There are many avenues through which refinancing can ease a family’s financial situation. And today’s fiscal climate is the perfect time to take advantage of that.
“I would encourage everybody, at least annually, to do a no obligation mortgage check-up,” says Jennifer Sobocienski, senior mortgage consultant NMLS#755995 with Wintrust Mortgage. “That check-up should include reviewing all properties owned, whether it’s a primary home, a second home in Florida, or an investment property.”
Prior to getting into the mortgage industry, Sobocienski worked for a hedge fund company in downtown Chicago. However, she wanted to use her CPA background in an industry that also integrated her natural people skills.
“I love real estate,” she says. “The mortgage industry was the right field to give me the ability to utilize all the skills that I really wanted to use.”
With a solid source of referrals in place and as a preferred lender with a major Chicago company, she makes it her mission to understand a client’s current financial situation and make recommendations for clarity and stability, at the best rate possible.
Ten minutes on the phone with Sobocienski can possibly change a family’s financial future.
According to Sobocienski, there are many reasons for refinancing:
This is a time of year when many people are dealing with the debt they racked up heading into the New Year. Between holiday gift buying or the early-booking of a spring break getaway, there are a lot of expenses piling up on credit cards. Credit card rates are typically higher than mortgage rates, so the client can consolidate their credit card debt into a mortgage and possibly save on monthly expenses.
Another reason for refinancing is to convert an Adjustable Rate Mortgage product or variable rate home equity line of credit into a fixed rate loan. Especially at a time when the Federal Reserve is looking to raise short-term interest rates, which has a direct impact on variable home equity lines of credit. Rolling a client’s home equity line of credit into a first mortgage with a fixed rate gives the client more stability.
“You’re controlling the situation, you’ve eliminated the risk of the interest rate going up,” Sobocienski says. “You know what your monthly payment is going to be.”
For others, it’s about refinancing to remove or reduce the monthly mortgage insurance payment. Clients who bought their home with a down payment of less than 20 percent are likely paying monthly mortgage insurance. The less money they initially put down, the higher the mortgage insurance payment may be. But if they have seen their home appreciate in value or as they pay down the principal loan balance, they may be able to refinance to reduce or eliminate their mortgage insurance payments.
Some clients refinance for something as simple as a term reduction. People who are excited to pay down their mortgage faster can go from a longer term mortgage to a shorter term mortgage.
All of these options vary according to each individual’s situation and personal priorities. Sobocienski’s knowledge of the benefit unique to every option allows clients the peace of mind to know that they have left no stone unturned.
“We’re still at historically low interest rates, but many people weren’t able to take advantage of refinancing over the last couple of years because their home values hadn’t appreciated enough to refinance,” she says. “Now, we’re seeing things turn. With home values going up, and people yielding more equity in their homes, they should take advantage of the low interest rates and explore their refinancing options.”
Given one 10-minute phone call to discuss the specifics of an individual’s situation, Sobocienski will be able to tell them how their loan is positioned in the market and if better terms are available.
“My job is to break this down and make it as easy as possible,” she says. “I do what makes the most sense for each individual. Nobody fits in the same box. They utilize my finance and accounting background to really talk through what makes the most sense for them.”
Jennifer Sobocienski is a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Wintrust Mortgage, located at 330 E. Main Street, third floor, in Barrington, 773-303-0274, sobomortgage.com. Wintrust Mortgage is an Equal Housing Lender. Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank NMLS #449042. All approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines.