Thursday, December 20, 2007

The "No Cost Loan" from Countrywide

We have all seen Countrywide in the news for the past few months for a variety of reasons, most not good. One that I would like to speak about today is their heavy advertising of the "No Cost Loan". They have been under fire from both state regulators and the media for pushing these. Many innocent borrowers are swept into this loan thinking it is the cheapest way to get a loan. The borrower feels (and Countrywide says) that because of their huge size, Countrywide can offer no fee, no point, or no cost loans with no whammies. NOT TRUE! The Borrower will always pay for the fees somehow, either in closing or in the form of a higher interest rate. Every Lender, Broker, or Bank will incur fees to write a mortgage loan. Most of these fees are third party fees paid to outside companies. The points are part of the "cost of Money" or in laymans terms, your rate will always be effected by how many points you pay up front (regardless of whether included in the loan or paid out of pocket).

How do they do it? They increase your interest rate. Yes. Is that bad? Many times it is, but not necessarily. You may end up paying tens of thousands of extra interest. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS. One Size does not fit all.

Why do they do it? Higher rate loans are more lucrative for Countrywide to sell in the secondary Mortgage Paper Market. Period. They get more bang for their buck.

The No Cost, No Fee, No Point loan is a great loan for some people. It is not for everyone, and just like many loan programs, it isn't for every situation. You have to consider the benefits of a no cost loan with a higher rate vs a lower rate loan with some fees. More often than not, it pays to go with option 2, paying some fees, and getting a lower rate. It doesn't make sense if you do not plan on having the loan for atleast 24 months, you won't recoup the fees with your monthly interest/payment savings. If you have a smaller loan (under $175K), you should take a very close look at the options, as your recoup period may be longer.

A great compromise is to look at many fee/point/rate options to measure the best overall fit for your situation. The best way to find the optimal fit for your loan is to work with a professional you can truly trust and rely on for sound financial advice. One who will review the options with you, show you the differences between the choices and guide you to the lowest overall cost. Hire a Professional, get professional results.

If you would like to review your options with us, please feel free to contact us on the web at or toll free 866-900-2342.