Central Bank Rates, Worldwide Interest Rates, historical interest rates.#Historical #interest #rates


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Historical interest rates


Current Interest Rates on Home Loans, Savings, Car loans – CD Rates, interest rates.#Interest #rates


Today’s Interest Rates and Financial Advice:

Interest rates

Financial Advice

Would you like to buy a home but worry that you’d never qualify for a mortgage? It’s time to stop guessing and evaluate your chances to land a loan based on everything from how much you make to your credit score. Believe it or not, the odds are in your favor.

November 14th 2017

The average cost of financing a new or used car or truck has stayed low over the past year, making auto loans a bargain by any historical measure. And buyers with reasonably good credit can always take advantage of the discount loans automakers are offering on many models.

November 13th 2017

Lending money to your child is risky business. But if you can avoid the personal pitfalls and convince the federal government that this is really a loan, and not a gift, the Bank of Mom and Dad can be a financial boon for everyone in the family.

November 13th 2017

Here’s how to make all of the right decisions so that you’ll save more, invest wisely and take full advantage of all the tax breaks to build your retirement nest egg.

November 10th 2017

It’s not enough to find a good location at an affordable price. Condo buyers must consider lots of extra costs, from association fees and special assessments to how well the building is maintained and how strictly it enforces rules on everything from noise to pets.

November 10th 2017

You’ve scouted out the best mortgage rate and fought hard to get the best price on your new home. But your bargaining shouldn’t stop there. Here’s how you can save on everything from settlement fees to title insurance.

November 8th 2017

Interest rates

Interest ing Snapshot

Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, are a great way to build financial security for you and your family. They’re easy to open and our simple strategy helps you make all the right decisions now, and in the years ahead.

Interest rates

Interest rates


Selected Historical Interest Rates – Bank of Canada, historical mortgage rates.#Historical #mortgage #rates


Selected Historical Interest Rates

Selected Canadian and International Interest Rates including Bond Yields and Interest Arbitrage

(Updated January 2017. All files are in PDF format.)

Starting dates are specified beside each series.

Each series shows its CANSIM ‘V’ identifier.

Selected Historical Canadian Dollar Interest Rates

  • Bank Rate – V122530 — Jan. 1935
  • Treasury Bill Auction – Average Yields
    • 3 Month – V122541 — Mar. 1934
    • 6 Month – V122552 — May 1959
  • Selected Government of Canada Benchmark Bond Yields
    • 2 year – V122538 — June 1982
    • 3 year – V122539 — June 1982
    • 5 year – V122540 — Nov. 1980
    • 7 year – V122542 — Jan. 1985
    • 10 year – V122543 — June 1982
    • long-term – V122544 — Jan. 1976
  • Government of Canada Marketable Bonds, Average Yield
    • 1 to 3 year – V122558 — Jan. 1949
    • 3 to 5 year – V122485 — Jan. 1951
    • 5 to 10 year – V122486 — Jan. 1951
    • Over 10 years – V122487 — Jan. 1919
  • Other Bond Yield Averages (McLeod, Young, Weir) (Terminated)*
    • 10 Provincials – V122488 — Jan. 1948
    • 10 Municipals – V122489 — Jan. 1948
    • 10 Industrials – V122490 — Jan. 1948
  • Other Bonds : Average Weighted Yield (Scotia Capital) (Terminated)*
    • Provincials, long-term – V122517 — Nov. 1977
    • All Corporates, long-term – V122518 — Nov. 1977
    • All Corporates, mid-term – V122519 — Jan. 1980
  • Overnight Money Market Financing (7-day average) – V122514 — Jan. 1975
  • Prime Corporate Paper Rate
    • 1 month – V122509 — Jan. 1956
    • 3 month – V122491 — Jan. 1956
  • Bankers’ Acceptances – 1 month – V122504 — Jan. 1964
  • Commercial Certificates of Deposits (Terminated)
    • 30 day – V122512 — Jan. 1974
    • 90 day – V122513 — Jan. 1971
    • 90 day (average, last week of month) – V122492 — Jan. 1961
  • Chartered Bank Administered Interest Rates
    • Non-Chequable Savings Deposits – V122493 — Apr. 1967
    • Daily Interest Savings (balances over $100,000) – V122528 — May 1989
    • 5 year Personal Fixed Term – V122515 — May 1968
    • Prime Business Loan – V122495 — Jan.1935
    • Conventional Mortgage – 1 year – V122520 — Jan. 1980
    • Conventional Mortgage – 5 year – V122521 — Jan. 1973
  • Trust Company Administered Interest Rates (Terminated)
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificates – 5 year (average of Wednesdays) – V122496 Q1 1951
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificates – 5 year – V122516 — Oct. 1965
  • Mortgage Lending Rates
    • Average Residential Mortgage – 5 years – V122497 — Jan. 1951

Selected Historical U.S. Dollar Interest Rates

  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York – Discount Rate – Terminated – V122149 — Jan. 1955
  • Federal Funds Rate – V122150 — July 1954
  • 3 month Treasury Bills at Monday Tender – Terminated – V122151 — June 1980
  • Government 5 year Bond Yields — V122142 — Jan. 1962
  • Corporate Bonds (Moody’s Aaa) – Terminated – V122146 — Jan. 1983
  • 30 day Commercial Paper – V122144 — Jan. 1997
  • 90 day Commercial Paper – V122141 — Jan. 1997
  • 90 day Certificates of Deposit – Terminated – V122143 — June 1964
  • Prime Rate Charged by Banks – V122148 — August 1955
  • Euro-U.S. dollar Deposits in London, 3 month (Bid) – Terminated – V122140 — Jan. 1971
  • 90 day Premium (+) or Discount (-) U.S. Dollar in Canada – V122505 — Jan. 1962
  • Covered Differential
    • Canada-U.S. 3 month Treasury Bills – Terminated – V122507 — Oct. 1972
    • Canada-U.S. 3 month Short-term Paper – V122508 — Jan. 1997

* Copyright ©, PC-Bond, a business unit of TMX Group Inc.


Today – s Mortgage Rates, The Truth About, calculate mortgage rates.#Calculate #mortgage #rates


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Mortgage Calculator with Current Rates – Calculate Mortgage Payments with Ease from, home mortgage rates


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Calculate your monthly mortgage payment using the free calculator below. A house is the largest purchase most of us will ever make so it’s important to calculate what your mortgage payment will be and how much you can afford. Estimate your monthly payments and see the effect of adding extra payments.

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Mortgage Basics

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Top 10 mortgage tips for 2016

Thinking about buying a house? These tips will help you find the best mortgage for you.

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About our Mortgage Rate Tables

About our Mortgage Rate Tables: The above mortgage loan information is provided to, or obtained by, Bankrate. Some lenders provide their mortgage loan terms to Bankrate for advertising purposes and Bankrate receives compensation from those advertisers (our “Advertisers”). Other lenders’ terms are gathered by Bankrate through its own research of available mortgage loan terms and that information is displayed in our rate table for applicable criteria. In the above table, an Advertiser listing can be identified and distinguished from other listings because it includes a “Next” button that can be used to click-through to the Advertiser’s own website or a phone number for the Advertiser.

Availability of Advertised Terms: Each Advertiser is responsible for the accuracy and availability of its own advertised terms. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any loan term shown above. However, Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of the advertised terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. Click here for rate criteria by loan product.

Loan Terms for Bankrate.com Customers: Advertisers may have different loan terms on their own website from those advertised through Bankrate.com. To receive the Bankrate.com rate, you must identify yourself to the Advertiser as a Bankrate.com customer. This will typically be done by phone so you should look for the Advertiser’s phone number when you click-through to their website. In addition, credit unions may require membership.

Loans Above $424,100 May Have Different Loan Terms: If you are seeking a loan for more than $424,100, lenders in certain locations may be able to provide terms that are different from those shown in the table above. You should confirm your terms with the lender for your requested loan amount.

Taxes and Insurance Excluded from Loan Terms: The loan terms (APR and Payment examples) shown above do not include amounts for taxes or insurance premiums. Your monthly payment amount will be greater if taxes and insurance premiums are included.

Consumer Satisfaction: If you have used Bankrate.com and have not received the advertised loan terms or otherwise been dissatisfied with your experience with any Advertiser, we want to hear from you. Please click here to provide your comments to Bankrate Quality Control.

Mortgage Calculator Help

Using an online mortgage calculator can help you quickly and accurately predict your monthly mortgage payment with just a few pieces of information. It can also show you the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your mortgage. To use this calculator, you’ll need the following information:

The dollar amount you expect to pay for a home.

The down payment is money you give to the home’s seller. At least 20% down typically lets you avoid mortgage insurance.

If you’re getting a mortgage to buy a new home, you can find this number by subtracting your down payment from the home’s price. If you’re refinancing, this number will be the outstanding balance on your mortgage.

Mortgage Term (Years)

This is the length of the mortgage you’re considering. For example, if you’re buying new, you may choose a mortgage loan that lasts 30 years. On the other hand, a homeowner who is refinancing may opt of a loan that lasts 15 years.

Estimate the interest rate on a new mortgage by checking Bankrate’s mortgage rate tables for your area. Once you have a projected rate (your real-life rate may be different depending on your overall credit picture) you can plug it into the calculator.

Mortgage Start Date

Select the month, day and year when your mortgage payments will start.

Mortgage Calculator: Alternative Use

Most people use a mortgage calculator to estimate the payment on a new mortgage, but it can be used for other purposes, too. Here are some other uses:

1. Planning to pay off your mortgage early.

Use the “Extra payments” functionality of Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to find out how you can shorten your term and net big savings by paying extra money toward your loan’s principal each month, every year or even just one time.

To calculate the savings, click “Show Amortization Schedule” and enter a hypothetical amount into one of the payment categories (monthly, yearly or one-time) and then click “Apply Extra Payments” to see how much interest you’ll end up paying and your new payoff date.

2. Decide if an ARM is worth the risk.

The lower initial interest rate of an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, can be tempting. But while an ARM may be appropriate for some borrowers, others may find that the lower initial interest rate won’t cut their monthly payments as much as they think.

To get an idea of how much you’ll really save initially, try entering the ARM interest rate into the mortgage calculator, leaving the term as 30 years. Then, compare those payments to the payments you get when you enter the rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. Doing so may confirm your initial hopes about the benefits of an ARM — or give you a reality check about whether the potential plusses of an ARM really outweigh the risks.

3. Find out when to get rid of private mortgage insurance.

You can use the mortgage calculator to determine when you’ll have 20 percent equity in your home. This percentage is the magic number for requesting that a lender wave private mortgage insurance requirement.

Simply enter in the original amount of your mortgage and the date you closed, and click “Show Amortization Schedule.” Then, multiply your original mortgage amount by 0.8 and match the result to the closest number on the far-right column of the amortization table to find out when you’ll reach 20 percent equity.


New Jersey Mortgage Loans, First Lenders Mortgage, mortgage rates history.#Mortgage #rates #history


First Lenders Mortgage

Call Us Today Toll Free! Day Or Night

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    New Jersey Mortgage Rates

    We are the premier source of financing for New Jersey Mortgage Loans. We educate our clients about every option available so they have the power to make informed decisions about what’s right for them. If your looking for New Jersey Mortgage financing then look no further than First Lenders Mortgage of New Jersey!

    NJ FHA

    Our New Jersey FHA mortgage loans allow for purchasing a home with little down and secure fixed rates. Refinance with an FHA loan. No cost refinancing with NO CREDIT SCORE qualifying.

    NJ Jumbo

    We offer Jumbo mortgage Loans for your purchase or refinancing needs up to $10 Million with rates among the lowest in the country. Loans are considered jumbo loans when they exceed $424,100.

    NJ COnforming

    Our New Jersey conforming loans allow for low fixed rate purchase and refinance mortgage loans. NJ loans are loans under $424,100 with full documentation.

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    documentation List

    Lending guidelines sure have gotten tougher over the past year. Lenders are requiring more and more documentation than ever before! As a result, we at First Lenders Mortgage thought it would be a good idea to provide an “UPDATED” list of what is required by banks when applying for a mortgage! You most likely DID NOT have to provide some of these the last time you applied for a loan. These are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines and apply to all lenders!


  • Second Mortgage Rates ~ Refinance With a Low Interest 2nd Mortgage, refi mortgage rates.#Refi #mortgage


    Second Mortgage Home Loans – Lenders Rate Information

    A second mortgage is an additional loan that can be acquired after the first. The same assets that were used to secure the first, must be used to secure the second. Generally, the interest rate on a second mortgage is higher than that of a first. Equity determines the quantity and type of second mortgage an individual qualifies for.

    Obtaining Financing

    Obtaining a second mortgage requires the same process as obtaining a first mortgage. Lenders will require all the same paperwork, as well as a new appraisal of the individual’s assets. The new lender will require personal information, including asset values, in order to determine whether or not to offer a loan.

    Second Mortgage Rates

    There are two types of second mortgages: fixed and variable rate. The interest on a fixed rate loan will remain the same throughout the life of the loan. Fixed rate loans usually last longer than variable rate loans, about 15 to 30 years. The variable or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest rates that can be periodically changed by the lender. Adjustable rates generally have shorter terms, lasting between one and 20 years, with periodic rate resets.

    Individuals who are considering a variable rate mortgage need to take a number of factors into consideration before making their decision. It is important to discuss the following topics with the mortgage company:

    1. When the interest rate can change
    2. How frequently the rate can change
    3. How high the rate can rise
    4. What the rate change is based on

    It is important to get specific information regarding each of these factors. Second mortgages should never be signed without all of the above information. It is best to get the information in writing, this prevents lenders misleading or misconstruing information.

    The mortgage company should also be able to explain how their rates are determined and what may cause them to increase throughout the life of the loan. It is important to ensure that interest rate changes are determined on a specific set of criteria. This information should also be obtained in writing.

    Either type of mortgage rate will result in a loan that is comparable or slightly more expensive than first mortgages. The second mortgage may be slightly more expensive because the lender understands that the first loan was already foreclosed on. This means that the second lender is absorbing more risk and may be warier of offering a mortgage.

    Refi mortgage ratesCompare your options: calculate PMI vs a second mortgage. Refi mortgage rates

    Term Lengths

    Second mortgages usually have terms of one to 30 years. Shorter terms will have higher payments and longer terms will have lower payments. It is important to calculate exactly how much can be afforded each month. This is best determined by assessing how much personal income can be allotted to the loan each month. This number, in combination with the interest rate, should be used to determine the length of loan that is affordable.

    Generally, adjustable rate loans have more flexible terms than fixed rate loans. The fixed loans may be offered only in 15 and 30 year terms, while variable rate loans may be offered in any number of years between one and 20. The lender will help determine which option is ideal taking income levels and loan amounts into consideration.

    Where to Find a Second Mortgage

    There are virtually unlimited numbers of lenders who supply second mortgages. It is important that individuals compare the costs associated with a number of potential lenders. For most people, lenders who offer the lowest interest rates are the best choice as their second mortgage supplier. Although, there are a few other factors that can be taken into consideration.

    It is possible to save money by obtaining a second mortgage with your existing mortgage lender. They may wave fees associated with paperwork or other procedural requirements. This is not true of all mortgage lenders. It is best to call the mortgage company and request farther information about their second mortgage procedures before assuming the costs will be reduced.

    Another place to look for a second mortgage is through banks which individuals are already involved in. The paperwork and procedures which are required to obtain second mortgages can be easier through banks that individual’s already have ties to.

    The Best Time to Obtain Financing

    Due to the economic downturn, the interest rates on first and second mortgages are currently at an all time loan. This year may be a good time to obtain a second mortgage. It is important, however, to take all financial factors into consideration before attempting to obtain a second mortgage.

    It is best to follow the market trends before obtaining a second loan. Mortgage rates can be variable, but tracking the market trends can help individuals obtain second mortgages during times of low interest rates. It’s important to keep an eye out for what lenders are charging and those which seem to be offering the lowest rates. These observations will help individuals determine the best mortgage companies and the times in which these companies offer the lowest interest rates.

    It is important to note that variable rate mortgages may change according to economic changes. It is important to fully understand what factors contribute to the changes in interest rate. If economic conditions can effect the variable rate loans, obtaining one during an economic downturn may not necessarily result in lower interest rates in the long run.

    Factors that can effect the interest rate of a second mortgage include the demand for loans and national economic conditions. In periods of economic downturn, second mortgage rates fall low and can be obtained more readily. Individuals can take advantage of this by building up a money supply during economic upturns and obtaining second mortgages during downturns.

    It is best to obtain a second mortgage when personal finances allow it. If a second mortgage would be difficult to afford, it may be best to wait. Individuals should be able to cover the cost of the first and second mortgage, as well as all other monthly payments, before obtaining a second loan.

    Benefits of a Second Mortgage

    Second mortgages are beneficial to individuals who need a significant amount of money and have no other means of obtaining it. Individuals who will benefit the most from second mortgages are those who are financially stable, but cannot use credit cards or bank accounts to obtain the money they desire.

    Sometimes second mortgages are necessary for those who are not financially stable, but have no other means of obtaining money. This is not the ideal situation to obtain a second mortgage because there is significant risk of the individual being incapable of paying back the loan. Sometimes, however, it cannot be avoided.

    There are a number of situations where a second mortgage may be beneficial. These include:

    1. Bypassing property mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements
    2. Debt consolidation
    3. Home Improvements
    4. Purchasing a new home
    5. Creating home equity

    Hidden Costs

    In addition to the interest rate, there are a number of costs associated with second mortgages, these include:

    The cost of these fees will be similar to those associated with first mortgages. The most important hidden cost to consider is the lending fees.

    Lending fees are calculated on a points based system. One point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. The cost of lending fees varies widely between mortgage companies. It is important to meet with a number of lenders in order to find the lowest lending fees.

    Individuals who are obtaining a second mortgage should request written documentation of the lending fees. Some areas have state mandated caps on lending fees, but others do not. The state banking commissioner can provide information on lending fee limits.

    It is important that the lending fee is understood and agreed upon before signing for the second mortgage. Individuals should ask to see the fee in writing and should compare it to any state limitations to ensure that the lender is following mortgage regulations.

    Associated Risks

    Refi mortgage rates

    The largest risk associated with a second mortgage is failure to pay the monthly interest rates. It is possible for an individual to lose their home if they are incapable of paying for the second mortgage. This is why it is so important to obtain affordable, low interest rates and lending terms that allow for small monthly payments. Market research, and comparison shopping should help individuals avoid the risk of losing their home.

    Another risk of obtaining a second mortgage is higher interest fees. There are generally only small differences between the interest fees of first and second mortgages, but sometimes even a small increase in the interest rate can result in financial ruin. Individuals should calculate exactly how much the second mortgage will cost per month to avoid any surprises.

    The various fees associated with a second mortgage is another risk. These fees can add up quickly and for those already in financial ruin, these costs could be a lot to handle.


    Refinance, Refinancing Your Mortgage, Quicken Loans, refinance mortgage rates.#Refinance #mortgage #rates


    Refinance Your Mortgage

    How do you want to get started?

    With Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, our fast, powerful and completely online way to get a mortgage, you can quickly see how refinancing your home can help you achieve your financial goals.

    Answer a few questions, and we’ll have a Home Loan Expert call you.

    The Basics

    What to Know Before You Refinance Your Home

    What does it mean to refinance? Refinancing is the act of taking on a new loan with different terms. Reasons for refinancing your mortgage include lowering your payment, shortening your term or using the equity you’ve built up over time to get cash back out of your home.

    What’s Your Goal?

    Deciding if it makes sense to refinance your home depends on a number of factors, but it starts with one question: What do you want out of your refinance? Here are some of the main reasons homeowners decide to refinance their mortgage:

    Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing your home can help you meet your financial goals.

    See Today s Mortgage Rates

    Want to find out if refinancing is right for you? A good way to start is by looking at the current mortgage rates. Don’t forget – rates change daily based on the market, so if you like what you see, make sure to talk to a Home Loan Expert to get your personalized rate and lock it in as soon as possible.

    Try Our Refinance Calculator

    Want to see if refinancing makes sense for you? Try our refinance calculator. Here’s how it works.

    First, we’ll ask about your primary goal for your new loan. You can choose between lowering your payment and paying off your home sooner. Depending on which option you select, you’ll either be asked what your current monthly payment is or how many years you have left on your loan.

    After that, you’ll be asked to estimate what you still owe and how much your home is worth to determine the amount of the loan. Then, you ll input a rough credit estimate and your ZIP code.

    The results page will show you a sample rate and payment. You can adjust the rate and type of loan, as well as add taxes and insurance to find out if refinancing your mortgage can help you meet your financial goals.

    Calculate your rate now to see if refinancing is right for you.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What documents are required to refinance?

    The following is a list of documents generally required during the refinance application process:

    • Proof of income: Typically, you’ll need to show original pay stubs for the last 30 days.
    • Copy of homeowners insurance: We ll need to verify that you have current and sufficient coverage on your home.
    • Copies of your W-2 forms: Each loan applicant will need to supply W-2 forms so we can verify past employment and income history.
    • Copies of asset information: This includes statements for accounts that hold money for closing costs, statements for savings, statements for checking and 401(k) accounts, and investment records for mutual funds or stocks.
    • Copy of title insurance: This helps us verify things like taxes, names on the title and the legal description of the property.

    Your lender will also need to pull your credit report as a part of the refinance process, so have your Social Security number handy when it’s time to apply.

    Check out QLCredit to view your full credit report. Creating an account is free and won’t affect your credit score.

    How much does it cost to refinance?

    It’s possible to add the costs associated with getting a new mortgage into the total refinance amount to avoid paying anything out of pocket at closing. However, refinancing in order to lower your payment, get cash out or consolidate your debt may result in a longer loan term or a higher rate, and that might mean paying more in interest overall in the long run.

    When should I refinance my mortgage?

    There’s no definitive guideline as to how long you should wait to refinance after buying a home. The most important thing is to make sure the refinance will help you meet your financial goals. These are some questions to consider when determining whether to refinance:

    • Does your current lender have a prepayment penalty?
    • Do you have enough equity in your home?
    • Are interest rates lower now than they were when you got your current home loan?
    • Do you plan to stay in your home for several more years?

    What is equity? Why is it important for refinancing?

    Equity is the appraised value of your home minus the amount you still owe on your loan.

    The value of equity depends on your goal for refinancing. The more equity you have, the more money you may be able to get from a cash-out refinance. Or, more equity could result in a better interest rate, which may help you lower your monthly payment. Having enough equity may also help you eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI), a costly monthly fee included in many mortgages with an original down payment of less than 20%. Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if you have enough equity to reach your financial goals.

    Talk to a Home Loan Expert or use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing your home can help you meet your goal.


    Compare mortgage, refinance, insurance, CD rates, interest rates history.#Interest #rates #history


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    12 ways to get the lowest mortgage refinance rates, refinance mortgage rates.#Refinance #mortgage #rates


    12 ways to get the lowest mortgage refinance rates

    If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, you are likely eager to find the lowest mortgage refinance rates.

    But before you start shopping around for the lowest rates, experts say you should establish your objectives and prepare your finances to improve your chances of qualifying for the lowest interest rate.

    First, figure out the best loan product to meet your financial goals, and then you can start looking for the most competitive mortgage rates, says Michael Jablonski, executive vice president and retail production manager for BB T Mortgage in Wilson, North Carolina.

    Here are 12 steps that will help lock in the lowest refinance rate possible:

    No.1: Raise your credit score

    “Typically, a credit score of 740 or higher puts borrowers in the best tier for a conventional loan program,” says Michael Smith, first vice president business development manager for mortgage lending for California Bank and Trust in San Diego.

    Most lenders require a minimum credit score of 620 to 640, but you’ll pay a higher mortgage rate for conventional loans unless your score is 740 or above. However, some portfolio lenders set their own guidelines.

    No. 2: Lower your debt

    Paying bills on time and paying down your credit card balance can reduce your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, which improves your chances of qualifying for a low mortgage rate, says Jablonski.

    A good rule of thumb is to make sure your debt-to-income ratio is no more than 36 percent, and even lower is better.

    “Don’t buy a new car, make other major purchases or fill out multiple credit applications before you refinance, because all of those actions can hurt your credit profile,” says Smith.

    Even if you have a high credit score, you may be denied a refinance altogether or subjected to higher interest rates if your DTI ratio is too high, says Jablonski.

    No. 3: Increase your home equity

    Remember that your credit scores and the loan-to-value ratio of your property could have a much bigger impact on your refinance rate than a slight shift in average mortgage rates, says Malcolm Hollensteiner, director of retail lending sales for TD Bank in Vienna, Virginia.

    “Both a lower-than-average credit score and a high loan-to-value can lead to a more expensive interest rate,” he says.

    If you are underwater on your mortgage, a Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loan may be your best option.

    No. 4: Organize your financial documentation

    You should get your credit reports from all three bureaus to make sure there are no mistakes that need correcting before you apply for a refinance, says Smith.

    A refinance application typically requires two years of tax returns with W2s, two recent pay stubs, and your two most recent bank and investment statements.

    “Gathering these materials ahead of time can expedite the loan process and prevent you from paying extra for an extension of your rate lock,” says Smith.

    No. 5: Save cash for closing costs

    Closing costs average about 2 percent of the loan amount.

    “You can pay cash for the closing costs or, if you have enough equity, you can roll these costs into your new loan,” says Hollensteiner. “Another option that some lenders offer is to pay a higher interest rate for a lender credit to cover those costs.”

    Shop smart for your refinance

    Once your preparations are complete, you can begin to shop around for the refinance that works best for you.

    No. 6: Start online

    Deborah Ames Naylor, executive vice president of Pentagon Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, Virginia, recommends starting online with a refinance calculator that estimates your monthly payments at various loan terms.

    “A shorter term loan will have a lower interest rate than a 30-year fixed-rate loan, but the payment will be higher because you’re paying it off faster,” says Naylor. “It’s important to decide what payment you’re comfortable making before you see a lender, because that payment could be much less than the payment you qualify for.”

    No. 7: Decide on a loan term

    Barry Habib, founder and CEO of MBS Highway in New York City, says the loan term you choose needs to be made in the context of your other financial obligations and plans.

    “If you have $30,000 in credit card debt and no savings for college, you may want to go for a 30-year loan to keep the payments as low as possible,” says Habib. “Someone else may want a shorter term to build equity faster while another borrower might want a longer loan so they can keep their tax deduction as long as possible.”

    No. 8: Talk to multiple lenders

    Once you ve decided on your loan term ,it s time to research loan products available from a credit union, a regional or community bank, a direct lender and a national bank to find out what special programs they offer, says Naylor.

    “Many lenders offer ‘portfolio loans,’ ones they keep in-house instead of selling on the secondary market,” she says. “They can be more flexible with those loans and offer special promotions.”

    Instead of choosing a lender solely based on current mortgage rates, Russ Anderson, senior vice president and a centralized sales executive with Bank of America in Los Angeles, says you need to find a lender you can trust. “People get too wrapped up in the rate rather than finding someone who will communicate with them,” he says. “You need to find someone you trust, who will be engaged in your family’s financial situation.”

    No. 9: Review all your loan options

    Lenders can discuss various loan products when you interview them.

    “There’s a broad product mix of conventional financing, government-backed programs like FHA loans and special refinancing programs through the Making Home Affordable program,” says Anderson. “A good lender can present the pros and cons of each of these programs in the context of your individual finances.”

    No. 10: Decide how you will finance your refinance

    You ll also need to decide how to pay for your refinance. Closing costs and lender fees can be paid at closing, wrapped into your loan balance or you can opt for a “no-cost” refinance.

    “A no-cost refinance means that your lender will pay the fees and you’ll pay a slightly higher interest rate of one-eighth to one-fourth percent,” says Habib.

    HSH.com’s Tri-Refi refinance calculator can help you decide the best way to finance your refinance. Here’s how:

    HSH.com s Refinance Calculator

    No. 11: Compare mortgage rates and fees

    Advertised mortgage rates are sometimes based on paying points, so you need to make sure you compare loans with zero points or the same number of points.

    “It’s important to shop for the same loan on the same day to get a true comparison of mortgage rates, because mortgage rates change every day,” says Smith. “You need to explain to each loan officer all the criteria for your refinance, not just ask ‘what’s today’s rate on a $200,000 loan?’ You should also ask about loan processing times.”

    Shopping by APR can be confusing, since different lender fees and policies can affect the outcome. It is possible for two loans to have identical rates and fees and different APRs. Conversely, two loans could have the same APR but different interest rates. Because of this, it is usually better for you to focus instead on the two most important components of APR: interest rate and fees.

    The most important component of your refinance will generally be the interest rate, so you’ll of course want to pay attention to that. Fees and closing costs matter, but whether you want or need to pay them will depend upon your situation. There are times when paying costs to obtain the lowest mortgage refinance rates can make sense and times when it does not.

    No. 12: Know when to lock-in your rate

    Once you ve finalized your loan decision you should consult your lender about when to lock-in your rate.

    “Processing times for different lenders can range from 30 to 45 days to more than 90 days,” says Smith. “Typically, lenders will do a 30- or 45-day rate lock, so you should be consulting with your lender to determine the appropriate day to lock your loan. If you have to extend the lock or re-lock your loan, that will likely cost you more money.”

    While shopping around for a refinance may take a little longer than refinancing with your current lender, the rewards can last as long as your loan.