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15 vs 30 Year Mortgage – The Pro’s and Con’s 15 vs 30 Year Mortgage – The Pro’s and Con’s(1)

15 vs 30 Year Mortgage

If you’re like many homeowners you’ve probably contemplated going with a 15 year mortgage vs the more common 30 year fixed program. So what are differences and I can I get a better rate by going with a shorter term? Below are some pro’s and con’s associated with the 15 vs 30 year mortgage programs:

15 vs 30 Year Mortgage – The Rate Difference:

The up side of going with a 15 vs 30 year mortgage is that the 15 year mortgage will come with a bit lower rate. For example, today the average 15 year mortgage would go for about 3.25% while its 30yr counterpart would go for 3.75%. Rates on the 15 year mortgage are lower because the lender is theoretically taking on less risk by having its money out there for a shorter period of time. As a rule of thumb, the shorter the term of the mortgage, the lower the rate will be.

15 vs 30 Year Mortgage – Monthly Payments

One important factor to consider when weighing out the pro’s and con’s of a 15 vs 30 year mortgage is the monthly payment. Payments with the 15 year mortgage are going to be much larger than the longer term since the loan repayment is spread over half the number of months (180 months vs 360 months). It’s therefore sometimes more difficult to qualify for a 15 year mortgage in regard to DTI (debt to income ratio) because you will need to have a relatively high amount of monthly income to support the larger payment associated with a 15 year mortgage vs its 30 year counterpart.

15 vs 30 Year Mortgage – Total Cost Comparison:

If you have sufficient income to support the larger payment that comes with the 15 year mortgage, it may very well be worth consideration since the total interest paid within the 360 payments associated with the 30 year mortgage is much more costly than that of the total interest paid within the 180 payments associated with the 15year mortgage. The total paid on either mortgage is shown on the TIL (Truth In Lending) document which is included in your loan application package as well as again at closing. Many consumers are shocked to see how much their home will ultimately cost by the end of the repayment term. This is perhaps the most compelling reason to consider a 15 year mortgage if you can handle the larger monthly payments.

Author “Joe Mortgage” is a mortgage industry leader who is owner of and is committed to bringing readers relevant and important information. Find out more at the following link for a expert consultation on considering a 15 vs 30 year mortgage.

Harp 2.0 – Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Valiant Enough Effort? Harp 2.0 – Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Valiant Enough Effort?(2)

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program

Many homeowners have been inquiring about how the new “Making Home Affordable Refinance Program”, also known as “HARP 2.0”, can benefit them.  So what can Making Home Affordable do for you?  In short, this newer version improves on the initial HARP program by removing the 125% LTV limitation.  However, there don’t seem to be any of the “big banks” who are servicing the majority of the country’s existing mortgages stepping up and actually adopting these new capabilities, unless that is, you already have your loan with them.

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Who gets access and it enough?

There are a few key requirements to qualify for the Making Home Affordable Refinance program.  First, your loan must currently be insured by by Fannie or Freddie and it must have been insured by them on or before 5/31/09.  Next, you must still qualify, though with somewhat looser guidelines, for this transaction just like any refinance.  Every lender is different and has come up with their own interpretation and “credit overlays” on what the government has set as the bar.  This is outlined in the next section:

Making Home Affordable Refinance – The Big Banks Credit Overlays:

Just when we thought the Government was doing some real good and stepped up with this more aggressive refinance program, we now have to deal with the stubborn “big banks” who are refusing to also take similar necessary measures to help the regular folks in this time of need.  Specifically, the “big banks” profit wildly by servicing the millions of loans that they do.  To help keep as many customer in their camp as possible, the big banks are refusing to allow you the choice of shopping around for the best deal on your HARP refinance by restricting the “unlimited LTV” capability to their one bank.  In a plain terms example:  under the Bank of America Making Home Affordable Refinance program, you can only enjoy the unlimited LTV feature of the program if you stay with Bank of America.  What does this do?  This means they can charge whatever rate they want and as long as its a bit lower than what you have now, you’ll probably accept it.  This completely takes away the competitive “open market” mentality that makes shopping for any type of lower rate work.  Similarly, if you’re with Wells Fargo, you can only enjoy the full benefits of the new program if you stay with Wells Fargo.  The same goes for Chase customers, PNC, etc.

When you compare mortgage rates for a “Making Home Affordable refinance”, the first question should be, can this lend actually do this deal given my property’s current LTV?  Don’t wast your time.  Ask if they have LTV restrictions first, and then get into the rate talks.

Making Home Affordable Refinance: What does this show us about Government help/intervention?

I’m sure there will be many homeowners who take advantage of the newer Making Home Affordable Refinance program, but with all of the “big banks” credit overlays, is this real help, or just a way for the banks to further increase their profits with all this fan fair and retain customers?  Only time will tell, but I think it will take the Government stepping in to force the big banks to really open things up for this to have any widespread benefit.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of the Making Home Affordable Refinance, 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 Making Home Affordable Refinance.

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