What Are High-Priced Loans?

High priced loans by ‘industry-standard’ is any first mortgage loan that exceeds 1.5% in APR the weekly offered rate for a fixed rate or adjustable rate loan backed offered by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Comparing mortgages? One lender’s fees and lower rates might trigger a higher priced loan even if it seems like a better offer.

APR Breakdown

APR: annual percentage rate is a disclosure of costs, all lenders required to provide, on all forms of advertising. The annual percentage rate takes into consideration your closing costs, add them to the balance of the loan and re-amortizes the numbers over the term of the loan to compute your APR. The higher your APR is- the higher-priced your new mortgage loan becomes.

According to the “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ruling that went into effect January 10, 2014, a high-cost loan is a  first mortgage with an APR of more than 6.5 percentage points higher than the average prime offer rate, which is an estimate of the rate people with very good credit typically pay for a similar first mortgage.”  In most circumstances a loan of this nature is considered to be hard money often dubbed private money financing.

Higher-priced loans are considered to be 1.5% or more in annual percentage rate above the weekly offered prime rate by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, see http://www.ffiec.gov/ratespread/aportables.htm.

 Comparing Rates & Closing Fees

  1. Compare lenders by getting quotes in writing
  2. Take the Prime offered interest-rate corresponding to the most current week at http://www.ffiec.gov/ratespread/aportables.htm.
  3. Add 1.5% to this week’s offered rate
  4. If your APR associated with your mortgage offer is 1.5% higher you have a higher-priced loan

Consumer Tip: When purchasing an interest rate, upfront overhead is usually required by the lender in the form of discount points which affects the APR. Discount points can be any dollar amount tied to a specific interest rate given.

For example a first mortgage in the amount of $350,000 at 4.375% might be offered by a lender with a discount fee in the amount of $1500 which translates to half a percent in terms of a discount point.

Same lender might offer the same 30 year fixed rate without the $1500 fee in exchange for an interest rate at 4.5%. In this particular example for every  .125%  drop in rate price increases by $1500.

For every increase in rate by .125 –  $1,500 goes towards paying closing costs associated with the transaction as lenders are required pass savings on to the consumer in the form of a lender credit. This also how a no fees mortgage works.

Mortgage Tip: bond prices change daily with ebb and flow of money between stocks and bonds based on economic events- above is an idea of how the pricing movement per eight can change, daily.

Fees That Can Make Your Loan Higher-Priced

  • Discount points
  • loan origination fee
  • Mortgage broker or lender fee
  • tax/flood service fee
  • mortgage insurance premium
  • title insurance
  • escrow fee
  • recording fee

Fees such as property taxes and insurance are considered normal carrying costs associated with owning a home and thus do not have any effect on a higher or lower priced loan.

Loan Structure Can Change Costs

During the loan process there as an array of factors that could cause a change resulting in a higher APR. The two most common instances include a lower-than-expected appraisal which could increase the loan-to-value. A reduction or a lower credit score could also increase the APR.

Fear Not…A higher-priced loan can be fixed and here’s how….

  • reduce the purchase price
  • reduce the loan amount
  • obtain a seller credit in a purchase transaction
  • reducing the discount point (which usually means increasing the interest rate thereby reducing total loan fees)
  • reducing the interest rate with investor renegotiation (lender offers you a better interest rate if market has improved since locking rate in)
  • lengthen the term of the loan (applicable if initially looking for a shorter term mortgage such as a 15 year a 20 year for example)

Mortgage tip: lower loan amounts i.e. loan sizes $125,000 and below can create a high-priced loan. Lenders have a certain margin per loan they must account for and if their margin does not allow for reducing fees for example, lower loan amounts can be more challenging to obtain than bigger loan sizes. Key is to work with lender who is competitively priced on all loans.

Consumer seeking mortgages should be wary of higher-priced loans when comparing rates and fees. It becomes especially important in the shopping phase because lenders quote rates and fees aggressively in an attempt to earn your business. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to continue to make it a level playing field by keeping lenders accountable and consumers informed.

Looking for a mortgage? Start today by getting complimentary mortgage rate quote!



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