Mortgage rates are a large factor in the home buying process. These interest rates are a reflection of the market conditions and are often volatile. Understanding what drives those rates and how they change over time can help you better understand when your chances of getting a lower rate are greater.
Your mortgage rate will be based on a few factors, including your credit score and loan type. Fortunately, there are ways to control the factors that influence your mortgage rate and ultimately secure a better deal.
Using a mortgage calculator is the best way to estimate your monthly payment and see how much money you will save by paying off your loan early. It also gives you a good idea of how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage and helps you plan your budget.
Loan Type – A mortgage can be either fixed or adjustable. A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate throughout the entire loan term while an adjustable-rate mortgage changes over time. A fixed-rate mortgage typically costs more than an adjustable-rate mortgage, but it will usually last longer.
Your credit rating – Having a strong credit rating can help you qualify for lower mortgage rates and get a better loan. Lenders will look at your credit report to determine your risk level and help them decide if you can afford a mortgage and how big of one.
Down payment – The amount you put down when you purchase a home affects your mortgage rate. The higher the down payment, the lower your mortgage rate will be.
Getting pre-approved for a loan Having a lender formally approve your mortgage application is the first step in the home-buying process. When you get pre-approved, you will be given a document called a Loan Estimate that contains the loan details, including your mortgage rate and other terms.
Shopping around for a lower mortgage rate is the best way to ensure you get the lowest possible rate on your new home loan. You can do this by comparing mortgage quotes from several lenders and finding the one with the lowest interest rate, closing costs and other fees.
Low rates are available to borrowers who can make a large down payment and have excellent credit. But even those who dont have these attributes can still find great mortgage deals.
When looking at mortgage quotes, make sure to consider the annual percentage rate, or APR, which is a more accurate way to calculate your total cost of the loan. The APR takes into account all costs associated with a loan, such as interest rate, discount points and other fees.
Taking the time to shop for a mortgage can help you secure the lowest rate possible and save you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your mortgage. But keep in mind that mortgage rates are at historic lows and are likely to rise over time.
In the meantime, expect mortgage rates to decline through most of 2023. Freddie Mac predicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will drop to 6.2% by the end of 2023, giving homeowners stuck with 7%+ rates a chance to refinance to a more affordable interest rate.