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Interest rates rise for third week in a row

Loan modifications are getting harder to come by.

Loan modifications are getting harder to come by. Credit:

It may be time to stop procrastinating, gather your paperwork and start the application process for refinancing your mortgage. Freddie Mac reported that fixed rate mortgages rose for a third consecutive week during the period ending Dec. 2. "Although rates have increased about 50 basis points above the lowest point a month ago, these rates are still at historic lows," says Michelle Dean, vice president of lending at the Bethpage Federal Credit Union. "Many people are opting to reduce the term of their mortgage from a 30-year fixed to a 10-, 15- and 20-year. In many instances, the monthly payments may remain similar, but consumers can shave years off and interest paid on the life of the loan."

Interest on 30-year loans inched up to 4.46 percent from 4.4 percent. Rates on 15-year mortgages averaged 3.81 percent, an increase from 3.77 percent a week ago. Adjustable-rate mortgages were slightly higher as well: The one-year ARM rose to 3.25 percent from 3.23 percent, and the five-year ARM moved up to 3.49 percent from 3.45 percent

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