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The interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan fell to 3.99 percent last week, a milestone not seen in more than a year. What’s more, this rate marks significant dips from those of the past several decades. In fact, it’s 1.75 percent lower than November 2004, 5.18 percent lower than November 1994, and 9.65 percent lower than November 1984.

In short, it’s a good time to be shopping for a mortgage. And it’s an even better time to be refinancing one.

Don Frommeyer, CEO of NAMB – The Association of Mortgage Professionals, believes refinancing at today’s record lows is a great move, especially for homeowners who fall into one of the following categories:

  1. You haven’t refinanced before. It’s best if you only refinance once over the life of your mortgage loan. Refinancing comes with lofty closing costs, which incurred multiple times could offset any savings from refinancing.
  2. You have an adjustable rate mortgage. It’s hard to imagine rates will fall much lower, so if you’re in an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), chances are your interest will rise over the next several years. It’s a good idea to lock in your rate now.
  3. You don’t plan on moving any time soon. As with any investment, you have to consider your long term goals. If you think you may outgrow and sell your current home in a few years, it might not be worth the trouble of refinancing.
  4. Your credit is in good shape. Your ability to manage your credit cards and pay down your debt signals to lenders that you’re trustworthy. And, you can make up ground in as few as four weeks prior to refinancing.
  5. You want to consolidate multiple loans. If you have both a mortgage and a home equity line of credit, you may want to wrap those loans into one payment with a lower interest rate. In this case, refinancing into one fixed rate loan makes sense.

According to Frommeyer, refinancing isn’t for everyone and, although because rates are low, homeowners should do their due diligence and lay out their long-term goals before making any decisions.

For more information, visit www.namb.org.

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