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New Refinance Boomlet May Lift Economy a Bit

Record low mortgage rates are providing a small measure of stimulus to the troubled U.S. economy as borrowers scramble to refinance their home loans–a move that frees up cash to spend on other items.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the volume of loan applications has soared since November to its highest level in six years.

However, despite mortgage rates hovering around and even under 5 percent in recent weeks, a surge of buyers back into the housing market is not likely anytime soon, and some homeowners who want to refinance are finding they cannot because of lenders’ tightened credit standards.

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