Can closing costs change on the closing disclosure?

What to expect on your Closing Disclosure

The Closing Disclosure (CD) is one of the most important loan documents you’ll receive during the mortgage process.

You should read the CD very carefully, as it lists the final terms and closing costs for your home loan.

Many of these numbers will be the same as what you’ve seen before, but some elements on the CD may have changed since you initially applied. Certain closing costs may even increase.

Here’s what you should look out for when you read your CD, and how to know if the numbers you’re seeing are correct.

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What is a Closing Disclosure?

The Closing Disclosure is a 5-page document your lender or mortgage broker will provide at least three days prior to your closing date.

Also known as a ‘CD,’ the Closing Disclosure is a standard document that all lenders are required to provide all mortgage applicants. It lists the final terms, mortgage rate, and closing costs for your new loan.

The counterpart to the CD is the Loan Estimate (LE), a document you receive after applying which outlines the initial terms and costs of the mortgage you’ve been approved for.

Today’s standard Closing Disclosure replaced the HUD-1 settlement statement as the final document that mortgage borrowers are given before signing closing documents.

What information is on the Closing Disclosure?

As you review the Closing Disclosure, you’ll find important details about your mortgage loan.

Many of the key figures appear on the first page of the disclosure form, including:

  • Loan information — Your loan length, loan product (e.g. conventional or FHA), interest rate type (fixed or adjustable), and loan purpose (purchase or refinance)
  • Loan terms — This is where you’ll find your loan amount, interest rate, principal and interest (P&I) payment, and whether or not the loan comes with a prepayment penalty or balloon payment (most don’t)
  • Projected payments — Here you’ll find a breakdown of your full monthly mortgage payment, which includes principal and interest as well as mortgage insurance, property taxes, homeowners insurance premiums, and (if applicable) HOA dues
  • Costs at closing — Lists your total closing costs as well as ‘cash to close,’ which is the total amount you’ll need to pay on closing day including your down payment

You’ll also find a breakdown of your longer-term loan costs — including the annual percentage rate (APR) and total interest cost — on page 5 of the CD.

Generally, the terms and closing costs listed on your Closing Disclosure should very closely match the ones listed on the Loan Estimate you received after you applied.

In fact, there are some items that cannot change on the CD by law. But some closing costs can increase before closing.

It’s important to understand which items can and can’t change on the CD — and by how much — so you know you’re getting the deal you were promised before you sign off on the mortgage.

Here’s what you should know.

What can change on the Closing Disclosure?

According to TRID — the set of fair lending rules that regulates Loan Estimates and Closing Disclosures — some of the costs for your loan may not increase at closing. Others may change, but only by 10 percent or less. Some other closing costs can increase without limit.

Closing costs that cannot change

Certain fees may not change. These fall into the “zero tolerance” category for any increases whatsoever. Such costs include:

  • Lender fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Transfer taxes

Lender fees, including origination charges and underwriting fees, make up a big chunk of your closing costs.

These are not allowed to change, so if you see a difference between lender fees on your LE and CD, that should raise a red flag.

Closing costs that can increase 10% or less

Unless there is a “change in circumstances,” some closing costs may be permitted to change as long as the total does not increase by more than 10 percent.

These items include recording fees, and fees for lender-required third-party services you’ve chosen, such as:

  • Title search
  • Lender’s title insurance
  • Survey fee
  • Pest inspection fee

Note, the cost of these items cannot change at all if the service provider is an affiliate of your mortgage lender.

Closing costs that can increase by any amount

Certain closing costs are not controlled by the lender, nor do they go to the lender. They can increase by any amount at any time. These include:

  • Prepaid interest
  • Prepaid property taxes
  • Prepaid homeowners insurance premiums
  • Initial escrow account deposits
  • Real estate-related fees

Can my interest rate change before closing?

Unless your interest rate is locked when you receive your Loan Estimate, it can change before closing.

Your rate can change even if it has been locked, too.

For instance, if your credit score has fallen since applying, or if you don’t end up closing during the specified rate-lock timeframe, your rate can change.

Or, if your mortgage has a ‘float down option,’ you might pay an additional closing cost for the chance to lower your rate if current interest rates fall before closing.

What happens when closing costs change?

Closing costs can change dramatically if your application has a “changed circumstance” — meaning you no longer qualify for, or no longer want, the loan you originally planned on.

If your loan application has changed circumstances, you will likely receive a revised Loan Estimate and later, a revised Closing Disclosure.

A changed circumstance could be for a number of reasons. For example:

  • You or your lender decide on a different loan program
  • You make a different down payment
  • Your home under appraises
  • Your credit score or credit report changes
  • Your income or employment can’t be verified as expected

If closing costs have increased more than the allowed limits and your application has not had a “changed circumstance,” you are entitled to a refund of the amount above the allowable limits.

If a changed circumstance is required, the Closing Disclosure will need to be redone.

This could delay your closing, so you’ll want to contact your lender to make any of the necessary changes immediately.

How to use your Loan Estimate to check the Closing Disclosure

When you started your loan, your lender issued a Loan Estimate.

The Loan Estimate (LE) is another product of the TRID rule. This disclosure replaced what was formerly known as the ‘Good Faith Estimate’ or GFE.

Your Loan Estimate highlights the most important features of the loan and makes it easier to compare different lenders.

The numbers on your LE and CD should be similar, but might not be exactly the same. The Loan Estimate shows what you may pay. The Closing Disclosure shows what you will pay.

To make an accurate comparison between your LE and CD and make sure you’re getting the mortgage you were offered, pay attention to a few key points:

  • Make sure your loan type, loan term, and monthly payment are what you expect
  • Check that your interest rate is the same one you locked in, provided you’re closing within the rate lock period
  • Make sure the closing costs that cannot change on the CD exactly match what’s shown on the LE
  • Make sure the closing costs that can change have only increased within the 10% allowable limit, if applicable (see above)

You should also look closely at the more mundane details on your CD. Even small errors, such as the misspelling of your name or address, can create significant problems later on.

Look at your CD with a close eye and if anything seems amiss, contact your lender immediately to get the issue sorted out.

For a full breakdown of the Closing Disclosure form and tips on how to read each page, see this example from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Why the Closing Disclosure is important

Thanks to TRID, also known as the “Know Before You Owe” rule, all lenders are required to issue a Closing Disclosure three business days prior to closing.

This important disclosure was meant to protect mortgage borrowers by preventing surprises at closing.

When you receive your Closing Disclosure, be sure to read each item on the disclosure. Take note of whether there have been any changes since you received the Loan Estimate.

Do you understand the fees and have any of them changed? Do you have an escrow account and do you understand how it works?

If you’re uncertain, ask your lender to help you go over everything.

You should fully understand the terms and cost of a home loan before signing on — and you should be sure you’re getting the deal you expected.

Verify your new rate (Feb 24th, 2021)

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Source: themortgagereports.com

Today’s mortgage rates rise — refinance before they go even higher | February 23, 2021 – Fox Business

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.

Check out the mortgage rates for February 23, 2021, which are trending up from yesterday. (iStock)

Based on data compiled by Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, mortgage rates have risen since yesterday.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: 3.000%, Up from 2.875%, +0.125
  • 20-year fixed-rate mortgages: 2.875%, Up from 2.750%, +0.125
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: 2.250%, Unchanging

Rates last updated on February 23, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

To find the best mortgage rate, start by using Credible, which can show you current mortgage and refinance rates:

Browse rates from multiple lenders so you can make an informed decision about your home loan.

Looking at today’s mortgage refinance rates

Today’s mortgage refinance rates have remained largely unchanged since yesterday. Mortgage and refinance rates continue to move away from record lows, with 30- and 20-year rates holding firm at or above 3%. If you’re considering refinancing an existing home, check out what refinance rates look like:

  • 30-year fixed-rate refinance: 3.000%, Unchanging
  • 20-year fixed-rate refinance: 3.000%, Unchanging
  • 15-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.375%, Unchanging

Rates last updated on February 23, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

A site like Credible can be a big help when you’re ready to compare mortgage refinance loans. Credible lets you see prequalified rates for conventional mortgages from multiple lenders all within a few minutes. Visit Credible today to get started.

Current mortgage rates

The spike in mortgage interest rates today marks a new high, with 30-year rates reaching 3.000% for the first time in 143 days. The average rate across all loan types also set a new record, topping 2.708%.

Current 30-year fixed-rate mortgages

The current interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.000%. This is up from yesterday.

Current 20-year fixed-rate mortgages

The current interest rate for a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.875%. This is up from yesterday.

Current 15-year fixed-rate mortgages

The current interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.250%. This is the same as yesterday.

You can explore your mortgage options in minutes by visiting Credible to compare current rates from various lenders who offer mortgage refinancing as well as home loans. Check out Credible and get prequalified today, and take a look at today’s refinance rates through the link below.

Rates last updated on February 23, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

How mortgage rates have changed

Today, mortgage rates are up compared to this time last week.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: 3.000%, up from 2.750% last week, +0.250 
  • 20-year fixed-rate mortgages: 2.875%, up from 2.500% last week, +0.375
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: 2.250%, up from 2.125% last week, +0.125

Rates last updated on February 23, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

If you’re trying to find the right rate for your home mortgage or looking to refinance an existing home, consider using Credible. You can use Credible’s free online tool to easily compare multiple lenders and see prequalified rates in just a few minutes.

The factors behind today’s mortgage rates

Current mortgage and refinance rates are affected by many economic factors, like unemployment numbers and inflation. But your personal financial history will also determine the rates you’re offered.

Larger economic factors

  • Strength of the economy
  • Inflation rates
  • Employment
  • Consumer spending
  • Housing construction and other market conditions
  • Stock and bond markets
  • 10-year Treasury yields
  • Federal Reserve policies

Personal economic factors

  • Credit score
  • Credit history
  • Down payment size
  • Loan-to-value ratio
  • Loan type, size, and term
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Location of the property

How to get your lowest mortgage rate

If you want low mortgage rates, improving your credit score and paying down any other debt could secure you a lower rate. The size of your down payments also affects mortgage rates, with a low down payment likely to yield you a higher rate.

It’s also a good idea to compare rates from different lenders to find the best rate for your financial goals. According to research from Freddie Mac, borrowers can save $1,500 on average over the life of their loan by shopping for just one additional rate quote — and an average of $3,000 by comparing five rate quotes.

Credible can help you compare current rates from multiple mortgage lenders at once in just a few minutes. Are you looking to refinance an existing home? Use Credible’s online tools to compare rates and get prequalified today.

Mortgage interest rates by loan type

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer shopping for a 30- or 15-year mortgage, or you’re looking to refinance an existing home, Credible can help you find the right mortgage for your financial goals.

Be sure to check out these loan rates, which you’ll be able to compare by annual percentage rate (APR) as well as interest rate:

Mortgage refinance:

Home purchase:

More resources on getting a home loan

Want to learn more about how to get a mortgage? Take a look at the following articles:

Source: foxbusiness.com

Today’s mortgage refinance rates move higher | February 12, 2021 – Fox Business

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.

Check out the mortgage refinancing rates for February 12, 2021, which are up from yesterday. (iStock)

Based on data compiled by Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, current mortgage refinance rates increased compared to yesterday’s. Though 20-year rates bumped up by 250 basis points today, 15-year rates have not budged from 2.125% in four consecutive days.

  • 30-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.750%, Unchanging
  • 20-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.750%, Up from 2.500%, +0.250
  • 15-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.125%, Unchanging

Rates last updated on February 12, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

If you’re thinking of refinancing your home mortgage, consider using Credible. Whether you’re interested in saving money on your monthly mortgage payments, or considering a cash-out refinance, Credible’s free online tool will let you compare rates from multiple mortgage lenders. You can see prequalified rates in as little as three minutes.

Current 30-year fixed-rate refinance

The current rate for a 30-year fixed-rate refinance is 2.750%. This is the same as yesterday.

Current 20-year fixed-rate refinance

The current rate for a 20-year fixed-rate refinance is 2.750%. This is up from yesterday.

Current 15-year fixed-rate refinance

The current rate for a 15-year fixed-rate refinance is 2.125%. This is the same as yesterday.

You can explore your mortgage refinance options in minutes by visiting Credible to compare rates and lenders. Check out Credible and get prequalified today.

Rates last updated on February 12, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

How mortgage refinance rates have changed

Today, mortgage refinance rates have risen compared to this time last week.

  • 30-year fixed refinance: 2.750%, the same as last week
  • 20-year fixed refinance: 2.750%, up from 2.625% last week, +0.125
  • 15-year fixed refinance: 2.125%, up from 1.875% last week, +0.250

Think it might be the right time to refinance? To understand just how much you could save on monthly mortgage payments by refinancing now, crunch the numbers and compare rates using Credible’s free online tool. Within minutes, you can see what multiple mortgage refinance lenders are offering.

Rates last updated on February 12, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

The factors behind today’s refinance rates

Current refinance rates, like mortgage interest rates in general, are affected by many economic factors, like unemployment numbers and inflation. But your personal financial history will also determine the rates you’re offered when refinancing your mortgage.

Larger economic factors

  • Strength of the economy
  • Inflation rates
  • Employment
  • Consumer spending
  • Housing construction and other market conditions
  • Stock and bond markets
  • 10-year Treasury yields
  • Federal Reserve policies

Personal economic factors

  • Credit score
  • Credit history
  • Down payment size
  • Loan-to-value ratio
  • Loan type, size, and term
  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Location of the property

How to get your lowest mortgage refinance rate

If you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage, improving your credit score and paying down any other debt could secure you a lower rate. It’s also a good idea to compare rates from different lenders if you’re hoping to refinance, so you can find the best rate for your situation.

Borrowers can save $1,500 on average over the life of their loan by shopping for just one additional rate quote, and an average of $3,000 by comparing five rate quotes, according to research from Freddie Mac. Credible can help you compare multiple lenders at once in just a few minutes.

If you decide to refinance your mortgage, be sure to shop around and compare rates from multiple mortgage lenders. You can do this easily with Credible’s free online tool and see your prequalified rates in only three minutes.

Credible also has a partnership with a home insurance broker. You can compare free home insurance quotes through Credible’s partner here. It’s fast, easy, and the whole process can be completed entirely online.

Mortgage rates by loan type

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer shopping for mortgage loans, or you’re seeking lower monthly payments on an existing home, Credible can help you keep an eye on current mortgage rates and find the right loan for your financial goals.

Be sure to check out these loan rates, which you’ll be able to compare by annual percentage rate (APR) as well as interest rate:

More resources on mortgage refinance

Want to learn more about refinancing your home loan? Take a look at the following articles:

Source: foxbusiness.com

7/1 ARM vs. 30-Year Fixed Mortgage: Pros and Cons

Posted on February 23rd, 2021

When shopping for a mortgage, it’s very important to pick a suitable loan product for your unique situation. Today, we’ll compare two popular loan programs, the “30-year fixed mortgage vs. the 7-year ARM.”

We all know about the traditional 30-year fixed – it’s a home loan with a 30-year duration and an interest rate that never adjusts the entire loan term. Pretty simple, right?

But what about the 7-year ARM, or more specifically, the 7/1 ARM? It’s an adjustable-rate mortgage and a fixed-rate mortgage, all rolled into one. Sounds a little bit more complicated…

How the 7/1 ARM Works

7-year ARM

  • You get a fixed interest rate for the first seven years of the loan
  • After that the rate becomes annually adjustable for the remaining 23 years of the 30-year loan term
  • Many borrowers don’t keep their mortgage/home that long so you may never actually face a rate adjustment
  • It’s an option to consider alongside the more popular 30-year fixed

A 7/1 ARM is an adjustable-rate mortgage with a 30-year term that features a fixed interest rate for the first seven years and a variable rate for the remaining 23 years.

Let’s break it down. During the first seven years of the loan term, the mortgage rate is fixed, meaning it won’t change from month-to-month, or even year-to-year.

So if the starting interest rate is 3%, that’s where it will remain until it’s first adjustment in month 85.

For all intents and purposes, the loan program offers borrowers fixed rates for a very lengthy 84 months.

During the remaining 23 years, the rate is adjustable, and can change just once per year.  That’s where the number “1”  in 7/1 ARM comes in.

This makes the 7-year ARM a so-called “hybrid” adjustable-rate mortgage, which is actually good news.

You essentially get the best of both worlds. A lower interest rate thanks to it being an ARM, and a long period where that rate won’t change.

It affords you two additional years of fixed payments when compared to the 5/1 ARM. And those 24 extra months might come in handy…

Why Choose the 7/1 ARM?

why choose 7/1 ARM

  • You can obtain a lower interest rate (and monthly payment)
  • Relative to other fixed-rate mortgage options that might be available
  • This loan type features a fixed interest rate for a full seven years
  • Meaning you may effectively hold a fixed-rate mortgage for as long as you own your home or until you refinance

You probably don’t want your mortgage rate (and mortgage payment) to change all the time, especially if your rate increases, which is probably the likelier outcome.

With the 7/1 ARM, you get mortgage rate stability for a full seven years before even having to worry about the first rate adjustment.

And because most homeowners either sell or refinance before that time, it could prove to be a good choice for those looking for a discount.

That’s right, 7/1 ARM mortgage rates are cheaper than the 30-year fixed, or at least they should be.

By cheaper, I mean it comes with a lower interest rate than the 30-year fixed, which equates to a lower monthly mortgage payment for the first 84 months!

As noted, most homeowners don’t keep their home loans that long anyway, so there’s a decent chance the borrower will never see that first adjustment, yet still enjoy that low rate month after month for years.

At the time of this writing, mortgage rates on the 7-year ARM averaged 2.910%, while the average rate on a 30-year fixed was a slightly higher 3.090%, according to figures from Bankrate.

[What mortgage rate can I expect?]

That’s a paltry difference in rate, and a reflection of the current disruption on the secondary market.

In short, fixed interest rates are super low at the moment because the Fed has pledged to buy up long-term fixed-rate mortgage securities, driving rates down.

As such, ARMs aren’t offering much of a discount and aren’t very attractive or even worth looking into in most cases.

But in normal times, you might find a much wider spread between the two products.

For example, a few years back the 7-year ARM averaged 3.64%, while the average rate on a 30-year fixed was 4.69%.

That resulted in a monthly payment difference of $122.28 a month, $1,467 per year, and over $10,000 over the first seven years on a $200,000 loan amount. Not bad, eh?

Let’s look at the math:

Loan amount: $200,000
30-year fixed monthly payment: $1,036.07
7-year ARM monthly payment: $913.79

Not only would you save long-term, but you’d also save monthly, meaning you could put that extra money to good use somewhere else, such as in a more liquid investment.

Or simply set it aside to pay other bills (like high-interest credit cards) or build up an emergency fund.

The lower rate would also pay down your principal balance faster, meaning you’d accrue home equity faster.

Are the Lower 7/1 ARM Rates Worth the Risk?

7/1 ARM vs 30-year fixed

  • You have to weigh the risk and reward of the 7/1 ARM
  • While you get a discounted interest rate for a lengthy seven years
  • Perhaps .50% to .625% lower than the 30-year fixed during normal times
  • Consider the risk of the rate adjusting higher in year 8 and beyond unless you sell/refinance before that time

Now let’s talk about 7/1 ARM rates, which are typically cheaper than the 30-year fixed, but how much depends on the current rate environment.

If you actually plan on staying in your home and paying off your mortgage, you face the possibility of an interest rate reset (higher, or lower) in the future.

And you don’t want to get caught out if mortgage rates surge over the next seven years, especially if you can’t sell your home or don’t want to.

However, if you’re like many Americans, who sell or refinance within seven years, the loan program could make a lot of sense, assuming it’s a good time to sell or refinance rates are attractive at some point over those 84 months.

Just be sure to do the math on both scenarios before committing to either of these loan programs.

Sometimes the rate spread between seven-year ARM rates and the 30-year fixed isn’t that wide.

At the moment, the spread is almost nonexistent, making fixed-rate mortgages the obvious choice for just about everyone.

However, you do need to put in more to shop around because ARM rates can vary a lot more from bank to bank than fixed rates.

If you put in the legwork, you may find a bank or lender willing to offer a more substantial discount.

For example, First Republic Bank does most of its volume in ARMs, and could offer a wider spread versus the competition.

Regardless, this spread can and will fluctuate over time, so always take the time to consider that when making a decision between the two loan programs.

Obviously the upside is diminished and it gets riskier if the two loan programs are pricing similarly.

Make Sure You Can Afford the 7/1 ARM

  • It might be wise to look at the worst-case scenario
  • Which is the maximum interest rate your loan can adjust to
  • This ensures you can handle the larger monthly mortgage payments
  • Assuming you don’t sell or refinance or are unable to and your rate adjusts significantly higher

Lastly, note that you should be able to afford the fully-indexed rate on a mortgage ARM, should it adjust higher.

After those seven years are up, the interest rate will be calculated using the margin and the index rate (such as SOFR) tied to the loan. This rate could be considerably higher than what you were paying.

In other words, expect and plan for rate increases in the future and make sure you can absorb them if for some reason you don’t sell your home or refinance your mortgage first.

If a rate adjustment isn’t within your budget, or won’t be in the future when it adjusts, you may want to pay it safe with a fixed-rate mortgage instead of the 7/1 ARM. Believe it or not, seven years can go by pretty fast.

The good news is even if mortgage rate are higher seven years after you take out your loan, you’ll still be pretty far ahead from all the savings realized during that time.

You’ll have a smaller outstanding loan amount thanks to more of your monthly payment going toward the principal balance and you’ll have saved a ton on interest.

So even if refinance rates are higher in the future, or you simply let it ride with a rate adjustment, you may still come out ahead, at least for a little while.

If nothing else, the savings during the first seven years may give you breathing room to pay more in the future, or refinance at more attractive terms.

In summary, the 7-year ARM might not be for the faint of heart, whereas a 30-year fixed is pretty straightforward and stress-free. And that’s why you pay more for it.

If you’re certain you won’t be staying in a property for more than five or so years, it could be a solid alternative and a big money saver if spreads are wide.

To know for sure, use a mortgage calculator to compare the costs of each loan program over your expected tenure in the property.

7/1 ARM Pros and Cons

The Good

  • You get a fixed interest rate for an entire seven years (84 months!)
  • The rate is typically much lower than a 30-year fixed
  • More of each monthly payment will go toward the principal balance instead of interest
  • Most homeowners move or refinance in less time than that
  • So you can enjoy a lower mortgage rate without worrying about a rate adjustment

The Bad

  • It’s an ARM that can adjust higher after seven years
  • Monthly payments may become much more expensive if you hold onto it
  • The interest rate discount may not be worth the risk of the rate adjustment
  • More stress if you hold the mortgage anywhere near seven years
  • Could be stuck with the loan if unable to sell/refinance once it becomes adjustable

Read more: 30-year fixed vs. 15-year fixed.

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

Mortgage and refinance rates today, February 22, 2021

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates 

Average mortgage rates edged up again last Friday. That was disappointing after Thursday’s small fall. But hardly a surprise, given the sharp rises earlier in the week.

First thing, it looked as if these rates might push higher again this morning. But an early surge was moderating by 10 a.m. (ET). And at that time it seemed more likely that mortgage rates might hold steady or move just a little today. But, of course, such a quickly changing environment could turn again during the day.

Find and lock a low rate (Feb 22nd, 2021)

Current mortgage and refinance rates 

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 2.949% 2.952% Unchanged
Conventional 15 year fixed 2.519% 2.528% Unchanged
Conventional 20 year fixed 2.887% 2.894% Unchanged
Conventional 10 year fixed 2.569% 2.593% Unchanged
30 year fixed FHA 2.69% 3.366% Unchanged
15 year fixed FHA 2.485% 3.067% Unchanged
5 year ARM FHA 2.5% 3.213% Unchanged
30 year fixed VA 2.25% 2.421% Unchanged
15 year fixed VA 2.128% 2.448% Unchanged
5 year ARM VA 2.5% 2.392% Unchanged
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Find and lock a low rate (Feb 22nd, 2021)


COVID-19 mortgage updates: Mortgage lenders are changing rates and rules due to COVID-19. To see the latest on how coronavirus could impact your home loan, click here.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

It’s beginning to look as if last week’s rises in mortgage rates might stick. Absent additional positive news, they may not have much further to climb. But it’s hard to currently see reasons why they should fall back significantly anytime soon.

So my personal rate lock recommendations, which I changed last week, remain:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • LOCK if closing in 45 days
  • LOCK if closing in 60 days

But, with so much uncertainty at the moment, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So be guided by your gut and your personal tolerance for risk.

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Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates 

Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasurys inched up to 1.33% from 1.32%. (Bad for mortgage rates) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields, though less so recently
  • Major stock indexes were lower on opening. (Good for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite happens when indexes are lower
  • Oil prices rose to $60.62 from $60.16 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates* because energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity.) 
  • Gold prices moved up to $1,805 from $1,778 an ounce. (Good for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s better for rates when gold rises, and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index — Nudged down to 56 from 59 out of 100. (Good for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones

*A change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Caveats about markets and rates

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. The Fed is now a huge player and some days can overwhelm investor sentiment.

So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong (rates are likely to rise) or weak (they could fall) to rely on them. But, with that caveat, so far mortgage rates today look likely to be unchanged or barely changed.

Find and lock a low rate (Feb 22nd, 2021)

Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

Here are some things you need to know:

  1. The Fed’s ongoing interventions in the mortgage market (way over $1 trillion) should put continuing downward pressure on these rates. But it can’t work miracles all the time. And read “For once, the Fed DOES affect mortgage rates. Here’s why” if you want to understand this aspect of what’s happening
  2. Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  3. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  4. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
  5. When rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  6. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases. But some types of refinances are higher following a regulatory change

So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Today and soon

I’m expecting mortgage rates to hold steady today or just inch either side of the neutral line. But, as always, that could change as the day progresses.

This morning’s Financial Times reported on American mortgages: “Thirty-year fixed loan returns to 3% as inflation concerns feed through to [the] real economy.” And that’s one of the causes of last week’s rate rises.

Perhaps you could argue that it’s the only one because the other, more obvious ones could be behind this new concern. But those others might have been capable of accounting for the rises even if nobody cared about future inflation. They are new optimism over:

  1. The vaccine rollout giving a swift shot in the arm to the economic recovery
  2. Prospects for the president’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure passing Congress largely intact
  3. Continuing falls in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death rates

It will likely take at least one of those falling over or some huge negative news for mortgage rates to head lower in any meaningful way.

A few economists are worried that the stock market boom is becoming unstable and that a panic and sharp correction could be upon us as soon as next month. And, if that were to happen, lower mortgage rates could certainly follow. But it so far remains a minority opinion and your judgment on how likely it is will be as valid as anyone else’s.

For more background on my wider thinking, read our latest weekend edition, which is published every Saturday soon after 10 a.m. (ET).

Recently

Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions last year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But rates then rose. And Freddie’s Feb. 18 report puts that weekly average at 2.81%, up from the previous week’s 2.73%, and the highest it’s been since mid-November. But even that weekly average fails to take into account all the rises we saw that week.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts

Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rates forecasts for each quarter of 2021 (Q1/21, Q2/21, Q3/21 and Q4/21).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s and the MBA’s were updated on Feb. 18 and 19 respectively. But Freddie now publishes forecasts quarterly and its are from mid-January:

Forecaster Q1/21 Q2/21 Q3/21 Q4/21
Fannie Mae 2.8% 2.8% 2.9% 2.9%
Freddie Mac 2.9% 2.9% 3.0% 3.0%
MBA 2.8% 3.1% 3.3% 3.4%

But, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual. And there’s certainly a widening spread as the year progresses.

Find your lowest rate today

Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.

But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash-out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.

But, of course, you should be comparison shopping widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

Verify your new rate (Feb 22nd, 2021)

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Mortgage rate methodology

The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.

Source: themortgagereports.com

Black Homeowners Charged Higher Mortgage Rates Than White Counterparts With Similar Incomes – ValuePenguin

Inequality is also prevalent in mortgage refinancing

The U.S. housing market continues to see historically low mortgage interest rates and rising home prices, locking many out of finding affordable real estate. Another challenge? The mortgage rate disparities between Black and white homeowners.

When compared with white homeowners with similar incomes, Black homeowners have first mortgages — the loan used to buy or refinance a home — with higher interest rates, according to a new analysis from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). What’s more, white homeowners with a significantly lower income than Black homeowners also have lower interest rates.

Lending discrimination lingers in mortgage market

The analysis, authored by JCHS research analyst Raheem Hanifa, found that although mortgage rates drop as incomes rise, race can impact the rate attached to a borrower’s home loan. The median interest rate for a Black homeowner with a household income of at least $100,000 was 4.169%, while a white homeowner with the same income had a median rate of 3.946%, a 22-basis-point discount.

The largest disparity exists between Black and white homeowners earning a household income between $30,000 and $45,000. Black homeowners with this level of household income had a median interest rate of 4.506%, while the rate for white homeowners was 29 basis points lower, at 4.213%.

Not all refinances are created equal

A mortgage refinance can help you snag a lower mortgage rate and monthly payment, cash out some of your available equity or get rid of your mortgage sooner. But, according to JCHS’ analysis, Black homeowners are not reaping the same level of refi benefits as white homeowners.

While the analysis found that Black homeowners were able to refinance into a mortgage with a rate that was 22 basis points lower than their old rate, that was still 20 basis points higher than rates for white homeowners who refinanced. Additionally, refinance rates for Black homeowners were similar to those of white homeowners who didn’t go through the refi process.

Remember to shop around

Your mortgage interest rate affects your loan affordability and several factors are used to calculate that rate, including, but not limited to:

  • Your credit score
  • Your down payment amount
  • Your loan type
  • Your repayment term

A higher credit score can help you get a better interest rate. Generally speaking, mortgage borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher may be eligible for the lowest available mortgage rates. A larger down payment can also drop your rate because it reduces your lender’s risk by shrinking the loan amount you’ll need to buy your home.

Mortgages with shorter terms tend to have lower interest rates. For example, the typical 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has an average 2.21% rate, while the average 30-year fixed-rate loan has a 2.81% mortgage rate, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Rates also vary by mortgage lender, which is why it’s crucial to shop around. Identify three to five lenders and reach out for price quotes. Pay attention to and compare interest rate and closing costs estimates; you may end up saving thousands over your loan’s lifetime.

Still, if you believe you’re experiencing lending discrimination, consider filing a complaint online with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or by reaching out to your state’s attorney general.

Methodology: The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University’s report analyzed 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey. The analysis was published in February 2021.

Source: valuepenguin.com

‘How Can We Catch Up?’ Mortgage Denials Stack the Deck Against Black and Hispanic Buyers

The American dream of homeownership is not an equal opportunity ambition.

Black and Hispanic home buyers are more frequently denied mortgages than white buyers—even when their financial pictures are similar, according to a realtor.com® analysis of 2019 mortgage data. When they are able to secure mortgages, Black and Hispanic borrowers are more likely to pay higher fees and interest rates on their loans than white and Asian borrowers.

“What we call it in my community is the ‘Black tax,'” says Donnell Williams. He is president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, an organization for Black real estate professionals, and a broker with Destiny Realty in Morristown, NJ.

“Even if we have a college degree, we’re still getting the same treatment as a white high-school dropout,” he says.

Black buyers were twice as likely to be refused mortgages than whites, according to the realtor.com analysis of 7.2 million loan applications in 2019. Only about 5.5% of whites had their loan applications rejected, compared with 6.8% of Asians, 9.3% of Hispanics, 11.7% of Blacks, and 10.8% of multi-minority race individuals hoping to be approved. These denials were only for applicants where all the data was available for fully completed applications that weren’t withdrawn.

Decades of discrimination against people of color have resulted in lower homeownership rates among minorities than among whites in America. And that has a deep, long-term impact on wide swaths of America, since homeownership is traditionally how generations have catapulted themselves into the middle class, as their properties appreciate in value over time.

Nearly three-quarters of whites, 74.5%, owned their homes in the last quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, just 44.1% of Blacks, 49.1% of Hispanics, and 59.5% of Asians were homeowners in the last three months of the year.

“There are a lot of obstacles that are working against buyers of color,” says Brett Theodos, a senior fellow at Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington, DC.

On top of racial discrimination, “they’re less likely to get help with the down payment from the bank of Mom and Dad,” says Theodos. “They’ve also [often] entered adulthood with higher student loan debt, less inheritance, and are on average in professions that earn lower wages.”

Many of these problems took root generations ago. Whites who served in World War II were offered low-cost mortgages for single-family homes in newly built suburbs when they returned. Blacks and other minorities were often denied access to these loans. In many cases, Blacks, in particular, were explicitly barred from living in white communities through a toxic combination of racial covenants written in deeds and government-supported redlining.

Black Americans, like these Tuskegee Airmen, served their country in World War II but returned home to face discrimination.
Black Americans, like these Tuskegee Airmen, served their country in World War II but returned home to face discrimination.

Bettmann/Getty Images

So Blacks who wanted to become homeowners often had to buy homes at inflated prices in less desirable areas. If they were able to get mortgages at all, they typically paid more for them. And homes in these areas haven’t appreciated nearly as much as homes in white areas, except in the places that have seen significant gentrification. As homeownership is used to catapult folks into the middle class and build wealth, that’s left many minorities with less money to pass down to future generations in the form of college tuition assistance or a down payment.

“How can we catch up? How can we be on par? We didn’t have that head start of generational wealth,” laments the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ Williams. “You want a piece of the American dream, and it’s hard. You feel like your efforts are in vain.”

Realtor.com took a hard look at which races are most likely to be denied mortgages and the reasons provided for those rejections as well as who is paying the most for those loans. To do so, we analyzed 2019 mortgage application data available through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The act, passed in 1975, requires most larger lenders to collect mortgage data and make it public. We looked at only first-lien mortgages on purchases of one- to four-family homes built on site, so manufactured homes wouldn’t be included.

When possible, we compared borrowers with similar financial profiles to see who was getting loans—and who wasn’t. However, our analysis doesn’t take into account certain discrepancies like credit scores.

Blacks most likely to be denied mortgages—even with good-sized down payments

According to our analysis, even aspiring home buyers of color with sizable down payments are more likely to be denied mortgages.

Black borrowers with 10% to 20% to put down were more than twice as likely to be denied than whites offering the same down payments. Lenders rejected 6% of whites and 9% of Asians—compared with 11% of Hispanics and multi-minority race borrowers and 13% of Blacks.

These higher denial rates may be due to minority borrowers having lower credit scores, more debt, or some other financial black mark. But lending experts believe that racial discrimination also plays a part.

For example, a loan officer might tell white borrowers to improve their credit before submitting an application, be more understanding of alternative forms of income, such as a family member contributing or a side gig, or wait until mortgage rates fall a little so their monthly payment is lower. The latter would increase such borrowers’ shot at getting a loan. But a loan officer may not do the same for customers of color.

“Some of it is decisions being made by the lending officers,” says sociology professor Lincoln Quillian of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. “They have powerful stereotypes of who is likely to repay loans.”

Black and Hispanic borrowers often pay more for their mortgages

Black and Hispanic borrowers were more likely to receive higher mortgage interest rates on their loans—which can add up to big money over time.

About 59% of white borrowers and 52% of Asian borrowers received rates within 1 percentage point of the best (i.e., lowest) possible rate. However, only 51% of multi-minority race borrowers, 47% of Hispanics, and 44% of Blacks fared as well. (It’s unknown whether some of these borrowers pre-paid or bought down their interest rates during the closing process.)

Even the smallest differences in rates can really add up. A single percentage point difference can lead to a larger monthly mortgage payment and tens of thousands of dollars more paid out over the life of a 30-year fixed-rate loan. (The exact difference depends on the purchase price of the home, the exact mortgage rates, and the size of the down payment.)

A recent study found that wealthier Blacks were given higher mortgage rates than low-income whites.

Black households making between $75,000 and $100,000 a year were saddled with a median 4.215% mortgage interest rate in 2019, according to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. However white households earning $30,000 or less had a lower median mortgage rate of 4.16%. The study looked at 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data.

Even Black households raking in $100,000 a year or more paid slightly higher interest rates, 4.169%, than low-income whites. Whites with six-figure incomes had median 3.946% rates—about 22 basis points less than Blacks who were also earning $100,000 or more.

“We have some deep problems in the mortgage market,” Raheem Hanifa, a research analyst at the center who wrote the study.

“Some of the differences in mortgage [costs] is due to differences in who the lenders are. There’s evidence that Black and Hispanic buyers are more likely to be marketed to by lenders who are higher-cost,” says sociology professor Quillian. “White and Asian borrowers are more likely to go to traditional banks.”

Predatory lending and the proliferation of subprime mortgages doled out to communities of color led to the last housing crash, and plunged the world into a financial crisis more than a decade ago. But at least some of today’s pricier lenders may simply be smaller operations that need to charge more since they’re not dealing with the economies of scale of the bigger banks.

People of color more likely to be denied loans due to debt

Minorities are more likely to be denied mortgages due to their debt. Before deciding whether to grant loans, lenders look closely at potential borrowers’ debt loads. Their goal is to make sure borrowers can afford to pay back their credit card, student loan, car, and other payments—on top of a mortgage.

Only 1.6% of potential whites borrowers had their applications rejected because of their debt loads—compared with 2.5% of Asians, 3.1% of Hispanics, and 3.8% of Blacks. About 3.7% of multi-minority race applicants were also rejected.

While that does not sound like that much of a difference, it means that 1 in 64 white applicants is denied versus 1 in 26 Blacks.

Some minority borrowers may simply carry more debt than white borrowers. Many face discrimination in the workplace that can manifest in lower salaries and fewer promotions. Also, they may not receive the same level of financial help from their families when they get into a tough financial spot.

Black households were more than twice as likely to have student loan debt than white households, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. About 43% of Black households had student debt, at a median $40,000, compared with 21% of whites, at a median $30,000 in student debt. (The report was based on a survey of more than 8,200 home buyers who purchased a primary home from July 2019 to June 2020.)

Employment and credit histories also led to higher mortgage denial rates for minorities

Blacks and Hispanics were also more likely to be denied a loan due to their employment history. One in 568 white applicants was rejected due to their work history, compared with 1 in 282 Blacks.

“People of color, notably Native Americans, Blacks, and Hispanics, face higher rates of discrimination in hiring,” says the Urban Institute’s Theodos. “It can be more difficult to be promoted or advanced.”

That plays a big part in how much they’re earning. In 2019, Asian households had the highest median incomes of $98,174, followed by non-Hispanic white households at $76,057, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Hispanic households had a median income of $56,113, while Black households brought in the least, at $45,438.

Blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to lose out on a loan due to their credit scores. About 0.6% of Asians and 1% of whites were denied due to their credit histories compared with 1.6% of Hispanics, 2.9% of Blacks, and 2.4% of multi-minority races.

Typically, people build good credit by paying off their student loans, car loans, and credit card bills on time each month. However, many lower-income Americans are less likely to have graduated from college or have credit cards. And what folks do pay every month—their rent, utility, and cellphone payments—often aren’t counted toward credit profiles.

“It’s not just discrimination today that is why we see denials at higher rates for Blacks and Hispanics. It’s the byproduct of generations of systemic racism,” says Theodos. “We have a long way to go in overcoming the deep, historical divide of opportunity for people of color in this country.”

Source: realtor.com