While politicians and economists point toward signs of recovery in the economy, struggling homeowners who are still underwater with their mortgage payments know that the economic recession is still far from over. Nonetheless, there are opportunities for homeowners to save money in this tough economy. That’s why many smart homeowners are turning to refinance programs while rates are low.
Believe it or not, historically low mortgage rates are still available right now. This is actually a direct result of the financial turbulence of the past few years. Several years back, the Fed dropped short-term interest rates. The effects of this decision rippled through the economy, affecting home mortgage rates as well. These low rates are not going to last forever, though, especially with improvements showing up in other sectors of the economy. Rates are slowly starting to climb again, which means that there is a limited time for homeowners to act.
Another reason that many people are choosing this time to refinance their homes is a government program put in place to help struggling homeowners. The program is called HARP, which stands for “Home Affordable Refinance Program.” Homeowners who qualify for HARP assistance may have very little equity in their homes, or even none at all. To date, more than 2.2 million homeowners throughout the country have qualified for a HARP loan.
Furthermore, a lot of lenders are in competition right now for customers. This is also causing mortgage rates to stay low. Homeowners who take the time to shop around for the best rates and take advantage of HARP assistance may be able to drop their mortgage rate. This can added up to hundreds of dollars saved every month, and may come out to more than $100,000 over the lifetime of a mortgage.
How can you find out whether you qualify for HARP? How do you find these all-time low mortgage rates? A great way to start is by visiting a comparison site. Here you can input some basic information about your property, your credit profile, and your zip code to see what kinds of rates may be available for you. Using this tool, you can calculate your new potential APR and how much money you could feasibly save on your mortgage if you are able to refinance. If you are struggling with a high mortgage rate, don’t give up and accept your struggles. See if you can refinance. It could just save your financial future!