Skip to main content

Shopping for a Mortgage



A lower rate will not only result in a lower payment, it will amortize the loan quicker.  A $250,000 mortgage at 4.5% for 30 years will have a $1,266.71 principal and interest payment.  At 4%, the same loan will have $1,193.54 payment saving $73.18 a month and the unpaid balance would be $1,776 lower at the end of five years.

Mortgage lenders tend to price their mortgages based on the credit score of the borrower.  The higher the credit score, the lower the mortgage rate.  There is an inverse relationship that the lower the credit score, the higher risk and therefore, a higher rate is needed to balance the risk.

In order to get a valid rate that will be available to you with your credit score, you need to be pre-approved. The process of making a loan application before you find a home, allows the lender to verify your credit, income, and ability to repay the loan.  Lenders usually only charge the cost of the credit report for this type of service.  Be aware that pre-approval is not the same thing as pre-qualification which is simply a loan officer's opinion.

When you shop for a mortgage with multiple lenders, the credit bureaus count them as a single credit inquiry if they are done within a two-week period. On the other hand, restrain yourself from applying for other credit such as cars, furniture or credit cards until after you have closed on the purchase of your home because those inquiries can negatively affect your credit score.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you let lenders know that you are shopping the mortgage for the best rate and fees.

Instead of going to the Internet and Googling mortgage lenders, start with recommendations for a lender from your real estate professional.  They see the good, the bad and the ugly and can save you a lot of time.  Another reliable source would be from a friend who has recently purchased a home.

There are lenders who bait unsuspecting borrowers with lower rates and fees into making an application and after critical time has lapsed, try to switch them to a different program.  By that point, many buyers feel they don't have any choice but to accept what is offered.

Another confusing factor is the way that loans are priced to the public.  They are usually quoted at a rate with a certain amount of points.  A point is one percent of the amount borrowed.  An example would be a quote for a loan at 4.5% with 1 point or at 4% with 2.5 points.

The points combined with the rate affect the yield the lender will earn, and you will pay.  A simple way to make this an apple to apple comparison is to have the lender quote the loan as a "par-value" loan with no points involved.  Then, the lowest rate will produce the lowest cost to you.

Another way to compare loans will be to uses a financial app called Will Points Make a Difference.  You can plug in the rate and points to calculate the lowest yield over a projected holding period or the full term.

The lenders do not want to make it easy for you to compare.  Mortgage money is a commodity and shopping will be worth the effort. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paying Points to Lower the Rate

Two commonly known ways to lower your mortgage payments are to make a larger down payment especially if it eliminates private mortgage insurance and improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage. Another way to lower your payment would be to buy down the interest rate for the life of the mortgage with discount points.   A discount point is one percent of the mortgage borrowed.   Lenders collect this fee up-front to increase the yield on the note in exchange for a lower interest rate. A permanent buy down on a fixed-rate mortgage is available to borrowers who are willing to pay discount points at the time of closing. Let's look at two options on a $315,000 mortgage for 30 years at 4% interest with no points compared to a 3.75% interest rate with one-point.   The principal and interest payment on the 4% loan would be $1,503.86 compared to $1,458.81 on the 3.75% loan.   The $45.04 savings is available because the buyer is willing to pay $3,150 in points.   By dividi

Will Soft Inquiries Hurt Your Credit Score?

Soft inquiries, sometimes known as a soft credit check or a soft credit pull, do not impact your credit scores because they are not attached to a specific application for credit.   They can occur when a credit card issuer or mortgage lender checks a person's credit for preapproval purposes. Examples of soft inquiries are when you check your own credit or one of your current creditors checks your credit.   If you are concerned about the negative impact on your score, specify to the lender that you want a "soft pull" to see if you qualify for preapproval. Soft inquiries may appear on your credit report but should not adversely affect your credit score. Consumers are entitled to one free copy from each major credit bureau, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, once every twelve months available at AnnualCreditReport.com .   Hard inquiries occur when a borrower makes a new application for credit.   These will impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report

Why a Home Should Be Your First Investment

Real estate has been described as the basis of all wealth.   Without considering income or investment property, buying a home to live in is an incredibly powerful way to build wealth or financial net worth. A home is an asset measured by the size of the equity.   Equity is simply the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed.   There are two powerful dynamics at work to increase the equity which include appreciation and amortization. Appreciation occurs when the fair market of the home increases.   The shortage of available inventory coupled with high demand has contributed to an 18% increase in value in the past year on average for homeowners in the U.S. Most mortgage loans are amortized with monthly payments that include the interest that is owed for the previous month and an increasing amount that is paid toward the principal loan amount so that if all the payments are made, the loan would be repaid by the end of the term. A 30-year mortgage at 3.5% intere