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WHAT IS AN ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) ?

The annual percentage rate (APR) is an interest rate that is different from the note rate. It is commonly used to compare loan programs from different lenders. The Federal Truth in Lending law requires mortgage companies to disclose the APR when they advertise a rate. Typically the APR is found next to the rate.

Example:  30-year fixed    8%    1 point   8.107% APR

The APR does NOT affect your monthly payments. Your monthly payments are a function of the interest rate and the length of the loan.

The APR is a very confusing number! Even mortgage bankers and brokers admit it is confusing. The APR is designed to measure the "true cost of a loan." It attempts to create a level playing field for all lenders. It prevents lenders from advertising a low rate and hiding fees.

If life were easy, all you would have to do is compare APRs from the lenders/brokers you are working with, then pick the easiest one and you would have the right loan. Right? Wrong!

Unfortunately, different lenders calculate APRs differently. So a loan with a lower APR is not necessarily a better rate. The best way to compare loans in our opinion is to ask lenders to provide you with a good-faith estimate of their costs on the same type of program (e.g. 30-year fixed) at the same interest rate. Then delete all fees that are independent of the loan such as homeowners insurance, title fees, escrow fees, attorney fees, etc. Now add up all the loan fees. The lender that has lower loan fees has a cheaper loan than the lender with higher loan fees (assuming the lender is fully disclosing all of the fees you will pay at closing).

The reason why APRs are confusing is because the rules to compute APR are not clearly defined.

An APR does not tell you how long your rate is locked for. A lender who offers you a 10-day rate lock may have a lower APR than a lender who offers you a 60-day rate lock!

Calculating APRs on adjustable and balloon loans is even more complex because future rates are unknown. The result is even more confusion about how lenders calculate APRs.

Do not attempt to compare a 30-year loan with a 15-year loan using their respective APRs. A 15-year loan may have a lower interest rate, but could have a higher APR, since the loan fees are amortized over a shorter period of time.

Finally, many lenders do not even know what they include in their APR because they use software programs to compute their APRs. It is quite possible that the same lender with the same fees using two different software programs may arrive at two different APRs!

In conclusion, use the APR as a starting point to compare loans. The APR is a result of a complex calculation and not clearly defined. There is no substitute to getting a good-faith estimate from each lender to compare costs. Remember to exclude those costs that are independent of the lender (title fees, appraisal, taxes and insurance, etc.)

 

WHY MORTGAGE RATES CHANGE ?

To understand why mortgage rates change we must first ask the more general question, "Why do interest rates change?"

Interest-rate movements are based on the simple concept of supply and demand. If the demand for credit (loans) increases, so do interest rates. This is because there are more buyers, so sellers can command a better price, i.e. higher rates. If the demand for credit reduces, then so do interest rates. This is because there are more sellers than buyers, so buyers can command a lower better price, i.e. lower rates. When the economy is expanding there is a higher demand for credit, so  rates move higher, whereas when the economy is slowing the demand for credit decreases and so do interest rates.

This leads to a fundamental concept:

Bad news (i.e. a slowing economy) is good news  (i.e. lower rates).
Good news (i.e. a growing economy) is bad newss (i.e. higher rates).

A major factor driving interest rates is inflation. Higher inflation is associated with a growing economy. When the economy grows too strongly, the Federal Reserve increases interest rates to slow the economy down and reduce inflation. Inflation results from prices of goods and services increasing. When the economy is strong, there is more demand for goods and services, so the producers of those goods and services can increase prices. A strong economy therefore results in higher real-estate prices, higher rents on apartments and higher mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates tend to move in the same direction as interest rates. However, actual mortgage rates are also based on supply and demand for mortgages. The supply/demand equation for mortgage rates may be different from the supply/demand equation for interest rates. This might sometimes result in mortgage rates moving differently from other rates. For example, one lender may be forced to close additional mortgages to meet a commitment they have made. This results in them offering lower rates even though interest rates may have moved up!

There is an inverse relationship between bond prices and bond rates. This can be confusing. When bond prices move up, interest rates move down and vice versa. This is because bonds tend to have a fixed price at maturity typically $1000. If the price of the bond is currently at $900 and there are 10 years left on the bond and if interest rates start moving higher, the price of  the bond starts dropping. The higher interest rates will cause increased accumulation of interest over the next 5 years, such that a lower price (e.g. $880) will result in the same maturity price, i.e. $1000.



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Still paying a high interest rate on your mortgage? That extra money should be yours each month. When interest rates are lower than what you are currently paying, it's time to consider refinancing. This can mean great savings for you and your family. Replacing your existing mortgage with a new, lower interest loan, changing the term of your loan, or even consolidating all your debts into this new loan will save you money, both monthly and over the life of the loan. Through the QueConnect network of refinance lenders, we can specifically design a custom mortgage refinance loan quote 2-8% below your current rate.

  • Fill out the mortgage refinance loan quote questionnaire to the left. We will search our database of refinance loan programs to fit your borrowing needs, there are hundreds of options and thousands of loan programs available.
  • Within 24 hours you will receive up to 4 free no obligation mortgage refinance loan quotes. You then - Compare, Choose and Save!

 


Submitting personal information constitutes a request to generate a mortgage quote and authorize QueConnect to send your loan request to multiple qualified lenders and brokers, who will be calling you with no obligation mortgage quotes. The information will be used and disclosed to effect only such transaction. Personal information is not disclosed to others for purposes other than mortgage quotes. All rates and prices are subject to change without notice based on market conditions. Rates are also based depending in part on your unique credit history and transaction characteristics. Not all products and services are available in all geographic locations. Acceptance is based on eligibility requirements and subject to final determination.


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