If you’re in the process of refinancing your mortgage loan researching current mortgage rates won’t save you a dime unless you fully understand how mortgage rates are quoted. The rate quotes you collect on the Internet and by calling around from the yellow pages are retail quotes that include commission based markup. If you want the lowest possible mortgage rate when refinancing your home you’ll need to find wholesale mortgage rates. Here are several tips to help you research current mortgage rates from wholesale sources.
Understanding Mortgage Rate Quotes
In order to accurately quote an interest rate the mortgage lender needs sixteen pieces of information about your finances. If you’re working with a mortgage broker that quotes you mortgage rates without requesting detailed information about your finances this broker has no intention of honoring whatever mortgage rate they quote you. This is a bait and switch tactic employed by many shady brokers trying to push expensive loans with above market interest rates.
What You Need to Know About Yield Spread Premium
The second thing you need to know about current mortgage rates is that the quotes you receive include so called “retail markup.” Yield Spread Premium is a bonus paid to your mortgage company or broker for making up the wholesale rate the lender approved you. Lenders pay this commission because mortgage loans with above market rates sell like hotcakes to investors on the secondary mortgage market. Lenders can afford this incentive for overcharging you because it brings in a significant amount of profit for them.
Here’s how Yield Spread Premium works. Suppose your broker quotes you a current mortgage rate of 6.75 percent on a $250,000 fixed rate loan. Your broker charges you an origination fee of one percent or $2,500, which is a reasonable fee to pay for their services. Most homeowners would jump at a loan like this without thinking; however, it’s what you don’t know that will cost you thousands of dollars unnecessarily.
In this refinancing example, what your mortgage broke isn’t telling you is that you actually qualified for a current mortgage rate of 6.0 percent! The broker marked it up to 6.75 percent because the lender pays them an additional point (one percent of your loan amount or $2500 in this example) for every quarter percent they overcharging you. If you agree to this loan the lender pays your mortgage broker three points, or $7500 on top of the $2500 you’ve already paid them. Your mortgage broker walks away from the table with $10,000 for just a few hours work. Despite this ridiculous commission you might be wondering why you should care about this mortgage broker rebate paid by the lender.
If the money isn’t coming out of your pocket why should you care what the lender pays your broker? The problem with Yield Spread Premium doesn’t come from the fact that the lender is paying the fee, it comes from the reason this fee is being paid. Most mortgage brokers will never admit that they’ve marked up your mortgage rate to get a kickback from the lender; in fact, many become angry and defensive if you bring up the subject with them. The real problem is that your broker is marking your rate up behind your back without properly disclosing what they’re doing. Many mortgage brokers go so far as to forge rate lock confirmation documents to hide what they’ve done with your interest rate.
How to Recognize Yield Spread Premium
There are two documents you receive in the process of refinancing that disclose Yield Spread Premium. The first is your rate lock confirmation provided by the lender. This is not a document typed up by your mortgage broker “locking” your mortgage interest rate. If you get any kind of rate lock guarantee from the broker that did not come from the lender (written on your broker’s letterhead for example) then you have not locked in your mortgage rate. Make sure that you get written confirmation of the lock from the lender. This document will have any Yield Spread Premium clearly disclosed on it. If your mortgage broker stalls or refuses to provide this document from the lender you know what they’re hiding and cannot be trusted.
The second opportunity you’ll have to document Yield Spread Premium associated with your mortgage is the HUD 1 statement. Make sure you get this document at least 24 hours prior to signing your contract. It will fully disclose all of the fees and markup and needs to be gone over with a fine toothed comb before you sign anything. If Yield Spread Premium is a part of your new mortgage you will find this disclosed around lines 810-11. It may be listed as Yield Spread Premium, Mortgage Broker Rebate, or YSP paid to broker. The amount listed is in dollars; you might be shocked at the number you find there.
Fortunately you can avoid Yield Spread Premium when refinancing your home. Doing this allows you to take advantage of wholesale mortgage rates and save yourself thousands of dollars. You can learn more about finding current mortgage rates that do not include mortgage broker markup by registering for a free mortgage DVD.
If you’re a homeowner you need to watch this free DVD; it could save you thousands of dollars and countless mortgage headaches.
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