Should you refinance your mortgage?

Should you refinance your mortgage?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

With mortgage rates at historic lows, it has many people thinking about refinancing. Cutting your mortgage payment down sounds like a good idea, but, refinancing is not for everybody.  

A 30-year fixed rate right now is about 3.5 percent.  A 15-year fixed rate is 2.75 percent. Do you get in there and take advantage of that so that you can lower your mortgage payment? Perhaps, but to qualify you'll still need a steady income, good home value and great credit.

According to Bankrate.com, you can't qualify for the low rates unless your credit score is high -- in the 700 range.  This is the perfect example of why you have to work to get your score up. If you have a conventional loan, in order to refinance, your home needs to have about 20 percent equity. You cannot owe more than the home is worth.

Refinancing saves you money on your monthly payment, but be aware that you have to pay closing costs.  It's no deal if you don't stay in the house long enough to recover those costs, so do some math and figure out how many months of lower payments it will take to make up your closing costs.

If you owe more than what your home is worth, you do have some options if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There is a program called HARP -- the Home Affordable Refinance Program.  You still have to have decent credit and a steady job history, but they'll work with you. Go here for more details -- www.knowyouroptions.com

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Unresolved bank errors? Help is on the way

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:11:30 GMT
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
    Taking on a big bank, even over something like a minor bank error, can be maddening. You feel like no one is listening. It's like being trapped in a maze you can't get out of, but somebody is noticing how frustrating that can be.
  • I-Team Investigation

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Former Douglas Co. D.A. office manager indicted

    Sunday, July 27 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-07-27 19:24:49 GMT
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
    There are major new developments today in the state investigation of the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Tammy Agan, the former office manager, has been indicted on 58 counts of theft and making false statements.
  • Whistleblower Seeks Sanctions Against Attorney General's Office

    Whistleblower Seeks Sanctions Against Attorney General's Office

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:59:29 GMT
    In a letter, obtained exclusively by the Fox 5 I-Team, former Ethics director Stacey Kalberman's plans to seek sanctions against the state Attorney General's office.
    More controversy involving the State Ethics Commission. In a letter, obtained exclusively by the Fox 5 I-Team, former Ethics director Stacey Kalberman's plans to seek sanctions against the state Attorney General's office.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices