Interest Rates and Credit Scores

Posted on April 16, 2009

Yesterday, at our weekly business meeting here at the Coldwell Banker Previews office, Kelly Rebimbas- Senior Loan officer for Sunbelt Lending, spoke about current industry news concerning mortgages. Here are a few topics that I think you will find very interesting:

Did you know that mortgage rates have been higher in 35 out of the past 35 years? Fixed rates in March of 1974 were 8.41%. Going up each year from there, they reached their peak in March 1982 at 17.16% (shortly after I had gotten my real estate license…whew!) In the years that followed rates went up and down, but stayed fairly level with another upswing in March 1989-March 1990. This was the last time we saw double digits! Since March 2002 rates never went above 7%. Currently 30 year fixed rates are at 5%, an historic low!

Did you know that the current credit scoring system was originally designed in the 1960s to help lenders with the approval process when looking at the financial profiles of customers. A credit score can range from 350 points to 850. The higher the better. Only 1 in 1300 people have a credit score over 800! (I found that to be amazing) Some customers ask me why the rates are advertised at 5% but the rate they are quoted is higher…this is due to their credit score. A higher credit score translates to a better interest rate for the consumer. An underwriter interprets the credit score in terms of risk. Today a mortgage lender considers a score of 700 or higher to be a good score.
If you would like additional information about what factors are used to determine credit scores or how to dispute errors on a credit report, please feel free to call me at 239-250-4370. Or you can call Kelly directly to be pre-approved before looking at homes or condos! Her direct # is: 239-273-5239. Now is the time! -and As I mentioned in an earlier post, Naples was just named the #2 place to find real estate bargains in the Nation! Great rates, great value, great time to be a buyer!