Posts Tagged ‘consumer advocates’

Mortgage Interest Rates Start To Change

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Mortgage rates are changing – what should you do?

There was big news within the mortgage industry recently as interest rates finally went back below 6%. The reaction was mixed, but the rate did prompt many people to rush to refinance their homes. For those that are stuck with variable rate mortgages, the current situation in the housing market has been volatile to say the least and many consumer advocates have been pushing the need to refinance if at all possible.

This has not been easy for many, especially since interest rates were quite high until this week. Every small drop helps however and the current resurgence for refinances could help bolster the struggling housing market. While much damage has been done, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, despite the decision to take over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, two of the US’s biggest lenders.

While there is hope for some borrowers, those in a subprime position may not find it easy to refinance their homes, in spite of the drop in rates. Banks are shying away from this sub-set of borrowers and the specter of foreclosure still looms for many. For those that are unable to refinance, there are steps that can be taken to avoid foreclosure, but they must be taken quickly.

The first step is to determine how to free up enough cash to handle increased mortgage payments. For those that did not plan ahead for a switch to a variable rate, the shock of a much higher payment was a rude awakening. Although thousands knew that their fixed rates were only short term, there was a general lack of awareness of how this would affect them personally.

If you have been switched to a variable rate mortgage and are struggling to make your payments, foreclosure does not need to be the first option. In many cases, the difference in payments can be as small as $50, or as high as several hundred dollars. For those that are living above their means, simply curtailing some additional expenses can free up the funds necessary to make those higher payments.

Other options include getting a second job on a temporary basis until the rates do drop to a point where payments become livable again. For those that do not have the time for this option, selling a car, or other household items may be the best solution.

Today’s news was heartening to many and does show that rates may be on the way back down, at least temporarily. If you can get a refinance plan on a home loan, taking action now may be beneficial. If you cannot seek this type of assistance however there still are plenty of other options available that can help you keep your home, until the economic outlook brightens again. Housing changes and rate fluctuations are normal, and riding out the storm is typically the best solution.

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