You’ve heard rates are low right now but you’re unsure of whether or not a refinance makes sense for you. How do you know when to refinance and how to time the market? How and when can you lock in a rate?
Before you can decide whether or not it makes sense to refinance you must know the details of your current situation. Your current loan terms are essential in determining the potential financial benefit of refinancing.
Once you have this information, you can start researching current rates yourself or contact a lender to see what current rate options are available.
Compare current rates with your existing situation. Conventional wisdom used to be that you needed a 1% or 2% drop in interest rate before a refinance made sense. While this may be true for a select few situations it is by no means applicable to everyone. There are many more factors that need to be considered when determining whether or not rates are at a level that make sense.
A more important consideration is determining how long it will take you to break-even on the costs of refinancing when compared to the interest savings you get. There are a variety of rate and cost options available when refinancing so applying a 1% rule of thumb to all situations doesn’t make sense. For example, if you decide to go with a no point and no closing cost loan option, you would not need the same percentage decrease in rate as if you paid 1 or 2 points and had several thousand dollars in closing costs.
Similarly, someone with a $100k loan amount will need a much larger decrease in rate vs. someone with a $400k loan amount to see the same monthly interest savings.
A better rule of thumb to follow is that you want to make up the costs of refinancing within 2-3 years of the refinance with the monthly interest savings. The faster the break-even point the easier your decision. For example, if a client has a $400k loan amount and they are able to lower their rate by 0.5% on a 30 year fixed with closing costs of $2,000 they would recover their costs within 1.5 years and save over $100 in interest per month, making the refinance beneficial.
Conversely, if a client has a $100k loan amount and they are able to lower their rate by 0.5% on a 30-year fixed with closing costs of $2,000, it would take almost 6 years to recover the costs and they would save under $30 per month in interest which would not make sense.
If you want assistance in determining whether or not you should refinance, an experienced mortgage professional can easily calculate your break-even
point for you and provide you with details on how much interest you could potentially save.
Once you have determined a refinance makes sense for you, the next step is getting in position to lock in your rate and closing costs. Mortgage rates fluctuate daily, so just because a refinance makes sense today doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Even a small increase in rates could potentially eliminate the benefit of a refinance.
In order to lock a rate you will need to get pre-qualified. The first step to pre-qualification is completing an application. For most lenders this can be done over the phone, in person, or online. Once the application is submitted, a lender will process the application, pull credit, and get you pre-qualified.
Once the pre-qualification is complete, you will be in a position to lock a rate with most lenders. If you are not able to lock a rate once you have submitted an application and have been pre-qualified, you would want to consider using a different lender. Some lenders will make you wait to lock a rate until after the appraisal has been done, or towards the end of the loan process. This is risky for the borrower given the potential for rate increases during the loan process. The last thing you want to do is pay for an appraisal only to have rates increase by the time the report is complete.
Waiting to lock the rate also increases the potential for bait and switch tactics used by some less-than-reputable lenders. Some lenders will offer a low rate upfront to get a borrower to start the loan process and commit to moving forward only to offer a higher rate later in the loan process. If your rate is locked and you have received all of the proper lock forms and official loan estimate indicating you are locked, your chances of being deceived decrease significantly.
Additionally, the only upfront fee you should pay when refinancing and locking a rate is the appraisal fee. This fee should only be collected after you have decided to move forward with the loan and have received all of the state and federal loan disclosures including the loan estimate. If a lender charges a lock-in fee or application fee it would be advisable to look elsewhere.
Just because the benefit of a refinance isn’t there for you today doesn’t mean it won’t be there in the future. Mortgage rates fluctuate daily and rate decreases can happen quickly and unexpectedly. This doesn’t mean you have to monitor rates on your own and watch CNBC every day. Most quality mortgage companies will have an option that will allow you to track a target rate or be automatically updated on a daily or weekly basis.
The best course of action is to talk to a mortgage professional and decide ahead of time what rate and cost scenario you need in order to move forward with a refinance. Setting up a target at that time will improve your chances of taking advantage of rate dips, even if they only last for a few days.
Trying to time mortgage rates and lock on the perfect day is almost impossible. Similar to stocks, daily rate fluctuation are impossible to predict with a high level of accuracy. The best stock and bond traders in the world only have to be right a little over 50% of the time to make a lot of money. With that said, it is helpful to be aware of what is causing rates to move higher or lower. Inflation, economic data, stock prices and global market trends all have an impact on bond prices, specifically mortgage backed securities, which is what mortgage rates are tied to.
If you are working with an experienced mortgage loan officer they should be able to provide you with insights on mortgage rate trends, what future factors could impact rates moving forward, and the general expectations for rates in the future; however, they cannot and should not tell you with any certainty what rates are going to do tomorrow, next week or next month. Highly-regarded economists consistently provide mortgage rate forecasts, but unfortunately their predictions are often wrong.
Now that you have an idea of how to get the best mortgage for you, we need to go over what to do and not do prior to and after you complete an application. The next step is to do everything you can to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Most of this can be done prior to even submitting an application.
Paying off credit card debt or installment loans is generally a good thing to do; however, we often see people try to pay things off or close down accounts in order to improve their chances of qualifying. Unfortunately, this often backfires and makes their situations worse in the eyes of a lender. Before you make any major adjustments to your financial situation make sure you speak with an experienced loan professional first to determine the impact. There are times when paying off a car loan or credit card can help you qualify, but wait until after you are working with a loan officer so they can advise you on what to pay off or how to handle your debt in the best way possible.
There are many factors that will determine what mortgage rate you will qualify for and a few of the primary factors are as follows:
Your credit score, specifically your FICO score, has the single biggest impact on the rate you will qualify for, especially when looking at conforming and jumbo loans (FHA and VA loans are more flexible when it comes to credit).
You have three FICO scores, one from each credit bureau, Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. All of the credit bureaus have slightly different algorithms when it comes to calculating your score. In addition, the calculations are adjusted depending on what type of debt you are applying for. Your FICO score when applying for a credit card or car loan will be different than when applying for a mortgage.
So what impact does a credit score have? The chart below breaks down the impact your credit score has on the closing costs for different credit score ranges.
|Rate||Disc/Net Orig||APR||P&I Payment||Total Closing Costs||Fico Score|
If you are not currently considering refinancing or purchasing a new home, it is wise to check your credit report to ensure nothing is being reported inaccurately. Credit reporting errors are more common than they should be and can be very difficult to correct in a short period of time. If you are proactive, you can save yourself from a big surprise once you are ready to apply. Free credit report sites are an easy and free way to check against errors on your report; however, don’t expect to find out your credit score without paying a fee.
If you are currently in the market for a new home or are considering refinancing, having your credit checked as part of your application is the best way to go. This will let you know exactly where you currently stand and whether or not work has to be done to improve your score. If you choose the right lender and work with an experienced professional, they should be able to advise you whether there is anything that can be done to improve your situation. I would not recommend trying to pay down debt or close down credit ahead of time without consulting with a loan professional first. Often we see clients try to improve their situation only to make things worse and jeopardize their loan approval.
Aside from removing late payments from your credit report, which can be difficult if they are being reported legitimately, the easiest way to improve your credit is to pay down the balances on your revolving debt. For example, if you owe $1,000 on a credit card and the maximum balance on the card is $1,000, your credit will suffer as a result; however, if you can pay down the balance below 75%, 50% or ideally 25% of the credit limit, your score may see a nice bump higher. Again, I would caution doing this on your own prior to speaking with a mortgage professional, as there are times when paying down debt can backfire if those funds were needed to qualify for a mortgage.
If you decide to go this route, check with your lender to see if they have anyone they would recommend. Additionally, make sure you avoid any credit repair company that charges a large upfront fee for their services. Most reputable companies will offer a free consultation and charge on a monthly basis with no long-term contract.
“Michael Shane and all the others that we worked with at Sammamish were professional and personable. They made the refinancing process as painless as possible. I have already referred my niece to Sammamish.”
Do you have questions about home loans or refinancing? Are you ready to apply for a mortgage to buy a home? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire Colorado state, including Boulder, and its many amazing neighborhoods like Whittier, Mapleton Hill, Foothills, and Longmont. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.
Updated at 2021-06-22
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Sale of Business
Links to Other Websites
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We do not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your child has provided us with personal Information, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected personal Information from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires us to disclose categories of Personal Information we collect and how we use it, the categories of sources from whom we collect Personal Information, and the third parties with whom we share it, which we have explained above. We are also required to communicate information about rights California residents have under California law. You may exercise the following rights:
If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us. For more information about these rights, please contact us. Request to Not Sell for California Residents You may submit a request to us to not sell your Personal Information, which will be effective for 12 months [add url to specific website called “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” that allows consumers to opt out of the sale of personal information
California Information Sharing Disclosure
California Civil Code Sections 1798.115(c), 1798.130(a)(5)(c), 1798.130(c), and 1798.140 indicate that organizations should disclose whether the following categories of personal information are collected, transferred for “valuable consideration,” or transferred for an organization’s “business purpose” (as those terms are defined under California law). The table below indicates the categories of personal information we collect and transfer in a variety of contexts. Please note that because this list is comprehensive, it may refer to types of information that we collect and share about people other than yourself, for instance for those people that utilize our Rates and Money website.
|Category of Personal Information||Is information collected by us?||Is information transferred for valuable consideration?||Is information trasferred for business purposes?|
|Audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information||☐||☐||☐|
|Bank account number||☑||☐||☑|
|Commercial information (e.g., products or services purchased, or other purchasing or consuming histories or tendencies)||☐||☐||☐|
|Credit card number||☑||☐||☑|
|Debit card number||☑||☐||☑|
|Driver's License Number/ State ID||☑||☐||☑|
|Electronic network activity (e.g., browsing history)||☑||☐||☑|
|Health insurance information||☐||☐||☐|
|Identifiers (e.g., name or alias)||☑||☑||☑|
|Insurance Policy Number||☐||☐||☐|
|Online identifier (e.g., IP address)||☑||☐||☑|
|Other financial information||☑||☑||☑|
|Social Security Number||☑||☐||☑|
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
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This Agreement is a contract between you and Sammamish Mortgage (referred herein as “Sammamish Mortgage”, “us”, “we” or “our”) and the services accessible from the Websites (which are collectively referred to in the Agreement as the “Services”). Sammamish Mortgage includes the Services provided on our Rates and Money website discussed below.
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Any feedback, comments, ideas, improvements or suggestions (collectively, “Suggestions”) provided by you to Sammamish Mortgage with respect to the website shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Sammamish Mortgage.
Sammamish Mortgage shall be free to use, copy, modify, publish, or redistribute the Suggestions for any purpose and in any way without any credit or any compensation to you.
Links to Other Websites
This Agreement applies only to the Services. The Services may contain links to other websites not operated or controlled by Sammamish Mortgage. We are not responsible for the content, accuracy or opinions expressed in such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked for accuracy or completeness by us. Please remember that when you use a link to go from the Services to another website, this Agreement is no longer in effect. Your browsing and interaction on any other website, including those that have a link on our platform, is subject to that website’s own rules and policies. Such third parties may use their own cookies or other methods to collect information about you.
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You acknowledge and agree that Sammamish Mortgage may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at our sole discretion, without prior notice to you.
If we decide to change this Agreement, we will post those changes on this page, and update the Agreement modification date.
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Updates to Our Websites
Sammamish Mortgage may from time to time provide enhancements or improvements to the features/ functionality of the website, which may include patches, bug fixes, updates, upgrades and other modifications (“Updates”).
Updates may modify or delete certain features and/or functionalities of the Websites. You agree that Sammamish Mortgage has no obligation to (i) provide any Updates, or (ii) continue to provide or enable any particular features and/or functionalities of the Websites to you.
You further agree that all Updates will be (i) deemed to constitute an integral part of the Websites, and (ii) subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
Term and Termination
This Agreement shall remain in effect until terminated by you or Sammamish Mortgage.
Sammamish Mortgage may, in its sole discretion, at any time and for any or no reason, suspend or terminate this Agreement with or without prior notice.
This Agreement will terminate immediately, without prior notice from Sammamish Mortgage, in the event that you fail to comply with any provision of this Agreement. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform us when you stop using the Services. You acknowledge and agree that if we disable access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other materials which is contained in your account.
Upon termination of this Agreement, you shall cease all use of the Websites and delete all copies of the Websites from your computer.Termination of this Agreement will not limit any of Sammamish Mortgage’s rights or remedies at law or in equity in case of breach by you (during the term of this Agreement) of any of your obligations under the present Agreement.
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Without limiting the foregoing, Sammamish Mortgage does not make any representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied: (i) as to the operation or availability of the Websites, or the information, content, and materials or products included thereon; (ii) that the Websites will be uninterrupted or error-free; (iii) as to the accuracy, reliability, or currency of any information or content provided through the Websites; or (iv) that the Websites, their servers, the content, or e-mails sent from or on behalf of Sammamish Mortgage are free of viruses, scripts, trojan horses, worms, malware, timebombs or other harmful components.
Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of or limitations on implied warranties or the limitations on the applicable statutory rights of a consumer, so some or all of the above exclusions and limitations may not apply to you.
Limitation of Liability
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Sammamish Mortgage be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever (including, but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, for loss of data or other information, for business interruption, for personal injury, for loss of privacy arising out of or in any way related to the use of or inability to use the Websites, third-party software and/or third-party hardware used with the website, or otherwise in connection with any provision of this Agreement), even if Sammamish Mortgage has been advised of the possibility of such damages and even if the remedy fails of its essential purpose.
Some states/jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.
If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable or invalid, such provision will be changed and interpreted to accomplish the objectives of such provision to the greatest extent possible under applicable law and the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect.
Except as provided herein, the failure to exercise a right or to require performance of an obligation under this Agreement shall not affect a party’s ability to exercise such right or require such performance at any time thereafter nor shall be the waiver of a breach constitute waiver of any subsequent breach.
No failure to exercise, and no delay in exercising, on the part of either party, any right or any power under this Agreement shall operate as a waiver of that right or power. Nor shall any single or partial exercise of any right or power under this Agreement preclude further exercise of that or any other right granted herein. In the event of a conflict between this Agreement and any applicable purchase or other terms, the terms of this Agreement shall govern.
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Updates to this Agreement
We may change our Services and policies, and we may need to make changes to these Terms so that they accurately reflect our Services and policies. Unless otherwise required by law, we will notify you (for example, through our Services) before we make changes to this Agreementand give you an opportunity to review them before they go into effect. If a revision is material we will provide at least 30 days’ notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion. Then, if you continue to use the Services, you will be bound by the updated Agreement. If you do not want to agree to these or any updated Agreement, you can delete your account.
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Applicable Law and Venue.
THIS AGREEMENT IS GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. NO CONFLICT OF LAWS OR PROVISIONS OF ANY JURISDICTION WILL APPLY TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. YOU AGREE THAT ANY ACTION AT LAW OR IN EQUITY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WILL BE FILED ONLY IN A STATE OR FEDERAL COURTS OF KING COUNTY, WA, AND YOU HEREBY IRREVOCABLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY CONSENT AND SUBMIT TO THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF SUCH COURTS OVER ANY SUIT, ACTION, OR PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. ALL DISPUTES MUST BE ADJUDICATED IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Agreement to Arbitrate
This section applies to any dispute EXCEPT IT DOESN’T INCLUDE A DISPUTE RELATING TO CLAIMS FOR INJUNCTIVE OR EQUITABLE RELIEF REGARDING THE ENFORCEMENT OR VALIDITY OF YOUR OR Sammamish Mortgage’s INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. The term “dispute” means any dispute, action, or other controversy between you and Sammamish Mortgage concerning the Services or this agreement, whether in contract, warranty, tort, statute, regulation, ordinance, or any other legal or equitable basis. “Dispute” will be given the broadest possible meaning allowable under law.
Notice of Dispute
In the event of a dispute, you or Sammamish Mortgage must give the other a Notice of Dispute, which is a written statement that sets forth the name, address, and contact information of the party giving it, the facts giving rise to the dispute, and the relief requested. You must send any Notice of Dispute via email to: [email protected] Sammamish Mortgage will send any Notice of Dispute to you by mail to your address if we have it, or otherwise to your email address. You and Sammamish Mortgage will attempt to resolve any dispute through informal negotiation within sixty (60) days from the date the Notice of Dispute is sent. After sixty (60) days, you or Sammamish Mortgage may commence arbitration.
If you and Sammamish Mortgage don’t resolve any dispute by informal negotiation, any other effort to resolve the dispute will be conducted exclusively by binding arbitration as described in this section. You are giving up the right to litigate (or participate in as a party or class member) all disputes in court before a judge or jury. The dispute shall be settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. Either party may seek any interim or preliminary injunctive relief from any court of competent jurisdiction, as necessary to protect the party’s rights or property pending the completion of arbitration.
Any award of the arbitrator or a majority of the arbitrators will be final and binding, and judgment on such award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. This arbitration provision will be enforced and interpreted exclusively in accordance with applicable federal laws of the United States, including the Federal Arbitration Act. Any costs, attorneys’ fees or taxes involved in confirming or enforcing the award will be fully assessed against and paid by the party resisting confirmation or enforcement of said award.
This Agreement to Arbitrate will survive the termination of your relationship with us.
You and we agree that each of us may bring a Dispute against the other only on our own behalf, and not on behalf of a government official or other person or entity, or a class of persons or entities. You and we agree, if we are a party to the proceeding, not to participate in a class action, a class-wide arbitration, a claim brought in a private attorney general or representative capacity, or a consolidated claim involving another person’s use of the site or our services. You and we agree not to combine a claim that is subject to arbitration under this Agreement with a claim that is not eligible for arbitration under this Agreement. You and we agree to waive the right to a trial by jury for all disputes.
Sammamish Mortgage may, from time to time, include contests, promotions, sweepstakes, or other activities (“Promotions”) that require you to submit material or information concerning yourself. Please note that all Promotions may be governed by separate rules that may contain certain eligibility requirements, such as restrictions as to age and geographic location. You are responsible to read all Promotions rules to determine whether or not you are eligible to participate. If you enter any Promotion, you agree to abide by and to comply with all Promotions Rules.
Additional terms and conditions may apply to purchases of goods or services on or through the Services, which terms and conditions are made a part of this Agreement by this reference.
We, through the Services, may provide a venue through which you can obtain information and you can find third-party service providers, such as financial institutions (“Third-Party Providers”). We do not endorse or recommend the products or services of any Third-Party Provider and are not an agent or advisor to you or any Third-Party Provider. We do not validate or investigate the licensing, certification or other requirements and qualifications of Third-Party Providers. It is your responsibility to investigate Third-Party Providers. You acknowledge and agree that Third-Party Providers are solely responsible for any services that they may provide to you and that we are not liable for any losses, costs, damages or claims in connection with, arising from, or related to, your use of a Third-Party Provider’s products or services. You acknowledge and agree that you rely on your own judgment and your advisors in selecting any products or services offered by Third-Party Providers.
No Guarantee Relating to the Services Provided by Third-Party Providers.
We do not make any warranties or representations regarding the quotes, fees, terms, rates, coverage or services offered or made available by Third-Party Providers. We do not guarantee that quotes, fees, terms, rates, coverage or services offered by Third-Party Providers are the best available.
You hereby release us of any and all losses, costs, damages or claims in connection with, arising from or related to your use of a Third-Party Provider’s products or services, including any fees charged by a Third-Party Provider.
Requests for Quotes
We may share your information with third parties when you use the Rates and Money website to request a rate, quote, service, approval, or information from those third parties (a “Request”).
IF YOU SUBMIT A REQUEST, THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS MAY CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY WITH QUOTES VIA MAIL, TELEPHONE, TEXT MESSAGE, FAX, EMAIL, AND OTHER MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. YOU MAY RECEIVE TELEMARKETING CALLS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF SUBMITTING A REQUEST THROUGH OUR SERVICES, EVEN IF YOU ARE ON THE NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY OR ANY OTHER DO NOT CALL REGISTRY.
By submitting a Request, you are expressly consenting to the third party conducting any research necessary to provide you with information about your Request. Third parties may need to share your information to conduct such research to provide information that may assist in determining eligibility for credit card offers.
If you do not want third parties to conduct necessary research to provide you with a quote for your Request, then you should not submit a Request.
Sammamish Mortgage is not responsible for any content, code or any other imprecision.
Sammamish Mortgage does not provide warranties or guarantees.
Sammamish Mortgage is a distributor and not a publisher of the content supplied by third parties; as such, Sammamish Mortgage exercises no editorial control over such content and makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy, reliability or currency of any information, content, service or merchandise provided through or accessible via the Sammamish Mortgage Service. Without limiting the foregoing, Sammamish Mortgage specifically disclaims all warranties and representations in any content transmitted on or in connection with the Sammamish Mortgage Services or on sites that may appear as links on the Sammamish Mortgage Service, or in the products provided as a part of, or otherwise in connection with, the Sammamish Mortgage Services, including without limitation any warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement of third party rights. No oral advice or written information given by Sammamish Mortgage or any of its affiliates, employees, officers, directors, agents, or the like will create a warranty. Price and availability information is subject to change without notice. Without limiting the foregoing, Sammamish Mortgage does not warrant that the Sammamish Mortgage Services will be uninterrupted, uncorrupted, timely, or error-free.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: (425) 401-8787
This Link: https://www.sammamishmortgage.com/
This Address: 3055 112th Ave NE Suite 203 Bellevue, WA 98004