Interest Rates for
Shopping for a mortgage? Buying a new home? Looking to
refinance your current home? Today's mortgage interest rates and APR
are displayed below in our helpful mortgage
calculator. Get a great mortgage rate when you compare
mortgage rates from multiple lenders — choose from fixed rate
loans of 15 or 30 year terms, or adjustable rate mortgages (variable
rate loans) at 7/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, and 3/1 ARM. At the same time, you
can also compare loan details, points, monthly payments and other loan
options to find the best mortgage and lender for you.
Home Loans and Mortgages: The Basics
Your home is quite likely the largest purchase you'll ever
make, and your mortgage the largest debt. Your credit will play a key
role in how much your home loan (and by extension, your home) will
cost you in the long run. Here is essential information if you hope to
get a mortgage to buy a home, or to refinance:
There are literally hundreds of mortgage
programs available at any given time.
- Find out what local lenders - a bank or credit union, for
example - offer, but keep in mind they may offer a limited number of
- Online mortgage providers and mortgage brokers who work with
multiple lenders will be able to compare mortgage rates and programs
from numerous lenders to help find the one that best fits your needs.
Complete the form above to compare multiple
mortgage rates and quotes now.
- Programs and rates change all the time (sometimes hourly!),
so it's helpful to work with a lender with access to up-to-date
information on multiple programs.
- Don't worry too much about hurting your credit by shopping
for a mortgage. Get your free Credit Report
before you start.
How Much Can I Borrow?
Your lender will compare your
gross income (before taxes are withheld) to your debts to calculate
your "debt-to-income" ratios.
- Ideally, the monthly payment on your new mortgage loan
(principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should total 28% or less
of your monthly income, though some lenders will go as high as 40%.
- Your total monthly debt payments, including your mortgage
and payments on student loans, credit cards, or auto loans, should
total no more than 36% of your monthly income, though some lenders
will go higher.
Down Payments and Equity:
To buy a home, you'll usually
need a down payment. If you are refinancing, the lender will typically
want to see that you have equity in your home.
- Have limited funds for a down payment? Ask your lender about
low or no down payment loans, including FHA or VA loans, that may
allow you to buy a home with little money out of pocket.
- Most low or no down payment loans require that you pay
mortgage insurance which protects the lender if you default. Mortgage
insurance will increase your monthly payments, until you build up
enough equity to drop it.
- Want to refinance but have little or no equity? Ask your
lender about the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
What you will pay depends on factors
like your credit scores, your down payment or equity, the length of
the loan, etc.
- When a lender quotes a rate, ask about costs, too. You may
be able to get a lower rate if you are willing to pay points (a point
is 1% of the loan amount) or conversely, you may be able to pay fewer
closing costs if accept a higher rate.
- The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) can be helpful for
comparing rates, as it includes some (though not all) of the costs
associated with the loan over the long run.
- Ask your loan officer whether you can "lock" your rate. A
lock will guarantee that rate if your loan closes before the lock
These may include fees from the lender
and/or mortgage company, third-party fees (real estate attorney,
appraisal etc.) and pre-paid items (taxes, insurance, etc.).
- Closing costs vary by region and by lender. Your lender must
provide a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs within three days of
taking your application. Review it carefully and don't be afraid to
question those costs.
- Title insurance can cost hundreds of dollars depending on
the state where the property is located and other factors. In some
states, title insurance costs are fixed, but in states where they are
not, you may be able to shop for a cheaper policy.
- Short on cash? You may be able to get a credit from your
lender toward closing costs by agreeing to a higher interest rate.
Ask your loan officer for a comparison.
Your Credit Scores:
The mortgage company will check your
credit reports and scores - so you should too.
Get your free Credit Score before
- Most mortgage lenders use FICO credit scores, which may be
different than the credit scores you get through other credit
- Try to check your credit reports at least three months
before you plan to get a loan to allow for time to address problems
or dispute mistakes.
- Don't make drastic changes to your credit without talking
with your loan officer first. For example, closing credit cards you
have paid off or opening new credit accounts to buy furniture or
appliances may lower your scores. The lender may check your credit
scores again before closing and you don't want any surprises.
- Worried about hurting your credit scores if you shop for a
mortgage? You'll be relieved to know that mortgage-related credit
inquiries in the past 30 days are ignored when calculating FICO
scores, and after thirty days multiple mortgage-related inquires in a
relatively short period of time count as a single inquiry.
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