Don’t look now but spring is just around the corner. And we all know what spring brings. That’s right—new listings and home buyers! Well, spring sure brings a lot of wonderful things, not to mention warm weather, but it’s also considered the start of home buying season. Why? Well, there are a variety of reasons but one of the main ones is buying and moving during the summer before school starts. Buyers may also sit on the sidelines during the cold winter months and hold off trudging out into the snow and wait for more pleasant weather. Are you one of those? Are you going to buy a home during buying season? If so, here are a few tips that will make your loan process a smooth one.
Check Your Credit
How’s your credit? Most people have a general idea as to the nature of their credit but if you haven’t checked your credit report lately, you should. Not necessarily because you want to confirm the status of your credit profile, although that’s a good thing, but to see if there are any mistakes on your report. It’s no secret that credit reports are rife with mistakes ranging from a wrong address to having someone else’s bad credit show up on yours.
You can get a free copy of your credit report at a number of free online services, including www.annualcreditreport.com, a service provided by the three main ...
Have you ever wondered why mortgage interest rates often change rapidly? Has there been a time when you visited a lender’s website to view an interest rate then later called that company and the actual rate is lower? Or higher? Why do lenders change their rates all the time, why can’t they just issue an interest rate for a while and sit on it for about a week or two? Good questions, all. Here’s why:
First, lenders can change rates because they want to stay competitive. That makes sense, but what you may not know is that lenders set their interest rates on the very same set of indices. These indices are monitored throughout the day by mortgage companies and adjust if the index moves too far one way or the other.
Let’s take a look at a common 30 year fixed rate for a conforming loan amount. The related index is a mortgage-backed security. It’s a bond. The corresponding index for a 30 year loan is listed as FNMA30-yr 3.0. There’s no need to go too much further regarding the name of the index but understanding how bonds work, you can understand how rates move.
Bonds provide investors a fixed rate of return. Unlike a stock, an investor knows what the bond will return and when. Bonds provide much lower returns than stocks or mutual funds but they’re also a safe bet. In volatile times when stocks are taking a beating investors pull ...
Your mortgage loan officer or financial planner will tell you that saving the amount of mortgage interest paid to a lender over time is a critical component of your financial future. Initially, that means getting the lowest mortgage rate possible. A lower mortgage rate will lower your payment with less interest. Yet another important factor is just as important as the interest rate on your loan—the loan term.
Easily the most popular loan term in today’s market is the 30 year mortgage. This term offers low rates as well as the lowest monthly payment over the life of the loan. Yet because the loan is spread out over 30 years, that interest begins to pile up. To counter this long term interest, borrowers look to the 15 year loan. The mortgage interest rates on 15 year loans are lower compared to the 30 year program but the monthly payments are much higher. How much so? Let’s look at a $300,000 mortgage using a 3.75% interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate product, and a 3.50% interest rate on a 15 year fixed rate product:
Mortgage Product Comparison
Over the course of each loan, how ...
The New Year is beginning to fade. Time really seems to fly from the period right around Thanksgiving through the first of the year and as people get back into the groove they may also have at a new stack of bills. The holidays are full of gift giving, celebrations and travel but there is a cost to it and consumers know full well that fact. The convenience of credit cards can sometimes lead it to more spending than planned. Now hold that thought for a moment.
Have you looked at interest rates lately? 30 year fixed rates are at levels not seen in nearly two years and as people celebrated over the holidays, rates have quietly drifted lower. Okay, so what about the interest rate on your credit card? Thinking of tapping into your home equity to pay off those bills? You really have three choices:
- Make a payment to the credit card companies
- Take out a home equity loan to pay off the credit card balances, or
- Refinance your first mortgage, lowering the rate and paying off the credit accounts
Paying off a credit card balance over time means paying so much more in interest compared to other options. If you decide to pay off the balance entirely, perhaps those funds aren’t readily available and if they are maybe there are other more pressing items to pay. So, you decide to pay the minimum plus a little more and revisit the credit card balances next month. Again.
If you currently have a home equity line of credit, that’s certainly an option. The ...
NJ Lenders Corp. prides itself on educating our customers and the general public about all things mortgage-related. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz about PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance, and whether or not it is really necessary. In New York and New Jersey, homebuyers faced with some of the highest real estate costs and taxes in the nation are particularly curious about PMI and about potential ways to avoid it altogether. At NJ Lenders Corp., we don’t think there is such a thing as “TMI” (Too Much Information) on PMI, if it can positively affect your bottom line. This article will explain what PMI is and outline some strategies to help you avoid paying it.
What is PMI?
If you are buying a home and do not have enough money saved for a 20% down payment, most lenders will ask you to secure Private Mortgage Insurance. In the event that you stop paying your mortgage, the lender is then able to recover any potential losses from the PMI Company. In other words, you pay the PMI, but the lender is its beneficiary.
PMI fees vary depending on the size of the down payment and the size of the loan. They typically range between 0.5% and 1% of the original loan amount per year. Let’s look at an example. If you buy a $200,000 house and make a 10% down payment, you are borrowing $180,000. Let’s assume that the mortgage insurer charges you an annual premium of 0.75%. Your annual PMI premium, then, would be 0.75% of $180,000, or $1,350. This ...