Our Experts' Best Mortgage Advice of 2020

A couple holding up new house keys.

Image source: Getty Images

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. 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.

It's been a wild year for mortgages. Here are some of our top stories from 2020.

Mortgage rates sank to record lows in 2020 as the economy got slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, limited housing inventory created a seller's market with inflated home prices all over the country.

That made it a tricky year for buying a home, even though mortgage rates have been extremely competitive. Whether you're interested in a new purchase mortgage or a refinance for an existing one, check out The Ascent's top mortgage advice from the past year.

Need advice on getting a mortgage for the first time? Certified Financial Planner Matt Frankel offers not one, not two, but 15 tips on navigating the process. You may benefit from this roundup even if you've applied for a home loan in the past.

The 30-year mortgage term is very popular among borrowers -- but you have other options. You could sign a 20-year loan, or a 15-year mortgage, which lets you pay off your home in half the time. Here you can read about the pros and cons of a 30-year loan and use that information to guide your decision.

Want to pay less interest on your mortgage? This roundup of tips will help you score a more competitive rate and reap big savings over your repayment period.

The gig economy has exploded over the past few years, and these days, many people are self-employed. That's a good thing for flexibility, but it can make getting a mortgage more challenging. Here, you'll get tips on snagging a home loan when your income is variable.

Many mortgage applicants are shocked to learn that finalizing a home loan isn't free. There are closing costs involved, and you either pay those up front or roll them into your mortgage. Here you can read more about the fees you might pay and learn how to lower and manage them.

Many homeowners have rushed to refinance to take advantage of the current great rates. But before you start the process, read up on these troubling misconceptions.

Sell a home and buy another immediately after -- it's a strategy some homeowners may consider, given the way mortgage rates are trending. Here you'll get guidance on whether this tactic is wise in the current real estate market.

Limited housing inventory means buyers sometimes have to outbid one another to get an offer accepted. Here's how to emerge victorious if you land in that scenario.

Home values skyrocketed this year. Here's what to expect if you're shopping for a new home, and how to determine how much house you can afford.

As we head into 2021, it'll be interesting to see how the housing market fares, what mortgage rates look like, and whether refinancing picks up in light of a new fee that recently took effect. Either way, you can count on The Ascent to deliver all the mortgage news you need to stay informed.

Our Research Expert