Tips For Getting the Lowest Mortgage Rate

If you are in the market for a mortgage, getting the best mortgage rate is essential to your financial security and well-being. You absolutely must do your research before settling on a mortgage, as there may be a lower rate out there. If you do not research the lowest mortgage rates and go with the first mortgage company and rate you come across, you may deeply regret your decision later on down the road. Here are some tips that will help you research the lowest mortgage rates out there.

Check Mortgage Rates Daily

Regardless of industry, interest rates fluctuate frequently, sometimes on a daily basis. Because of this fluctuation, it is wise to check the mortgage rates on a daily basis. If you want just a day or two before locking in your mortgage, you may end up saving yourself a ton of money in interest each month. The less interest you pay on your mortgage the less you end up paying annually; this is money that can be put into savings accounts, investments, or household maintenance.

Check Mortgage Company Policy

Some mortgage companies will allow you to lock in a lower interest rate once you have already committed to working with them. For example, if the interest rates drop more than half a point within thirty days of locking in your rate, some companies will allow for the lower rate on your mortgage. Other mortgage companies are not so lenient. Therefore, research the company policy before you commit to working with them.

Shop Around

There are plenty of lenders and mortgage brokers out there, so do your homework and shop around. Comparing loan offers from these different companies will help you find the most competitive rates, and the best option for your finances. When shopping around, be sure to look at more than just one Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or interest rate. And remember, you will need to compare all aspects of the mortgage offers, including closing costs, lender fees, and any other hidden charges.

Avoid Paying Points

Try to avoid paying points on your mortgage. Initially, paying points may seem appealing, but can end up costing you more in the long run. Remember, paying points means that you are just paying more upfront on your mortgage, which reduces the amount of your down payment. Avoid points if you are planning to stay in your home for only a short amount of time as well. Talk to your mortgage broker about this upfront.

Fixed vs. Adjustable Mortgage Rates

Make sure that you look into the options you have when it comes to fixed versus adjustable mortgage rates. You should not automatically expect your mortgage rate and payment to go up in a few years. Stick with a fixed rate mortgage and you will not only save money, but you will also be able to plan for your budget long-term.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score will directly affect the mortgage rate you will end up getting, so be aware of what your credit rating and score is. The better your score the lower the mortgage rate will be because you are less of a risk to the lender. If you have some negative marks on your credit report, you should repair that before buying a home, if possible. This may delay your purchase, but will help you in the long run.

Put More Money Down

As you research mortgage rates and fees, you will quickly pick up on the idea that if you put more money into the down payment of your home, the less your monthly payment will be. Now, this will not necessarily help your mortgage rate become lower, but it will help your monthly payment. The ideal amount for a down payment is at least 20% and if you don’t have that, you may be forced to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This is an additional fee that goes right to the bank.

Buy a Home During Economic Turmoil

During times of economic turmoil, mortgage rates tend to drop. This is a great time to buy a home, if you are able to, because the real estate industry is struggling. The lower your mortgage rate is, the less interest you will pay and the lower your monthly payments will be. This may be an ideal time to buy a first home, if you can afford it.

Buying a home is an exciting adventure, but should only be taken on if you can actually afford it. If you cannot afford the home, or purchase one outside of your means, you may quickly find yourself in a downward spiral of debt and uncertainty. Always do a bit of research before choosing a mortgage company and settling on a particular interest rate.

Mortgage Loans & Its Types

Mortgage loans are loans taken from banks, online brokers or independent mortgage brokers by pledging property owned for purchasing a residential or commercial property or to refinance a loan.

Mortgage loans are usually for a 15 or 30 year period. Mortgage payments are evened out according to the number of years, rate of interest and the type of mortgage. The property purchased is used as security or collateral to obtain the debt. If the borrower of the loan defaults on the mortgage payments the lender has the right to sell the property by employing the foreclosure process.

To be eligible for a particular loan the lender examines the employment and income generation of an individual or family to assess that monthly payment can be paid regularly by the borrower. The three important aspects that are taken into consideration to qualify for a loan are:

  • Credit Score
  • Monthly Income and
  • Down Payment

Credit scores indicate the risk of offering a loan to a borrower. Higher the score lower the risk. Good credit scores also ensure reasonable terms of loan and lower rate of interest. Monthly income is evaluated to ensure expenses are not more than income. The amount paid as down payment reduces the risk of the lender to cover the full expense of the loan incase of default in payments.

There are different types of mortgage loans available to suit the requirements of different borrowers. Some common and popular types of mortgage loans are:

Fixed Rate Mortgages

As the name suggests such loans carry a fixed rate over the period of the loan. They are among the most popular mortgage products which are not influenced by interest rate rise or falls. The interest rates are locked and payments remain same despite rise or fall in interest rates. Fixed rate mortgages are most popular when interest rates decline.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Adjustable rate mortgages provide a fixed rate of interest for a specific period and thereafter resorts to an adjustable rate of interest. ARM fluctuate according to market interest rate changes after the fixed rate period is complete.

Sub-prime Mortgages

This is a mortgage scheme directed towards those who have a less than satisfactory credit score. Credit score ranges between 300-900 and a score below 620 qualify for a sub-prime mortgage. Considering that the risk is higher in lending a loan to a sub-prime borrower the monthly payments and interest rates can be high. Such loans are a profitable venture for lenders on account of earnings from pre payment penalty, interest charges or foreclosures. Prepayment penalty is a charge levied on the lender on account of paying the loan before due by either selling the property or refinancing the loan.

Jumbo Mortgage

There are specified limits to loans sanctioned to: single family, two families, three families, or four families. If your loan requirements exceed this limit you need a jumbo mortgage which charges a higher rate of interest. They are also known as non conforming loans as they exceed the limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Balloon Mortgage

This type of mortgage allows borrowers a lower rate and monthly payments for a particular period. Such a period lasts for three to ten years. After the completion of the term the borrower is required to pay the principal balance as a lump sum amount. If applicable and possible the balloon mortgage can also be converted to a fixed rate or adjustable rate loan.

Home Equity Line of Credit

Popularly known as HELOCs they are variable rate mortgages in line with the prime rate. You are allowed to take credit up to your credit limit which is the maximum amount one can borrow under any plan. The interest payments are tax deductible and one can also pay previous mortgage by taking a percentage of the appraised value of the home such that the loan amount covers your previous loan balance and your current fund requirements.

The Interest-Only Mortgage

This type of mortgage requires only interest payments to be paid for a specific period of time following which the terms of the loan change and a new mortgage amount is derived. This new mortgage will be paid with principal plus interest payments for the remaining number of years.

Advantages of Using a Local Mortgage Loan Professional

Mortgage loan specialists with a solid grounding in the local market can tailor a mortgage package to the client’s best advantage. A comprehensive mortgage loan service should cater for a range of mortgage solutions yet still utilize the latest products to give the customer a mortgage environment that is competitively sound and pocket-friendly.

Early consultation with a professional mortgage loan manager makes a significant improvement to a home seeker’s resources. Having a detailed understanding of how recent market developments might influence sale and purchase can dramatically influence the buying price of a property. And no one is a better qualified mortgage loan adviser than a local loan expert with a reliable network of contacts.

Learning about the client’s personal history and goals is a priority for a mortgage loan professional. Not all mortgage packages are suitable for every applicant and knowing where a client’s financial strengths lie facilitates securing a more attractive loan.

Getting the Most out of the Money Available

Property lending products are designed on criteria carrying a variety of conditions and requirements. Every client could not possible fit into the criteria demanded by all mortgage loan applications. A professional mortgage loan specialist will apply expert negotiation skills to secure the best mortgage offer based on the client’s personal and financial capabilities.

A mortgage ‘offer in principle’ allows the customer to house-hunt in confidence, armed with a reliable set of financial boundaries. Knowing ‘where the ceiling is’ can make the difference between buying a dream house or settling for second best in a house that does not quite fill the bill, perhaps because the client was searching in too high or too low a price bracket and closed in haste.

Disappointment is hard to put up with when seeking a new family home. A good mortgage can mean getting a better house on the capital available but mortgage loan applications can be complicated, especially when relying upon standard offers from large financial institutions with a tendency to apply a ‘one size fits all’ policy, complete with unfavorable rates of interest and uncomfortable restrictions.

Asking the Right Questions

Financial blindness makes successful property search impossible. And without the services of a mortgage loan professional with local knowledge, such handicaps are inevitable. Asking the right questions at the right time can make a significant difference to a client’s borrowing power, such as:

  • Must the mortgage be structured on one income or can a second income be included in the application? For example, often an applicant will discard a partner’s pension believing the contribution to be too small to make a difference: a mortgage loan specialist will advise on the best application methods.
  • Is there a qualification for a VA loan; an FHA loan or a USDA loan?
  • Who is to pay the closing costs? Should these costs be considered when making an offer to the seller?
  • How will personal tax issues be affected by the size of the mortgage?
  • Will previous credit difficulties preclude securing a mortgage offer?

It is widely recognized that moving to a new home is one of the most stressful experiences, coming a close third to bereavement and divorce and often two of these life changing situation must be tackled at the same time, which is why it is vital to have the best possible advice and representation from a mortgage loan specialist with a broad understanding of the area.

Local knowledge can be the best possible tool to ensure a house move goes smoothly and economically. Having a wealth of local contacts helps to ease a client’s transition from one home to another and provides invaluable information on issues that relate to settling in a new and perhaps unfamiliar environment.

Troubleshooting

Mortgage applications should run on a relatively smooth timeline but as everyone knows, things do not always go to plan. This is where an expert mortgage loan manager can pre-handle potential problems and step in to deal with small procedural difficulties before they develop into major disasters.

Closing should always be attended by a properly licensed professional with the correct credentials to ensure documentation is in order, appropriate registration is carried out and financial transfers are conducted securely to the satisfaction of all parties.

Investment issues

Property purchased for inclusion in an investment portfolio is no less significant and in fact requires an equally high level of efficiency on transfer of ownership, not least due to the probability of buying and selling within a shorter time frame. Property market fluctuation might prompt an urgent sale and a mortgage loan facility that is inflexible can cause havoc on a short ‘turnaround’. Engaging the services of a mortgage loan specialist prior to purchase can smooth the path to a healthy investment program with maximum returns.