refinance

Home mortgage refinance rates are low

Home mortgage refinance rates -- and especially, attractively low home mortgage refinance rates -- are a key reason many homeowners choose to refinance an existing mortgage.

That makes sense because home mortgage refinance rates are one of the factors that determine the monthly payment and total interest expense on the loan.

Like all interest rates, refinance rates can fluctuate from day to day or hour to hour.

That means homeowners who want to refinance need to work with a reputable loan officer or mortgage broker who can help them track home mortgage refinance rates and lock in a rate that makes sense for their situation.

The best home mortgage refinance rates

Homeowners naturally want to refinance at the best or lowest possible mortgage rate. However, there isn't one rate that's the best or lowest for all borrowers.

Instead, the best or lowest home mortgage refinance rates typically are offered to people who have an exceptionally high credit score, stable employment and a comfortable cushion of equity in their home.

Borrowers with acceptable, more average credit scores and at least some equity in their homes are more likely to end up with typical market rates.

Home mortgage refinance rates and points

The home mortgage interest rates available to borrowers also depend on whether the borrowers are willing to pay "points." A point is a fee equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.

Borrowers who are willing to pay points can "buy down" home mortgage refinance rates because the points compensate the lender upfront for the lower interest paid over the term of the loan.

The decision to pay points to buy down home mortgage refinance rates depends in part on how long the borrower intends to keep the new loan. If the borrower doesn't plan to move or refinance again within a few years, paying points might make sense.

Either way, borrowers should talk their options over with a reputable loan officer or mortgage broker.

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