Can I lower my interest rate without refinancing?
When mortgage rates drop, homeowners often wonder if they will be able to take advantage of lower rates. In general, lenders require borrowers to refinance into a new home loan in order to change their mortgage rate, requiring the borrower to requalify, the house to pass an appraisal and the homeowner to again pay closing costs. However, there can be another way to lower your mortgage rate without refinancing: a loan modification.
Loan modifications for troubled homeowners
If you are having trouble keeping up with your monthly mortgage payments, you can apply for a loan modification to reduce your interest rate and hence, lower your monthly payments. A lender will review your current mortgage and financial circumstances before deciding to approve or deny you for a modification.
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, you should contact your mortgage lender or servicer immediately to discuss your options and the possibility of a loan modification. You can find their number or their website address on your monthly bill or statement. Of course, you will be required to explain your hardship in writing and will likely need to provide documentation, including tax returns, pay stubs and other paperwork that reflects your income and assets.
The government’s Flex Modification has specific guidelines that must be met in order to participate in their program. For these modifications, your loan must be owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; to see if either holds your mortgage, use Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool or Freddie Mac’s Loan Lookup Tool to get started. (suite…)