Saturday, April 11, 2009

Get the Best Refinance Deal!

Mortgage rates are lower than 5% - but how can you get the best refinancing deal?

Everyone has been asking me about how to secure these low, low mortgage rates. And many people are having a hard time even getting through to their lender on the phone. They're pretty frustrated.

I spoke with the chief economist of Fannie Mae yesterday. He told me it will take as much as three months for the mortgage industry to start working at full capacity. His full year outlook for mortgage rates is 4.8 to 5%. The takeaway here: Be patient - there will be lines.

1. Recognize opportunity

Look - there is opportunity here. 30-year fixed mortgage rates are at 4.6%. Historically, that rate is 8%. And that is significant.

Let's take a look. 30-year fixed mortgage rates are at 4.6%. If you took out a 30-year fixed loan of $170, 300 (the average cost of a home) at 5%, your monthly payments would be around $915. And at 8% you would pay $1,250. The savings? $335 dollars a month or $4,000 dollars a year.

2. Be wary

We've told you it might take longer to get a refinance now. And that's something to be aware of. And according to, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased their fees.

So you could be paying extra fees of 1% or 2% of the loan amount, and sometimes even higher on top of all other closing costs.

3. Get the best rates

Having enough equity is one of the biggest obstacles. These days you'll need at least 20% equity to get the best rates.

Make sure you keep your credit score as high as possible. Get copies of your credit report to make sure there are no errors at

Shop around to get the best rate. Get all your paperwork together now.

Here's a list of what you'll need to start collecting: Your refinance application, two years of tax returns, one month of paystubs, three months of asset statements (checking, savings, mutual funds), your most recent mortgage statement and a copy of the deed.

Source: CNN, Gerri Willis (March 25, 2009)

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