Jean Chatzky
The news is full of reports on mortgages and climbing interest rates. Foreclosures are on the rise, suggesting homeowners are in for a rocky ride. Jean talks to Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the mortgage research firm HSH Associates, about how to navigate the mortgage jungle. According to Keith, long-term mortgage interest rates have actually declined over the last several months, and are currently at about 6.25%.
Here are Keith's tips if you're in the market for a mortgage:
  • Beware of the risks you are accepting when you sign a document. Millions of people just jump into mortgage products for which they are unprepared.
  • If you have bad credit, a mortgage broker might be your best resource because they have access to wholesale markets that are less expensive.
  • Watch out for pre-payment penalties.
To get the best deal on a mortgage:
  • Educate yourself about the mortgage process.
  • Shop around.
  • Be sure to evaluate your personal circumstances to find the best option for your family.
  • Determine—as best you can—how long you will be in the home. Is it a starter house, or do you plan to stay in it through retirement?
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.


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