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Understanding what really impacts interest rates

 
Is a Fed rate cut really good news for mortgage rates? The facts may be surprising. The Fed can only control the Discount Rate and the Fed Funds Rate. This is very different from mortgage rates. A mortgage rate can be in effect for 30-years, a rate that is set by the Fed can change from one day to another.

Another common mistake is in thinking that 30-year Treasury bonds or 10-year Treasury notes are directly pegged to mortgage rates. Those are government securities that are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and have no direct effect on mortgage rates.

So what are mortgage rates based on? As it turns out the answer is mortgage-backed bonds known as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). Bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (MBS) and the trading performance of those bonds will determine the direction of mortgage rates. Finding the catalyst that causes mortgage bonds to move will give you the keys to finding out what makes mortgage rates rise or fall.

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