Mortgage Rates & Home Loan Offers Today | Select a Great Mortgage Rate for You
One important caveat to remember is that mortgage interest rates are usually affected by several factors. Whether you want to refinance your existing fixed-rate mortgage or you are looking for the best mortgage rates on the market today for a home purchase, it’s important to take note of these impacts:
- The location of the home
- The price of the home and the amount of the home loan
- The amount of the down payment for the home purchase
- Mortgage applicant’s credit score
- The length of the loan
The Importance of a Mortgage Comparison
Taking the time to find the best mortgage rates before you commit to a long-term loan is key to saving money. Conducting a mortgage comparison regularly before you purchase your home is critical because today’s mortgage rates are constantly changing.
Everyone knows that your mortgage is likely to be the longest running debt that you will ever incur for a single purchase.
With a longer term than most minor forms of debt, such as auto loans, your interest rates can really rack up if you don’t take the time to compare mortgages before you sign on the dotted line.
Getting a Great Mortgage Loans & Rates Today
Getting a great mortgage rate is often a complex process. Even if you say that you have found “the best mortgage lender” for you, it’s going to be a challenge if you don’t go into the entire process prepared.
Part of being prepared is knowing what mortgage companies look for in borrowers—and what they don’t want to see.
Lenders want to see detailed income and tax records, as well as bank account records, and they will often request complete information about all of your debts. Red flags to mortgage lenders include not just a low credit score or past credit issues, but also a debt-to-income ratio that’s too high.
Putting yourself in the home buying market means you’re now privy to the stress of investigating who has the best mortgage rates. Your bank mortgage rates can have a huge impact on the actual cost of your home throughout your loan term.
Obtaining low mortgage rates is imperative in making sure you aren’t just throwing your money away each month. After all, what will you really have to show for your home mortgage rates when it’s all said and done?
1st Time Home Buyer
For those consumers that are first time home buyers, it is very important to understand that when you’re searching for a first-time home mortgage loan, it’s an intensive, in-depth process, and will require that you gather a lot of paperwork and financial documentation.
Mortgage loan applications often take 30-60 days to process depending on the mortgage lender or bank. Because of the lengthy and complicated nature of getting that first-time mortgage loan, not only do you need to shop for a mortage lender that’s going to offer a strong product well-suited to your needs, but also a company with a reputation for excellent customer service, transparency, and ethical lending practices.
Key Steps in the Mortgage Lending Process
The first step to securing a home mortgage loan and a low mortgage rate is to understand a fundamental difference between mortgage brokers and banks that provide home mortgage loans.
A mortgage broker is an intermediary that works with mortgage lenders and those seeking a mortgage rate. Mortgage brokers act as “middle-men.”
Then, there are also banks, mortgage loan originators, and home lending organizations that don’t utilize this “middleman” and instead provide retail-level mortgage loan financing directly to potential home buyers.
Mortgage brokers make up a significant percentage of all home loan purchases and refinancing. There are pros to this wholesale approach, including the fact that brokers can help applicants who wouldn’t qualify at a bank to obtain financing. With the wholesale approach to mortgages, the interest rates may also be lower.
However, there are a lot of advantages to going directly with a bank or direct mortgage loan lender. Top or large mortgage lenders tend to have a strong reputation because they are also often top traditional banks.
If you attempt to obtain a mortgage through your existing financial institution (bank, credit union, lender, etc.), you have the advantage of already having a pre-existing relationship with this institution, and it may also be faster and easier to verify your financial information when it’s held at the financial institution where you’re applying for a home loan or for a low mortgage rate.
Also, the retail mortgage lender or bank is going to do everything from taking the application and helping the consumer through the process to underwriting it, closing it, and finally funding it.
Finding the Best Mortgage Loan Lenders for a Mortgage Home Loan and Low Mortgage Rate
Working with established mortgage lenders to purchase or refinance a house can also be intimidating and challenging to navigate. This makes it essential to choose mortgage lenders who will be on your side and work as your advocate.
Working with a reputable mortgage lender on the lending process can have a big impact on everything from how long it takes to obtain financing and close on your home to the mortgage interest rates you get.
Consider the Mortgage Loan Fees
For example, some lenders will say they’re offering a no-fee loan. In reality, you’re still paying those fees; they’ll just be part of the interest rate.
Make sure you’re clear on what the fees will be, how they’ll be paid and all other relevant information.
Don’t Take a 30-Year, Fixed-Rate Mortgage Unless Absolutely Necessary
This is the most expensive mortgage, and the terms require you to pay a lot longer. If you plan on living in your home for only a few years, you might be better served by an adjustable rate mortgage.
Choose from one of the banks with best mortgage rates to avoid overpaying interest over the life of the mortgage loan.
Having Your Documents in Order is Important
This is not just so that you can make the process move along more smoothly, but it can also help you ensure you get a good offer, and if you do, you don’t want it to expire while you’re searching for missing paperwork.
Choosing the Right Loan Officer is Crucial
Make sure that your loan officer is experienced, including when it comes to the particular mortgage you’re trying to obtain.
This person should also be someone you’re comfortable with and someone who provides excellent service and attentiveness.
Documents You’ll Need
Along with pulling your credit score, once you’ve chosen the best bank to get a home loan with, you’ll need to start compiling some documents that will be required for the process.
It can be a bit burdensome to gather all of the paperwork, but if you go into the process knowing what you’ll need and having it ahead of time, it can speed the process up quite a bit, as opposed to having to look for a missing document when you’re already well into it.
You’ll likely need some or all of the following documentation:
- W-2 forms from the past two years
- If you own a business, you’ll need 1099s, or profit and loss statements
- If you work for someone else or collect a paycheck, you’ll need recent stubs
- You’ll need the past few years’ federal tax returns
- You should compile a list of your debts and documentation of them, including everything from student loans to credit cards and child support payments
- A list of assets that includes your bank statements, mutual fund statements, titles to any property or cars you own, and records of your investments
- You’ll likely also need to bring canceled checks showing your current rent or mortgage payments
If you’re getting a specialized mortgage loan, such as a VA loan, you’ll need even more documentation, and if you’re a self-employed borrower, your loan officer might want to see more documentation as well.
Conclusion | Getting the Best Home Mortgage Rates Today
You never want to just go with the first mortgage rate offer you get today.
Buying a home is a huge financial responsibility that you don’t want to take lightly. That’s why it’s always a good idea to shop around and see what different lenders are offering for mortgage rates today.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.