Relief Refinance Mortgage

by Olga
(California, USA)

Ask Kate about Relief Refinance Mortgage Program: Hi Kate, I am trying to refinance my loan to see if I can enjoy the low rates now. I heard about relief refinance mortgage programs from one of the lenders.
Olga continues... I started to investigate last night. It appears that there was another extension last June. Is this correct?

My own bank does not know about it (one of the largest banks). I sent them the web pages with the latest information, Are they pulling my leg? I'm assuming it's not good business for them and that is why "they do not know"?

Any way, most lenders just say no right away as my LTV is around 94 percent.

My FICO at 703, is that good or bad score these days?

One lender offered 4.5 percent with .9 points, my bank says no way anybody can do that. The best they can do is 5.25 percent with no points. Or 5.0 percent with 1 point. My loan is $306K.

How come so much difference? Thanks! Olga

Kate Answers: Relief Refinance Mortgage

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Dear Olga, let me see if I can help with your questions.

First of all, have you determined whether you have an existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage?

You can call these numbers to check:
Fannie Mae 800-7FANNIE and Freddie Mac 800-FREDDIE.

If so, you may qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which allows up to 125 percent loan to value.

Freddie's Relief Refinance Mortgage – Open Access

Freddie Mac recently followed Fannie Mae in allowing homeowners to shop for lenders instead of being forced to return to their current servicer for their relief refinance mortgage. Freddie's version is called Open Access.

Follow this link to one of my pages jam packed with relief refinance mortgage questions and answers along with other Home Affordable Refinance Mortgage (HARP) topics. Be sure to check them out. You'll feel like you hit a gold mine!

Credit Score and Mortgage Rate Answers

Olga, you also asked if your 703 credit score is good. Although requirements for credit scores have become more restrictive, 703 is nothing to sneeze at! Read more about major credit reporting agencies and credit scoring here and how they work.

Lastly, you asked why mortgage rate and fee quotes vary so much from lender to lender. Start here with How To Avoid Hidden Mortgage Fees which will lead you through a series of pages I've written addressing mortgage rates and fees in an easy to understand manner.

Best wishes for your refinance,


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Relief Refinancing Information
by: Vikki

Dear Olga,

During this difficult time on the mortgage industry, I'm sure there are many potential borrowers hearing the same answers to their questions as you are.

Since the mortgage meltdown, lending practices have been tightened repeatedly, both for the safety of borrowers as well as for lenders and investors. In doing so, this has made many lending institutions tighten their own practices even more that what is required.

As Kate has already mentioned, you need to determine which type of loan you already have in place, such as a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage? If your loan is one of the two, then the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) may be what you need to take a serious look at. I have read over the information Kate has provided to you and it is an excellent place to obtain valuable information you need to know in order to have your facts straight if and when you begin dealing with a lender, especially those who are "not aware" that there are many options still available to home owners.

Olga, the credit score you listed is a good score, depending upon other factors it may be high enough for you to refinance. From what I am hearing, many lending institutions are performing two credit checks now and they are looking for an even higher credit score, than in the past few years. Taking all of this into account, it will be best to have any and everything, in shape before applying if possible. Look over your credit score before you actually apply. If any errors are found, clear those errors before actually applying for a loan. It may even help increase your score.

Finally, you asked why mortgage rate and fee quotes vary so much from lender to lender. There are costs associated with getting a mortgage loan and one of the largest costs is the loan origination fee which is charged by mortgage lenders and brokers. The origination fee is the consideration mortgage professionals earn for helping borrowers find the best mortgage for them and acting as an advocate during the loan origination process. These fees can vary based on the rate of interest. Other normal fees charged for appraisals, credit reports, and title and escrow services are also involved and these can vary greatly, depending on the lender.

Best of Luck

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You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

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