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Refinancing now sounds appealing, but for lots of people, it isn’t all that easy. 

Applications for refinances tripled earlier this month after the Federal Reserve promised to buy up $600 billion of mortgage debt. And rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are falling below 5 percent – the lowest in 50 years – but many home owners will have trouble doing the deal.

Having at least 20 percent equity in a home is important. A credit score of at least 720 and a debt ratio that is less than 43 percent are both essential.

Jumbo mortgages are still expensive. A 5/1 adjustable-rate with an initial interest rate for five years and an annual reset is averaging 6.6 percent. Traditional 30-year fixed are at 7.49 percent. Home owners in this situation may have to just ride it out.

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