Here are five tips for those shopping for a mortgage today, especially if you need to refinance an existing loan:
1. Do the Paperwork Early
Once you’ve found the mortgage professional you’d like to work with, get started on the necessary paperwork. Rates move regularly,
and if paperwork has been started your file can be processed more quickly when rates hit a low. When you start the application process, your credit score will be pulled and you’ll need to submit support documentation including W-2 forms and pay stubs. You might be asked for updated documents nearer to closing.
2. Shape Up Your Credit
Check credit reports and fix problems as soon as possible. Even seemingly small charges can haunt a borrower: A forgotten, unpaid parking ticket, for example, can noticeably affect a credit score, she said.
3. Decide the Rate Point You Want
If you have a 7% rate now, rates would have to hit 6% or lower for it to make financial sense to refinance. Talk with your mortgage
professional about what’s best for your particular situation.
4. Don’t Waver on the Rate
Once you determine the rate you need, it’s wisest to stick to that decision. Consumers sometimes gamble that rates will go lower, and the plan can backfire if rates reverse course.
5. Remember, Rates are Still Good
Yes, rates could fall and create another record low as a result of a deepening of a recession, but it isn’t likely that many consumers would crave lower rates at the cost of economic shocks.