No-fee mortgages are synonymous with no-cost mortgages, which might apply to first mortgages or refinancing arrangements where the closing costs are paid by the lender, broker, or bank, but a higher interest rate is charged on the loan as a means of recouping those waived fees.
Closing costs and fees are calculated based on the total amount being loaned, and might be about 3% for a first mortgage and 1.5% for a refinanced mortgage. When the fees and closing costs associated with a mortgage loan are waived for the borrower, they are usually baked in to a higher interest rate on the loan.
The bank, lender, or mortgage company may pay the closing costs for the borrower (also called a mortgagor), but will recoup their loss with the higher interest rate. These are also called no-cost mortgages or no-closing-cost mortgages.
The fees which would otherwise be due include a wide array of potential sources, such as appraisal fees, surveyor fees, application fees, underwriting fees, home inspection fees, closing attorney fees, broker or agent commission, and so on. They typically add up to an amount between 1.5% and 5% of the total value of the loan, and this is generally due at the time of the closing.
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There are exceptions to this, in the form of no-appraisal mortgages which are available to lower-income homeowners
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