Friday, February 15, 2008

Options to Re-Financing Your Mortgage

According to most personal finance articles that I have come across, they don’t recommend re-financing your mortgage unless you can get a rate that is 1 percentage point (1%) less than your current rate. That makes sense. If you only get like a 0.25% decrease, it will take a long time to make back all of the expenses related to a re-fi. And, let’s face it, most people won’t stay in their house long enough to reap the benefits of the smallish rate decrease.

Well, I just realized that there is another option.

Here’s the story. The other day I came home from work and discovered a UPS letter that was sitting at my front door. In it was a rate reduction kit from my existing mortgage company. They wanted to reduce my current rate from by 0.375% As I read the details, there was only a small (relatively speaking) fee of $325. At first I thought it was too good to be true and I actually called my mortgage company to verify the authenticity of this offer as I was somewhat worried that maybe someone was trying to steal my hard earned $325 from me. The good news was that this was legit.

So, here is how it works. For the processing fee of $325, my company simply adjusts the terms of my mortgage so that my rate is lower. It is that simple. It’s just like a re-fi but without all the hassle and it costs WAY LESS (duh) money. For me, it was a no-brainer because with the rate reduction, I literally make my money back in 1.5 months as my payment was reduced quite a bit.

I came to find out that my mortgage company has a whole “loan adjustment” department. If you haven’t been lucky enough to receive the offer from your company, you may want to try to calling them and see if they offer such a program. If they do, it could be well worth your effort. I will say that I can imagine that I was offered this rate reduction because I’ve been a very consistent borrower, always paying on-time and I even pay extra principle each month. I just wish I had known about this before because I would have been more proactive about getting rate reductions earlier in the life of my mortgage.

Anyway, good luck. I hope this information helps.

Saturday, January 5, 2008