A low mortgage refinance rate is not hard to find today. Interest rates are at historic lows due to the recession and housing crisis, but foreclosures remain historically high. Fortunately, there is help available for those who may be facing foreclosure. Because of stricter lending practices of banks since the housing crisis began, many homeowners may find it hard to refinance even if they have a good credit score.
How to Get a Low Mortgage Refinance Rate
Obtaining a low mortgage refinance rate likely will require a good credit score and proof of your ability to repay the loan. Homeowners who have low credit scores may want to consider mortgage brokers or a smaller bank. They're often easier to obtain a loan through than a larger bank. If you have a long-standing relationship with a particular bank, you may find it easiest to refinance there. Shop around to get the best rates and terms. Refinancing your home can be a wise choice if you have equity in your home and the lower payments will enable you to keep your home out of foreclosure. It is best to start looking for the best refinancing at the first sign of financial trouble – before you fall behind on payments.
Obama Mortgage Refinance Plan
The Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program offers homeowners the opportunity to modify or refinance their mortgage so monthly payments become more affordable. The plan also features Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for homeowners who are interested in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
See if you qualify to Refinance Your Mortgage
According to Phyllis Caldwell, Chief Homeownership Preservation Officer, US Department of the Treasury, "Eligible homeowners for modifications under HAMP must live in an owner-occupied principal residence, have a mortgage balance less than $729,750, have monthly payments on their first mortgage that are greater than 31 percent of their income, and demonstrate a financial hardship."
The Obama Administration has developed a mixed package of initiatives to address the housing crisis. These include state and local housing agency initiatives, community development and stabilization programs, tax credits for homebuyers, mortgage modification and refinancing assistance, along with support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to government statistics, as many as four million homeowners have refinanced their mortgages over the past year, and over one million are saving approximately $500 monthly through the loan modification program. In the last three quarters of 2009, home equity increased by over $13,000 for the average homeowner.
Although the HAMP program got off to a slow start, weakening its near-term economic effect, it is now flowing more smoothly and making a positive impact. Every day, more and more homeowners hear about and take advantage of this program. As President Obama acknowledged, "We can't stop every foreclosure." Neither do they want to, according to Ms. Caldwell. The Administration does hope, however, to provide responsible homeowners with opportunities to obtain a modification or to refinance and prevent avoidable foreclosures. At times, the best help available may be to facilitate transition to a more sustainable housing situation. New Federal Housing Administration (FHA) options in the plan offer more opportunities for lenders to restructure loans for those homeowners who owe more than the home is worth. However, to be eligible for financing through FHA, you must be current on your mortgage. HUD counselors are available (free of charge) to assist you with any questions you may have.
Current Mortgage Refinance Rates
You can check the current mortgage refinance rates on this page. MortgageRefinance.com has Mortgage Rates updated daily from varius lender sources. Discover the 15-year fixed rate, the 30-year fixed rate and rates for adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), which may change daily.
Phyllis Caldwell Testimony "The Recently Announced Revisions to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)"