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Related to Variable-rate: Variable Rate Loan
A varible-rate agreement, as distinguished from a fixed-rate agreement, calls for an interest rate that may fluctuate over the life of the loan. The rate is often tied to an index that reflects changes in market rates of interest. A fluctuation in the rate causes changes in either the payments or the length of the loan term. Limits are often placed on the degree to which the interest rate or the payments can vary.
An interest rate on a loan or convertible security that changes periodically. For example, an adjustable rate mortgage has a certain interest rate that changes with varying frequency. The frequency of the change is called the adjustment rate. Usually, the adjustable rate is set according to some outside benchmark; for example, a loan might set the interest rate at LIBOR + 1%. An advantage of adjustable rate loans is the fact that one's interest rate might fall over time; this is a particular advantage if prevailing interest rates are high at the time of the loan. A disadvantage to adjustable rates is the uncertainty associated with them: one's payments on the loan generally rise or fall.