Where Are Homeowners Successfully Refinancing?

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Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are low right now — about 3.68 percent as of the week of Dec. 5, down from a seven-year high of 4.94 percent in November 2018. On a $300,000 loan, the difference represents savings of about $220 a month, or nearly $80,000 over 30 years. Naturally, many homeowners might be asking themselves: “Should I refinance my mortgage?” perhaps followed by, “Will I be approved?”

Their concerns may be unfounded, since about 75 percent of refinance applications are approved, according to recent study by LendingTree, the online financial marketplace, though where you live could make a difference.

The study examined home-refinance approval rates among all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It found that places with the right combination of home-price appreciation (between 2012 and 2018) and good credit scores among homeowners tended to have higher rates of successful refinance applications. At the top of the list was Utah, which had an approval rate of over 82 percent, with an average price appreciation of 39 percent and an average homeowner credit score of 741 (among those applying for a refinance). At the bottom was New Mexico, which had a 67 percent approval rate, with 8 percent appreciation and an average credit score of 726.

This week’s chart shows the states with the highest and lowest successful refinance rates as compiled by LendingTree using the most current data, from 2018, from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, encompassing more than 10 million loan applications from more than 5,000 lenders.

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