Dated: 09/10/2014

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Refinance your home loan before mortgage interest rates start to riseRefinance mortgage rates are holding steady nationwide. U.S. homeowners have opportunity to save money on their home loans.The 30-year mortgage rate averaged 4.10% last week, marking the 4th consecutive month for which the benchmark mortgage rate sat beneath 4.25 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate is similarly low, averaging 3.24%.Despite today's mortgage rates, though, refinance activity remains soft nationwide. Millions of U.S. homeowners stand to save on the monthly payments yet few have started on the process.It's an excellent time to consider today's low rates and a refinance. Even if your home was only recently purchased, your loan may be eligible for refinance.


According to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey of more than 100 banks, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage now average 4.10 percent nationwide for borrowers willing to pay 0.5 discount points at closing plus a full set of closing costs.The Freddie Mac rate, however, is just an average. Plenty of banks are quoting rates in the threes and mortgage applicants typically pay fewer than 0.5 discount points to get access to today's mortgage rates.Rates have been especially low for FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans with VA mortgage rates as the lowest of the bunch. This is because the Department of Veterans Affairs protects lenders against loss on a VA loan, which helps lenders to provide lower rates to applicants.VA mortgage rates are available in the three percents in many states, with equally low APR.Low rates have been a theme since January. Since starting the year above four-and-one-half percent, mortgage rates have been in slow, steady decline. In fact, the decline has been so slow that mortgage rates have set a record for "calm".Since falling to 4.17% in mid-June of this year, mortgage rates have never moved more than three basis points in a week (0.03%), and have remained within a range of seven basis points overall.Rates have moved an average of just 1.7 basis points per week (0.017%) over the last 12 weeks. Never in Freddie Mac's recorded history have rates been so calm.Homeowners who missed their chance to refinance earlier this year can take another chance now. Rates are as good as they've been all year and the best they've been in more than 15 months.


With mortgage rates at lows for the year, there are plenty of opportunities for homeowners to refinance. Millions of U.S. homeowners are "in the money", which means that they're eligible to refinance and make substantial savings with minimal or no costs.Regardless of when you bought your home, consider your refinance options while mortgage rates are low.

HARP Loan Refinance

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a refinance program backed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Also known as "The Obama Refi", HARP gives homeowners access to today's mortgage rates regardless of their loan-to-value or equity lost since the date of purchase.The HARP program has helped more than 3.1 million homeowners since its launch in 2009. Meanwhile, as mortgage rates have dropped, the government has identified and published a chart showing additional 667,000 households meeting HARP eligibility requirements.Even if you've been turned down for HARP in the past, apply again. Program restrictions have loosened and FHFA Director Mel Watt is on a city-to-city tour to extol the program's virtues -- namely that HARP isn't "too good to be true". HARP's the real deal. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, check it out today.

FHA Streamline Refinance

The FHA Streamline Refinance is available to homeowners with an existing FHA mortgage and the program is one of the fastest, simplest way to refinance.Via FHA Streamline Refinance, lenders are able to waive income verification, home appraisals, and credit score checks which can expedites a closing. Many FHA Streamline Refinance loans close in 25 days or fewer.Furthermore, FHA homeowners whose loans pre-date June 2009 get access to reduced FHA mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) when they refinance using the FHA Streamline Refinance. 

VA Streamline Refinance

The VA Streamline Refinance is offered to military borrowers whose homes are already backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guaranty program.The program is formally known as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) and its mortgage rates are super-low. The VA Streamline Refinance does not require homeowners to submit income documentation, to have their home appraised, or to undergo a credit check. Homeowners must only show that they're on-time with payments and that their new mortgage payment will be less than their current one.

Conventional Refinance

The conventional refinance is available via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and comes in three varieties -- the rate-and-term refinance, the cash-out refinance, and the cash-in refinance. Rate-and-Term refinances are the most common.With a rate-and-term refinance, homeowners lower their current mortgage or shorten the length of their loan term. With a cash-out refinance, homeowners walkaway from closing with cash to put into savings, to spend on home improvement, or to retire debt.With a cash-in refinance, homeowners bring cash to closing to reduce their existing balance.With home values rising, many FHA homeowners have been refinancing via the conventional refinance as a means to get rid of FHA MIP. Conventional mortgage rates are often higher than comparable FHA loans, but conventional mortgage insurance premiums are temporary and, typically, less costly than via the FHA.


Mortgage rates are at a 15-month low. It's an excellent time to refinance of your existing home loan. Even if you've applied for a loan and been denied, consider applying again.Rate quotes are available online at no cost, with no social security number required to get started, with no obligation to proceed.

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