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Myth-Busting the No Closing Cost Mortgage

Written By: David Reed
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Every mortgage has closing costs, both from the lender and third parties. But what about those so-called ldquo;no-closing costrdquo; loans that borrowers hear about? Why wouldnrsquo;t someone go with a lender that doesnrsquo;t have any fees. I mean, thatrsquo;s common sense, right? But there are fees on all loans, itrsquo;s just a matter of who pays for them. Maybe the seller agrees to pay for the buyerrsquo;s fees. That however is not what a no-closing cost loan actually is. When a lender talks about a no-closing cost loan, itrsquo;s a function of the interest rate and the loan amount.

First letrsquo;s take a look at a sample rate on a 30 year loan at 3.75. The rate quoted by the lender requires one discount point, or 1.00 of the loan amount. On a 200,000 loan that point is 2,000 and is the amount needed to get the 3.75 rate. Borrowers can choose to ldquo;buy downrdquo; that rate even further by paying more points. Points are a form of prepaid interest to the borrower and quite frankly the lender doesnrsquo;t really care if you pay any points at all. The lender gets the interest over the short term with a lower rate and a point or gets the interest over the long term. A lender might quote 4.00 without any points but in both scenarios there are closing costs to address, both from the lender and third parties.

The lender can quote various rate and fee combinations but to get at the no-closing cost option, the lender will adjust the interest rate upward even more. Perhaps the lender could quote 4.25 and also provide a lender credit of 1.00 of the loan amount.In this example the lender would pay 2,000 of the borrowers closing costs. The monthly payment will be slightly higher, but the borrowers didnrsquo;t have to come up with 2,000 in cash to close or roll the costs into their new loan amount if refinancing. Yoursquo;ll also note here that the greater the loan amount the greater the credit. A 1.00 lender credit on a 400,000 loan is 4,000. Same rate but a bigger credit. Thatrsquo;s why no-closing cost loans ra>

The tradeoff is higher monthly payments because of the higher rate and lowering the amount of cash at the settlement table. For someone planning on living in the property for the long term, it probably doesnrsquo;t make sense to take out a no-closing cost loan due to the higher rate. For someone who plans on keeping the property for just a few years, then a no-closing cost loan might be an option.

When you hear the term no-closing cost loan, remember that all lenders can offer them. But there are always costs and those costs will be reflected with a higher monthly payment for as long as you keep the loan.

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