Fannie, Freddie to Cut Mortgage Fees, Slightly

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is reportedly set to announce that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will lower the mortgage fees for some borrowers, but the changes are expected to be very minimal. FHFA, the regulator of the mortgage giant insurers, is expected to change the fees that Fannie and Freddie charge lenders to guarantee mortgages.

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Some borrowers may only see a small benefit – amounting to less than one-tenth of a percentage point, The New York Times reports.

"For most people taking out a loan, the change will be negligible," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Some riskier borrowers, who make lower down payments and have lower credit scores, will see slight savings that could translate to hundredths of a percentage point on a mortgage rate."

To balance out the cost of the fee reduction, Fannie and Freddie are expected to raise fees for other borrowers, like those who purchase investment properties, according to The New York Times.

Some housing advocates say the change in fees don't go far enough to the bigger reductions they were hoping for. "Hopefully over time we can go further," says Julia Gordon, senior director of housing and consumer finance for the Center for American Progress. "It is important that this not be the last word" on fees.

Source: "Freddie and Fannie to Lower Some Fees," The New York Times (April 15, 2015) and "Fannie, Freddie to Lower Fees for Some Borrowers," The Wall Street Journal (April 15, 2015)