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How to Get the Best FHA Streamline Rates How to Get the Best FHA Streamline Rates(17)

How to Get the Best FHA Streamline Refinance Rates – Where to Begin?

So you’ve had your FHA loan on your home for at least six months and now you’re eligible for an FHA streamline refinance but how do you go about getting the best FHA streamline rates?

FHA Streamline Rates and the Recent Guideline Changes:

Beginning June 11, 2012, homeowners that have an FHA mortgage that was originated prior to May 31st 2009 can qualify for a significantly lower monthly MI rate (mortgage insurance), making it all the more beneficial to refinance in light of today’s historically low mortgage rates.  For those FHA mortgage that fall within this category of having closed prior to 5/31/09, the monthly MI rate is only 1 basis point or .001 rather than the significantly higher rate that is charged on newer FHA loans.  Its best to fill out our free mortgage quote form to be put in touch with one of our preferred lenders who are best equipped to provide you with the best fha streamline rates.

FHA Streamline Rates – Are all lenders the same?

When in search for the best FHA Streamline Rates, you may be asking yourself whether its better to go with one of the “big banks” such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, or even a Lending Tree type portal company.  The fact is that the “big banks” generally have much higher overhead costs and therefore their rates come in and out of being competitive.  Local or regional mortgage bankers such as Chicago-based Bridgeview Bank typically have very low rates and can provide the very same FHA streamline refinance as the big banks can.  Because the FHA program is governed by the Federal Government, the guidelines are virtually identical regardless of which bank you originate the loan with.

Perhaps the most attractive features of the FHA streamline refinance program is that the guidelines are much more aggressive than a conventional mortgage and even that of a newly-originated purchase FHA mortgage, including no income qualification, no appraisal, and no employment verification.

In conclusion, it’s best to talk to a few different lenders and compare their interest rates, total closing costs, as well as how long it will take them to close the loan.  Due to the popularity of this program in today’s market, some of the “big banks” are not taking any refinance applications with less than a “90 day rate lock”.  Generally speaking, the longer your rate needs to be guaranteed for, the worse your interest rate will be.  This is another factor to keep in mind when shopping around.

Author Joe Karns of Bridgeview Bank is a seasoned mortgage professional dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information on how to compare mortgage rates. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on getting you the best FHA streamline rates.

VA Streamline Refinance Rates – How to Get the Best Deal VA Streamline Refinance Rates – How to Get the Best Deal(1)

VA Streamline Refinance Rates – How to Make Sure You Are Getting the Best Deal

You’ve served your country with honor, now let the VA loan program honor your service as you search for the lowest VA streamline refinance rates.  The VA loan program rewards service men and women by being more aggressive that conventional loans in the area of loan-to-value and credit related qualifications.  Below are some primary factors to consider when comparing VA streamline mortgage rates:

VA Streamline Refinance Rates – Banks or Brokers?

One important factor to consider is whether its better to work with one of the big banks for your refinance(Wells Fargo, Chase, US Bank, etc) or whether its advantageous to work with a smaller local mortgage broker or banker such as Bridgeview Bank.  The “big banks” may have a lot of flashy advertising and tv commercials promoting their VA refinance capabilities but remember, those ads are expensive and often times they are forced to pass along some of that expense to the end customer in the form of slightly higher interest rates and fees.  Since smaller banks and brokers have much lower overhead cost, you may find an overall cheaper deal.  Also, remember that the VA Streamline Refinance program is virtually identical no matter who you do business with, so be careful not to fall for a big bank using a flashy name to give the impression that their version of the VA program is unique.  Banks both large and small can quote you VA Streamline Refinance Rates so get a quote from a variety and go with which ever you feel most confident with.

VA Streamline Refinance Rates – Closing Costs?

Another factor to consider when in search for the best VA streamline refinance rates  is closing costs.  Since mortgage rates are so low these days, it should be possible for the lender to pay for 100% of your closing costs.  You may not end up with the absolute lowest rate, however by using this strategy you will likely still save a good amount on your monthly payment and also then not need to bring any money to closing.  Be sure to ask the lenders you’re considering whether they can cover any or all of the closing costs when they are quoting you VA streamline refinance rates.

Finally, once you have narrowed the best refinance lenders down to your top two or three, and you’ve asked all the right questions, its time to compare their rates, terms, cost, and most of all:  their reputation and credibility. If you  grade the best refinance lenders on their credibility and experience first, you will have the best chance for a smooth and efficient refinance transaction.

Author Joe Karns of Bridgeview Bank is a seasoned mortgage professional dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information on how to compare mortgage rates. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on getting you the best VA streamline refinance rates.

HARP Rates – How Does PMI and LPMI I Affect Refinancing? HARP Rates – How Does PMI and LPMI I Affect Refinancing?(20)

HARP PMI – How Does PMI Affect Refinancing?

With the new HARP 2.0 program in full swing now, many folks are needing to know if they will qualify with their current mortgage insurance, both PMI(private mortgage insurance) as well as LPMI (lender paid mortgage insurance) scenarios.  That being said, HARP PMI has quickly become a major question in determining HARP eligibility so we’ve put together a little Q&A:

HARP PMI Question #1 – If my current loan has PMI, will my new loan it too?

If your current (Conventional) loan has monthly PMI included, then your new loan would as well under the new HARP 2.0 program.  Essentially, the PMI certificate from your existing loan is simply transferred to the new loan and you would continue paying the same amount.  Please note that not all PMI companies and end lenders allow this so its best to complete our simple live rate quote form and discuss your scenario with on of our qualified lenders to see if your scenario will w0rk.

HARP PMI Question #2 – If my current mortgage has LPMI(Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance) will my new one have it?

This depends on whether your current lender paid the entire LPMI amount up front when you last closed or whether they are paying it monthly behind the scenes.  If its the later of the two, then you can sometimes just transfer that way of having it paid to the new lender and pay a slightly higher rate with the new lender to offset them taking on the LPMI.  However, if the LPMI was paid by your current lender all at once, then that is usually a sunk cost and you’d need to pay for LPMI again one way or another on the new loan.  Still, its not too expensive to have the LPMI rolled in so be sure to ask lenders what their LPMI options are.

HARP PMI eligibility can be a tricky subject so its best to consult with one of our qualified lenders.  Simply complete the free Live RateQuote form on this website to see if your scenario will work.

Question #3 – If I have to take on new LPMI with my HARP refinance because my original lender paid it all at once, how much should my new LPMI cost?

Generally speaking, if your new lender needs to roll LPMI into your rate, the rate should only be about .125% – .375% higher and then you would not be paying any monthly PMI on the new loan.  The lender essentially buys out of the PMI requirement by using the extra premium they earn by charging the slightly higher rate and use that money for the PMI buy-out.  The result is that you would not be required to pay monthly PMI on the new loan.

Conclusion:

All this HARP PMI and LPMI stuff may seem a bit confusion and may would agree with you that it shouldn’t have to be this complicated.  It’s best to consult with one of our qualified lenders to see if your scenario will work with the new HARP 2.0 program in relation to your loan’s PMI or LPMI.

Author Joe Karns is a seasoned mortgage banker and owner of the mortgage blog, hotratequote.com, is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation.  Or, click here for a free quote and to determine if your HARP PMI scenario qualifies

 

Is FreeCreditReport a Scam? Is FreeCreditReport a Scam?(1)

Is FreeCreditReport a scam?

 

Many people who have tried it would say it is, or at minimum, very misleading.  Nearly all of these companies including FreeCreditReport .com were investigated by the FTC a few years back and fined for their practices. that alone should be enough to scare you away from using FreeCreditReport .com (scam) but if that is not enough here is some more food for thought:

FreeCreditReport .com – Is Free really Free?

When in your life has the word free really meant free? buy 2 get one free! – but first you have to shell out the money for the first 2. Free does not exist from a “for profit” company, especially from FreeCreditReport .com which many believe to be a scam.

Many websites like FreeCreditReport .com are considered to be a misleading scam because they are owned by the credit reporting agencies themselves – Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax – all of these are “for profit” companies, out to make a buck from you. You will not get your credit score, and it will probably be just a synopsis of your full credit report. in addition, companies like FreeCreditReport .com are believed to be a scam because they will not tell you that by law they are required to provide you with a full credit report, totally free, once a year.

Although there are literally thousands of websites out there like FreeCreditReport, they all operate on the same premise. You enter all of your personal information – and I mean all of it because it will not let you continue without all the fields being filled out. Then they tell you will get much better information if you sign up for a membership for the small fee of $1.00 – followed by a monthly charge of $15.00. There is an opt out that the FTC made companies like FreeCreditReport .com scammers add, but good luck trying to find it. what happens to all the information that you just gave FreeCreditReport .com? Even if you did not finish the transaction, the credit reporting agencies keep it and update your information on your credit report with it.

As a consumer you absolutely need to know that AnnualCreditReport.com truly is the only place to get a “FREE” report because it is mandated by the FTC.  FreeCreditReport .com is bogus.

 

For more information about FreeCreditReport .com and expert credit repair consulting from Jordan Tobin, Click Here.

You can request your free report online, by phone or by mail. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. No matter how you request your report, you have the option to request all three reports at once or to order one report at a time. by requesting the reports separately, you can monitor your credit more frequently throughout the year. There is really no benefit to you, the consumer, of having a report monthly – and it will cost you $180.00 for the first year, which is the minimum length of “membership” for the competing “scammer” sites out there.

For more information on how credit can impact your ability to get a home loan, check out mortgage expert, Joe Karns, or for a free refinance quote check out www.HotRateQuote.com.

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide whether websites such as freecreditreport is a scam or not, but many angry consumers are saying that it is.

HARP Eligibility – 2.0 Calculator HARP Eligibility – 2.0 Calculator(38)

HARP Eligibility Calculator

The new HARP 2.0 program seems to be all the rave these days as it is designed to help folks refinance who are deeply “under water”.  Still, for most it is still difficult to decipher whether or not their loan and scenario qualify.  So what determines HARP eligibility?  Here’s a few easy questions to help you figure it out:

HARP Eligibility Question #1 – Is your loan currently owned or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie?

An easy way to validate this first step of HARP eligibility is to check on each of their websites:  Fannie:  http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ and Freddie:  https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/  If the answer to this is YES, then you’ve passed the first question of HARP eligibility.

HARP Eligibility Question #2 – Did your existing loan close on or before May 31st of 2009?

If the answer to this question is YES, then you’ve passed the second question of HARP eligibility.  Only loans that were funded AND guaranteed/sold to Fannie or Freddie prior to 5/31/09 are eligible for HARP 2.0.

HARP Eligibility Question #3 – Have you utilized the HARP program already since June 1st of 2009?

If the answer to this question is NO, then you’ve passed the third question of HARP eligibility.  The Government apparently doesn’t want you to have already taken advantage of the HARP program.

HARP Eligibility Question #4 – Have you been current on your mortgage payments for the last six(6) months AND have you had no more than one(1) 30-day late payment within the last twelve(12) months?

If you’ve answered this last two-part question as YES, then you’ve passed question #4.  Borrowers must not have had more than one late payment within the last 12 months and no late payments at all during the last six months to be eligible for HARP 2.0.

HARP Eligibility Question #5 – Is your home’s mortgage within the allowable conforming loan limit for your area? ($417,000 for most areas but check the Fannie Mae website to double check what the max is in your area).

If you answered this as YES and your mortgage amount is within the allowable conforming limit for your area, then you’ve passed question #5.

HARP Eligibility Question #6 – Is your mortgage currently at 80% LTV (loan to value) or higher?

In other words, do you currently have less than 20% equity in your home based on today’s value?  If so, then you’ve passed question #6.

Results:

If you’ve answered all of these question correctly then it appears as if you’ve passed and you MAY be eligible for a HARP 2.0 refiannce.  You may also qualify for the “no appraisal / streamline” version which means even less headaches.  To find out if you qualify for sure and what the rates/terms would be, contact a certified mortgage banker today:

Author Joe Karns is a seasoned mortgage banker and master of getting you the HARP 2.0 Eligibility, is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation.  Or, click here for a free quote and to determine your HARP Eligibility.

 

Freddie Mae – The Roll of Fannie and Freddie vs the Federal Government Freddie Mae – The Roll of Fannie and Freddie vs the Federal Government(1)

Freddie Mae – Are Fannie and Freddie Really That Different?

Whether you’re someone who follows the mortgage industry or not, it is becoming less and less clear why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exist and what differences exist between the two, if any.  Some joke and call the two a collective, “freddie mae”, implying that they essentially are one in the same, so we will refer to the two entities as such for the purposes of this article.  Lets start with how and why they came about:

Why do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AKA Freddie Mae, Even Exist?

Fannie Mae(created in 1938) and Freddie Mac(created in 1970) were created in an effort to expand the secondary mortgage market by securitizing mortgages in the form of mortgage-backed securities (MBS).  In plain terms, before these agencies (AKA Freddie Mae) existed, banks could essentially only lend their own funds thus dramatically limiting both the amount of money they could have out at one time as well as the terms at which the money could be lent.

Are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (AKA Freddie Mae) privately owned or are they a government agency?

This is a very common question and the answer is, its both.  These entities are known as “public government sponsored enterprises” (GSE’s).  So while they are publicly traded companies, a huge chunk of them are owned by the US Government.  This setup has drawn increasingly huge criticism from seemingly anyone and everyone.  While our Government tries to distance itself from Fannie and Freddie in the public eye when unethical lending practices of this last decade are brought to light, the Government is also the first to flex its muscular control over “Freddie Mae” when its in their best interest.  Most would agree that the government should stay completely out of the business of publicly traded companies but  at this point they are in too deep to back out of “Freddie Mae” all at once.  I propose a staged withdrawal over the next 5-10 years.

What part did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (AKA Freddie Mae) play in the housing mess we’re all experiencing these days?

The Federal Government has proven it is lousy at running businesses and gauging risk.  If it was any good, they wouldn’t have allowed Fannie and Freddie (AKA Freddie Mae) to be accepted countless “stated income” loans throughout the last decade, only to ultimately try putting all the blame on Wall Street for the collapse.  At the end of the day, the government should stick to building highways and fighting wars on our behalf, not playing Wall Street.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac definitely play an important role in the mortgage industry and the Government need to separate themselves from the Conventional loan business.

Author Joe Karns is mortgage banking veteran when it comes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, “AKA, Freddie Mae” and is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice.  Or, click here to contact Joe for more info on “Freddie Mae“.

Best HARP 2.0 Rates Best HARP 2.0 Rates(3)

Best HARP 2.0 Rates

One of the top questions from homeowner’s these days seems to be, “What lender can get me the best HARP 2.0 rates on my refinance?”, but this question should actually be second to the most important factor:  “What lender can even do my HARP refinance?”.  Unlike most standardized mortgage programs we’ve all come to know, there are many factors that will determine which lenders can complete your transaction.  There are also different “pricing hits” for various aspects of your scenario which are important to know before you start your search for the best HARP 2.0 rates.  In this piece we’ll be focusing on how to best educate yourself on the potential  pricing hits:

Best HARP 2.0 Rates – Loan Level Hits to Watch for:

Though we’d all like to get our hands on the best HARP 2.0 rates, its important to know what the various “big banks” who will ultimately service these loans view as additional risk factors.  The most common loan-level price adjuster is LTV(Loan-to-Value).   There are also loan level hits for credit score, property type, and occupancy type (owner-occupied, investment property, etc.).  Lets first focus on the most common:  LTV pricing hit:

Best HARP 2.0 Rates – Price add-on’s for LTV:

Now while this new version of HARP is not supposed to limit the LTV, there are only a select few banks willing to accept any loans over 125% LTV.  In regard to pricing hits specifically, the best HARP 2.0 rates can be obtained with the lowest LTV.  For example if your home is at 80%-85% LTV, there shouldn’t be much of a pricing hit at all.  However, once you exceed the higher LTV thresholds such as 90%, 95%, 105%, and especially the 125% LTV, now you should expect to pay about .25% higher in rate, depending on the lender.  A good rule of thumb when looking for the best Harp 2.0 rates is to first ask the lender if they have the ability to complete your transaction based on your expected LTV, and second, what the pricing hit will be for your expected LTV.

During your search for the best HARP 2.0 rates, the first question should be, “can this lend actually do this deal given my property’s current LTV?” 

Best HARP 2.0 Rats – Pricing Hits Fee Structure for Credit Score and Property Type:

Other aspects to consider when searching for the best HARP 2.0 rates is credit score and property type.  As you would probably expect, with less than perfect credit comes a bit higher rate.  There are usually very little hits if you’re at 680+ but typically there will be a small hit once you get below 660.  Additionally, there is a hit for property type.  Specifically, condominiums usually come with about .125% hit to rate (75bps to price) if the LTV is over 75%.  This is an industry-wide Fannie Mae hit so plan on getting this bit higher rate if you own a condo and are over 75% LTV.

As you can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rate/price for this program and its important to take all aspects into consideration when in search of the best HARP 2.0 rates.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of getting you the best HARP 2.0 rates, is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders.  Or, click here for a free quote on Best HARP 2.0 Rates.

Best Refinance Lenders – How to find the pro’s? Best Refinance Lenders – How to find the pro’s?(2)

Best Refinance Lenders – How do I find the pro’s?

During the past couple years in which the mortgage market has been in turmoil, determining who are the best refinance lenders has become a real challenge.  While current interest rates are still at historic lows, the fact remains that the lending guidelines have tightened up to a degree that is unprecedented.   So much, in fact,  that the average loan officer has trouble keeping up with the constant guideline changes and hoping to provide a high level of customer service.  This challenge is resulting in the weaker loan officers leaving the industry and the pro’s within the best lenders now getting the lion’s share of the market.

During your search, its crucial to remember that the same primary hot buttons remain unchanged:  1) Keep in mind that the lenders with the lowest rates may not be the best deal overall.  Even the best refinance lenders often forget to properly disclose the fact that their apparently low rate includes “discount points”.  This additional fee may be getting you what appears to be a great low rate, but you do not necessarily need to pay any additional fees to get a good rate.  Always ask even the best refinance lenders to give you options and proceed carefully.

How to find the best refinance lenders?

You will find numerous lenders trying to attract you with their seemingly lucrative offers.  However, you must know that not all of them can offer you the best loan.  Some of the best refinance lenders’ reputable brand comes from millions of dollars they spend on expensive advertising.  Those TV ads and billboards may help you recognize their brand, but it works against you in regard to their ability to get you the lowest rate.  All that overhead costs money, some of which is passed down to you, the customer.  The key to remember is that the best refinance lenders are not always the ones with the most well known brand name.  Do your research on websites like HotRateQuote to compare mortgage rates and terms so you have all the necessary information to form an education decision.

Here are some points to consider while searching for the best refinance lenders for your your home loan:

1) Start by leveraging the power of the internet.  A simple search for the best refinance lenders on online will yield thousands of results, but the key is to start with the more reputable “portal sites” such as BankRate.com, LendingTree.com, and HotRateQuote.com.  Try to not be diverted by flashy-looking promotional ad banners and buzz word offers but instead try and focus on the numbers:  rates, APR, total fees, etc.  These websites have gotten really good and organizing the best refinance lenders’ rates and terms so check to see what the top 3-5 offers appear to be within the name loan type category.

 2)  Be weary of excessive fees.  In most cases, the  “lowest rate” offer often comes with some hidden costs, which can quickly add up since they are usually percentage-based figures tied to the loan amount.  These extra costs, also known as ” junk fees”, can make your refinance a costly transaction and sometimes not even worth it anymore.    These “junk fees” include but are not limited to:  “processing fees, application fees, doc prep fees, courier fees for mortgage brokers, etc.”  A good rule of thumb to use when considering the total cost, even with the best lenders, is “how long will it take for the proposed monthly savings to exceed the total cost of this transaction?”.  Example:  Lets say you stand to save $52/month but the total fees are $3572.  It would take you a whopping 68 months (over 5 years) to break even!  Any break even point longer than 24 months is not a good deal.

3) Think you’ve found the best deal now?  Be careful, you might also want to ask what documentation is going to be required.  This is a major factory in getting any refinance transaction closed these days.  Some bank’s guidelines have got so ridiculous that it seems like the hurdles between you and the closing table can never be overcome.  Most banks follow the same set of guidelines nowadays, all requiring the standard two years tax returns with W2’s, last two pay stubs, and last two bank statements.  However, I’ve heard of some real world situations recently that you probably wouldn’t even believe.  A good friend of mine was trying to get the third round of underwriting conditions satisfied when she was then told that she also needed to produce the original building permit for the apparent renovation work that was done to her kitchen from 9 years ago, when she had only owned that home for the last 5 years!  This means that she was forced to take a full day off work and beg City Hall to dig up old building permit records just to satisfy the lender and get her refinance closed.  Crazy, huh?   But you’d be surprises how often even the “best refinance lenders” come up with these crazy underwriting conditions.  The key is to always ask what documentation will be required up front.

Go with the “pros” – Go with the best refinance lenders

Finally, once you have narrowed the best lenders down to your top two or three, and you’ve asked all the right questions, its time to compare their rates, terms, cost, and most of all:  their reputation and credibility.  If you “go with the pro” and grade the best refinance lenders on their credibility and experience first, you will have the best chance for a smooth and efficient transaction.

Author Joe Karns of Bridgeview Bank is one of the very best best refinance lenders and is a seasoned mortgage professional dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders:  Compare Mortgage Rates

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