Compare mortgage rates: 3 tips

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When you’re searching for a home loan, it’s critical to compare mortgage rates. Here are three tips to get you started on the right foot.

Think like a lender

When you compare mortgage rates, you’ll find that you’re likely to get a range of quotes. To get the best price, think like a lender by examining these five factors:

  • Your credit score. The higher your score, the better.
  • Will you live in the home? Borrowers who are buying homes as investment properties always pay more.
  • What’s your area like? While loans can be funded from anywhere, the price you pay has a lot to do with real estate in your area. So be aware of interest rates in your state when determining if the quote you’re being offered is a good deal.
  • If you’re shopping for a jumbo loan (defined as more than the conforming loan limit in your area), be prepared to pay more.
  • Consider paying points. If you’re willing to put more money down, you can literally buy a lower interest rate.

Consider locking

When you compare mortgage rates over time, there’s a good chance you’ll see some fluctuations in the market. If you’re planning to buy soon, or if you’re worried that even a slight uptick will hurt your chances of owning a home, it’s a good idea to consider locking a rate. Rates can be locked between 30 and 90 days. But remember, if you lock and the rate goes down, you will end up overpaying.

Shop around

To compare mortgage rates, it’s a good idea to speak with multiple brokers and lenders. Financial advisors recommend that borrowers speak with at least three lenders or brokers to get the best deal.