Should I Refinance My Home Mortgage Loan?


Why is it Time to Refinance? Is it the best time to get a Mortgage Refinance?

Interest rates on mortgages have continuously declined to reach its lowest level in recorded history. This is a strong proof that it is already the best time for homeowners to consider refinancing in order to generate some savings.

The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was at an average of 4.39% during the end of the Aug 4 week. Similarly, the rate for a 15 year fixed mortgage decreased to 3.54% despite the reduction in bond yields and signs that show a weaker economic standing than what is expected said the Primary Mortgage Market Survey of Freddie Mac.

The president of Metropolitan Boston Real Estate, Nebury Street brokerage, said that this is good news because this will serve as a motivation for anyone who is considering refinancing knowing that the low rates won’t stay very long.

Here are the possible savings that homeowners can generate: for a mortgage of $250,000 with 5% interest, they could save about $160 monthly and $2,020 yearly if they refinance the loan for 4.39%. These savings provide a guaranteed cash in the bank during these present times when traditional savings account have nearly zero percent in returns and the gyrations in the stock market have exhausted the investment accounts.’s senior financial analyst Greg McBride said that anybody who decides to refinance at these very low rates are sure beneficiaries of the economic concerns and Wall Street challenges.
The three lenders listed in that offers 30 year fixed loans with less than 4.39% interest are at 4.19%, Loan Depot at 4.25% and American at 4.35%. All three are offered with zero points.

Albano said that even if the low rates are great news for most mortgage owners who pass the requirements of credit and equity to qualify for refinancing, potential buyers will still not leave the sidelines. He thinks that people who are observing the rates and decides that they are not ready to purchase at 4.5% will change their mind when the rates fall at 4.3%.

If you are looking to refinance your mortgage, then you may want to consider doing it soon. As you may know, last Friday, Standard and Poor’s downgraded US treasuries from AAA to AA+. This is the first time in history that the U.S. has had a downgrade.

Then, on Monday, Standard and Poors also downgraded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While it is unclear as to the final effects of the downgrade, many financial experts are prediciting that the cost of money will go up, effectively raising interest rates.

If this happens, it could be problematic for an already sluggish economy,a nd could further depress the already lagging housing market. Higher interest rates would effectively make home ownership more expensive.

As for those with bad credit or poor credit, these changes could put you completely out of the market. While the agencies push to regain their credit ratings, they may be forced to be even more conservative with lending practices, and that would make credit or loans for people with bad credit almost out of reach.

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Does It Make Sense To Refinance?

You may or may not have bad credit, but you may also be asking yourself whether or not it makes sense to refinance… Because you may be in a position to actually do so.

Well, let’s think about it…..

You need to find out if you can save more money and lower your monthly payments by doing so… One thing that is really important to know or at least note is, that you must make sure that you are factoring the additional costs of a refinance…

Those additional costs include things like loan origination fees, and points you may need to pay to get a better interest rate.

This could be a tough call if you have a fixed rate only slightly higher than current rates or an ARM that adjusted downward in the past year. Just make sure that you’ll be able to recoup the cost of refinancing before you sell your home. Divide the amount of the estimated closing costs (usually 3% to 6% of the mortgage amount; look at your loan papers from last time) by the amount of the monthly savings you anticipate. That will tell you the number of months until you break even.

A second mortgage or a home-equity line of credit complicates things. If you simply want to refinance the first mortgage, your total housing debt shouldn’t exceed 80% of your home’s market value, or else the holders of the second lien may refuse to resubordinate (agree to stand behind the first-mortgage holder for repayment if you default).

If the holder of the second lien refuses to play ball, you could try consolidating all your housing debt into a single mortgage — so that you can use some of the loan proceeds to pay off your second lien. To get such a conforming cash-out refi, you must have at least 20% equity, and for a conforming jumbo, you need 25% to 30% equity, or 35% to 40% equity if the loan is more than $625,500. You’ll also pay a higher interest rate, and paying the higher rate may not make sense. Another strategy is to take out a new home-equity line of credit from the lender of the new first mortgage and use it to pay off the old line of credit. Consider a line of credit with an option to lock in the rate.

There are lots of other things to think about… One of the best things you can do is take the time to talk with a qualified mortgage broker or loan officer.

One thing to note, a loan officer and a mortgage broker are two different people. Mortgage brokers make additional money on selling the loan products. A loan officer may not. Make sure you talk to the broker or officer and find out if they charge an origination fee, and if there are other costs added or associated with working with them, that are not directly related to the loan itself.

Your Decision About Mortgage Refinancing Is An Importan One

Get help with your Decision About Mortgage Refinancing. It always helps to have an outside objective opinion. And remember when you refinance you will get a loan based on your income and your credit score. The better your credit score the better interest rate you will get. And remember the loan is against your income not the value of your house

Check your credit report for any errors that can drive up your interest rate. And realize with these tough economic times a great score years ago will only be a so so score today. Make sure that you contact the reporting agency for anything that looks wrong to your before applying for a loan.

You will also want to ask yourself if you want a variable loan or a fixed loan. You might only be able to qualify for a variable loan given your work income and your credit score. This is what gets some people in trouble.

The variable is attractive because it has a lower initial rate and lower monthly payment. But it will go up make certain of that. And this is where some people have gotten in trouble. They think that they will have more money when it does go up. But you cannot count on a raise every year in this economy.

Do not kid yourself in this case. If you cannot pay the payment you are looking at losing your home. No one wants that. If you are refinancing a fixed rate mortgage you have to realize that you will start all over with a new loan. If you have ten years on a thirty year fixed, you will start all over with a new loan.

You will now have another fixed term of the loan whether that is another thirty years or whatever the term of the loan is. If you are taking money out with the refinance you have to realize that you are taking out the equity of your home now and using that money today. This is what gets some people in trouble. They refinance and take out the equity of their home.

When they sell their home for whatever reason they realize that they will either have to pay the bank money because their home is worth below the amount they owe the bank because their home may have gone down in value since they refinanced. Some people believe that the value of their home will continue to go up so they will always have a growing equity amount in their home; but as the economy has shown that this is certainly not the case.

What you do with the money you take out of the refinance is up to you. But if you are thinking of refinancing it is a good idea to consult with an independent financial advisor to go over all of your options. The more you understand your choices and the results of your choices the better.

In addition to having less debt by refinancing a mortgage, also look at GIC rates to get higher fixed income returns. Mortgage rates vary from lender to lender so ask around.

Tips for Emigrants Applying a Housing Loan

There are two types of housing loan packages in Singapore: fixed rates or floating (variable) rates.

Fixed rates are sometimes offered for up to 3 years. Still, other lenders can extend up to 5 years or 10 years. This is opposite from many Western countries where rates can be fixed throughout the loan tenure.

Floating rates can be categorized into published rates or board rates. Like Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) or Singapore Swap Offer Rate (SOR), published rates are normally rates that are published daily. Meanwhile, board rates are set by the respective bank or financial institution. Many of the lenders based their board rates to a particular financial bench marks, yet the precise elements are sometimes not clear and variations in board rates turn indefinite.

In general, there are no restrictions on emigrants acquiring housing loans in Singapore but do pay attention of the following.

Loan to Value

In Singapore, the maximum loan to value (LTV) is 90% of the purchase price or valuation, whichever is smaller. Housing loan packages for 90% financing are limited as some loaners do not extend maximum LTV to emigrants. Loan approval for 90% funding is also tighter than for LTV 80% and below.

Proof of Income

A letter of appointment from your local employer or your latest income tax assessment is required for housing loan. Some local loaners do not respect tax assessments from other countries.

Landed Property

The approval from Singapore Land Authority is essential before emigrants can purchase restricted properties such as vacant estate or landed properties such as bungalows, semi-detached, and terrace houses.

In-principle Approval

You may also look at an in-principle approval before purchasing. Consider of hiring a honored and professional housing loan consultant. This may help you spare time and money with your loan approval.

Learn more about a premier Housing Loan advisory firm, providing Housing Loans with free mortgage broking.

Selecting Which Type Of Interest Rate To Use – Fixed Or Variable

Once you resolve to avail a mortgage, the immediate thing that tempests your head is selecting between fixed and floating rate of interest. It is easy to get stuck at this stage if you are not financially educated.

Normally, when news media splashes reports on banks raising mortgage interest rates in and their affect on Monthly Installments, you may take for granted that it is better to opt for fixed home loan rates. In fact, your banker may also advise you to go for the same.

Now ideally as it should be, we assume that once you choose fixed rate plan for yourself the rate of interest will remain unchanged for the entire period you have fixed the interest rate for irrespective of any incidental increase in the same. But in reality this is not always the situation.

Here we demystify the nature of fixed interest rate home loan transaction for you so that you can make an knowledgeable conclusion over the matter.

* Check the small print of a loan. The bank has the right to serve you 30 or 60-days notice that it intends to increase its rates.

* The bank’s first-year rates are binding on the bank only for that short period of 1 or 2 months. The 2nd-year home loan rates are not binding at all. Neither are the bank’s 3rd-year loan rates.

* Force Majeure Clause

So, while you read your mortgage agreement papers, you can spot statement like this:

“Provided further that from time to time, the bank may in its sole discretion alter the rate of interest suitably and prospectively on account of change in the internal policies or if unforeseen or extraordinary changes in the money market conditions take place during the period of the agreement.”

This is called Force Majeure Clause that enables the lender to undertake appropriate modifications in the interest rates on home loans they sanction to their borrowers.

So remember to look at refinancing every couple of years so that you do not pay too much. If you select a good mortgage broker company you can save a lot of money over the life of your mortgage and in most cases the consultation cost is free.

Find out more about a premier Housing Loan advisory firm, providing Housing Loans with free mortgage broking.

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