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Deceptive Mortgage Advertising: It’s a No Brainer

You’ve probably seen the television ads claiming that no cost mortgage refinancing is “a no brainer.” Advertisers love to claim that they’ll pay your closing costs and offer zero cost refinancing. Most homeowners responding to these offers don’t realize how much of a lie no cost refinancing is. Here is the truth you need to know about the no cost mortgage refinancing lie.

Most homeowners don’t understand how mortgage lenders make their money. The majority of lenders today don’t sit on your loan collecting interest month in and month out. Most lenders make their money by selling loans to investors on the secondary market; the profit they make by selling your loan is called Service Release Premium. The fact that lenders sell your mortgage loan has more to do with you than you think; lenders reward brokers for charging you an above market interest rate to boost their profits when the loan is sold.

Your mortgage broker simply acts as an agent reselling loans for a wholesale lender. Mortgage brokers mark up the interest rate you qualify because the wholesale lender pays them a bonus for every .25% they overcharge you. This means the loan you get is anywhere from 100 to 150 basis points higher than what you could have had. This is why the average homeowner gets a retail rate on their mortgage loan. The interest rate has been marked up to give the broker a bonus.

The problem with this markup is that most brokers do not tell you what their doing and frequently omit what they’re doing on your Good Faith Estimate. Because you’re already paying your mortgage broker a fee for originating your loan any markup of your mortgage interest rate for a commission is not only unnecessary, but is taking advantage of you as a consumer.

In addition to marking up your mortgage interest rate for a profit, many brokers invent fees when processing your loan. These junk fees are often for thinks like “locking in your mortgage rate,” “application fees,” and “courier fees.” Most of these junk fees go straight into your mortgage brokers pocket for no good reason. So what about these companies claiming to offer no fee mortgage loans?

No Fee Mortgage Refinancing is a Lie

The truth is that every mortgage has legitimate fees that must be paid. If the lender is paying these fees upfront they are being paid on the back end in the form of Service Release Premium. When you refinance your mortgage with a “no fee” mortgage you’ll be accepting a much higher mortgage rate meaning that you’ll pay more than you need to for the loan. The lenders know they’ll make up the fees they’ve paid for you and double, even triple their profits when the loan is sold on the secondary market. You’ll be stuck paying hundreds of dollars more each month while the lender makes a handsome profit selling your loan. You can learn more about your refinancing options, including expensive pitfalls to avoid with this free mortgage tutorial.

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