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Home Mortgage Rates Inch Up

Consumers have grown accustomed to mortgage rates always dropping in the U.S.

Stronger than expected Retail Sales data hurt MBS this morning, extending the losses seen last week. April Retail Sales rose 0.1% from March, above the consensus for a decline of 0.3%. If consumer spending continues to remain healthy, it will reduce investor concerns about a spring slump in the economy.

Falling MBS prices result in higher mortgage rates. Rising MBS prices lead mortgage rates lower. MBS pricing provided by MBSQuoteline. Today’s mortgage rates are based on real-time mortgage market pricing. Read the original article from the mortgage reports website.

Can I Refinance My 2nd Home Under HARP?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac clarified that borrowers can use the HARP 2.0 to refinance second homes and investment properties. Most people already knew that HARP mortgage lenders were allowed to offer refinances on primary residences but few borrowers were aware that the Home Affordable Refinance could be accessed for rental and vacation homes. Yes, HARP loans can be used to refinance second houses and in some cases of investment homes as well.

Refinance Vacation Homes Even if They Are Underwater

The “HARP 2.0″ changes that took full effect last spring greatly expanded the eligibility guidelines for mortgages that could be refinanced under the program. The most prominent of those was lifting a negative equity restriction so that lenders could offer HARP refinance loans no matter of how far upside-down they were. However, there were a number of other changes as well, and expanding eligibility to vacation homes and investment properties was one of them.

Condos Approved for HARP Refinancing

According to MortgageLoan.com, qualifying with a vacation or 2nd house must be a single unit, although condominium units are eligible as well. Investment homes can be from one to four units and it is not necessary for the applicant to be living in the property. It also doesn’t matter if one of the homes used to be a primary residence, but is now a second home or investment property. You still have to meet the other HARP refinance standards, the main one being that the mortgage must be backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You also have to meet the usual credit and income criteria – including being able to show two months of liquid reserves if refinancing an owner-occupied home and six months of reserves for an investment property. Other than that, it doesn’t matter how much the property may have fallen in value, as long as you’ve remained current on your mortgage payments. Your loan balance can be twice as much as the property is worth and you can still qualify. In fact, appraisals are not even required in most cases under HARP 2.0.

Mortgage Refinancing Approved for More Than One Home

One question that some have is whether they can do a HARP refinance on a second home or vacation property if they have already gone through HARP to refinance their primary residence.  Yes, the only restriction of this type is that the mortgage must have been closed by May 31, 2009, which basically limits you to one HARP refinance per property. You are not limited to refinancing with your current loan service company, but refinancing with any HARP lender is allowed. Some consumers who have mortgage insurance may find it difficult to find a new lender who will accept that insurer, so your HARP lender options may be more limited in that situation. Read the original article in the New Jersey Post.

Upside Down Refinance Plan of Freddie Mac Questioned

In a recent Eliot Spitzer article published on Slate, the question of why Freddie Mac did not address underwater mortgage refinancing sooner came up. It’s not like the government sponsored enterprise was unaware of the national crisis of depreciating house values. The truth is that Fannie and Freddie own a “lion-share” of the mortgages sold on the secondary market.

Spitzer questions the “inability to get underwater mortgage loans refinanced on a mass-level.” He asserts that this is one of the signature failures of economic policy of the past four years. In a fascinating and revealing story published by ProPublica on Oct. 25, Jesse Eisinger explains how several board members and executives of Freddie Mac, the now-taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, made essentially impossible to get a high volume of upside-down loans refinanced at the current interest rates. According to Eisinger, one of these board members, Robert Glauber, objected on the grounds refinance programs were “designed to be a stimulus.”

The particular issue in 2002 had to do with spinning, a process whereby CEOs and other senior executives at companies would be given personal allocations of “hot” IPOs by the investment banks underwriting the IPOs. Hot IPOs are those in which the stock is expected to jump when trading opens, and so an allocation leads to instantaneous trading gains—often very substantial in magnitude. Why did the investment banks give the executives this option? The companies run by the CEOs were good clients, and the banks wanted these companies to continue to direct business to the investment banks.

Spitzer believes that the practice had to stop, on the grounds that the particular behavior amounted to little more than commercial bribery. If the investment bank wanted to bestow a gift on the company to maintain the client relationship—something the bank is entitled to do—then the benefit should go to the shareholders, not the CEO. If the CEO takes it individually, as they do when they take the stock granted in a spinning allocation, it is just a fancy form of bribery. Indeed, my office recovered vast sums of money from CEOs on just this theory.

Read the original Slate article.

Good Credit Equates to Low Interest Rates

Lenders Rewarding Borrowers with Low Mortgage Rates for Good Credit Scores

Most consumers in the digital age understand that credit scores play a significant role in mortgages, home loans and refinancing. Getting approved for the best home loan rate often is driven by the average of your three credit scores. Trans Union, Experian and Equifax are the three main credit repositories that best mortgage lenders use for underwriting home loans in the United States.

Mortgage Lenders Still Basing Loans on FICO Scores

It’s no secret that loan companies offer the best fixed mortgage rates to applicants that have high fico scores. The most common scores are based on models established by Minneapolis-based FICO, formerly known as Fair Isaac Corp., which are used to gauge a consumer’s financial health. The numbers, which range from 300 to 850, affect the ability to get mortgages and credit cards, as well as the rates borrowers pay for them. The score is used by 90 of the 100 largest U.S. financial institutions, according to FICO’s website.

About 18 % of 200 million consumers in the U.S. with credit scores, or 36 million Americans, had credit scores of 800 or higher in 2011, according to estimates from FICO. More than 75 million had scores of at least 750 while the median credit score last year was about 711, FICO said.

Good Credit Opens Up Doors

According to Freddie Mac the average 30-year mortgage rates that were tied to a fixed term came in at 3.89% this week.  According to the Federal Reserve the average interest rate charged on credit card balances was 12.8 % in the 4th quarter of 2011.

Maximize Your Financing Opportunities

A credit score of 760 or higher on a $300,000 fixed thirty-year home loan may qualify a borrower for a 3.625% rate or $1,368 monthly payment, compared with a 3.85 % rate and monthly payment of $1,406 for those with scores from 700 to 759, according to myFICO.com. Having a credit score of at least 720 typically translates to the best mortgage rates available. In many cases, when a borrower has a credit score that exceeds 720 it enables lenders to be more aggressive with loan to value and debt to income ratios used to qualify home mortgage loans.

Home Values in Many US Cities Declining

Financing a home may be a good idea as home prices have fallen to 10-year lows around the country. Home prices in the nation’s largest cities fell in October for the second straight month, suggesting that prices will head down further next year and dashing hopes that the sluggish housing market was headed for an upturn. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, a measure closely followed by economists, showed price drops in 19 of 20 cities since September. Overall, the price index slipped 1.2% month over month and fell 3.4% compared with October 2010.

Low Mortgage Interest Rates Make Financing Very Attractive

The decline is typical of the season, when home buyers back off after the busy summer period. But coming off five straight months of increases through August, the retreating prices in the fall suggest that weakness in the market may stretch into 2018. Home purchasing loans are becoming more accessible as lenders are opening the lending parameters for first time home buyers. Bad credit home loan programs are not as available as they were in 2017 but FHA and VA still extend mortgages to borrowers with less than perfect credit.

In Los Angeles, the Case-Shiller index recorded a monthly decline of 1.5% in October after sliding 0.8% in September. Year over year, L.A. prices are down 4.9%, as measured by the index.

San Diego fell 0.6% from September and was down 4.5% from October 2010. In San Francisco the pattern was almost the same, with the price index off 0.7% from September and down 4.7% from a year earlier. “In the October data, the only good news is some improvement in the annual rates of change in home prices,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s. In 14 of the 20 cities tracked, the rate of the annual decline in home prices slowed.

More than 6 million homeowners (12.6% of the homeowners with mortgages) were either delinquent on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of the third quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. said. About 22% of residential properties with mortgages were underwater at the end of the third quarter, meaning that the homeowners owed more on their loans than the properties were worth, according to CoreLogic data. “Add to this the currently high unemployment and underemployment rates, one gets a recipe for further price declines,” Newport said in a research note. “Our view is that foreclosures, excess supply and weak demand will drive prices down another 5% to 10%.” Should the economy slip into a recession, the unemployment rate will climb, driving foreclosures up and leading to an even larger drop in home prices, Newport said. He rated the chance of another recession a 35% probability.

Home sales in California were up 4% in November compared with the same month a year earlier, though they fell 4.2% from October, according to real estate research firm DataQuick. The median home price in the state in November was $244,000, down 4.3% from a year earlier but up 1.7% from October, the report found Read the original LATimes article online here.

Tips for Refinancing into the Lowest Home Mortgage Rates

By now most homeowners realize that a mortgage refinance loans may be the best way to increase cash flow and reduce housing expenses. Just when it looked as if mortgage rates couldn’t fall any further, they did. Mortgage interest rates on 30-year fixed home loans hit an average of 4.25% in September, the lowest level since 1953, according to Freddie Mac, and are still hovering below 4.5%. Jumbo mortgage rates fell to 5.125% which is the lowest level for jumbo rates in years. Many consumers searching for a poor credit mortgage solution have been selecting the government loans because they are more flexible with credit guidelines. FHA mortgage rates fell to 4.125% in October which enabled thousands of borrowers to refinance their adjustable rate loans.

1. Maintain good credit scores. High ficos are needed to maximize the lowest possible rates.

2. Work with a trusted lender that offers competitive rates. Working with a shady lender offering lower rates will end up biting you.

3. Consider a variety of home loans in an effort to find a great rate mortgage that meets your needs.

15year interest rates are even more enticing at 3.75%. The most creditworthy borrowers may even find lower payments, with interest rates as much as quarter of a percentage point lower.

Credit Qulifications for Best Mortgage Refinance Rates

More than ever, credit has become the driving factor for borrowers to qualify for the best mortgage refinance rates.  Good credit borrowers are finally being rewards with mortgage refinance rates at their lowest point in 50-years. 

In today’s market, borrowers with high credit scores are eligible for conforming, jumbo and FHA rates below 4% with fixed rate mortgage refinancing terms. Qualifying for a low rate home refinance is no easy task as most mortgage lenders have significantly tightened their lending guidelines. With refinance rates this low, you can imagine that there is quite a frenzy of homeowners trying to lock into today’s record breaking rates. And unlike in late 2008, when rates started their plunge to historic lows, many home loan lenders say they are rushing to accommodate the influx in applications.

Wall Street Pushing for Home Refinancing Boom

Mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed rate loan are now available at 4.375%, the lowest it has been since Freddie Mac began tracking mortgage interest rates in 1971. But A big reason has to do with the fact that falling housing prices have left many borrowers with little or no home equity, which is also known as being “underwater.” As a result, they can’t qualify for home refinancing. Others are deterred from refinancing by strict lending standards and the high fees that come with it. People continue to seek fixed mortgage refinance loans even if they have negative equity.

To get more mortgage refinancing approved, some respected economists and analysts at firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs say the government should encourage a refinancing wave by adjusting lending policies at Fannie and Freddie. The mortgage lenders were taken over by the government two years ago. They own or guarantee about half of all U.S. mortgage loans, or nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion. They buy home loans from lending companies, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to investors.

The savings from a major mortgage reset could be significant. Allow someone with a $200,000 mortgage at 6% to refinance down to 4.5%, and suddenly there is $3,000 a year available to be plunged back into the economy. Add that up across millions of people, and you have what Morgan Stanley economist David Greenlaw calls a “slam dunk stimulus.” The government is already trying to help borrowers refinance, but its existing programs have failed. The Home Affordable Refinance-Program, or HARP, is directed a homeowners whose loans nearly or completely outsize the value of their homes. The government rolled out HARP in an effort to aid millions of loan refinances, but only a few hundred thousand have been done. The problem is that there are too many restrictions when trying to refinance under HARP. That’s why some people on Wall Street want the government to roll out a less restrictive program to get more mortgages resets done.

Regardless of the pressure coming from homeowners and some on Wall Street for the government to ease refinancing guidelines, Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams tells The Associated Press that “the administration is not considering a change in policy in this area.” The government sees where the pitfalls are. Taxpayers have already pumped $145 billion into Fannie and Freddie over this last two years, and widespread refinancing now could raise that burden. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would very likely see their earnings decline and write-downs on their home loan securities go up. In total, a giant mortgage reset could cost the home loan lenders $75 billion, according to research from investment firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Let’s also consider that a refinancing boom could have unintended consequences. The reality is that the pace of home foreclosures might not slow. A lower interest rate still might not be attractive enough for borrowers with deeply underwater mortgages to stay in their homes. To some, it is not worth paying any money toward a depreciating asset, regardless of the interest rate.

New borrowers could also face higher mortgage rates. A large refinancing wave would depress the value of mortgage-backed securities, making them less attractive to investors such as pension funds and foreign governments. Weak demand for those securities could lead to higher mortgage rates because lenders could have a harder time selling off their loans to investors. A short-term home refinancing wave could help stabilize the housing market now, but it could also hurt home sales later. Homeowners who are able to lock in a once-in-a-lifetime interest rate could be deterred from moving in the future. Hitting the mortgage refinance button could put more money into homeowners’ pockets today, and would also give the economy a quick jolt. But the ultimate costs are too high.

Lowest Mortgage Rates Seen by Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac announced another record today for the lowest interest rates since they began recording mortgage interest rates in 1971. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage reported averages of 4.69% for the week ending June 24th. Fifteen-year fixed mortgage rates fell to a 4.13% average which was also slightly lower than the previous week. VA mortgage remain appealing to military vets because the record low VA rates are still available as well. If you already have a VA loan but need a lower interest rate, consider the VA streamline.

New and existing home sales showed declines in May, Nothaft pointed out. “Existing sales fell 2.2%, compared to the market consensus forecast of a 6% gain, based on figures published by the National Association of Realtors. Sales of new homes fell 32.7% to an annualized rate of 300,000 units, which was the largest monthly drop and slowest pace since records began in 1963, according to the Census Bureau,” he said.

Online Loan Shoppers See Lower Mortgage Rates

CBS News reported that the Greek debt crisis led to an unexpected drop in fixed mortgage rates. The Royal Bank, along with all of the other four big banks, dropped the popular five-year fixed closed mortgage 0.15 percentage points to 6.10% on Tuesday. Most banks also dropped the benchmark rate for their discounted five-year mortgage by a similar amount to 4.70%. Some online and smaller mortgage lenders offer no cost refinance loans. This is good news for online home loan shoppers who’ve experienced higher fixed mortgage rates that have risen over 1% in the last month. Many banks followed with reported lower mortgage rates for home buying in the US and Canada. Longer-term fixed interest mortgage rates typically follow longer-term bond yields. The Greek debt crisis put a stop to rising bond yields as traders moved money out of risky assets. “Both treasuries and Government of Canada bonds have recently benefited from lower mortgage interest rates in the Unites States.” Many mortgage loan experts say the lower interest rates are just temporary and note that bond yields are already edging higher as the EU’s bailout package eases Greek default concerns. Adjustable rate mortgage loans are tied to the overnight lending rate. That mortgage interest rate has been at a rock-bottom 0.25% for over a year.

Which Way Will Mortgage Rates Go?

Mortgage interest rates continue to hover around the 5% mark. Conforming, FHA and VA mortgage rates all continue to be reported in the low 5 percent range for home loans and mortgage-refinancing. There have been positive signs in the last quarter regarding job losses, the financial markets and even the housing sector, but economic recovery is likely still a few months away, Freddie Mac’s chief economist said today. In an article titled, “Are We There Yet?” the outlook from Freddie Mac’s Frank E. Nothaft for 2010 is mostly positive, although there are cautionary flags ahead – particularly with higher mortgage interest rates and the expiration of home-buyer tax credits.

Most economists will be looking at the aftermath from the government’s winding down of its purchases of mortgage loan backed securities from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. By discontinuing its purchase program in April, the central bank is hoping that private buyers of mortgage-backed securities will return, and rates won’t rise much after that. Investors in mortgaged-backed securities have stayed mostly on the sidelines. “U.S. Department of the Treasury MBS purchases were completed by year-end, and Federal Reserve purchases of MBS and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae debt are scheduled to terminate by the end of the first quarter 2010 – both potentially pose the risk of a rise in mortgage rates relative to benchmark yields,” Nothaft said.

Another potential strain on interest rates is the expiration of tax credits for home buyers. Under the federal program, home purchase contracts must be signed by April 30 to qualify for the tax credits. “The tax credits have likely caused some families to purchase a home earlier than they might have otherwise, thus moving sales forward in time and helping support the housing market. High affordability and improved buyer sentiment further bolster sales,” Nothaft wrote.

So when will we get there? “While there may be some bumps along the way, the transition into economic recovery appears to be underway as we head into 2010: real economic growth in the 3 to 3.5 percent range, a cessation of job losses in the first quarter, rising home sales, and a strengthening of housing starts in some markets,” Nothaft wrote “We should be ‘there’ in the next few months, if not already.” Read the original article online.

Federal Reserve Hints that Mortgage Rates Will Remain Low

The Federal Reserve is expected to leave mortgage interest rates at a record low this week, aiming to entice homeowners and businesses to borrow and spend and bolster the economic and housing recovery. The big question is whether Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues will give hints about when they will reverse course and start boosting rates. A decision to raise interest rates is still months away. But plans for reeling in the unprecedented amount of money the Fed has plowed into the economy is likely to dominate its private discussions Tuesday and Wednesday. The Fed is expected to announce its policy decisions on Wednesday afternoon.

The current mortgage rates remain at record lows. Borrowers can find mortgage loans as low as 4.375% for 15-year fixed terms. Home loan applicants can find 30-year fixed mortgage rates as low as 4.625%, so the era of low mortgage rates continues. The central bank faces a high-stakes challenge: If it removes the stimulus too soon, it could short-circuit the recovery. But if it moves too late, it could unleash inflation or new speculative asset bubbles. Each scenario could feed a fresh economic crisis. Bernanke, who’s seeking a second term as Fed chief, has made clear his No. 1 task is sustaining the fragile recovery. Last week, he and other Fed officials signaled they are in no rush to start raising rates. At the same time, Bernanke has sought to assure skeptical lawmakers and investors that when the time is right, he’s prepared to sop up all the money.

Some encouraging signs for the economy have emerged lately. The nation’s unemployment rate dipped to 10% in November, from 10.2% in October. And layoffs have slowed. Employers cut just 11,000 jobs last month, the best showing since the recession started two years ago. Still, the Federal Reserve predicts unemployment will remain high because companies won’t ramp up hiring until they feel confident the recovery will last. Mortgage refinancing application volumes remain high and most lenders are reporting a 6 to 8 weeks turn-time for closing loans.

Consumers did show a greater appetite to spend in October and November. But high unemployment and hard-to-get credit are likely to restrain shoppers during the rest of the holiday season and into next year. “The economy isn’t on solid footing yet,” said Chris Rupkey, an economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. “So it’s best for the Fed to keep with the script of low interest rates.” The economy finally returned to growth in the third quarter, after four straight losing quarters. And all signs suggest it picked up speed in the current final quarter of this year. But analysts worry that the economy could weaken next year as government supports fade.

Last week, Bernanke warned that the economy confronts “formidable headwinds.” They include a weak job market, cautious consumers and tight credit. Against that backdrop, the Fed is all but certain to keep the target range for its bank lending rate at zero to 0.25 %, where it’s stood since last December. The Fed also is likely to retain a pledge first made in March to hold rates at such levels for “an extended period.” The central bank also isn’t expected to make any major changes to a program, set to expire in March, to help further drive down mortgage rates. In response, commercial banks’ prime lending rate, used to peg rates on home equity loans, certain credit cards and other consumer loans, will remain about 3.25 %. That’s its lowest point in decades.

Ultra-low mortgage interest rates are good for borrowers who can get a loan and are willing to take on more debt. But those same low rates hurt savers. They’re especially hard on people living on fixed incomes who are earning measly returns on savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Tight credit is clobbering small businesses, normally an engine of job creation during economic recoveries. That’s crimping their ability to hire and expand. Many small businesses rely on smaller banks for credit. But troubled commercial real estate loans are concentrated at those banks. That’s hobbled the flow of credit. At a White House meeting Monday, President Barack Obama urged top bankers to increase lending to small businesses. Afterward, some banks pledged to do so. Article was written by By JEANNINE AVERSA.

Will Mortgage Rates Remain Low in 2010?

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee announced that they were leaving mortgage rates unchanged.  However, what wasn’t reported by main stream news organizations is the real story. According to the statement released by the Federal Reserve, in an effort to “provide support to mortgage loan and housing markets” they will “purchase a total of $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt.”  Additionally, “they expect to gradually slow the pace of these purchases in order to promote a smooth transition. So just what does this mean for mortgage interest rates?  “In short - They are going to go up.  It’s simple supply and demand,” says Scott Messina, publisher of Mortgage Market Live.  “Just how fast remains to be seen, it really all depends on how fast the Fed turns off the spigot.”

2009 began with low mortgage rates in an effort to stimulate housing and the economy at large, the Federal Reserve began buying bad credit mortgage debt.  Without this “help” from the Fed, mortgage rates would have been forced higher to attract more investors.  Instead the Fed has been quietly buying this oversupply to keep interest rates artificially low. “The problem of course, is once this helping hand is pulled back, rates have nowhere to go but up.” added Messina.  “The saving grace is that mortgage rates will likely be very volatile for the next several months. Originators should always remember that volatility can equal opportunity.” “If you’ve watched mortgage rates over the last several weeks, there has been at least one day each week that was preferable for rates. Loan officers that knew which day to lock in their customers loans have saved their customers, on average over a quarter of a percent in rate.”

Why Mortgage Rates Are Rising

The spread between the 2 year and 10 year treasury yields continues to widen.    Federal Reserve policies largely control the direction of shorter-dated notes, while the overall bond market and investors largely determine the direction of longer-dated bonds.

The difference between short and long-term bonds is called the ‘yield spread’ and it is a measure of varied expectations.  This yield spread chart clearly shows that what the Fed policies are doing is largely different than the overall expectations from the bond market.  This is one reason why interest rates on certain types of home loans such as refinance mortgages, purchase and equity loans have risen lately even as the Fed keeps its target interest rate at 0-0.25%.   The bond market is seeing the future differently than the Federal Reserve.

Mortgage Interest Rates May Reduced by the Fed Again

The mortgage industry has been awaiting some good news and Michigan homeowners have been waiting out the present state-wide housing slump that could receive a big boost, particularly for those looking to refinance. If you thought mortgage rates couldn’t fall any further,  think again. Some economists expect the Federal Reserve to reduce current mortgage interest rates as low as 3.85 %. That would be truly amazing. I don’t know if mortgage rates have ever been that low,” said Amanda Crews, the housing director at Metro Housing in Flint.

Fed Cuts Rates to Target Range of 0%-0.25%

Watch Roundtable Reaction to the Federal Reserve and Potential Mortgage Rate Cuts.

Currently, conventional home mortgages are being published below 5%. Just a few months back, they were in the low 6% range. A cut below four % could save home owners a ton of cash. “One thousand dollars a year for every point for a $100,000 loan — two points. That would save a borrower $200 a month after refinancing a $100,000 mortgage loan.”

The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgage loans rose last week to 5.12 %, from a record low of 4.96 % a week earlier, according McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac. After the Federal Reserve announced plans to buy $500 billion of bad credit home loan security bonds, rates fell from 6.46 % in October, about tripling the pace of home loan applications between the four weeks ended Jan. 16 and Nov. 21, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. If mortgage lenders introduced even lower rates, they would not be able to handle the resulting surge in applications, Heiden said. “As mortgage interest rates improve, volume increases,” she said.

New York Fed Begins Purchasing Mortgage-Backed Securities

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today began purchasing fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Selected private investment managers are acting as agents of the New York Fed in these purchases. Summary data detailing these operations will be available on the New York Fed’s website beginning Thursday, January 8, 2009, and will be updated on a weekly basis each Thursday.

Get updated home loan guidelines and daily mortgage interest rates online. Many insiders believe that the Fed will continue to keep interest rates low for home purchase and refinancing through 2010, or when the housing markets recover.

This program, first announced on November 25, 2008, is intended to support the mortgage and housing markets and foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally. Read the original financial article>

Five Smart Moves to Get the Best Mortgage Rates

According to a recent article from Interest.com, if you’re in the market for a home, there are five smart moves you can make to help you qualify for the cheapest possible mortgage. The tantalizing interest rates mortgage refinance lenders put in their ads are for borrowers with the best credit scores, substantial down payments and the biggest gap between how much they earn and how much they owe each month.

Many home buyers will pay a lot more, but you don’t have to be one of them. With lenders demanding better credit scores, bigger down payments and lower debt-to-income ratios before they offer a mortgage, you have to improve your numbers. Plan ahead so that when you go for that home loan, you’re showing your best financial face. Every tenth-of-a-point is worth fighting for. Potentially, getting a lower mortgage rate could save you thousands of dollars a year. Read the complete article, 5 Smart Moves to Get the Best Rate.