4 Ways to Save Time When Shopping for a Mortgage

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on April 30, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Woman holding glasses with one hand on computer keyboard.

Image source: Getty Images

Searching for a home loan can be a challenge, but these tips will make it easier.

Shopping around to find the right home loan is essential. But it can be a time-consuming process. The good news is, there are a few ways to simplify your search for the perfect mortgage loan.

Here are four of them.

1. Compare interest rates from multiple lenders at once

If you want to make sure you're borrowing at the most competitive rate possible, you're going to need to get multiple quotes from different mortgage lenders. The good news is, though, that you don't necessarily have to visit the websites of every single lender individually.

You can use an online mortgage search tool to compare rates and quotes from many different home loan providers after completing just one simple form. This makes the process of rate shopping much faster and easier since you don't have to fill out paperwork over and over.

2. Know your credit score

Often, when you get preliminary quotes from mortgage lenders, they'll ask you to estimate your credit score rather than performing an inquiry to find it. Providing an accurate picture of your credit history is essential so you get quotes suited for your financial situation.

You can check your credit score for free online. Looking at reports from the three major credit bureaus can give you an opportunity to get your score and make sure everything is accurate.

Knowing your score can also give you an idea of where to shop for rates. If you have a low score, for example, you may want to focus on applying for government-backed loans. Another option could be to look into mortgage lenders for bad credit.

3. Research loan options first

There are many different types of mortgage loans. These include:

Mortgages also come with different loan terms, ranging from 15 to 30 years. And interest rates can be structured differently. Some loans charge a fixed rate for the life of your loan while others have adjustable rates.

If you explore your options and decide what kind of loan you're interested in before you start shopping around, you can get the quotes that are right for you. You can also make sure you're comparing apples with apples so you have an accurate way to assess which loan option is the cheapest.

4. Look at the APR

Finally, it's important to take all of the costs of your home loan into account, not just the interest rate. That includes fees and expenses of home ownership.

The annual percentage rate, or APR, gives a more accurate estimate of the actual cost you'll pay for your loan each year. So when you compare mortgage offers, it's helpful to focus on the APR rather than just the rate so you can easily look at the big picture.

By taking these steps, you should be able to quickly and easily find the mortgage that's right for you. That way, you can get the financing you need to buy the home of your dreams without spending endless hours dealing with the financial details.

The Ascent's Best Mortgage Lender of 2022

Mortgage rates are on the rise — and fast. But they’re still relatively low by historical standards. So, if you want to take advantage of rates before they climb too high, you’ll want to find a lender who can help you secure the best rate possible.

That is where Better Mortgage comes in.

You can get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes, with no hard credit check, and lock your rate at any time. Another plus? They don’t charge origination or lender fees (which can be as high as 2% of the loan amount for some lenders).

Read our free review

About the Author