Mortgages are a big deal, and getting the best rates will help you save money over time. When you’re buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, you’ll be faced with many options—and one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what kind of mortgage rate to get. The rate you choose will impact how much money you end up paying each month, so it’s crucial to do your research and find the best possible rate.
What are the four simple tips to get the best mortgage rates?
Getting the best mortgage rates is often a matter of doing your research. For example, you may think you should go with the first bank or lender you talk to, but that’s not always the case. You should take the time to compare all your options regarding getting a mortgage and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.
In this section, we’ll talk about four easy tips to get the best mortgage rate:
Improve your credit score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors that lenders use to determine whether to approve your loan. If you have a good credit score, then it means that you have a history of repaying your debts and paying on time. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that your credit report reflects positively on you by paying off any outstanding debts, keeping balances low on credit cards and loans, and avoiding applying for new lines of credit unless necessary.
Save for a down payment
A down payment can be as little as 3% of the home’s total price (with some lenders). But having some money aside for this will help alleviate some stress and even lower your monthly mortgage payments.
Know your debt-to-income ratio
This is a simple measure of how much money you have coming in versus how much you have going out. It’s calculated by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income (before taxes and other deductions). The lower your number, the better. So, if you can bring down your monthly debt payments—for example, by paying off credit cards or loans—you’ll increase your chances of getting that dream home.
Consider interest rates and closing costs
You can get a fixed-rate mortgage instead of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The interest rate you get on your mortgage determines how much you pay each month. If you can get a lower interest rate, you will pay less interest over the life of the loan.
A fixed-rate loan will have a specific interest rate for the entire term, while an ARM has a fixed starting rate that changes yearly. If you have an ARM, your monthly payments could change drastically over time, making it difficult to budget.
Remember that these four easy tips to get the best mortgage rate don’t just apply to mortgages—they’re suitable for any loan, credit card application (or even a job). So, even if you aren’t buying a house right now, it never hurts to know how interest rates work and how to get them in your favor. Getting the best mortgage rate is all about timing. The best time to apply for a mortgage is when interest rates are low, and there’s plenty of competition among lenders. Get started now and get the best deal possible on your mortgage.