Average or better credit still qualifies most consumers for good to great interest rates on home mortgages and auto loans. The credit crisis "world is ending" hype might lead you not to apply for a home mortgage or auto loan. But credit is readily available at interest rates much lower than most people think. Even average credit scores still qualify for low home and car loans.
If you have a 620 or better credit score, stable earnings, and 10 percent down, then you should qualify for a 5.63 fixed-rate, 15-year mortgage. A 680 or better credit score should qualify you for a 6.13 fixed-rate 30-year mortgage. These low rates are generally available to both North and South Carolina residents for purchases and refinances.
Today's mortgage rates are among the lowest in the past 25 years and could save you tens of thousands of dollars in mortgage interest. If you delay a purchase or refinance decision, your rates could be higher later. Most mortgage loans require reasonable documentation and can be closed in 30 days or less.
Is now a good time for you to move up in homes? You will probably not get the optimum price for your current home. However, you should be able to negotiate a similar discount on your new, more expensive home. For example, if you take 10 percent to 15 percent less for your current home, plan to negotiate a similar or larger discount off your new home. The bottom line in dollars is the negotiated discount on your new home should be larger than your current home discount. You win!
Time to upgrade
Furthermore, today's slower economy also means that many contractors are more readily available and at more reasonable prices. Whether you need to spruce up your current home for sale or plan to make changes and improvements on your new home, today you should count on quicker completion dates and lower project costs.
New car and truck loan incentive rates are exceptional values and remain readily available today. Average or above credit history at GMAC should earn you a 60-month 2.9 percent loan on many mid-size and full-size 2008 models, with zero financing available on select 2008 trucks and sport utility vehicles. Ford Credit has zero percent financing available for 60 months on 2009 mid-size sedans, as well as several 2008 cars and trucks.
Honda offers rates as low as 0.9 on select models for up to 36 months, and Toyota features zero percent financing on several models for 36 to 60 months. Most manufacturers even have reasonable rates available for those with less than average credit. Check your favorite manufacturer's Web site for current incentives and complete details.
Additional reasons to trade-up in vehicles are the 2008 model cash-back incentives that can easily total $3,000 to $7,500. Plus you should get the new car or truck bumper-to-bumper warranty for at least three years or 36,000 miles.
Gasoline at $3.50 a gallon is also a compelling reason to buy a more fuel-efficient car or truck. Compare the fuel economy of your current and proposed new vehicle at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/sbs.htm. For example, if your new vehicle combined fuel average is 26 mpg vs. 15 mpg for your current vehicle, then your new vehicle will use 28 fewer gallons to travel 1,000 miles. At $3.50 per gallon, you should save $98 for every 1,000 miles driven. Talk about feeling green!
Home mortgage and auto finance rates remain near record lows and are readily available for those with average or higher credit. Today's low mortgage rates could save your family tens of thousands of dollars. New car and truck loan incentive rates could save your family several hundred dollars each month. Remember to be responsible; don't buy more home or car than you can afford; make certain you understand the loan documents you sign and your ability to pay. However, home mortgage rates and auto finance rates are great values today.
This is a great time to refinance your home. And if you have a need and the means to pay, it's a great time to buy a new home, or car, or truck.
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