Many Borrowers Don’t Know Their Rate

February 12, 2015

Mortgage payment often makes up a person’s largest monthly expense – yet more than a third of borrowers have no clue what interest rate they’re paying, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults by Bankrate.com.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed did not know their mortgage interest rate, and one in seven borrowers were either “not too confident,” “not at all confident,” or had no idea about their rate.

"Your mortgage rate is one of the most important numbers in your financial life, and there's a good chance that one of your neighbors has no idea regarding how much he or she is paying," says Holden Lewis, a senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com.

Many borrowers know the general range of their mortgage rate, particularly those who have purchased or refinanced their home within the past five years, the survey showed. Lenders say that most borrowers are more in-tune to what their monthly payment is and not how they arrived at that payment.

"They're in the heat of the moment, they're talking about rate, but really at the end of the day they're more focused on completing the process," Matt Weaver, senior mortgage loan originator for PMAC Lending Services in Florida, told CNBC. "Once it's closed, it's just 'Said it, forget it.'"

However, a half and a quarter percentage point variance in a mortgage rate can make a big difference in savings. Low mortgage rates recently could make refinancing worthwhile too, but some borrowers may not know if they should apply.

"The issue is not so much that they don't know their mortgage rate, it's that they don't know that rates are a whole lot lower now," Lewis says.

Source: “A Third of Mortgage Holders Don’t Know Their Rate,” CNBC.com (Feb. 2, 2015)