Record number of borrowers can save on a mortgage refinance, as rates set historic low

Potential homebuyers attend an open house in Seattle.

Mike Kane | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mortgage rates just set another new low, and that means the number of borrowers who could benefit from a refinance hit a new all-time high. 

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.86% for the week ending Sept. 10, down from the previous week when it averaged 2.93% and down from 3.56% the same week one year ago, according to Freddie Mac. 

“Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

There are now 19.3 million borrowers who could save money on their monthly payments at today’s low rates, according to a new calculation by Black Knight, a mortgage technology and analytics firm, which looked at the pool of borrowers with rates at least 75 basis points higher than those offered today.

These would be high-quality candidates, with 720+ FICO credit scores and more than 20% equity in their homes. It is the largest volume ever reported and represents 43% of all 30-year mortgage holders.

The average savings for refinance candidates is $299 per month. Add that up and it’s an aggregate of $5.8 billion per month, if all refinance candidates were to take advantage. That is the largest aggregate savings ever available through refinancing.

Without using those high-quality candidate criteria, 32.4 million borrowers, or 3 out of 4 homeowners with a 30-year mortgage, now have a rate 75 basis points or more above the prevailing rate.

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