Refinance like a pro now that rates are low

Historical Mortgage Rates

Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, March 22, 2020.

You’ve probably heard that the Federal Reserve cut rates to a historic low. Mortgage rates, too, are at some of the lowest rates ever seen. What should you know in order to refinance like a pro now that rates are low?

Many loan officers are swamped

Due to the surge in demand – up 104% early this year – loan officers are having to add staff to keep up with demand. Adding to the load, people in the process of getting a mortgage are now trying to take advantage of even better rates. Refinancing applications are at their highest levels in 11 years.

This means your loan officer may take longer to get back to you and things may not move as quickly as you hope. They also may focus more on clients they know they can close more quickly or with whom they have a prior relationship with. Make sure you are organized with your information beforehand, to grease the tracks.

Rates may be slightly higher simply due to demand

There’s some indication that rates are above where they might have fallen simply due to demand. Influx of interest in refinancing “is outpacing the industry’s ability to make them“. This is resulting in the spread between the 10 year Treasury yield and the 30 year fixed mortgage near its largest since 2009.

Because of this, it’s extra important to shop around for rates, as different banks have different capacity and reactions to the high volume.

Get your ducks in a row before you go shopping

It’s important that you are organized due to the demand. If you’ve frozen your credit, now would be the time to unfreeze it. Make sure you have your tax information ready and all the other documentation you’ll need, like income statements, debt and asset information.

And if your loan officer doesn’t get back to you right away, be compassionate about their workload, but also, don’t give up. Stay front and center. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!