A recent study has shown that the number of people who pay more than they should for their mortgage is rising. And if you look at the surface, the number one reason this rise is happening is because of race.
A study done by the Federal Reserve shows that around 55 percent of African-American borrowers pay higher than normal interest on their mortgages. But it’s not just the African-American community. The same study showed that 46 percent of people who identify as Latino also pay more due to a higher than average interest rate on their loan. As for Caucasians, only 17 percent of borrowers fell into that category.
The overall numbers of people who pay more than the average interest rate is up considerably, from 11.5 to 24.6 percent in the last two years.
While these numbers appear to be caused by rampant racism amongst seemingly all lenders, there might be another explanation. The connection between the interest rate offered and the borrowers credit history.
The interest rate that is offered on a mortgage loan is directly proportional to the amount of risk the lender feels that they are taking. If you have sparkling credit, the chances of you getting the best possible interest rate are fantastic. On the other hand, if you have declared bankruptcy or if there are any other black marks on your credit history, the chances of you getting a great loan are almost zero.
Another possible culprit is the rise in speciality loans that have gained in popularity over the last few years. While the idea of buying a house without a down payment was once a rarity, these days, it’s fairly common. And in almost all cases when this happens, the interest rates are higher because the lender is taking an additional risk by not having a down payment.
Sometimes, home buyers are agreeing to let the closing costs associated with buying a home be figured into the interest rate. Again, this is a less than honest way for a family to buy a home with very little to no cash on hand. The catch is, of course, that you will end up paying significantly more over time than if you had just paid the closing costs up front.
While no one can suggest that racism is dead in America, it is possible that while African-Americans and Latinos pay more for their mortgages, it could be caused by various other factors that may or may not be connected to a persons’ race.