With the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at an all-time low, the pool of homeowners that could benefit from refinancing and lower their monthly mortgage repayment has increased dramatically, experts say.
In fact, some 75% of homeowners, or around 19.3 million, could benefit, according to data from mortgage software and analytics firm Black Knight. That's the largest number of potential refinance candidates ever on record, it said.
Black Knight says those savings can add up to a substantial amount. According to its data, the average homeowner could potentially reduce their mortgage payments by $299 a month, while more than 7 million could save between $300 and $500 per month. Another 2.5 million borrowers could save more than $500 a month.
With so much in savings to be had, Bankrate asked why those 19 million homeowners haven’t refinanced yet?
“The same reason people don’t go to the dentist regularly enough even though they should—it’s no fun,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.
The process of refinancing can be tedious, and involves compiling various documents including tax returns, bank statements, paychecks and more. Besides that, some homeowners might also be wary of any interruption to their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some may have lost jobs already, Bankrate adds. There’s also the problem of closing costs, which can add up to 2% to 5% of the amount of the loan.
“Refinancing isn’t free, and sometimes it’s tough for people to look past the out-of-pocket costs incurred now for savings that will take years to accumulate,” McBride said.
Still, the potential for homeowners to lock in the lowest ever mortgage rates in history could appeal. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached a new all-time low, average 2.86%, for the week ending Sept. 10, Freddie Mac reported.