PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Federal Reserve is continuing to try to mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and part of that is low mortgage rates.
However, is refinancing during a pandemic the right move?
A record-low has not yet been reached, which for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was about 3.3%, but we’re getting close.
“In this time of COVID-19, we want to make sure you’re employed, when the lender does their valuations, and they look at the underwriting, one of the determinations are; are you employed and are you still working,” said independent mortgage broker Jim Martin. “So if you’ve been laid off or you’re waiting for the COVID thing to pass, or you’ve been cut back in hours, you probably want to wait until that’s all settled down before you close.”
Homeowners typically want to tap into a lower rate in order to increase their cash flow, consolidate their debt, or reduce the length of the loan.
To save homeowners thousands of dollars long-term, Jim did this math:
“If you took out your loan a couple of years ago, and you had a 5% interest rate, on a $200,000 loan, if your payment is at 5% on a 30-year, your payment was $1,073 for principled interest. But, if you took that exact same payment and instituted today’s rates, you now have a 22-year loan. You can save eight years to keep your payment the exact same.”
Banks and lenders may be closed for the moment, but most brokers are working from home and business is brisk.
Ultimately, Martin says you have to weigh whether the monthly savings are worth the upfront closing costs.