Smart Borrower Blog

Mortgage Interest Rates Reach A 37 Year Low


Dec 19th, 2008 @ 6:39 PM by Alden Smith


We are seeing 30 year mortgage rate at their lowest levels in 37 years.  Now, what we need is for credit to loosen up so that people can buy.  It does little good to have low interest rates when the banks are being very tight with their cash.  Even with the Fed throwing money at the slumping market, it is doubtful that we will see much change in the near future.

According to the NBC Nightly News, Project Hope was a loser.  Of all the counseling people that were interviewed, none could testify to the fact that they were able to help anyone.  If memory serves, there allegedly was a great deal of people who would benefit from that program.  It appears no one did.

With the latest drop in the prime, banks are being overrun with new mortgage applications.  Bart Doerhoefer, mortgage division manager at Commonwealth Bank & Trust in Louisville, reports applications have skyrocketed to higher levels this month, with 110 applications for a total of $21 million as compared to last month when there were 58 applications for $10 million.

Freddie Mac reported yesterday that average 30-year rates dropped to 5.19 percent from 5.47 percent last week.  Greg McBride, senior analyst at Bankrate.com said “It’s a call to action for homeowners looking to get out of adjustable-rate mortgages.  Unfortunately, it’s not an equal-opportunity party.”

And that is where the problem lies.  People who could afford a mortgage under these low interest rates would not qualify for a mortgage because of credit history.  Only borrowers with stellar credit can qualify.  To my way of thinking, it does little good to play with the prime when there are so many that just do not qualify.  Everything I have read points to the fact that a credit score had better be way up there if you even think about approaching a bank these days.  And in troubling times such as these, the people who have this kind of a credit rating are few and far between.  Trillions of dollars have been lost in home values, and there is not an end in sight in the near future.  The best mortgage rate in the world does little good if people do not qualify.  Where is the gain to the economy?  Curious George wants to know…

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