Rates Might Be Lower This Week
Interest rates rose, new mortgage activity eased and at least one panel predicts a further increase in rates. But the latest available data suggests mortgages rates will be lower in this week's reports.
Reverse Mortgages a Risky Proposition
For one reverse mortgage borrower, the federally insured loans enabled her not to be a burden to her children -- though she admits that she is borrowing from her children's inheritance. One expert warns, however, that the program should be used only a last resort. Two borrowers have turned to the courts to settle disputes with reverse mortgage lender Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp.
Consumers Shy Away from Mortgage Shops
More good economic news weighed left fewer prospective borrowers jumping through the hoops needed to get a mortgage.
Borrowers Cut Interest Rates With Shorter Terms
Despite rising rates, some mortgage lenders are still seeing strong interest in refinances. Many requests are for borrowers who are looking to cut loan terms from 30 years to 15 years -- cutting their interest rates by a half percent in the process. One lender that continues to see healthy business is boosting lending capacity. But the story is not the same for all mortgage firms.
Rates Up Half Percent from Last Month
Confidence in overseas markets helped propel interest rates higher. It was the fourth consecutive week of increases. Rates are a half percent higher than last month.
30-Year Jumps Past 4.7%
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen above 4.7 percent.
Bad News for Mortgage Rates
Treasury market activity Tuesday suggests mortgage rates are moving much higher.
Improving Economy Hurting Mortgage Market
Interest rates deteriorated for the third week in a row, dampening demand for mortgages refinances and leaving fewer consumers shopping for a loan. But behind the mortgage market deterioration is an improving economy.
Refinance Objectives Change Since Bust
The appeal of refinancing is quickly diminishing as mortgage rates rise. Among those who do qualify and can take advantage of historically low rates, fewer are extracting equity -- a sharp contrast to activity at the height of the real estate bubble.
Improving Economy Pushes Rates Higher Again
Following two weeks of rising interest rates, mortgage rates once again rose. The increase was fueled by positive economic activity.
A Look at New Reverse Mortgage Options
A new federally insured reverse mortgage makes it less expensive for seniors who want to borrow smaller amounts. The new option is an alternative to standard home-equity products.
Consumers Shy Away from Lenders
Fixed rates edged higher. But the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage improved, as did the premium for a jumbo loan. New loan activity by consumers searching for a mortgage, meanwhile, was down for the second week in a row.
Determining Whether to Refinance
While a refinance might lower your mortgage rate, it might not be a good move. Some Pennsylvania bank executives suggest considering a few factors when determining whether a refinance transaction will leave you better off.
Refis Forecasted to Fall as Rates Escalate
Two huge mortgage firms predict a drop in refinances and an increase in the share of consumers who opt for an adjustable rate. As rates have lurched higher, borrowers are already curbing their appetite for refinances, dragging down overall new loan business.
Proposal Reduces Mortgage Interest Deduction
There are plenty of opponents to a proposal to reduce the deduction for mortgage interest. But such a move would help cut the federal deficit.
Sharp Jump in Mortgage Rates
Rates on the popular 30-year and 15-year fixed home loans jumped sharply this week, the first dramatic increase since August.
Secrets to a Strong Credit Score
Several factors that can favorably impact your credit score include the age at which you first obtain credit, the number of creditors you are active with and -- most importantly -- how you pay your bills. Even late library books can have an impact.
Record Low Rates to Surge Higher
More consumers went shopping as fixed rates fell to record lows. But fixed rates will likely be much higher in next week's reports.
Low Rates Edge Higher
It was the third consecutive week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage worsened though interest rates still hovered near historic lows.
Refis Retreat, No Change for Rates Ahead
Fixed-rate mortgages rose this week but are likely to be unchanged in next week's reports. Consumers seeking refinances drove a small decline in prospective borrower activity.
Secrets to Successful Refinance
There is a lot more to consider in a potential mortgage refinance than just the interest rate.
More Loan Prospects Eye ARMs
As fixed rates rose this week, the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage tumbled to its lowest level in nearly three decades -- luring in more ARM borrowers. The outlook for the one-year ARM is a continued decline.
15-Year Popularity Grows
While borrowers who surfed prior refinance waves focused on reducing mortgage payments and extracting equity, the latest wave is flooded with 15-year conversions and borrowers seeking to reduce their loan balances.
Foreclosure Crisis Good for Delinquent Borrowers, Attorneys
The foreclosure mess that has erupted across the country is a boon for delinquent borrowers who will temporarily put off inevitable evictions from their homes. It's also good for attorneys that represent borrowers who are past due on their mortgages. But it's not so good for everyone else.
Analysis of Bi-weekly Option
While you can reduce your mortgage term with bi-weekly payments, it isn't always a good idea to utilize such a strategy. It is almost never a good idea to pay a service to make bi-weekly payments for you.
Record-Low Rates to Rise
The lowest mortgage rates since the 1950's will probably be higher in next week's reports. Inquiries and applications for mortgage loans have accelerated as more borrowers scramble to refinance at incredibly low interest rates. But a steep decline in refinances is projected after December.
Refinances Create Haves & Have-Nots
Two groups of borrowers impacted by the recession, those whose credit was damaged and those whose equity deteriorated, won't be boarding the refinance train. But a third group is on board and can look forward to the lowest mortgage rates in nearly four decades.
The Miracle of Qualifying
PHILADELPHIA -- With more than 3 million borrowers past due at least two months on their home loans, lenders have become more reluctant to hand out money. One Pennsylvania real estate agent estimates that the share of borrowers obtaining loan approval is less than half the level it was a few years ago. Another agent in the state says problems in the approval process are almost always on the lenders end but are usually overcome. A Pennsylvania mortgage broker notes that most people who call him qualify for the lowest rates.
Record Mortgage Rates Might Fall Further
Another round of record-breaking interest rates convinced more consumers to inquire about a mortgage this week. One key barometer points to even lower mortgage rates.
Consider 4 Options When Refinancing
Borrowers who are considering refinancing their mortgages have four options, and by far the best option is a 15-year loan.
Mortgage Rates Poised for New Lows
A key benchmark for mortgage rates -- the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note -- sank today, leaving mortgage rates poised to set a new record.
All Time Lows for Fixed Rates
A new 15-year fixed-rate record was set, while the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage matched its previous low. Still, fewer homeowners are taking advantage of the record-low rates.
Refinances Good for Those Who Qualify
Refinances make sense for a good portion of mortgage borrowers, but not all borrowers can qualify. Mortgage shoppers have vastly fewer mortgage lenders to choose from today than they did five years ago.
5 Factors to Consider When Refinancing
A Minnesota-based mortgage firm has some advice about deciding whether or not to refinance.
15-Year Option Gaining Momentum
As borrowers look towards retirement, the 15-year mortgage offers the prospect of no mortgage payment for some.
Rates Remain At, Near Record Lows
Mortgage rates hovered near their lowest levels on record this week but failed to fuel an increase in home purchases.
Experts Differ on Where Mortgage Rates Headed
Mortgage rates turned in a mixed performance this week, and economists at two mortgage giants have different outlooks about where rates are headed. Meanwhile, mortgage activity picked up.
15-Year Business Booming
Interest rates are creeping back up for 30-year mortgages, but they remain at record lows for 15-year loans -- helping to drive a surge in 15-refinances.
Falling Home Values Killing Some Refinance
Even with good credit, many borrowers are unable to refinance their loans because their home values have fallen.
15-year Refi Not Always Right Choice
Lower interest rates and fewer payments are among the benefits afforded to borrowers who refinance into 15-year mortgages. But there are also downsides to the 15-year product.
Refinance Engine Shifts Into Overdrive
The home lending industry is operating in overdrive as residential borrowers move to lower their interest rates and cut the number of years on their loans. Business is so furious that some lenders have stopped accepting new applications. In making a decision about a refinance, borrowers need to involve a mortgage loan officer.
Mortgage Market Turns Worse
Rising rates and a holiday week really put a dent in mortgage activity.
As Borrowers Flock to Refinances, Purchases Wane
Low rates have prompted a huge increase in the share of borrowers looking to refinance their mortgages. But even though mortgage rates are hovering near historic lows, few borrowers are financing home purchases.
Record Low Mortgage Rates Evaporating
Interest rates again fell to new lows but failed to entice more consumers in the mortgage market. Mortgage rates are likely to be higher in next week's reports.
Experts Say Refinance Now
While mortgage rates could fall beyond their lowest levels in more than half a century, experts advise refinance prospects to move now on a transaction.
Mortgage Market Conditions Improve
Mortgage rates fell to fresh record lows, and more consumers went shopping for a mortgage this week.
Deciding Whether to Refinance Now
There are several reasons why refinancing now might be a good idea. Here is a look at some of the factors to consider.
Lower Values, Tougher Guidelines Impeding Refinances
While some people are taking advantage of record low mortgage rates and refinancing their home loans, they are jumping through hoops to qualify and typically walking away with no cash.
Mortgage Rates Could See More Records
Fixed mortgage rates -- which are already at the lowest levels on record -- are still falling, according to one market indicator. And while low interest rates have yet to attract more homebuyers to the market, an increase in traffic has been noted with existing borrowers who are seizing upon a rare refinance opportunity.
Mortgage Market Improves
As mortgage rates headed lower this week, it was the third straight week that new mortgage activity increased. A bigger share of refinance borrowers accounted for the new activity. Meanwhile, mortgage rates on jumbo loans improved compared to conforming loans.
Borrowers Refinancing Into Fixed Rates Under 4%
Many borrowers are refinancing into 15-year fixed rates that have fallen below 4 percent.
Closing Costs Climb
As mortgage lenders have faced tougher regulations, the cost of financing a home purchase has shot up more than a third over the past year. Arkansas is the least expensive of all states to close a loan.
Web Sites for Mortgage Shoppers
Several online destinations provide a plethora of tools to help prospective borrowers determine how much mortgage they can afford.
Fed Moves to Push Rates Lower
One of the most powerful and dominant pursuits is back. It's one that compels fanaticism and stirs up fantasies. No, it isn't the NFL preseason. It is the Federal Reserve effort to lower borrowing costs.
FHA Updates Shouldn't Sting Too Much
Some real estate professionals don't expect proposed changes to FHA approval requirements will have a big impact on most home purchases.
FHA Raising Downpayments, Credit Scores & Fees
Subprime borrowers will face tougher requirements on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Minimum down payment requirements are increasing, acceptable credit scores are being raised and the fees will be higher. The housing agency is also cutting the amount a seller can contribute towards a homebuyer's closing costs.
Anatomy of a Loan Approval
The summer of 2010 will go down in banking history for its historically low mortgage rates. Not to mention the summer of surprise for many borrowers, who are discovering that tighter underwriting laws, declining property values and bad borrowing decisions can torpedo a chance to get in on the low rates.
Refi Mistakes to Avoid
The "Mortgage Professor" has a few pieces of advice for borrowers who are considering a refinance.
There are steps that consumers can take in maintaining the health of their credit.
PHILADELPHIA -- Again, mortgage rates have set a new record low, but prospective borrowers remain unmoved. The problem: jobs.
Focus Shifts to Refis from Purchases
Now that home purchase financing has subsided from buyers seeking to take advantage of the tax credit, mortgage loan originators are seeing more requests for refinances at record-low rates.
Beating Low Property Appraisals
Columnist Phil Mulkins has some advice for borrowers who are concerned that a low appraisal could impede their chances for a lower-rate refinance.
Banks Stand Between Borrowers and Low Rates
MIAMI -- David Kosowski has a full-time job, a sky-high credit score, a solid debt-to-income ratio and enough cash stashed away to put a 20 percent down payment on the three-bedroom, two-bath home he's had his eye on since spring.
Lowest Mortgage Rates Ever Recorded
Interest rates on fixed-rate home loans fell to fresh record lows this week as concerns about the economic recovery drove down Treasury bond yields.
Right Time for Refis
Low rates have prompted many borrowers to refinance. But the level of activity is still below the volume reached early last year despite that rates are now much lower.
Changing Economics of Refinances
It used to be that a borrower was advised to refinance a mortgage if the interest rate would be lowered by at least 2 percent. But the new economy has changed the rules of refinance.
Refinance Wave is No Tsunami
Despite 30-year fixed rates near 4.5 percent, mortgage loan originators have yet to be flooded with refinance applications.
Art of the Short Sale
In some cases, mortgage lenders will reduce the amount owed on a loan where the sales price falls below the loan balance. But some borrowers need to think twice before utilizing a short sale to escape their negative equity position.
Are Record Low Rates Just an Illusion?
Mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level in more than half of a century, but who can qualify?
Flood Insurance, Tax Credit Extended
Kristen and Doug Drake want to build their next home on Daniel Island, S.C., not far from the Cooper River.
Tax Credit Deadline Causes Mortgage Log Jam
RICHMOND, Va. -- As homebuyers rushed to beat today's homebuyer tax credit deadline, the volume of transactions in process slowed the process for everyone. In addition, lenders are more closely scrutinizing prospective borrowers -- leaving many exhausted from the process.
Secrets to Getting a Mortgage
Consumers who are thinking about getting a mortgage might consider taking a few steps that can improve their chances of qualifying.
Homebuyer Tax Credit Deadline Looms
Some prospective borrowers will likely miss the June 30 deadline for the homebuyer tax credit -- which can be as much as $8,000. But most who were rushing to meet the deadline did so without a problem.
Benefits of a Mortgage
While most financial-savvy consumers do their best to avoid debt, one debt that is unavoidable to many families is a mortgage. Because many of us feel more in control of our home and expenses without a mortgage, a common question is whether to pay it off as quickly as possible.
Falling Rates, Prices Offset Loss of Tax Credit
Although prospective homebuyers might have missed the deadline to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit, they still could come out ahead given the decline in mortgage rates and listing prices.
Mortgage Rates Sink to Record Low
You'd think with the lowest fixed mortgage rates on record home sales would be skyrocketing.
Bankers Warn Against Walking Away
WASHINGTON (June 17, 2010) -- Recent media reports describe the increasing tendency of financially stressed homeowners to simply "walk away" from their mortgage, a practice called a "strategic default" whereby the owner simply stops making mortgage payments and forces the bank to foreclose on the property. While turning in the keys and stopping payments to your bank may seem like an easy solution, homeowners should know that strategic defaults can result in costly consequences.
FHA Borrowers Liable for Balance on Short Sales?
On a call-in show, an FHA borrower who is attempting to obtain a short sale asked whether the bank can sue him for the deficiency balance.
Some Say Now is Time to Finance Home Purchase
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Are you looking to buy a house? Well, now might be the time. Sure, you've heard that before, when the homebuyer tax credit was in effect. And, before that, the mantra was, "It's a buyer's market. Prices are down and inventory is up."
Low Rates a Boon for Home Sales
Interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to their lowest level of the year this week, a development local mortgage professionals say can only help a housing industry which recently lost federal tax incentives that had been driving sales.
Mortgage Documentation Requirements Grow
A former CNN financial reporter has joined FOX Business and talked about documentation required for mortgages.
Refinance Opportunities Rise
As investor flee Europe and seek the safe haven of U.S. Treasuries, mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level in more than a year -- providing another chance for borrowers to lower their interest rates and cut their payments. But be prepared for bigger documentation requirements and longer wait times than in the past.
Low Rates a Big Boon for Borrowers
Whether its saving money on their existing payments, improving the terms of their mortgages or buying another home -- borrowers are benefiting in a big way from low mortgage rates.
Record Low for 15-Year
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to its lowest point in nearly two decades.
Reverse Mortgages Not Always the Right Solution
While reverse mortgages can provide much-needed cash for many situations, experts advise seniors to consider all the costs before signing on to a reverse mortgage.
Lenders, Lawyers Scramble to Meet Tax Credit Deadline
Prospective homebuyers have until April 30 to meet the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit -- leaving mortgage companies, law firms and title companies working overtime to make sure the deals close.
Mortgage Interest Deduction Debate
While eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction could help reduce the U.S. budget deficit, the idea has its detractors.
Lock, Float or Wait?
As mortgage rates linger at or near 50-year lows, borrowers and prospective borrowers face several choices about financing a home purchase or refinancing their existing loan.
Falling Rates Not Available to All
As mortgage rates tumble, prospective borrowers are looking to home lenders for cash through refinances. But qualifying for a new mortgage has become more difficult, and some are missing out on the bonanza.
13-Year Low for Home Purchase Applications
The expiration of the Home Buyers Tax Credit prompted fewer prospective homebuyers to complete a loan application last week than in any week in the past 13 years.
How to Strengthen Your Credit Score
CHICAGO -- A happy consequence of this Great Recession is that Americans are widely expected to be better consumers.
Finding Right Loan Officer
Finding the right loan officer can make the difference between owning the home you want and losing it because you couldn't obtain adequate financing by the closing date. That's because there are many programs for many situations, and a good loan officer knows which program is best for you.