An American’s Biggest Financial Pickle: Lowering Mortgage Rates Without Refinancing

We all remember that scene from 20th Century Fox’s 1993 coming-of-age classic, “The Sandlot,” where Mike Vitar — playing the role of “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez — finds himself in baseball’s most exciting infield play: the pickle. In the movie, Benny uses his speed, agility and wit to outsmart his young friends and touch home plate, netting a run for his team.

As time goes on, the pleasures of childhood give way to the difficulties of full-blown adult responsibility — this means both applying for and maintaining a mortgage. Though both gradual and, at times, a difficult task, when it comes to paying off a mortgage, “the pickle” of it all — lowering mortgage rates without refinancing — can be the greatest of assets once successfully accomplished.

Says Castle & Cooke, one of the nation’s top mortgage providers, “Home financing is only complicated if you let it be. It’s yours, after all.” Makes sense.

For mortgage rates to be lowered, refinancing is generally the means by which such an action is carried out. For a lender to approve mortgage modification, it’s expected that the borrower will be able to present tangible, concrete evidence demonstrating some sort of insurmountable financial hardship.

Furthermore, if considering another lender, lenders will often drop an interest rate — depending on the lender in question, of course — in a last-ditch effort to prevent the loss of a customer and loan. Realistically, the best chance of obtaining a loan modification and lower mortgage rates comes from a truthful inability to pay monthly mortgage installments.

If you, your family or someone you know finds themselves in one of the aforementioned circumstances, the first step towards a lower mortgage rate comes from coming in contact with an approved housing counselor. Housing counselors — certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — can not only help individuals reduce mortgage companies, but assist in the negotiation process between a borrower and his or her mortgage company — all this for free, without a doubt.

In addition, benefits can be found by speaking with a lender’s loss mitigation department. Those working within this sector of your mortgage provider’s company, have the ability to actually reduce your mortgage rate. Before speaking with this department, it’s important to arm yourself with bank statements, formally-written budgets, income reports and receipts of monthly expenses.

Whether in person or over the phone, calmly explain the details of your financial hardship or the specific reasons as to why you’re in need of lower mortgage payments. Be able to provide your lender with copies of all your personal financial records, if requested.

One of the best ways to ensure success with the lowering of mortgage rates comes well before actually meeting with your mortgage firm. You guessed it: make regular mortgage payments on time.

Reports Andrew Latham SFGate.com, “The U.S. government, through the Making Home Affordable program, provides incentives of up to $1,500 to borrowers who get a loan modification without falling behind on payments.” Qualification for such benefits comes from an impressive, tried and tested tack record as a mature manager of money — especially when it’s being borrowed.

Though your old glove and ball cap might’ve collected a bit of dust over the years, with the peace of mind that comes from financial stability and the swift, comfortable payment of a monthly mortgage, there will be more than enough time to work on overcoming baseball’s favorite pickle, just like “Benny the Jet.”

Lucas Miller is a Wizard of Public Relations at Fusion 360, an advertising agency in Utah. When not writing or running, he’s working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the “World’s Greatest Pompadour.” Find him on Google+.

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