ING Direct started out as a European bank. They had a long history of doing business throughout the continent and had a number of prestigious subsidiaries including Britain’s venerable Barings Bank. They entered the United States banking market as an internet-only direct bank offering a number of products including the high-interest rate Orange Savings Account and a number of mortgage products through their Orange Mortgage subsidiary.
ING Direct was acquired by Capital One on February 15, 2012. Capital One is a large US-based consumer financial services firm, best known for their credit card offerings. As a result of the acquisition, ING Orange Mortgage products will likely continue to evolve and become even more competitive.
ING Orange Mortgage refinance rates help many homeowners refinance for savings, access to equity, and more. (Photo/Flickr)
Ing Direct mortgage refinance products
ING mortgage rates are very competitive. Currently, they only offer ARM products, so naturally, their mortgages fall on the lower end of the rate scale. In addition, they maintain a policy of not charging points, which solidifies their low rate standing.
Adjustable rate mortgages
ING Direct offers two key refinancing products. Both are adjustable rate mortgages, billed as 5/1 and 7/1 Orange Mortgages. They give either a five or seven-year fixed rate period then adjust once per year. While they may seem unattractive since they are not traditional 30-year fixed rate loans, ING points out that they actually match the average life of a mortgage for an American homeowner. In other words, if you’re only going to keep your mortgage for five to seven years, it makes little sense to pay a higher rate to lock the loan for a longer period. If you are looking for a long-term solution, it’s advisable to look at banks that offer fixed rate mortgages. ARMS tend to be a short term solution best for homeowners who have a jumbo loan, plan to move soon or are nearing the end of their purchase mortgage’s life.
ING Easy Orange Mortgages
ING Direct offers a unique Easy Orange Mortgage program. This is a 30-year amortization loan with a five or ten year fixed rate period and the opportunity to automatically extend the time that the rate is fixed.
What makes the Easy Orange loan so unique is its bi-weekly payment plan. ING calculates a traditional 30-year loan’s monthly payment, divides it in two, and allows you make a payment every other week. Doing this not only gives you the effect of making an extra payment every year but also reduces the amount of interest that you pay, by reducing your balance twice every month. This is an excellent product that can save you a great deal of money over the life of your mortgage.
Sizing up ING refinances
ING is also an innovator when it comes to jumbo lending. ING Direct’s Orange Mortgage is different from other lenders in that it does not follow the traditional “conforming” loan limit of $417,000. ING Direct mortgages are available at preferential rates all of up to a loan balance of $750,000. For borrowers who need more than $750,000, ING Direct offers the same loan programs but just at slightly higher rates. While rates vary depending on market conditions, you can expect to pay a rate that is roughly 10 percent higher for a large loan. In other words, if ING’s rate for a $250,000 mortgage is 4.0 percent, $900,000 loans should carry rates of approximately 4.4 percent.
While ING is aggressive about their loan limits, their loan-to-value ratios are conservative. Since they do not participate in private or government low down payment programs, their mortgages and mortgage refinances do not go over a traditional 80 percent LTV ratio. In other words, if you want to borrow $250,000, your home will need to be worth at least $312,500.
ING offers a generous rate lock policy, too. When you take out an Orange Mortgage for a new purchase, they will lock your rate for 60 days, giving you the time you need to close your new home transaction. They also include a 45-day rate locks on refinance mortgages. This insulates you from changes in the interest market while you are going through the process of closing your loan.
It’s always wise to compare lenders before securing a loan. Use a mortgage calculator to see how ING mortgage rates compare to your current loan terms. See what how ING compares to other banks who offer 15, 20 or 30-year fixed rates. If you get stuck, work with a mortgage broker to help you determine the best solution for your situation.
Doing business with ING Direct
It’s clear that ING offers unique products that many competitors haven’t tried. What’s it like doing business with ING Direct?
ING Direct Orange Mortgage has always distinguished itself as being an internet-based lender. In fact, their “Pajama Promise” encompasses a number of different features with the overarching theme that you can do business with them in your pajamas. At the same time, you can also get face to face with them at their ING Direct cafe-style branches. There are eight of them located in eight cities from New York to Honolulu to St. Cloud, Minnesota. Their merger with Capital One should expand their presence by letting you also do business with them through Capital One bank branch locations.
INGDirect’s Orange Mortgage and Easy Orange mortgage products are different from what many other financial institutions offer. In exchange for focusing on qualified customers that meet their business approach, ING Direct offers low rates, easy online execution, and very low closing costs. At the same time, they also have customer friendly terms and payment options. If you are looking to refinance a traditional 80 percent LTV mortgage, call or click over to ING Direct to see how their programs match up with your needs.
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