Your guide on...
HOW TO GET THE BEST MORTGAGE RATE.
SHOP FOR IT!
SHOP... IT'S THAT SIMPLE. Different lenders will offer different terms and charge different fees for a home loan, whether you’re buying or refinancing. That’s why it's important to get quotes from more than one lender, compare your options and ask questions.
Here are some shopping tips…
Tip 1: Make sure you are talking to an experienced Loan Officer and avoid filling out forms online. It's hard to trust online rates due to assumptions.
Tip 2: Get quotes from more than one lender
Tip 3: Compare loans on the same day
Because mortgage rates change frequently, it’s best to compare loan programs on the same day so that you can accurately judge cost estimates from several lenders.
Tip 4: Compare all loan terms, not only the mortgage rate
The loan with the lowest mortgage rate may not always be the best choice for you. Rates are important, but you should also consider the overall cost of the loan.
Tip 5: When shopping for a mortgage, don't let multiple lenders pull your credit as this can lower your credit score. Soft credit pulls with all 3 FICO scores are available that will not effect your credit score.
More helpful tips...
Increase your credit score
Your credit score has a major impact on the mortgage rate you will receive. An excellent credit score is 720 and above. Most lenders will require a 620 or higher score however there are mortgage programs with much higher rates that will accept scores under 620.
To improve your scores, keep the balance on your credit card at 20 to 30% of your available credit and always pay your credit obligations on time. Pay off any collections and have them reported as paid. Bring all past due accounts current. Try to avoid opening new credit or making large purchase before you buy your house.
Look at different mortgage terms
A 30 year fixed rate mortgage is often the popular choice, but you may get a lower rate by considering a shorter-term loan or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
Shorter term. If you can afford a higher monthly payment, choosing a 15 year fixed rate mortgage will likely result in a lower interest rate. In addition, you’ll pay off your loan faster, save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan and build equity in your home much quicker.
Adjustable-rate mortgage. Borrowers who plan to live in their home for a short time may benefit from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), such as a 5/1 ARM. With a 5/1 ARM loan, the initial rate is fixed for the first five years at a rate that’s usually lower than current 30-year fixed rates. After that, it can adjust annually, based on the terms of your chosen ARM loan.
Take advantage of special mortgage programs like a first-time buyer program
As you are shopping for a mortgage, find out whether you’re eligible for any special programs that make homebuying less costly. Many states and mortgage companies offer help to first-time home buyers as well as repeat buyers. Most lenders offers a selection of programs, often including down payment assistance, combined with favorable interest rates and tax breaks. Some programs are targeted geographically, and others offer help to home buyers in certain professions, such as teachers, first responders and veterans.
Consider paying mortgage points
You can lower your mortgage rate if you are willing to pay points. Every point you pay is equal to one percent of your loan amount. If your mortgage is going to be $250,000, then one percent would be $2,500. By paying one percent, your mortgage payment could drop as much as a quarter of a percent or .25 percent to rate. If you decide to pay points, you should figure out your eventual break-even point..
Put more money down
When you put down more money, you will lower
your loan to value which generally will give you a
lower interest rate. If you put down at least 20%
you will also avoid having to pay mortgage
insurance (PMI). The exception to the lower loan
amount rule would be a qualified first-time
homebuyers program. Often times they have
lower rates and reduced PMI.