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How to Find the Best Refinance Lenders in Today’s Market How to Find the Best Refinance Lenders in Today’s Market(1)

Best Refinance Lenders – How to 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 refinance lenders now getting the lion’s share of the market.

During your search for the best refinance lenders, 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?

Whenever you embark on a search for 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 refinance 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 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 “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 is sales and marketing leader 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:  Best Refinance Lenders

HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program – What are the benefits of the program? HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program – What are the benefits of the program?(3)

HARP 2.0 – What are the

benefits of the program?

Everyone we know seems to be talking about the new “HARP 2.0” program which is the newest edition of government-sponsored mortgage relief.  So what can HARP 2.0 do for you?  In short, this newer version improves on the initial HARP program by removing the 125% LTV limitation.  In plain terms, many folks who couldn’t qualify for the first edition of HARP because their homes are horribly under water would qualify now.  Other new features of HARP 2.0 include reduced pricing hits at these higher LTV’s for shorter term loans (15yr fixed) and transferable PMI, but the key enhancement of HARP 2.0 is definitely the no-limit LTV.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#1:  How to know if you qualify:

There are a few key requirements to qualify for the HARP 2.0 program.  First, to qualify for HARP 2.0, your mortgage must currently be insured by Fannie Mae(DU Refi Plus) or Freddie Mac( known as “Open Access”).  Next, you need to have been making your mortgage payments on time to qualify for HARP 2.0.  Finally, the loan had to close on or before May 31, 2009.  One additional requirement for HARP 2.0 is that you cannot have already refinanced using the original HARP.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#2: Relaxed underwriting guidelines.

One additional benefit of the HARP 2.0 refinance program is the somewhat relaxed underwriting guidelines.  Specifically, the guidelines related to late mortgage payments on your existing loan.  Under the new HARP 2.0 program, you can actually have paid your existing mortgage late one time within the last 12 months, as long as the late payment occurred more than six months ago.

When you compare mortgage rates for a HARP 2.0 refinance, the most important factor is  talking to a lender that is an expert in the HARP 2.0 guidelines.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#3: What does this mean to the industry?

One thing is for sure, this new HARP 2.0 program should definitely help kick-start the mortgage industry a bit while also helping many homeowners enjoy month savings that come with historically low interest rates who otherwise would not be eligible to refinance.  While there will likely still be millions of homeowners still left high and dry, this updated version of HARP looks like it will help some folks who need relief the most:  those who are seriously upside-down on their mortgage.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of the HARP 2.0 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 a  HARP 2.0.

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