Lowering Interest Rate After Locking In a Refinance

If you’ve applied to refinance your loan, and interest rates have gone lower and you have locked, you’ll have to talk to your lender to see what options you may have.

Q: We’re right at the end of the time period for our refinance on our new 15-year mortgage application. The process has taken too long but we got a good rate with no closing costs.

My husband and I have excellent credit scores but he’s self-employed. Interest rates have gone down since we applied and we are supposed to close today. Can our broker shift us to a lower rate mortgage and not lose any money? We paid for the appraisal and credit check and we might be out that. What would a fair interest rate be for a no cost refinance?

A: Mortgage interest rates fluctuate daily. These days a fifteen year refinance interest rate might be between 3.25 percent and 3.75 percent. And, if you don’t want to pay closing costs, it might cost you an eight of a percentage point more to go that route.

Once you’ve applied with a mortgage broker, that mortgage broker should have locked you in with a specific lender and the mortgage broker is (or should be) committed to giving you the loan at the promised rate.

You can always ask the mortgage broker if he has options available for you. Usually, however, mortgage brokers can’t renegotiate the rate once it’s been locked. Your only options would be to not close, lose whatever money you might have paid or refinance with this lender now and then start the process over to get a lower rate.

It’s your decision to make, but it is worthwhile talking to your mortgage broker first and seeing if he or she has any suggestions or options for you.

Depending on the state in which you live, refinancing can be cheaper or more expensive. Some states’ closing costs are rather high. In those states, your interest rate might have to go up substantially to cover recording, title and other expenses. In low fee states, you might find that the difference between a no cost refinance and the interest rate you otherwise could get might be small. Likewise, in states where the costs are high, you can expect to see a much higher interest rate.

You can look up interest rates in your area by going to the websites for some of the major banks or at www.BankRate.com.


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