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Lucy7368, Banker
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 27254
Experience:  Six years in Banking Customer Service and Quality Control
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is it wiser to go to your mortgage company or your bank for

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is it wiser to go to your mortgage company or your bank for a home equity loan?

Usually the best option is to look at both to see which will give you the better rate. Your bank likely wants to expand your banking relationship with them, so they might be willing to work with you. Your bank might also give you other perks, like a discount if the payments are automatically deducted from your account, higher interest on your existing accounts, or checking and savings accounts that come with additional perks. But you can talk to both, see what rates are being offered, apply, and see if you can use them as leverage against each other.

You may also want to consider looking at local credit unions or other institutions, because smaller lending companies also sometimes give better rates.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

is it better to go for a refinance? easier or harder to obtain? rates better or worse and what IS a good rate?

"Better" is relative. You have to look at the interest savings compared to the closing costs. Closing costs will be different for different banks, but it's important to factor them in as part of the cost of the loan. It depends on different factors, including how long you've had your loan - if interest rates have dropped since then, it's likely that you could get a lower payment. That is one of the primary reasons that people would refinance with a home equity loan. You can ask what the rates are - if it's more than what you're paying now, you don't have to apply for a new loan. Good rates vary, but if you just do a search for mortgage loan rates and your zip code, you may be able to get an idea of what local banks are offering. Any rate lower than what you're paying now could benefit you, depending on the amount of the loan and costs.

A refinanced loan shouldn't be any more difficult to obtain than the original loan, unless your credit rating has decreased or you're trying to remove a co-signer.

If you are looking to use the equity for something like repairs or remodeling, a home equity line of credit might be a better option. That's because, in that scenario, you're using smaller portions of the equity consistently and a line of credit means that you're only paying interest on the part you need at any given time. Also, with a line of credit, as money is repaid, it becomes available again, so you don't have to apply for another loan later. But there could be annual fees associated with it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

is a credit score of 620 high enough?

Every bank has their own guidelines. The best way to find out what you'll be able to get is to ask the bank and the mortgage company what interest rates they're offering and what credit score you need to get them. If you have friends or family members that can recommend a local mortgage broker, they might also be able to help talk to local banks for you.
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