More and more Americans are turning to their banks in order to get a better refinance mortgage interest rate and reduce their monthly payments. As the economy worsens before it can get better, this seems like a sensible thing to do. But before you pick up that phone and call your mortgage holder to begin a refinance, here are a few things you need to know about getting the best rate.
Does Refinancing Right Now Make Financial Sense?
You may have been excited to hear about President’s Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” package that recently passed through Congress. Of course this refers to a plan to help out homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments with a reduced income. This could be a great boon to some homeowners, but may not help others.
For one thing, your monthly payment must equal 31% or more of your income or more. For another, you must be current on your loan and you can not have fallen 30 days or more behind in the previous year. And finally, you are required to sign a statement of financial hardship. Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae mortgages are also eligible.
However, if these conditions do not apply, then you are the mercy of your lender’s prevailing interest rate. It does not always make sense to refinance. The best way to figure out if a mortgage refinance will be a smart decision for you is to use an online calculator.
There are many websites that offer this nifty little tool. You merely plug in the remaining balance of your mortgage loan, add your current rate of interest as well as the new interest rate, and the length of the loan, and it will come back with a monthly payment figure.
In order for this figure to be accurate, however, you will also have to know if you are going to be required to pay any extra fees or points. Even if you do not have this information yet, though, it will give you a good idea of whether or not the current refinance mortgage interest rate you’ve found will lower your monthly payment enough to be considered worthwhile.
Finding the Lowest Mortgage Refinance Interest Rate
In order to get the best rate for your home refinance, it is going to take some time. Although interest rates have tended to remain stable for the past few months, that is not guaranteed to continue. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on overnight changes daily and be ready for action when it reaches your preferred level.
Some people are under the misconception that mortgage refinance interest rates follow the prime. This is not true. As a matter of fact, mortgage rates are bound to go up when the prime is cut. Supply and demand also play a factor in the fluctuation of the rates.
Consider the Federal Reserve’s role in changing the mortgage interest rate. The prime rate is often lowered in order to stimulate a sluggish economy. The expectation is that borrowing, and spending, will increase. Vendors know that this is the time to raise the prices on goods. As inflation occurs, mortgage bond values decrease. Mortgage lenders, then, raise their rates to cover the loss.
For those homeowners who do not have the time or patience to keep a close eye on refinance mortgage interest rates, their best bet is to work with a company who will do it for them. There are many professionals who will work hard to find the best interest rate, and notify you as soon as the rate falls to your threshold.