Ask the Expert: Does mortgage insurance make sense? Dec #cash #call #mortgage


#mortgage disability insurance

#

Think twice before buying into one of the many pitches for different insurance products.
December 19, 2003: 9:31 AM EST
By Walter Updegrave, CNN/Money contributing columnist

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – I am being offered mortgage protection insurance. Is it worth the cost?

— James Lawrence, Tampa, Florida

Before I answer your question, let’s be sure we’re both talking about the same type of mortgage insurance. There are actually two kinds, and they provide very different types of coverage.

First, there is the type known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI as it’s known in lending circles.

If you are buying a home and putting up a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, then generally you don’t have a choice of whether to buy this type of insurance. The lender requires it.

Why? Because PMI isn’t there to protect you — it’s there to protect the insurer in the event you default on your home loan and the lender isn’t able to re-sell your home for enough money to pay off the mortgage.

The cost of PMI varies, but a rule of thumb is about one half of one percent of the loan amount.

So if you’re buying a house for, say, $150,000 and putting 10 percent down ($15,000), the annual cost of PMI on your $135,000 mortgage might run $675 a year, or $56.25 a month.

In years past, some lenders would continue to collect PMI premiums even after the mortgage balance had fallen to well below 80 percent of the home’s original value. But Congress passed the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, which allows homeowners to request that the lender cancel PMI when the mortgage loan-to-value ratio falls to 80 percent and requires the lender to cancel it when the ratio falls to 78 percent.

By the way, appreciation in the home’s value isn’t taken into account in calculating this ratio — only the decline in the mortgage balance counts.

There are also some other qualifications that may affect your ability to cancel PMI. For more on what the bill requires of you and the lender, click here.

Mortgage life insurance

The second type of mortgage insurance is the type that usually goes by the name mortgage life insurance.

Here, you’re being offered the chance to buy an insurance policy that will repay your mortgage in the event of your death, disability or some incapacitating disease.

This offer — typically by mail — often comes from your lender or an insurance company affiliated with that lender.

This type of insurance is purely voluntary, however, so the question is, should you buy?

Generally, I’d say the answer is no.

It rarely makes sense to buy insurance for narrow reasons — to insure against a specific disease or a single calamity or to provide funds to pay off a single liability, in this case your mortgage.

In the case of life insurance, for example, you’re much better off analyzing your overall insurance need based on what kind of liabilities your spouse or other dependents would face and how much income they would have to replace if you were gone, and then buying enough insurance to meet that need.

Fact is, if you died tomorrow, your dependents would need to replace your income for a variety of reasons, not just to pay the mortgage.

Indeed, it might not even make sense to pay off the mortgage. Your spouse or other survivors might be better off continuing to pay the loan — assuming that’s possible — and putting insurance proceeds to other purposes.

In other words, you should take your overall financial picture into account when buying life insurance.

And the way you should do that is to have a financial planner or life insurance agent perform what’s known as a “needs analysis.” You can also use any one of a number of insurance needs calculators online, including the calculators at The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education site and TIAA-Cref site.

Of course, that leaves the question of what type of insurance you should buy — whole life, term, etc. — and the issue of how to shop for the best price for a policy.

For more on those topics, see a column I wrote last year called “Life insurance made easy .”

The same goes for disability insurance. You should consider a long-term disability insurance policy not just because you have an outstanding mortgage, but because you would likely need to generate income for a variety of reasons even if you were disabled and unable to work. For more on choosing a disability policy, click here.


Refinancing with Bad Credit – 6 Questions to Ask #vanderbilt #mortgage #repos


#poor credit mortgage

#

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

How to Refinance With Bad Credit?

With interest rates near historic lows, it’s no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they’re paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments. But for homeowners with less-than-stellar credit, refinancing at a good interest rate or at all can be difficult. This guide will help.

How Does My Credit History Impact Refinancing?

Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely it is that you will pay them back in full and on time. Credit scores range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is perfect. Your score is calculated by looking at your past payment history (35 percent), amount owed (30 percent), length of time you ve had credit (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and type of credit (10 percent).

As you can see, the bulk of your score is based on your past payment history and total debt, so people with too much debt or who haven’t paid their bills on time are going to seem “high risk” to lenders. Thus, a mortgage lender will charge a person with poor credit a higher interest rate to refinance because the lender is taking more of a risk by lending that person money. So while someone with an 800 credit score might only pay 3.5 percent on their mortgage, someone with a 650 or below may pay a full percentage point or more higher, which will likely equate to paying the lender tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

If you have poor credit and want to refinance, it’s important to calculate your monthly payments and to make sure a refinance is right for you. When you factor in closing costs and fees, the new loan, even if it is a slightly lower rate than your current loan, may not make financial sense. Beware: Sometimes, a refinance will lower your monthly payments (it’s lowering your interest rate) but will extend the term of your loan (i.e. it will make the new loan a 30-year loan even though you’d already paid down five years on your original loan and only had 25 more to go), which can end up costing you more in the long term. In this case, think long and hard about whether these lower monthly payments are worth the long-term cost.

Get personalized refinance rates on Zillow

How Can I Improve My Credit Score to Get a Better Interest Rate?

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate a lender will likely grant you. To boost your score, first, get a copy of your credit reports (on annualcreditreport.com you get a free report each year) from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and correct any errors you see on these reports that might be lowering your score. (You can learn how to correct errors on the credit bureaus’ websites.)

Going forward, pay all of your bills on time (create automatic reminders or set up automatic bill pay if you have trouble remembering to pay them), don’t take out several new credit lines at one time, and pay down your total debt load, especially if you ve nearly maxed out all your lines of credit.

If you have extremely bad credit, you may not be able to get a credit card, which means you’ll have trouble showing lenders that going forward, you can pay your bills on time. In this case, consider getting a secured credit card. With these cards, you can only charge the amount you have deposited in an account for the lender; you don’t have to pay the card off in full each month, but if you don’t, you will be charged interest.

What Else Can I Do to Get a Lower Interest Rate?

If you’ve done everything you can to improve your credit score but still can’t refinance or get an interest rate that you want, you should take other measures to help ensure you get a lower interest rate.

First, if you can manage it, put a significant amount of money in the bank or have other liquid assets on hand, as this shows the lender that you have the means to repay the loan.

Second, consider having someone with a higher credit score than you co-sign the loan. This, too, gives the lender assurance that you will repay the loan in full and on time because now a person with good credit is also responsible for the loan. Just make sure that the co-signer understands that if you don’t repay the loan, the co-signer is on the hook for repaying it.

What Is the Typical Refinancing Process Like?

No matter your credit score, the refinancing process typically works like this: A homeowner selects a lender with which to get a refi (see Zillow’s list of lenders ); the lender does not have to be the same lender you currently have a mortgage with. The homeowner contacts the lender to see what is needed to apply for the new loan. Typically, the lender will ask for past tax returns, pay stubs, proof of assets, list of debts and other financial documents, which are used to determine your ability to repay.

If you are approved for the refinance, the lender will give you a quote, which should include the rate, closing costs and fees. If you accept this quote, the lender will order an appraisal of your home, which will determine the amount of equity you have in your home (typically, lenders like buyers who have 20 percent equity or more in their homes). Finally, you will close on the loan, during which time you’ll complete and sign all closing documents, pay any fees and the new lender will send money to the old lender paying off your former mortgage.

What Are Some Alternatives to Traditional Refinancing?

If you can’t get a traditional refinance, there are other ways you can lower your monthly payments. One is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in 2009 to help homeowners struggling to pay down their mortgages avoid foreclosure. The program reduces troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. Mortgage companies with loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate in the program, and many other lenders do voluntarily. Click here for HAMP program details .

Homeowners may also want to consider HARP. also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which lets homeowners (though only those who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments) refinance when they can’t get a traditional refinance because the value of their homes has gone down.


Ask the Expert: Does mortgage insurance make sense? Dec #uk #mortgage #rates


#mortgage disability insurance

#

Think twice before buying into one of the many pitches for different insurance products.
December 19, 2003: 9:31 AM EST
By Walter Updegrave, CNN/Money contributing columnist

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – I am being offered mortgage protection insurance. Is it worth the cost?

— James Lawrence, Tampa, Florida

Before I answer your question, let’s be sure we’re both talking about the same type of mortgage insurance. There are actually two kinds, and they provide very different types of coverage.

First, there is the type known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI as it’s known in lending circles.

If you are buying a home and putting up a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, then generally you don’t have a choice of whether to buy this type of insurance. The lender requires it.

Why? Because PMI isn’t there to protect you — it’s there to protect the insurer in the event you default on your home loan and the lender isn’t able to re-sell your home for enough money to pay off the mortgage.

The cost of PMI varies, but a rule of thumb is about one half of one percent of the loan amount.

So if you’re buying a house for, say, $150,000 and putting 10 percent down ($15,000), the annual cost of PMI on your $135,000 mortgage might run $675 a year, or $56.25 a month.

In years past, some lenders would continue to collect PMI premiums even after the mortgage balance had fallen to well below 80 percent of the home’s original value. But Congress passed the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, which allows homeowners to request that the lender cancel PMI when the mortgage loan-to-value ratio falls to 80 percent and requires the lender to cancel it when the ratio falls to 78 percent.

By the way, appreciation in the home’s value isn’t taken into account in calculating this ratio — only the decline in the mortgage balance counts.

There are also some other qualifications that may affect your ability to cancel PMI. For more on what the bill requires of you and the lender, click here.

Mortgage life insurance

The second type of mortgage insurance is the type that usually goes by the name mortgage life insurance.

Here, you’re being offered the chance to buy an insurance policy that will repay your mortgage in the event of your death, disability or some incapacitating disease.

This offer — typically by mail — often comes from your lender or an insurance company affiliated with that lender.

This type of insurance is purely voluntary, however, so the question is, should you buy?

Generally, I’d say the answer is no.

It rarely makes sense to buy insurance for narrow reasons — to insure against a specific disease or a single calamity or to provide funds to pay off a single liability, in this case your mortgage.

In the case of life insurance, for example, you’re much better off analyzing your overall insurance need based on what kind of liabilities your spouse or other dependents would face and how much income they would have to replace if you were gone, and then buying enough insurance to meet that need.

Fact is, if you died tomorrow, your dependents would need to replace your income for a variety of reasons, not just to pay the mortgage.

Indeed, it might not even make sense to pay off the mortgage. Your spouse or other survivors might be better off continuing to pay the loan — assuming that’s possible — and putting insurance proceeds to other purposes.

In other words, you should take your overall financial picture into account when buying life insurance.

And the way you should do that is to have a financial planner or life insurance agent perform what’s known as a “needs analysis.” You can also use any one of a number of insurance needs calculators online, including the calculators at The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education site and TIAA-Cref site.

Of course, that leaves the question of what type of insurance you should buy — whole life, term, etc. — and the issue of how to shop for the best price for a policy.

For more on those topics, see a column I wrote last year called “Life insurance made easy .”

The same goes for disability insurance. You should consider a long-term disability insurance policy not just because you have an outstanding mortgage, but because you would likely need to generate income for a variety of reasons even if you were disabled and unable to work. For more on choosing a disability policy, click here.


FAQ: If your viral load is undetectable, can you still pass the virus to another


#

HIV/AIDS

for Veterans and the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If taking anti-HIV drugs has made my viral load undetectable (meaning that the virus isn’t showing up on blood tests), can I still pass the virus to another person through sex?

The research results available at this time show that our current HIV medication regimens (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) are very, very effective at preventing HIV transmission to a sex partner if the HIV viral load is undetectable. The following two studies focus on this question.

A large international study looked at heterosexual couples in which one partner was HIV positive and the other was HIV negative (we call these serodifferent couples). The study found that if the positive partners took ART to suppress their viral loads, their risk of infecting their partners was enormously reduced, by 93% overall, over about 5 years. And, if the HIV-positive partner was consistently on HIV medications, with an undetectable HIV viral load, there were no partner infections. It is important to note that the couples in this study were encouraged to use condoms.

A smaller study looked at both male-female serodifferent couples and male-male serodifferent couples who did not use condoms (and did not plan to use them). All of the HIV-positive partners in the study were on ART and had undetectable HIV viral loads. After more than a year, none of the HIV-negative partners had become HIV positive.

The results of these studies show that if an HIV+ person is on ART with a completely suppressed HIV viral load, the risk of infecting an HIV-negative sexual partner is likely to be extremely low. However, there are some major caveats to consider:

  • The risk of HIV transmission may be very low if the HIV-positive person’s viral load is suppressed, but the opposite is also true: risk may increase substantially if the HIV viral load is not undetectable.
  • Very low risk does not mean zero risk, and ART alone will never be 100% protective for all couples. This is because HIV transmission may occur if patients stop taking their HIV medications, if they miss doses, if their HIV viral loads are not suppressed for other reasons, if they have other conditions that increase the amount of HIV in their sexual fluids (for example, sexually transmitted infections), or they engage in riskier practices.
  • We need more data to be able to specify what the level of risk of HIV transmission is, especially for men who have sex with men and for transgender women and men. This means we will need to study more serodifferent couples for longer periods of time.
  • An HIV-negative person may have a low risk of being infected by a partner who is taking potent ART, but he or she will not be protected from being infected by any other partners who are not taking ART.
  • We have very few data on how effective ART is in preventing HIV transmission via sharing injection drug equipment.
  • And, there is no sure way to know whether we can apply these data to you or to any specific individual.

It is important to ask your health care provider for advice that is targeted to you as an individual, and to your partner, in order to get a better idea of your risk for passing HIV and ways that you might lower this risk. And of course, it is really important to have frank and open conversations about HIV transmission with your HIV negative partner(s), so you and they can make informed decisions about what level of risk you both are willing to accept.

Finally, remember that for ART to be effective, you MUST take your HIV medications every day, as prescribed, in order to keep the HIV virus suppressed to undetectable levels. And ART does not take the place of other risk-reduction strategies, like PrEP for HIV-negative partners, condoms, and behavioral changes–these may be important not just for HIV reduction but also for STD prevention and pregnancy prevention.

April 09, 2013; Last reviewed/updated: January 2017, by Susa Coffey, MD


Ask the Expert: Does mortgage insurance make sense? Dec #mortgage #loan #calculators


#mortgage disability insurance

#

Think twice before buying into one of the many pitches for different insurance products.
December 19, 2003: 9:31 AM EST
By Walter Updegrave, CNN/Money contributing columnist

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – I am being offered mortgage protection insurance. Is it worth the cost?

— James Lawrence, Tampa, Florida

Before I answer your question, let’s be sure we’re both talking about the same type of mortgage insurance. There are actually two kinds, and they provide very different types of coverage.

First, there is the type known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI as it’s known in lending circles.

If you are buying a home and putting up a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, then generally you don’t have a choice of whether to buy this type of insurance. The lender requires it.

Why? Because PMI isn’t there to protect you — it’s there to protect the insurer in the event you default on your home loan and the lender isn’t able to re-sell your home for enough money to pay off the mortgage.

The cost of PMI varies, but a rule of thumb is about one half of one percent of the loan amount.

So if you’re buying a house for, say, $150,000 and putting 10 percent down ($15,000), the annual cost of PMI on your $135,000 mortgage might run $675 a year, or $56.25 a month.

In years past, some lenders would continue to collect PMI premiums even after the mortgage balance had fallen to well below 80 percent of the home’s original value. But Congress passed the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, which allows homeowners to request that the lender cancel PMI when the mortgage loan-to-value ratio falls to 80 percent and requires the lender to cancel it when the ratio falls to 78 percent.

By the way, appreciation in the home’s value isn’t taken into account in calculating this ratio — only the decline in the mortgage balance counts.

There are also some other qualifications that may affect your ability to cancel PMI. For more on what the bill requires of you and the lender, click here.

Mortgage life insurance

The second type of mortgage insurance is the type that usually goes by the name mortgage life insurance.

Here, you’re being offered the chance to buy an insurance policy that will repay your mortgage in the event of your death, disability or some incapacitating disease.

This offer — typically by mail — often comes from your lender or an insurance company affiliated with that lender.

This type of insurance is purely voluntary, however, so the question is, should you buy?

Generally, I’d say the answer is no.

It rarely makes sense to buy insurance for narrow reasons — to insure against a specific disease or a single calamity or to provide funds to pay off a single liability, in this case your mortgage.

In the case of life insurance, for example, you’re much better off analyzing your overall insurance need based on what kind of liabilities your spouse or other dependents would face and how much income they would have to replace if you were gone, and then buying enough insurance to meet that need.

Fact is, if you died tomorrow, your dependents would need to replace your income for a variety of reasons, not just to pay the mortgage.

Indeed, it might not even make sense to pay off the mortgage. Your spouse or other survivors might be better off continuing to pay the loan — assuming that’s possible — and putting insurance proceeds to other purposes.

In other words, you should take your overall financial picture into account when buying life insurance.

And the way you should do that is to have a financial planner or life insurance agent perform what’s known as a “needs analysis.” You can also use any one of a number of insurance needs calculators online, including the calculators at The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education site and TIAA-Cref site.

Of course, that leaves the question of what type of insurance you should buy — whole life, term, etc. — and the issue of how to shop for the best price for a policy.

For more on those topics, see a column I wrote last year called “Life insurance made easy .”

The same goes for disability insurance. You should consider a long-term disability insurance policy not just because you have an outstanding mortgage, but because you would likely need to generate income for a variety of reasons even if you were disabled and unable to work. For more on choosing a disability policy, click here.


Refinancing with Bad Credit – 6 Questions to Ask #how #to #calculate #mortgage #payment


#poor credit mortgage

#

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

How to Refinance With Bad Credit?

With interest rates near historic lows, it’s no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they’re paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments. But for homeowners with less-than-stellar credit, refinancing at a good interest rate or at all can be difficult. This guide will help.

How Does My Credit History Impact Refinancing?

Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely it is that you will pay them back in full and on time. Credit scores range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is perfect. Your score is calculated by looking at your past payment history (35 percent), amount owed (30 percent), length of time you ve had credit (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and type of credit (10 percent).

As you can see, the bulk of your score is based on your past payment history and total debt, so people with too much debt or who haven’t paid their bills on time are going to seem “high risk” to lenders. Thus, a mortgage lender will charge a person with poor credit a higher interest rate to refinance because the lender is taking more of a risk by lending that person money. So while someone with an 800 credit score might only pay 3.5 percent on their mortgage, someone with a 650 or below may pay a full percentage point or more higher, which will likely equate to paying the lender tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

If you have poor credit and want to refinance, it’s important to calculate your monthly payments and to make sure a refinance is right for you. When you factor in closing costs and fees, the new loan, even if it is a slightly lower rate than your current loan, may not make financial sense. Beware: Sometimes, a refinance will lower your monthly payments (it’s lowering your interest rate) but will extend the term of your loan (i.e. it will make the new loan a 30-year loan even though you’d already paid down five years on your original loan and only had 25 more to go), which can end up costing you more in the long term. In this case, think long and hard about whether these lower monthly payments are worth the long-term cost.

Get personalized refinance rates on Zillow

How Can I Improve My Credit Score to Get a Better Interest Rate?

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate a lender will likely grant you. To boost your score, first, get a copy of your credit reports (on annualcreditreport.com you get a free report each year) from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and correct any errors you see on these reports that might be lowering your score. (You can learn how to correct errors on the credit bureaus’ websites.)

Going forward, pay all of your bills on time (create automatic reminders or set up automatic bill pay if you have trouble remembering to pay them), don’t take out several new credit lines at one time, and pay down your total debt load, especially if you ve nearly maxed out all your lines of credit.

If you have extremely bad credit, you may not be able to get a credit card, which means you’ll have trouble showing lenders that going forward, you can pay your bills on time. In this case, consider getting a secured credit card. With these cards, you can only charge the amount you have deposited in an account for the lender; you don’t have to pay the card off in full each month, but if you don’t, you will be charged interest.

What Else Can I Do to Get a Lower Interest Rate?

If you’ve done everything you can to improve your credit score but still can’t refinance or get an interest rate that you want, you should take other measures to help ensure you get a lower interest rate.

First, if you can manage it, put a significant amount of money in the bank or have other liquid assets on hand, as this shows the lender that you have the means to repay the loan.

Second, consider having someone with a higher credit score than you co-sign the loan. This, too, gives the lender assurance that you will repay the loan in full and on time because now a person with good credit is also responsible for the loan. Just make sure that the co-signer understands that if you don’t repay the loan, the co-signer is on the hook for repaying it.

What Is the Typical Refinancing Process Like?

No matter your credit score, the refinancing process typically works like this: A homeowner selects a lender with which to get a refi (see Zillow’s list of lenders ); the lender does not have to be the same lender you currently have a mortgage with. The homeowner contacts the lender to see what is needed to apply for the new loan. Typically, the lender will ask for past tax returns, pay stubs, proof of assets, list of debts and other financial documents, which are used to determine your ability to repay.

If you are approved for the refinance, the lender will give you a quote, which should include the rate, closing costs and fees. If you accept this quote, the lender will order an appraisal of your home, which will determine the amount of equity you have in your home (typically, lenders like buyers who have 20 percent equity or more in their homes). Finally, you will close on the loan, during which time you’ll complete and sign all closing documents, pay any fees and the new lender will send money to the old lender paying off your former mortgage.

What Are Some Alternatives to Traditional Refinancing?

If you can’t get a traditional refinance, there are other ways you can lower your monthly payments. One is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in 2009 to help homeowners struggling to pay down their mortgages avoid foreclosure. The program reduces troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. Mortgage companies with loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate in the program, and many other lenders do voluntarily. Click here for HAMP program details .

Homeowners may also want to consider HARP. also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which lets homeowners (though only those who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments) refinance when they can’t get a traditional refinance because the value of their homes has gone down.


Refinancing with Bad Credit – 6 Questions to Ask #mortgage #payment #estimator


#poor credit mortgage

#

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

How to Refinance With Bad Credit?

With interest rates near historic lows, it’s no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they’re paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments. But for homeowners with less-than-stellar credit, refinancing at a good interest rate or at all can be difficult. This guide will help.

How Does My Credit History Impact Refinancing?

Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely it is that you will pay them back in full and on time. Credit scores range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is perfect. Your score is calculated by looking at your past payment history (35 percent), amount owed (30 percent), length of time you ve had credit (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and type of credit (10 percent).

As you can see, the bulk of your score is based on your past payment history and total debt, so people with too much debt or who haven’t paid their bills on time are going to seem “high risk” to lenders. Thus, a mortgage lender will charge a person with poor credit a higher interest rate to refinance because the lender is taking more of a risk by lending that person money. So while someone with an 800 credit score might only pay 3.5 percent on their mortgage, someone with a 650 or below may pay a full percentage point or more higher, which will likely equate to paying the lender tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

If you have poor credit and want to refinance, it’s important to calculate your monthly payments and to make sure a refinance is right for you. When you factor in closing costs and fees, the new loan, even if it is a slightly lower rate than your current loan, may not make financial sense. Beware: Sometimes, a refinance will lower your monthly payments (it’s lowering your interest rate) but will extend the term of your loan (i.e. it will make the new loan a 30-year loan even though you’d already paid down five years on your original loan and only had 25 more to go), which can end up costing you more in the long term. In this case, think long and hard about whether these lower monthly payments are worth the long-term cost.

Get personalized refinance rates on Zillow

How Can I Improve My Credit Score to Get a Better Interest Rate?

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate a lender will likely grant you. To boost your score, first, get a copy of your credit reports (on annualcreditreport.com you get a free report each year) from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and correct any errors you see on these reports that might be lowering your score. (You can learn how to correct errors on the credit bureaus’ websites.)

Going forward, pay all of your bills on time (create automatic reminders or set up automatic bill pay if you have trouble remembering to pay them), don’t take out several new credit lines at one time, and pay down your total debt load, especially if you ve nearly maxed out all your lines of credit.

If you have extremely bad credit, you may not be able to get a credit card, which means you’ll have trouble showing lenders that going forward, you can pay your bills on time. In this case, consider getting a secured credit card. With these cards, you can only charge the amount you have deposited in an account for the lender; you don’t have to pay the card off in full each month, but if you don’t, you will be charged interest.

What Else Can I Do to Get a Lower Interest Rate?

If you’ve done everything you can to improve your credit score but still can’t refinance or get an interest rate that you want, you should take other measures to help ensure you get a lower interest rate.

First, if you can manage it, put a significant amount of money in the bank or have other liquid assets on hand, as this shows the lender that you have the means to repay the loan.

Second, consider having someone with a higher credit score than you co-sign the loan. This, too, gives the lender assurance that you will repay the loan in full and on time because now a person with good credit is also responsible for the loan. Just make sure that the co-signer understands that if you don’t repay the loan, the co-signer is on the hook for repaying it.

What Is the Typical Refinancing Process Like?

No matter your credit score, the refinancing process typically works like this: A homeowner selects a lender with which to get a refi (see Zillow’s list of lenders ); the lender does not have to be the same lender you currently have a mortgage with. The homeowner contacts the lender to see what is needed to apply for the new loan. Typically, the lender will ask for past tax returns, pay stubs, proof of assets, list of debts and other financial documents, which are used to determine your ability to repay.

If you are approved for the refinance, the lender will give you a quote, which should include the rate, closing costs and fees. If you accept this quote, the lender will order an appraisal of your home, which will determine the amount of equity you have in your home (typically, lenders like buyers who have 20 percent equity or more in their homes). Finally, you will close on the loan, during which time you’ll complete and sign all closing documents, pay any fees and the new lender will send money to the old lender paying off your former mortgage.

What Are Some Alternatives to Traditional Refinancing?

If you can’t get a traditional refinance, there are other ways you can lower your monthly payments. One is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in 2009 to help homeowners struggling to pay down their mortgages avoid foreclosure. The program reduces troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. Mortgage companies with loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate in the program, and many other lenders do voluntarily. Click here for HAMP program details .

Homeowners may also want to consider HARP. also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which lets homeowners (though only those who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments) refinance when they can’t get a traditional refinance because the value of their homes has gone down.


Refinancing with Bad Credit – 6 Questions to Ask #home #loans


#poor credit mortgage

#

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

How to Refinance With Bad Credit?

With interest rates near historic lows, it’s no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they’re paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments. But for homeowners with less-than-stellar credit, refinancing at a good interest rate or at all can be difficult. This guide will help.

How Does My Credit History Impact Refinancing?

Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely it is that you will pay them back in full and on time. Credit scores range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is perfect. Your score is calculated by looking at your past payment history (35 percent), amount owed (30 percent), length of time you ve had credit (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and type of credit (10 percent).

As you can see, the bulk of your score is based on your past payment history and total debt, so people with too much debt or who haven’t paid their bills on time are going to seem “high risk” to lenders. Thus, a mortgage lender will charge a person with poor credit a higher interest rate to refinance because the lender is taking more of a risk by lending that person money. So while someone with an 800 credit score might only pay 3.5 percent on their mortgage, someone with a 650 or below may pay a full percentage point or more higher, which will likely equate to paying the lender tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

If you have poor credit and want to refinance, it’s important to calculate your monthly payments and to make sure a refinance is right for you. When you factor in closing costs and fees, the new loan, even if it is a slightly lower rate than your current loan, may not make financial sense. Beware: Sometimes, a refinance will lower your monthly payments (it’s lowering your interest rate) but will extend the term of your loan (i.e. it will make the new loan a 30-year loan even though you’d already paid down five years on your original loan and only had 25 more to go), which can end up costing you more in the long term. In this case, think long and hard about whether these lower monthly payments are worth the long-term cost.

Get personalized refinance rates on Zillow

How Can I Improve My Credit Score to Get a Better Interest Rate?

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate a lender will likely grant you. To boost your score, first, get a copy of your credit reports (on annualcreditreport.com you get a free report each year) from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and correct any errors you see on these reports that might be lowering your score. (You can learn how to correct errors on the credit bureaus’ websites.)

Going forward, pay all of your bills on time (create automatic reminders or set up automatic bill pay if you have trouble remembering to pay them), don’t take out several new credit lines at one time, and pay down your total debt load, especially if you ve nearly maxed out all your lines of credit.

If you have extremely bad credit, you may not be able to get a credit card, which means you’ll have trouble showing lenders that going forward, you can pay your bills on time. In this case, consider getting a secured credit card. With these cards, you can only charge the amount you have deposited in an account for the lender; you don’t have to pay the card off in full each month, but if you don’t, you will be charged interest.

What Else Can I Do to Get a Lower Interest Rate?

If you’ve done everything you can to improve your credit score but still can’t refinance or get an interest rate that you want, you should take other measures to help ensure you get a lower interest rate.

First, if you can manage it, put a significant amount of money in the bank or have other liquid assets on hand, as this shows the lender that you have the means to repay the loan.

Second, consider having someone with a higher credit score than you co-sign the loan. This, too, gives the lender assurance that you will repay the loan in full and on time because now a person with good credit is also responsible for the loan. Just make sure that the co-signer understands that if you don’t repay the loan, the co-signer is on the hook for repaying it.

What Is the Typical Refinancing Process Like?

No matter your credit score, the refinancing process typically works like this: A homeowner selects a lender with which to get a refi (see Zillow’s list of lenders ); the lender does not have to be the same lender you currently have a mortgage with. The homeowner contacts the lender to see what is needed to apply for the new loan. Typically, the lender will ask for past tax returns, pay stubs, proof of assets, list of debts and other financial documents, which are used to determine your ability to repay.

If you are approved for the refinance, the lender will give you a quote, which should include the rate, closing costs and fees. If you accept this quote, the lender will order an appraisal of your home, which will determine the amount of equity you have in your home (typically, lenders like buyers who have 20 percent equity or more in their homes). Finally, you will close on the loan, during which time you’ll complete and sign all closing documents, pay any fees and the new lender will send money to the old lender paying off your former mortgage.

What Are Some Alternatives to Traditional Refinancing?

If you can’t get a traditional refinance, there are other ways you can lower your monthly payments. One is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in 2009 to help homeowners struggling to pay down their mortgages avoid foreclosure. The program reduces troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. Mortgage companies with loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate in the program, and many other lenders do voluntarily. Click here for HAMP program details .

Homeowners may also want to consider HARP. also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which lets homeowners (though only those who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments) refinance when they can’t get a traditional refinance because the value of their homes has gone down.


Ask the Expert: Does mortgage insurance make sense? Dec #jumbo #mortgage #rate


#mortgage disability insurance

#

Think twice before buying into one of the many pitches for different insurance products.
December 19, 2003: 9:31 AM EST
By Walter Updegrave, CNN/Money contributing columnist

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – I am being offered mortgage protection insurance. Is it worth the cost?

— James Lawrence, Tampa, Florida

Before I answer your question, let’s be sure we’re both talking about the same type of mortgage insurance. There are actually two kinds, and they provide very different types of coverage.

First, there is the type known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI as it’s known in lending circles.

If you are buying a home and putting up a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home’s value, then generally you don’t have a choice of whether to buy this type of insurance. The lender requires it.

Why? Because PMI isn’t there to protect you — it’s there to protect the insurer in the event you default on your home loan and the lender isn’t able to re-sell your home for enough money to pay off the mortgage.

The cost of PMI varies, but a rule of thumb is about one half of one percent of the loan amount.

So if you’re buying a house for, say, $150,000 and putting 10 percent down ($15,000), the annual cost of PMI on your $135,000 mortgage might run $675 a year, or $56.25 a month.

In years past, some lenders would continue to collect PMI premiums even after the mortgage balance had fallen to well below 80 percent of the home’s original value. But Congress passed the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, which allows homeowners to request that the lender cancel PMI when the mortgage loan-to-value ratio falls to 80 percent and requires the lender to cancel it when the ratio falls to 78 percent.

By the way, appreciation in the home’s value isn’t taken into account in calculating this ratio — only the decline in the mortgage balance counts.

There are also some other qualifications that may affect your ability to cancel PMI. For more on what the bill requires of you and the lender, click here.

Mortgage life insurance

The second type of mortgage insurance is the type that usually goes by the name mortgage life insurance.

Here, you’re being offered the chance to buy an insurance policy that will repay your mortgage in the event of your death, disability or some incapacitating disease.

This offer — typically by mail — often comes from your lender or an insurance company affiliated with that lender.

This type of insurance is purely voluntary, however, so the question is, should you buy?

Generally, I’d say the answer is no.

It rarely makes sense to buy insurance for narrow reasons — to insure against a specific disease or a single calamity or to provide funds to pay off a single liability, in this case your mortgage.

In the case of life insurance, for example, you’re much better off analyzing your overall insurance need based on what kind of liabilities your spouse or other dependents would face and how much income they would have to replace if you were gone, and then buying enough insurance to meet that need.

Fact is, if you died tomorrow, your dependents would need to replace your income for a variety of reasons, not just to pay the mortgage.

Indeed, it might not even make sense to pay off the mortgage. Your spouse or other survivors might be better off continuing to pay the loan — assuming that’s possible — and putting insurance proceeds to other purposes.

In other words, you should take your overall financial picture into account when buying life insurance.

And the way you should do that is to have a financial planner or life insurance agent perform what’s known as a “needs analysis.” You can also use any one of a number of insurance needs calculators online, including the calculators at The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education site and TIAA-Cref site.

Of course, that leaves the question of what type of insurance you should buy — whole life, term, etc. — and the issue of how to shop for the best price for a policy.

For more on those topics, see a column I wrote last year called “Life insurance made easy .”

The same goes for disability insurance. You should consider a long-term disability insurance policy not just because you have an outstanding mortgage, but because you would likely need to generate income for a variety of reasons even if you were disabled and unable to work. For more on choosing a disability policy, click here.


Refinancing with Bad Credit – 6 Questions to Ask #mortgage #modification


#poor credit mortgage

#

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

Refinancing With Bad Credit: Information and FAQ

How to Refinance With Bad Credit?

With interest rates near historic lows, it’s no wonder so many people are considering refinancing their homes mortgage and replacing their existing mortgage loans with a new, lower rate loans. This can save homeowners money over the life of the loan (they’re paying less in interest) and lower their monthly payments. But for homeowners with less-than-stellar credit, refinancing at a good interest rate or at all can be difficult. This guide will help.

How Does My Credit History Impact Refinancing?

Lenders use your credit score to determine how likely it is that you will pay them back in full and on time. Credit scores range from 300, which is very poor, to 850, which is perfect. Your score is calculated by looking at your past payment history (35 percent), amount owed (30 percent), length of time you ve had credit (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and type of credit (10 percent).

As you can see, the bulk of your score is based on your past payment history and total debt, so people with too much debt or who haven’t paid their bills on time are going to seem “high risk” to lenders. Thus, a mortgage lender will charge a person with poor credit a higher interest rate to refinance because the lender is taking more of a risk by lending that person money. So while someone with an 800 credit score might only pay 3.5 percent on their mortgage, someone with a 650 or below may pay a full percentage point or more higher, which will likely equate to paying the lender tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of the loan.

If you have poor credit and want to refinance, it’s important to calculate your monthly payments and to make sure a refinance is right for you. When you factor in closing costs and fees, the new loan, even if it is a slightly lower rate than your current loan, may not make financial sense. Beware: Sometimes, a refinance will lower your monthly payments (it’s lowering your interest rate) but will extend the term of your loan (i.e. it will make the new loan a 30-year loan even though you’d already paid down five years on your original loan and only had 25 more to go), which can end up costing you more in the long term. In this case, think long and hard about whether these lower monthly payments are worth the long-term cost.

Get personalized refinance rates on Zillow

How Can I Improve My Credit Score to Get a Better Interest Rate?

The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate a lender will likely grant you. To boost your score, first, get a copy of your credit reports (on annualcreditreport.com you get a free report each year) from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and correct any errors you see on these reports that might be lowering your score. (You can learn how to correct errors on the credit bureaus’ websites.)

Going forward, pay all of your bills on time (create automatic reminders or set up automatic bill pay if you have trouble remembering to pay them), don’t take out several new credit lines at one time, and pay down your total debt load, especially if you ve nearly maxed out all your lines of credit.

If you have extremely bad credit, you may not be able to get a credit card, which means you’ll have trouble showing lenders that going forward, you can pay your bills on time. In this case, consider getting a secured credit card. With these cards, you can only charge the amount you have deposited in an account for the lender; you don’t have to pay the card off in full each month, but if you don’t, you will be charged interest.

What Else Can I Do to Get a Lower Interest Rate?

If you’ve done everything you can to improve your credit score but still can’t refinance or get an interest rate that you want, you should take other measures to help ensure you get a lower interest rate.

First, if you can manage it, put a significant amount of money in the bank or have other liquid assets on hand, as this shows the lender that you have the means to repay the loan.

Second, consider having someone with a higher credit score than you co-sign the loan. This, too, gives the lender assurance that you will repay the loan in full and on time because now a person with good credit is also responsible for the loan. Just make sure that the co-signer understands that if you don’t repay the loan, the co-signer is on the hook for repaying it.

What Is the Typical Refinancing Process Like?

No matter your credit score, the refinancing process typically works like this: A homeowner selects a lender with which to get a refi (see Zillow’s list of lenders ); the lender does not have to be the same lender you currently have a mortgage with. The homeowner contacts the lender to see what is needed to apply for the new loan. Typically, the lender will ask for past tax returns, pay stubs, proof of assets, list of debts and other financial documents, which are used to determine your ability to repay.

If you are approved for the refinance, the lender will give you a quote, which should include the rate, closing costs and fees. If you accept this quote, the lender will order an appraisal of your home, which will determine the amount of equity you have in your home (typically, lenders like buyers who have 20 percent equity or more in their homes). Finally, you will close on the loan, during which time you’ll complete and sign all closing documents, pay any fees and the new lender will send money to the old lender paying off your former mortgage.

What Are Some Alternatives to Traditional Refinancing?

If you can’t get a traditional refinance, there are other ways you can lower your monthly payments. One is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in 2009 to help homeowners struggling to pay down their mortgages avoid foreclosure. The program reduces troubled homeowners’ monthly payments to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. Mortgage companies with loans owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to participate in the program, and many other lenders do voluntarily. Click here for HAMP program details .

Homeowners may also want to consider HARP. also known as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which lets homeowners (though only those who aren’t behind on their mortgage payments) refinance when they can’t get a traditional refinance because the value of their homes has gone down.