and 2007 and $5,000 in 2008, provided you have earned at least that much. If you're 50 or older, you can make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 each year.




A ceiling on the adjustments that can be made in the payments or interest rate of an adjustable-rate loan.


Same as Float-Down.

References in periodicals archive ?
It's a beautiful day today and as I look around the ground I can see about 30 young girls all wearing Dutch caps.
He has a huge collection of Dutch caps at home' - CLIVE TYLDESLEY delivers his own personal tribute to Aron Winter, the Dutchman who clearly needed no protection and is now Holland's most capped player.
Eavey set the stage throughout his store with clerks and cashiers dressed in blue and white uniforms and Dutch caps.