How to shop for mortgage rates

Your first instinct may be to act immediately to lock in a mortgage rate when you locate a home you want to purchase, especially if the market is competitive. The same is true for those who are refinancing and want to lock in a cheaper interest rate before it increases.
Yet, you don’t want to act so quickly that you get a lousy offer. During a 15- or 30-year loan, even a slightly higher rate can increase interest costs by hundreds of dollars.
Even when time is of the essence, you may always consider your alternatives. How? Read on.

Shopping for Mortgage Rates
Source: Investopedia

Five steps for comparing mortgage rates

It’s not difficult to compare mortgage rates, and you may easily save thousands of dollars by doing so. According to Freddie Mac data, borrowers may save as much as $1,500 throughout their loan by obtaining just one additional quotation, and as much as $3,000 or more by obtaining five quotes.
Yet, you must approach your mortgage search properly. That involves more than just looking at prices online. Finding the lowest-rate loan for your financial condition requires clever shopping.
Here is what to do.

1. Don’t pick a loan based on stated rates

Online mortgage rates are readily available from many banks and mortgage providers. You may quickly look up these listed prices, select the cheapest one, and call it a day.
Yet it’s practically certain that this approach won’t lead to the best offer.
Why? since stated prices do not accurately represent your circumstances. Online pricing almost always depicts the ideal borrower, who has good credit, few debts, and a 20% or higher down payment.
Your interest rates will vary from those you see online unless you precisely fulfil these requirements.
You must request rate quotations from at least 3-5 lenders to discover your “true” best interest rate.
This entails completing an application for pre-approval and providing:
Identifying information
Like a driver’s licence or Social Security number, personal identification
Information on the property you are buying or refinancing
bank statements for two to three months
Statements for investments, retirement funds, and other assets
1099 or W-2 forms (for self-employed borrowers)
Paystubs most recent
Also, your lender will check your credit history and score. Your credit history has a significant influence on the rate you are offered, so if at all feasible, clean up your record and score before applying.
Often, you may request a rate quotation online, which expedites and simplifies this step of the mortgage application process.

2. Refuse the first mortgage rate offer you are given.

It’s crucial to look at the rates that different mortgage lenders come up with, even if you believe that time is important. Making sure you’re receiving the best deal is crucial because interest rates and lender fees have a big influence on how much you’ll spend.
In this case, a 0.25% higher rate results in a $40 monthly increase in your mortgage payment. It might not seem like much, but if you keep the loan for its whole term, it adds up to almost $14,000 more.
If you see a better deal after settling for a higher rate out of desperation, you’ll kick yourself.

3. Don’t accept a lender’s advice at face value.

If they had a positive experience, friends and relatives may persuade them to deal with their mortgage provider. But, your situation could be different from theirs.
It’s acceptable to make inquiries with the person your relatives or friends recommend, but you should also look into other home loan possibilities.
You can be searching for various loan products and your credit score could be higher or worse. It could not be as competitive for you as it is for your buddy, depending on a lender’s objectives (they all favour particular sorts of borrowers).
Go around on the lender’s website before applying because they frequently list the many loan kinds and unique mortgage plans they provide there.

4. Avoid defaulting on your bank since it is simple.

Indeed, it can be convenient to manage all of your accounts in one place. You’re better off getting a mortgage from a new lender if your present bank can’t provide you with the greatest rate and overall package or doesn’t have the proper loan programme for your requirements.
Large banks sometimes adhere to typical working hours, which may conflict with your schedule and make it take longer to complete applications.
A lender that operates online could provide more adaptable customer care choices. Not to add that internet lenders frequently process mortgage applications more quickly.
By all means, inquire about what your bank may offer.

5. Never be scared to bargain.

Unbelievably, lenders are in charge of the rates and fees they provide, and they frequently bargain to get your business.
Let’s imagine Lender B has far fewer upfront costs despite offering you a lower rate than Lender A. Showing Lender A the competitor’s loan offer and asking whether they can match or beat it carries no risk.
Even if a lender is unable to reduce the rate substantially, they might be able to provide additional reductions or rewards to make the loan worthwhile.
Your origination charge, for instance, may be reduced by a lender, which would drastically lessen your closing costs.