We are committed to full transparency in our mission to make the world smarter, happier, & richer. Offers on The Ascent may be from our partners - it's how we make money - and we have not reviewed all available products and offers. That transparency to you is core to our editorial integrity, which isn’t influenced by compensation.
A home is one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make. It's important to understand the details of how much you'll pay today, how your mortgage charges interest each month, and the lifetime cost of your new home. To start, look at interest rates. You can save thousands of dollars simply by paying attention to the interest rate on your loan.
To land your best mortgage deal, it's important to shop around with multiple lenders. Check out today's mortgage rates and get personalized quotes and a full rundown of your estimated monthly payment.
|Product||Interest Rate||Average Points/Credits|
|Fixed 30 Year||2.882%||0.055|
|Fixed 20 Year||2.713%||0.006|
|Fixed 15 Year||2.406%||0.112|
|Fixed 30 Year - FHA||3.020%||0.258|
|Fixed 30 Year - VA||2.786%||0.276|
|Fixed 30 Year - Jumbo||3.120%||0.063|
|Fixed 30 Year||2.973%||0.182|
|Fixed 20 Year||2.836%||0.182|
|Fixed 15 Year||2.564%||0.173|
|Fixed 30 Year - FHA||2.856%||0.393|
|Fixed 30 Year - VA||2.617%||0.011|
|Fixed 30 Year - Jumbo||3.156%||-0.088|
You can find the best mortgage rate by shopping around. In fact, the more lenders you compare, the more you may save on interest rates and fees. First time homebuyers may find lower rates than those typically offered by lenders. In addition, state and local governments often offer programs to support first-time homebuyers. Talk to your local housing authority to learn more about your options.
Shopping around is just one way to find a low mortgage rate. Rates vary based on the type of loan you want, your down payment size, and your credit score. Each of these factors into your mortgage application and influences the rates available to you. If you're not finding the rates you expect, try looking at other types of loans, offering a larger down payment, or boosting your credit score.
For example, when looking at mortgages, you'll need to decide if you want an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed-rate mortgage. ARMs usually offer lower introductory rates. However, those rates usually increase after a time. A fixed-rate loan tends to offer a slightly higher interest rate -- but that rate is fixed for the duration of your loan.
When comparing current mortgage interest rates, start by comparing rates for the same type of loan. Compare 15-year loans to other 15-year loans, and fixed-rate mortgages to other fixed-rate mortgages.
Don't just read about mortgage rates online -- apply for pre-qualification at multiple lenders. When you apply for pre-qualification, lenders look at factors unique to you, such as your credit score and down payment, when determining your mortgage rate. This can help you more accurately compare different lenders.
Shopping around for the best mortgage lenders is best done in a short time frame. The three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) encourage borrowers to shop around within a period of 45 days, depending on the bureau. You can apply with any number of lenders within this time frame. No matter how many applications you submit, these credit bureaus will only count one credit inquiry against your credit score.
Each lender you apply with provides a loan estimate. This document outlines a loan's terms and fees. It includes the interest rate, closing costs, and other fees such as private mortgage insurance (PMI). Be sure to compare all of these fees and costs to get a picture of which offers you the best overall deal.
Mortgage rates are determined by a number of factors:
You should lock in a mortgage rate if you find a rate you're comfortable with and you can afford the monthly payments. In some cases, homebuyers will wait to lock in their mortgage rate just in case interest rates go down. But because interest rates are unpredictable, this is risky.
A mortgage rate lock guarantees your interest rate for a certain period of time, typically until your closing date. It usually lasts from the initial loan approval until you get the keys to your new home.
Locking in your mortgage rate isn't necessarily just about getting the best rate. A lock also protects you against any rate hikes that happen before closing. It can let you know from the beginning of the process what your monthly payments will be and help you avoid surprises come closing day.
It may seem like there's a lot to learn about buying a home, especially if you're a first-time buyer. If you're still feeling overwhelmed, check out our beginner’s guide to home loans. It can help you navigate all the steps, including how to find the best mortgage rates today.
It is best to compare and shop around for rates for the same type of loan you're looking for.
Mortgage rates are determined by a number of factors including your credit score, the economy, and your loan-to-value ratio.
You should lock in a mortgage rate when you're happy with your rate and can afford your monthly payments.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2020
The Ascent. All rights reserved.