To buy a mortgage, you need to apply to 3 or more lenders and get pre-approval. You can expect this process to take at least a couple of hours.
But the few hours of work have demonstrably been worth it.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says borrowers could save an average of $ 300 a year by comparing the interest rates of just three lenders. And if you can negotiate your price, you can lower it.
All in all, comparing interest rates could save you thousands – even tens of thousands if you kept your mortgage long. Ready to start?
Start Comparing Mortgage Rates (Aug 27, 2021)
In this article (continue to …)
How To Buy A Mortgage: Key Findings
When you buy a mortgage, you are almost guaranteed to save money as all lenders offer different interest rates to different borrowers. And when you know what you're doing, it doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming.
Here are the 5 most important things to know when buying a mortgage:
You need to get pre-approved to know your “real” interest rateFill out an application and provide supporting documentsYou should apply to at least 3-5 lendersCompare interest rates and lender fees. Be on the lookout for discount points Use competing offers to negotiate your price or fees
This involves a little more work than just comparing prices offered online. But it's worth it. If you put in a few hours, you can save thousands – so why not?
How to buy a mortgage in 6 steps
Buying a mortgage is not that difficult. At least not if you know what to expect. Here's how the process will go:
Get your documents together – Lenders require proof of your income, assets and creditworthiness in order to provide you with an accurate quote. So start compiling the documents you need for your application, such as bank statements and current pay slipsGet pre-approval – Find a lender you like and receive a pre-approval letter. This is a great way to make an offer that a seller will accept. But pre-approval doesn't tie you to that lender – you can switch to another later if you find a lower interest rateDo your shopping with a few lenders – Get quotes from at least four lenders plus your existing lender (if you have one), your bank or credit union, and any mortgage brokers you have relationships withCompare the offers you get – We'll show you how to compare credit estimates and find the best mortgage rate belowFinish your application – Choose your preferred lender, fill out your mortgage application and keep managing it until you close.Don't make changes to life before you close – If possible, try to avoid changing jobs or becoming unemployed. And don't open or close credit accounts. Any of the last three could lower your credit score. And lenders routinely check your loan history just before closing
We'll cover some of these in more detail below. But these are the basic steps to buying a mortgage and finding the lowest interest rate.
Start Buying Your Mortgage Here (August 27, 2021)
How many mortgage offers should I get?
Most experts recommend getting at least three interest rate quotes when buying a mortgage. But there is no limit to the number of lenders you can apply to. And research suggests that the more offers you get, the more money you save.
For example, Freddie Mac found that "borrowers could save an average of $ 1,500 over the life of the loan by obtaining one additional rate quote and an average of about $ 3,000 on five quotes."
When buying a home loan, you should seek at least 3-5 mortgage offers. The more deals you get, the more likely you are to save.
The good news is that most lenders have a similar application process. You will need to provide the same types of documents and answer the same types of questions every time you receive a quote.
So, once you've applied, you'll already have all the information you need to apply to some other lenders at your fingertips. And with most lenders offering pre-approval applications online these days, the process can be pretty quick and painless.
How to Compare Mortgage Rates
At face value, comparing mortgage rates is easy.
You can apply for pre-approval from 3 or more lenders and easily compare the rates on offer. But remember – your interest rate isn't the only thing that matters. You also need to consider factors such as closing costs, issuance fees, annual percentage rate (APR), and discount points.
Fortunately, it's easy to compare mortgage offers and find the best one.
All mortgage offers have the same format called a "credit estimate" so you can quickly search for interest rates, fees, and other important information to find the best deal.
How to Read Your Credit Estimates
You can find your loan terms, the stated interest rate and the monthly payment on the first page of your loan estimate.
In addition to comparing interest rates, you can use this page to:
Make sure all of your loan offers are for the same type of loan (conventional loan, FHA loan, VA loan, etc.) Make sure they all quote the same interest rate (fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage) Compare monthly mortgage payments in order to see which loan is cheaper from month to month
The second page shows your closing costs and other up-front expenses such as prepaid taxes and home insurance.
Note that borrowing costs fall into two categories: (A) commitment fees and (B) services that you cannot shop for.
Issue fees are the lender's own fees. You should pay close attention to this section when purchasing a mortgage, as these fees can vary widely from lender to lender. Shopping at a lower price can save you a lot of money at the final table.
This section also contains information on “Points”. Points – or "Discount Points" – are an additional fee paid in advance to receive a lower interest rate.
When buying mortgage interest, look for discount points. If a mortgage lender has exceptionally low rates but demands points, you know you will have to pay extra up front to actually get that rate.
Because these documents are consistent, it's easy to compare loan estimates from different lenders side by side and find the best deal for your interest rate and closing costs.
Use your mortgage offers to negotiate
Remember, the mortgage offers you will receive are not set in stone. Mortgage lenders have the flexibility to adjust their fees and even their interest rates. This means that you can often use competing offers as leverage to negotiate your costs.
Don't hesitate to pit one lender against another:
“I like your business, but I have an offer here with a lower price or a lower closing cost. Can you bring it together Better yet, can you beat it? "
Chances are that these negotiations won't bring your rate down significantly. However, if you borrow huge amounts over decades, even a tiny drop in your interest rate could be hundreds or even thousands. And what have you got to lose?
Start Comparing Mortgage Rates (Aug 27, 2021)
What is a good mortgage rate?
Mortgage rates are incredibly low right now – around 3% on average. If you can get a fixed-rate mortgage close to or below 3%, that's a great rate by historical standards.
Looking ahead, the long-term average of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is around 8%. This is the average since Freddie Mac began recording in 1971.
But remember, not everyone gets the same prices.
The best mortgage rates are reserved for “first tier” borrowers. These are people with:
Great credit (740 or higher) Impeccable credit reports Low Debt-Income Ratio (DTI) Lots of wealth and savings A large down payment (20% or more)
Of course, few borrowers are “perfect”. Most of us fall somewhere between great and mediocre personal finances.
Where you are on that spectrum will determine the mortgage rates for which you will qualify. However, knowing how to buy a mortgage can help ensure that your business is on the better end of that range.
How to Buy a Mortgage: FAQ
How many mortgage offers should I get?
Try to get at least 3 mortgage offers. This will give you a good idea of the range of mortgage rates for which you will qualify. Ideally, get 5 or more quotes to find the best price and maximize your savings.
What do you need to consider when buying a mortgage?
The most important thing to know is that lenders cannot tell you your mortgage rate until you have been pre-approved for a mortgage loan. So in order to buy a mortgage, you actually need to apply to more than one lender and provide documents. This will take some time, but it is the only "real" way to find your best deal. A look at the advertised prices on the Internet will not help you.
What is the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?
Prequalification can be a helpful first step when buying a home. During the pre-qualification, a number of questions about your financial situation need to be answered. A loan officer will then tell you whether you may be mortgage qualified and what your maximum loan amount will be. Pre-approval for mortgages, on the other hand, is a more rigorous process that includes providing financial documents, as well as credit checks and underwriting. After that, you will have a verified approval and know your final loan amount and interest rate. Pre-approval is often required to get a listing on a home.
Can I have 2 mortgage offers?
Yes sir. You can have as many mortgage offers as you want. You are never required to work with a mortgage lender until you have signed the final closing documents, so there is no risk of applying to more than one company. The only thing to watch out for is whether the lenders have application fees. Ideally, you want to shop with lenders who will not charge you a fee to apply for and verify your interest rate.
How should I choose a mortgage lender?
You can narrow your initial list of lenders based on referrals, online reviews, rates advertised, and availability of the loan product you need. Once you've selected 3-5 lenders who look promising, you can apply for pre-approval from each of them. Then compare the credit estimates they give you to find the best combination of interest rates and upfront fees for your situation.
Will Buying a Mortgage Damage Your Credit Score?
Lenders get tough credit if you apply for pre-approval, which typically affects your FICO score by 5 points or less. However, as long as you receive all of your mortgage offers within 2-4 weeks, all hard inquiries during that time will count as a single inquiry. Your score will not be tolerated multiple times. Try to get all of your quotes on the same day if possible as this will give you the most accurate comparison between lenders.
How long does it take to get a mortgage approved?
The mortgage process typically takes around 30-45 days from application to completion. This can vary depending on how complicated your loan application is, how quickly you respond to your lender's inquiries, and external factors such as: B. How busy the lender is or how long it takes to complete a home appraisal.
How do I get the best mortgage rate?
Your mortgage rate is largely determined by your personal finances. To get the best possible interest rate, start improving your credit and paying off debt 6 months to a year before you buy a home. Try to keep credit card balances below 30 percent of your limit. You can also lower your mortgage rate by paying a higher down payment. Finally, you should compare rates from at least 3-5 lenders. Interest rates vary widely by company so you can find the best deal while shopping.
What are the mortgage rates today?
To find out what is your best mortgage deal today, get multiple quotes. Then compare them carefully and make sure that each loan has comparable terms and the same lock-up period. It's very easy to do online.
Confirm your new price (August 27, 2021)