Some home buyers who may be concerned about paying high closing costs might be tempted by a “zero-cost” or “no-cost” loan option, which requires no cash outlay, but typically adds a half percentage point to the rate. However, some financial consultants say these loans tend to be most beneficial to buyers planning to have the loan for less than five years.
- One of the primary differences between a no-cost loan and similar loans is that no-cost loans do not tack on closing costs to the balance, but instead increase the rate.
- With no-cost loans, third-party fees including the appraisal, credit report, title insurance, recording, and the use of a mortgage broker are paid by the lender. The fees, including the amount the broker is being paid, are disclosed on the closing statement.
- Home buyers who bypass a broker and work directly with a lender may encounter less transparency, as loan officers are not required to disclose the amount the bank is making on the loan.
- Borrowers weighing their loan options are advised to use a mortgage amortization calculator to compare the costs for a conventional loan compared with a no-cost loan. The Federal Reserve provides an amortization calculator on its Web site at www.federalreserve.gov.
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