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BellaOnline's Home Ownership Editor


Finding the Best Mortgage Rate

Guest Author - Rose Mary

People are often confused about mortgage rates and why they differ from lender to lender. Even more troublesome is finding the best mortgage rates available. There are some guidelines to follow to find the best mortgage rate for your particular circumstance.

1. First of all, if you are purchasing a home, you are not obligated to use your realtor's lender. By all means, you should obtain an outside lender before making this choice. At a minimum, you will be able to compare what is being offered.

2. Beware of broker fees when applying for a loan. These fees can add up to a large amount of money.

3. Check with your local credit union. Credit Unions are generally a good source for mortgages with good rates although many of them will only do conventional loans.

4. Remember to ask about FHA and VA rates. These rates are usually lower than normal rates if you qualify. On the other hand, they do have other fees attached to them and involve more paperwork for both the borrower and the lender.

5. Check you local banks. Usually local banks will have less fees attached to the loan. Many times, they do not charge an application fee or origination fee. This can save you a lot of money.

6. Remember that rates will depend on loan product. Different types of loans will have points added to the quoted rate. Usually the cheapest rate is going to be the basic conventional fixed rate loan.

7. You credit history, credit score, debt to income ratio, assets, reserves and income will all have an impact on the final rate. Certain credit scores will add points to the initial rate thus making the rate higher.

8. Loan officers make their commission based on rates. Sometimes it is charged as an origination fee and sometimes it is added on to the par rate. Therefore, it is wise to shop around. Warning: do not let every lender run your credit report. If you know your credit score, a lender can tell you approximately what the rate will be.

10. If you happy with a rate that has been quoted to you, ask if you can lock the rate. You will need to sign a paper when this is done. Rates locked for the shortest amount of time, such as 10 days, are the lowest rates. The longer the rate lock period, the higher the rate.

It is a good time right now to purchase a home or refinance a home while the mortgage rates are low. Be aware of what the going rate is and do your homework. The rate you accept will be with you for a very long time.
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