Mortgage Lender Facts
Many different lenders serve the refinance market. And, while they might seem like they are all the same at first glance, once you scratch the surface, significant differences appear. The same mortgages can carry wildly different rates when you go from lender to lender. At the same time, you can find programs that some lenders offer and some do not. With this in mind, researching every lender or working with a service that can identify the best lender for you is an excellent way to get the best refinance rates and terms.
Lender Service Areas
While most lenders are national, some are not. National lenders, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank Home Mortgage and CitiMortgage, serve all 50 states and, in many cases, US territories like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Guam. Some of the largest national lenders can even make international mortgages to US citizens who want to buy abroad or for foreign nationals who want to buy locally.
At the same time, some regional lenders keep their lending close to home. While regional lenders are located all across the country, many of the largest regional lenders, like SunTrust Mortgage, are located in the Southeastern United States. At times, a regional lender’s unique perspective can enable them to make loans at more competitive rates than a national lender.
While just about every lender offers a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage and offers refinances with adjustable rates, you may need to look around to find anything else. For example, some lenders offer 40-year fixed rate mortgages to help reduce payments while others have excellent 10-year mortgage refinance rates which let you get your house paid off quickly. Some others offer interest-only payment options which help reduce your payments for the first few years.
Different lenders participate in different government programs, too. Some will make a HARP mortgage while others focus on providing competitive FHA programs. Borrowers that are veterans or active-duty military service people looking for a VA loan or refinance need to go to a lender that provides VA loans. While many banks will do them, military focused lenders like USAA Mortgage and Navy Federal Credit Union frequently offer better rates and terms.
Frequently, two lenders offering the same refinance loan programs at the same rates will still be different. This happens because lenders can have different policies. For instance, some will let you do a FHA Streamline refinance without an appraisal while others will not. Some cap the size of your Home Affordable Refinance Program while others have no upper limit on the loan-to-value ratio of a qualifying loan. Researching different lenders and their programs is the best way to find out which will give you the best refinance mortgage.
Lender Refinance Rates
With all of the competition in the refinancing market, you’d expect everyone’s rates to be about the same. They aren’t.
The loan that costs you 4.5 percent from one bank could be 3.75 percent at another bank. When you add in the fact that some banks include discount points in their rates and some don’t, there is even more room for prices to vary.
Shopping around is especially important if you need a jumbo refinance loan. Since banks typically loan their own depositor’s money out on jumbo loans, there are more variables that go into pricing them and you could find that one bank is much less or much more expensive.
Use the tools here at refinancemortgagerates.org to learn about all of the different lenders. Once you find ones that look like they could be a match, we can help you find their rates and help you get the best deal on your refinancing.