Hold off a second on buying that new house or that re-fi you were planning.
You may be facing a penalty.
My mortgage sources tell me Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are trying to shore themselves up against default risks. What this means is some folks who either haven't saved enough for a down payment or who have a certain credit score may be forced to save more cash, boost that score or face higher rates or pricing.
I'm told it is almost a given that you'll pay either a higher interest rate or a higher price on discount points if:
* You're buying a new home with a down payment of less than 15 percent, no matter what your credit score.
* You're buying a condo with less than 25% down.
* You're refinancing your home with less than 30 percent equity and a credit score below 700. The increased rates or pricing on discount points may outweigh the savings you hoped for in the re-fi.
Talk to your mortgage lender about these potential penalties before you sign a loan or put the money down.