The Mortgage Man

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Archive for interest rates

Thinking About Refinancing? Now May Be The Time.

Interest rates are trending better, and it could be the time for you to take advantage.

Yesterday, mortgage bonds were trading at prices that were tipping towards the resistance level of the 200 day moving average.  Then today….wow!  The trading day is not over yet, but if bonds close at current levels, they will have decidely crushed through the important 200 day moving average, and this is very positive for the trend on interest rates going forward.

As you are aware (if you read this blog regularly), mortgage rates are determined by the bond market and they fluctuate daily with the market.  This is the reason that we have “rate locks” so that you can take advantage of a good day in the market to lock in your mortgage rate before closing.  This means that the rat you have been waiting to see before refinancing may be close.  If you think it may be time to refinance, give me a call, and I can tell you fairly quickly whether it is in your best interest or not.

You can also check out the latest rates at SteveRussellOnline.com.

5 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score – Lesson 5

Over 40% of all credit reports have some form of inaccurate information on them.  Do you know what yours looks like?

Inaccuracies on credit reports are as old as credit reporting itself.  But, in today’s world, it is much worse than it has ever been in the past.  Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, and the average victim spends 100 hours fixing the problem.  Not only is this incredibly irritating, but it can cost you time from lost work, money from expenses associated with correcting the problem, and it can cost you even more money in interest rates should you decide to do nothing about it.  And the icing on the cake, less than 25% of these crimes are prosecuted.

More than 70% of all identity theft is committed by a family member or trusted “friend”.  I use the term friend loosely because someone that would open credit accounts in your name is a criminal, not a friend.  Even though I believe that these parasites on society should be hung in front of the courthouse, that type of judgment is not going to happen.  Until then, the responsibility is on you to fix it or prevent it.

The first step is to pull a copy of your credit report.  You can do this at AnnualCreditReport.com.  It is free to get access to your credit report once per year through this website, and I highly suggest you do at least that.  In addition, I believe that you should check your credit every 6 months.  For the second report that you will have to pay for, I recommend going to FreeCreditReport.com.  While this service is not completely free as the web address might imply, they will give you a copy of your credit report if you sign up for their credit monitoring service.  If you are not satisfied, you can cancel at any time.

Once you have pulled your credit report, go through each section line by line to search for inaccuracies.  This could be as simple as a misspelled address, or as complicated as identity theft.  Once you have identified the information that needs to be corrected, compile a letter to each credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) describing the items that need corrected and send them to the bureaus by certified mail to confirm that they received them.  You can get a sample credit dispute letter by doing a google search for “credit dispute letter”.  There are hundreds available online, just choose one that fits your needs.

There are also a number of identity theft protection services.  But. by far the best one is LifeLock.  They offer a $1 million guarantee to protect your identity, and fix the problems up to $1 million if someone gets through on your identity.  They also work extensively with law enforcement to prosecute the offenders (that’s my favorite part).

I hope you have found this series of blogs to be informative and helpful.  I will be adding more useful information next week.


LifeLock Take Control

Monday June 23, 2008

This week’s financial forecast is uncertain.  The FOMC meets this week for 2 days beginning tomorrow and concluding with their economic recommendations to be released at 2:15 ET on Wednesday.  The markets are expecting the FED to stop its rate decreases amidst increasing inflationary pressures and the weak dollar.

The interesting and uncomfortable position policy makers are in (firmly lodged between a rock and a hard place) requires them to choose between loosening rates to try and stimulate economic activity, and tightening rates to help increase the value of the dollar and therefore decreasing the overall cost of oil (since the price of oil on the open market is based on the US Dollar).

Most analysts are expecting the FED to hold the course with no rate increase or decrease, and I tend to agree with them.  With no other significant economic reports due out in the next few days, I don’t expect mortgage bond traders to get too aggressive buying or selling.  I would expect the mortgage rates to remain relatively flat, at least until the results of the meeting after lunch on Wednesday.  Enjoy your week, and check back for the economic news that affects you in the real estate industry.

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Mortgage bonds make a slight recovery.

Early in the trading day, the mortgage bonds were hovering right around the 200 day moving average leading us to wonder if the downward spiral of last week was going to make a recovery.  This afternoon has been decidedly better for mortgage bonds, and at the time of this post, they are trading a 30 basis points above the 200 day moving average.

Under normal circumstances, I would not be very excited about news like that.  But, given the hard slide downward last week, anything above a moving average is good (even if it is just the 200 day moving average).

There was no significant economic news out today, so the bond market will go at its own pace with the other financial markets.