Mortgage fees go up

Hundred dollar bills in shape of house

The two government-owned companies that provide most of the money for home loans have raised their fees.

That means borrowers with less than stellar credit will be hit with a higher delivery fee at closing.

For example, buyers with credit scores of 670 and 20% down payments will see their delivery fees rise from 1.5% to 2.5% of the loan amount, and that will add $1,000 per $100,000 borrowed to the cost.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say the higher loan-level price adjustments are targeted to loans that default at a much higher rate than other mortgages and are meant to help protect the companies from losses.

This change will affect virtually all borrowers taking out a conventional loan -- not a jumbo, FHA or VA mortgage. Usually, these fees can be rolled into the loan amount, but that is up to the lenders.

Here's a summary of the changes:

Fewer borrowers will be able to avoid the fee. In the past, the delivery fee was waived for borrowers with a credit score of 700 or higher. Now, you'll need a credit score of at least 740 to avoid such a fee. Borrowers with a down payment (or equity) of 20% and credit scores:

A bigger down payment (or greater equity) will allow you to reduce or avoid the fee altogether. If, for example, a borrower with a 670 credit score has a down payment (or equity) of 30%, the fee falls to 1%. Increase that to 40% and there is no fee.

Condo buyers will pay more. If you can't come up with 25%, you'll pay a 0.75% fee, no matter how good your credit is.

Cash-out refinancing costs more, too. Almost everyone will pay an additional fee ranging from 0.25% for borrowers with excellent credit and a lot of equity in the house to 3% for those with poor credit scores and little equity.

If you're looking at a substantial delivery fee, opting for an FHA loan or VA loan could be cheaper. You should have your lender run the numbers and see if your can qualify.

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