Tuesday 03/11/2014 - If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the best time to refinance or get a mortgage to buy a new home, think of 2014 as the last opportunity you have to lock in rock bottom rates before they rise above 5% and beyond.
If you’re concerned about missing your chance to lower your mortgage payment, cash out equity to consolidate debt or are in the market for a new home, 2014 is the best chance you’ll have at securing rates lower than 4%.
Right now banks are scrambling to meet the demand from homeowners for mortgages with lower rates, and for good reason, as millions of Americans are rushing to act on these historically low rates.
Be honest. How high is your current mortgage rate right now? Is it higher than 6%? 8%?Even higher? If you’re like millions of American’s, it is and the difference between today's rates and your current rate can be astounding. Homeowners with a rate of 6% or more are saving close to $200/mo, or $2,400/yr on their mortgage just by refinancing to a lower rate! Mortgage rates right now are at some of the lowest interest rates you will see for decades, and we’re serious when we say, please, do yourself a favor and lock in these ridiculously low rates! Don’t miss the boat and be the person that waits for a better time, there just simply won’t be one. Mortgage rates are rising off of 2013 lows and they have nowhere to go but up, and hopefully, that’s all the incentive you really need to refinance.
Let’s face it, we’re not going back to pre-2008 days any time soon. Banks may be loosening up credit restrictions, but it’s still very, very tight. If your credit score is less than 680, you simply may be out of luck for right now (though, if it is, don’t fret, there are paths to higher credit scores in 12 months time!)
The ideal credit score starts at 720, however, anywhere from 680 – 800 is within the parameters for a loan.
It probably goes without saying, but this can’t be stressed enough – review your credit report/score before you apply for a mortgage. Check for any possible discrepancies or errors. If it doesn’t look right, get it fixed! Your good credit is the key to low interest rates, so check it every few months and keep your debt to income below 30% – the less of a risk you are, the better terms you will get as a borrower.
If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.