There’s a lot of confusion about how mortgage interest rates are determined. The truth is most of the interest rates you see advertised on the internet today are the best possible rates for the best possible borrowers. But let’s be honest, most borrowers are not perfect, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to qualify for a loan or won’t be offered an attractive interest rate that you’ll be able to afford.
The reality is that the interest rate you’ll pay on a loan is determined largely by your own personal situation. The interest rate you’ll be offered depends on your credit score, the type of property you’re purchasing, the loan term, the loan amount, the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and even where the property is located.
Remember that different lenders have different underwriting guidelines and criteria that can influence your interest rate and your eligibility to even qualify for a mortgage loan, but when comparing loans, try to compare apples to apples.
It’s good idea to get loan offers from multiple lenders for comparison. Check for points (a point is an upfront fee that’s equal to 1 percent of the loan amount) and fees. Also compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is the total yearly cost of a mortgage and is expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. If two loans are offered to you with the same interest rate but one has a higher APR, that would be indicative of higher loan fees and should be investigated further.
A recent study showed that only 40 percent of borrowers shopped for a mortgage before obtaining a loan. In fact, a much higher percentage of borrowers were likely to shop for things like electronics and cars than mortgages despite the fact that they could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage by shopping for the best rate for their situation.
Don’t be that person. Start shopping and saving today.