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By G. Steven Bray
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge fees when you get a mortgage based on the loan characteristics, such as your credit score and the size of your down payment. You usually don’t see these fees because they’re built into your interest rate. However, in some cases, the fees can push up your rate as much as half a point.
Fannie and Freddie’s regulator is directing them to change these fees. For all borrowers, gone is the “adverse market” fee instituted to recapitalize Fannie and Freddie after the financial crisis. For a $200k loan, that will save you $500. They’re increasing fees slightly for rental property and cash-out loans based on the higher perceived risk. They also are increasing the fee for borrowers who use a second-lien to avoid mortgage insurance for the same reason. The changes add $250 and $750, respectively, for a $200k loan.
The higher fees may make sense for these loans because they are considered risker. What doesn’t make sense is the fee increase for borrowers with high credit scores or who make larger down payments. The regulator also failed to preserve the adverse market fee for East Coast states that have ridiculously high foreclosure costs as it had previously indicated it would do. Both of these changes make me wonder whether politics hasn’t trumped economics as both seem disassociated from market realities.
The changes take effect Sep 1st.