According to Freddie Mac, current mortgage rates remain low, providing many homeowners with a great chance for home refinance. In its most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the federal loan corporation reported national 15-year FRMs at an average of 3.17 percent, with 30-year FRMs averaging 4.87 percent. The historically low FRMs offer buyers and current borrowers a great opportunity to save on loans; however, only existing homeowners have been able to take advantage.

Why Buyers Can't Take Advantage

Usually, when current mortgage rates are low, buyer activity picks up; however, this hasn't been the case for the past few years. In response to the real estate crisis, banks have implemented tough lending standards that have pushed aside all but the most eligible prospective buyers.

Since low home prices have combined with the affordable rates to create a veritable buyer's paradise; if you have good credit and a sound financial standing, you have the chance to acquire magnificent properties you might normally be unable to afford. On the other hand, if your credit has a few dings and/or you don't have job security or enough money to pay for a relatively large down payment, you will probably be out of luck.

Home Refinance Business Picking Up

While buyers remain handicapped by tough lending requirements, existing homeowners are seizing the chance to make their current loans more affordable. If you have a 30-year loan, you can save a substantial amount of money on interest charges by reducing the loan to a 15-year plan. On the other hand, if you are struggling to meet the high payments associated with a 15-year loan, low current mortgage rates provide a great chance for you to free up cash by switching to a 30-year plan.

Rates not Necessarily Low for Everyone

Although Freddie Mac reports low refinancing rates across the country, its assessment is only based on good faith estimates from a select group of lenders. Borrowers should remember that banks ultimately assess rates based on each individual person's situation. If your credit or financial standing is viewed as subpar, you may have to pay more.

Likewise, some lenders may provide better offers than others; so it pays to contact several to get a fair comparison. Additionally, if you plan to buy a home, use a mortgage calculator before contacting a lender; otherwise, you may end up saddled with a loan that may prove unaffordable in the long-run.

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