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Applies mainly to convertible securities. Refers to interest rate or dividend that is adjusted periodically, usually according to a standard market rate outside the control of the bank or savings institution, such as that prevailing on Treasury bonds or notes. Typically, such issues have a set floor or ceiling, called caps and collars that limits the adjustment.
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.