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By Leslie Cook
August 11, 2020

Borrowers are leaving payment deferral programs at a faster pace than they are entering them, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows.

The number of mortgage loans in forbearance declined for the eighth straight week for the seven days ending August 2. MBA estimated that 3.7 million borrowers remain in payment deferral programs, down from 3.8 million the previous week and 4.3 million at the peak in June.

“The share of loans in forbearance declined at a more rapid pace last week, with many borrowers who had been making payments while in forbearance deciding to exit,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA. “New forbearance requests increased, but are still well below the level of exits.”

Despite the improvement, concern remains over how continuing economic challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic will impact borrowers who are still struggling to make payments.

“The job market data in July came in better than expected. However, the unemployment rate is still quite high, and the elevated level of layoffs and slowing pace of hiring will make it more difficult for borrowers to get back on track – particularly if there is not an extension of relief,” added Fratantoni.

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What are people paying for mortgages right now?

Borrowers with 700 credit scores were charged an average of 3.425% to secure a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage on Monday, according to Money’s survey of over 8,000 mortgage lenders across the country. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.301%.

Average Refinance Rates Today

A homeowner with excellent credit who qualifies for the lowest rates as reported by Freddie Mac can save a significant amount of money when refinancing. A year ago the average mortgage rate was 3.60%. A homeowner with a $250,000 mortgage balance paying 3.60% on a 30-year loan could cut their monthly payment from $1,137 to $1,038 by financing at today’s lower rates. (It is important to consider closing fees and that refinancing could reset the clock on your mortgage, meaning you will have to make payments longer.)

What should house hunters be watching this week?

On Wednesday, MBA will release its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 7. The pace of applications has slowed over the past few weeks although they have remained well above 2019 numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will also release its Consumer Price Index for July, which is expected to remain low as the economy is still dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

What should you expect when selling a home?

Alex Elezaj, chief strategy officer for United Wholesale Mortgage, on taking advantage of low mortgage rates:

For more information on securing the best rate, read: Why a Rate Lock Makes Sense Right Now, Even with Mortgage rates Falling.

What are today’s advertised rates?

Of course, mortgage rates vary widely by location and personal factors like the size of your down payment and your credit score. Here are today’s advertised mortgage rates at some of the mortgage industry’s largest lenders. (All rates are APRs. The rates you see may be different.)

JP Morgan Chase

Based in New York, JP Morgan Chase has nearly 5,000 U.S. branches.

Mortgage rates advertised for August 11:

30-year fixed: 2.934%

15-year-fixed: 2.523%

(Rates based on New York City zip code 10006.)

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Wells Fargo

Based in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has more than 7,000 locations.

Mortgage rates advertised for August 11:

30-year fixed: 3.102%

15-year-fixed: 2.810%

5-year ARM: 2.861%

Quicken

Quicken, a non-bank lender based in Detroit, is the nation’s largest mortgage lender by dollar origination volume.

Mortgage rates advertised for August 11:

30-year fixed: 3.225%

15-year-fixed: 2.833%

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Bottom Line:

How to Get Preapproved for a Mortgage: A Step-by-Step Guide for Homebuyers

Everything You Need to Know About Mortgage Rates in 2020

Mortgage Rates Are at Record Lows. But What Does It Take to Actually Qualify for a 3% Loan?

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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