Our derivative agreements generally contain provisions that allow for netting or setting off derivative assets and liabilities with the counterparty; however, we report related assets and liabilities on a gross basis in our consolidated balance sheets. Derivative instruments in a gain position are reported as derivative assets at fair value and derivative instruments in a loss position are reported as derivative liabilities at fair value in our consolidated balance sheets. Changes in fair value of derivative instruments and periodic settlements related to our derivative instruments are recorded in gain (loss) on derivative instruments and other securities, net in our consolidated statements of comprehensive income. Cash receipts and payments related to derivative instruments are classified in our consolidated statements of cash flows according to the underlying nature or purpose of the derivative transaction, generally in the investing section.
The use of derivative instruments creates exposure to credit risk relating to potential losses that could be recognized if the counterparties to these instruments fail to perform their obligations under the contracts. Our derivative agreements require that we post or receive collateral on such agreements to mitigate such risk. We also attempt to minimize our risk of loss by limiting our counterparties to major financial institutions with acceptable credit ratings, monitoring positions with individual counterparties and adjusting posted collateral as required.
Discontinuation of hedge accounting for interest rate swap agreements
Prior to fiscal year 2011, we entered into interest rate swap agreements typically with the intention of qualifying for hedge accounting under ASC 815. However, during fiscal year 2011, we elected to discontinue hedge accounting for our interest rate swaps. Upon discontinuation of hedge accounting, the net deferred loss related to our de-designated interest rate swaps remained in accumulated OCI and was reclassified from accumulated OCI into interest expense on a straight-line basis over the remaining term of each interest rate swap through December 2016.
Interest rate swap agreements
We use interest rate swaps to hedge the variable cash flows associated with our borrowings made under repurchase agreement facilities. Under our interest rate swap agreements, we typically pay a fixed rate and receive a floating rate based on one, three or six-month LIBOR ("payer swaps") with terms up to 20 years. The floating rate we receive under our swap agreements has the effect of offsetting the repricing characteristics of our repurchase agreements and cash flows on such liabilities. Our swap agreements are privately negotiated in the over−the−counter ("OTC") market. Swap agreements entered into after May 2013 are centrally cleared through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ("CME"), a registered commodities exchange.
We estimate the fair value of our centrally cleared interest rate swaps using the daily settlement price determined by the respective exchange. Centrally cleared swaps are valued by the exchange using a pricing model that references the underlying rates including the overnight index swap rate and LIBOR forward rate to produce the daily settlement price.
Our centrally cleared swaps require that we post an “initial margin” to our counterparties for an amount determined by the CME, which is generally intended to be set at a level sufficient to protect the CME from the maximum estimated single-day price movement in that market participant’s contracts. We exchange cash “variation margin” with our counterparties on our centrally cleared swaps based upon daily changes in the fair value as measured by the CME. Beginning in 2017, as a result of a CME amendment to its rule book governing its central clearing activities, the daily exchange of variation margin associated with a CME centrally cleared derivative instrument is characterized as the daily settlement of the derivative instrument itself, as opposed to a pledge of collateral. Accordingly, beginning in 2017, we account for the daily receipt or payment of variation margin associated with our centrally cleared interest rate swaps as a direct reduction to the carrying value of the interest rate swap asset or liability. Thus, the carrying amount of centrally cleared interest rate swaps reflected in our consolidated balance sheets is equal to the unsettled fair value of such instruments.
We estimate the fair value of our non-centrally cleared swaps using a combination of inputs from counterparty and third-party pricing models to estimate the net present value of the future cash flows using the forward interest rate yield curve in effect as of the end of the measurement period. We also incorporate both our own and our counterparties' nonperformance risk in estimating the fair value of our interest rate swaps. In considering the effect of nonperformance risk, we consider the impact of netting and credit enhancements, such as collateral postings and guarantees, and have concluded that our own and our counterparty risk is not significant to the overall valuation of these agreements.
Interest rate swaptions
We purchase interest rate swaptions generally to help mitigate the potential impact of larger, more rapid changes in interest rates on the performance of our investment portfolio. Interest rate swaptions provide us the option to enter into an interest rate swap agreement for a predetermined notional amount, stated term and pay and receive interest rates in the future. Our swaption agreements typically provide us the option to enter into a pay-fixed rate interest rate swap, which we refer as "payer swaptions." We may also enter into swaption agreements that provide us the option to enter into a receive-fixed interest rate swap, which we