Well, you are ready to buy your first home. And as daunting a task as this can be, there is a level of pride and satisfaction that goes along with taking this all-important step. To make it a little less daunting, the following are a few pointers on how to get the best mortgage rates possible. Currently, mortgage rates are reasonable. That can change in a heartbeat. By applying the correct strategies and exercising your options, you may be able to land the best deal possible while rates are still low.
All Lenders Are Not Created Equal
Shop around. Looking for a good mortgage shouldn’t be that much different than looking for the best deal on a car. You wouldn’t take the first one that comes along in that case and you certainly shouldn’t in the case of a mortgage. A multitude of lender services can be accessed on the Internet and by supplying a little bit of information you can be matched up with lenders that best suit your needs and your particular situation.
Your contact information will be needed, what type of loan you are looking for, your current situation as it applies to loans, etc. Soon, the mortgage rates you are looking for should be supplied by somewhere up to five lenders who will contact you with the offers and opportunities you are looking for.
Check ahead of time to see what the lender is going to need from you – i.e. bank statements, recent pay stubs, W-2s or tax returns, income documentation, and other necessary paperwork. And if you have a current mortgage, they’re going to want that, too.
How Is Your Credit Score?
You’ve likely seen the commercials on television where one friend tells another friend to check their credit score. This isn’t so far off the mark. If your credit score is less than desirable, you need to take steps immediately to fix it. Your monthly payments, what your interest rate will be, and how much the bank will lend you all ride on your credit score.
Check for any false information or derogatory marks that may show up on your credit report. Dispute them as soon as and as much as you possibly can. Using too much credit card debt, missing payments, or having hard inquiries on your credit score will have a negative impact. Anything over 700 is a decent score but many lenders will settle for 625.
Have You Done the Math?
As hard as math can be, this is the simple stuff. If you put down 0 to 5% on your home your monthly rate is going to be significantly more than if you would put down 20%. The percent you put down may also have a huge impact on whether or not you pay mortgage insurance. If you’re looking for a mortgage rate calculator, as with most things these days, you can find it online. It can help you to determine not only the total cost of your loan but your monthly payments.
It’s Time to Close the Deal, But Lock In Your Rate First
Okay, you found a lender that is a good fit, you have improved your credit score, and you have done all the necessary math. Now it’s time to close the deal. But first, make sure that you lock in that great rate. After all, rates are constantly going up and down – that’s why they call them variable. It may pay to wait until the rate is exactly where you need it to be before taking the final step.
Interest rates are bound to go back up but determining an exact point at which that will happen is next to impossible. Most realtors have a pretty good finger on the pulse of the world of mortgages and what’s happening with them, as well as the housing market. Rather than kick yourself over and over for a missed opportunity, buy now while you still can lock in a 30, or even 15-year fixed rate.