If you haven’t heard yet, mortgage rates dipped to another new low. Yesterday Freddie Mac stated that the average rate on a 30-year loan was 4.71%, the lowest rate since the agency began its weekly tracking of long-term interest rates in 1971. But the best rates are only available for borrowers with the highest credit scores and those able to put down 20% or more.
Most lenders have already tightened their lending standards and now discussions are taking place to have FHA-backed loans tighten underwriting standards in 2010. A recently introduced bill (HR 3706) would raise the minimum downpayment for FHA loans to 5 percent and prohibit financing of closing costs. This is a significant change from the current 3.5% downpayment requirement for FHA loans, and the ability for today’s borrowers to roll their closing costs into the loan.