By Peter Schroeder - 08/07/13 06:42 PM EDT
President Obama on Wednesday said he would probably benefit from refinancing the mortgage on his Chicago home.
While touting the administration's housing reform efforts, the president said that he was among the millions of Americans who would enjoy a bit of extra cash if they were able, or willing, to refinance their mortgages.
"I would probably benefit from refinancing right now," he said during a question-and-answer session with the housing website Zillow. "I would save some money."
He also specified that he was talking about his family home back in Chicago, and not the White House.
"That's a rental," he quipped.
The president reported on his 2012 financial disclosure forms that he still owed between $500,001 and $1 million on his Chicago home. He reported having a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, obtained in 2005, that stood at 5.625 percent, still well above current rates available on home mortgages.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Tuesday that the average interest rate for 30-year "jumbo" mortgages — mortgages with balances greater than $417,000 — stood at 4.64 percent.
The president pushed Congress in the Q-and-A to pass a plan this fall to help more homeowners refinance their mortgages, streamlining the process and expanding the number of those eligible for a refinancing. The call came as the president ramped up his efforts to push housing reform initiatives, as both parties begin to discuss ways to overhaul the housing finance system.
"Let's not just let a few people refinance. Let's allow everybody who is potentially eligible to go ahead and refinance," he said.