LOS ANGELES — Buying a house means getting a mortgage and many assume if they have a higher credit score, they’re considered “low risk” and will then get lower costs. Well, that’s going to change.
According to Sanjay Wangle, the senior vice president of Governmental Affairs for the California Association of Realtors, fees are increasing for certain “high” borrowers with a credit score above 680.
The changes are part of a Biden administration rule intended to provide equitable access to homeownership. First-time homebuyers with high credit scores would pay more under this new rule.
Before May 1, if you have a credit score of 740 or higher, on a $500,000 loan, you will pay 0.25% fee, which is $1,250. After that date, you could pay as much as .375% — or $1,875 — on that same loan.
People with lower credit scores will pay a lower rate.
Critics said the new rules appear to subsidize homeowners with lower credit scores.
“Intuitively, somebody will think, ‘This is subsidization,'” Wagle said. “If they’re able to lower it there, then it must be that it’s going up there, then they must be subsidizing. I think they’re saying they’re not doing that. Well, if they’re not doing that, it needs to be laid out. Then what are you doing?”
Those who put 15% to 20% down on a home could feel the biggest increases.
Interest rates have doubled in the last year, and some worry how all of this will affect buyers. Experts say the market is still tight.
“Because we’ve had this rapid increase in interest rates, you have a lot of people who have got a great interest rate right now who don’t want to sell,” said Wagle. “In a typical market, you might’ve gotten a lot of people like, ‘Oh, let me sell my property’ or ‘How’s the economy looking?’ They don’t want to sell so there aren’t a lot of properties available still.”
The new rule also makes it more expensive for borrowers who want to refinance.
A bill in Congress would repeal this new policy but for now, it is set to go into effect on Monday.
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