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Should You Refinance?

As the Holiday Season quickly approaches, the media is busy broadcasting lower mortgage rates and a refinancing boom. Is this really true? Are the lenders and banks really out there refinancing loans?

If you are in the market to refinance, there are a few things that you need to know in this current mortgage market.

1. Be prepared. Always have the most recent two months of bank statements and any other asset statements available to give to a lender.

2. Always have the most recent one to two months of pay stubs available.

3. Always have the most recent two years of w2's available or complete income tax returns.

4. In today's market, your credit must be squeaky clean. Make sure that your bills are paid on time and eliminate any and all debt that you can.

5. Shop around for the best mortgage rate but DO NOT continuously give out your social security number for a credit check. Each time someone checks your credit, you credit score is affected.

6. Watch out for junk fees. When looking for the best rates, remember that you can be taken on fees. Origination and broker fees can be very high. These are optional fees.

7. Don't forget that if you want a lower rate, you will be charged a discount fee.

8. If you are refinancing less than 80% of the value of your home, you may choose to eliminate escrows. But beware that you will be charged an escrow fee for taking that option.

9. When you have agreed on a rate, make sure to sign a rate lock agreement that states the rate. Many times a rate is quoted but not locked in by the loan officer. The lender may wait for rates to go down so that they can make more money on the back end of the loan. This is a huge gamble that you should not have to pay for.

10. If you are one of the lucky ones out there that can refinance at this time, make sure to read the final paperwork before signing. Many things that you agreed to in the beginning are changed before signing especially the rate. Make sure that the rate is accurate and ask questions about any fees on the the good faith estimate. If things have changed, you do not have to sign those papers.

Remember that lending is still tight regardless of what is heard through the media. Good credit is essential in order to refinance right now. The best way to accomplish this is by being prepared.

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