Buying a home is not meant to be an easy task. From finding a real estate agent and securing a lender to saving up a down payment and navigating the closing process, it is easy to see the challenges involved in purchasing a house. Fortunately, proper planning and understanding can make the process easier. An important factor that many buyers forget about is the mortgage's interest rate. This rate not only affects your monthly payment, but it also affects how much you end up paying for your home over the loan's entire term, so you should want the rate to be as low as possible. This guide will help you secure a mortgage with the lowest rate available at the time.
Improve your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important things that lenders look at when approving you for a mortgage.
Most lenders agree a credit score of 760 or higher is essential for getting the lowest interest rate possible. If your score is not at this point, you may need to wait some time before securing your mortgage.
Improving your credit is possible, though. Make sure to pay off any collections or charge-offs that are negatively affecting your credit score. Also, pay down any credit cards and loans as much as possible.
You can also contact your current credit card companies and ask for a credit line increase. This will improve your debt-to-net ratio, which is helpful for increasing your credit score.
Compare Loan Programs
It is also important to look into different loan programs if you want a lower rate. Certain loan programs offer specific benefits, such as a lower interest rate or no down payment.
For example, if you or your spouse are a veteran, you may qualify for a special loan program. If you are buying a house in a rural area, you may qualify for a USDA home loan, which offers lower rates and down payments, as well. Finally, first-time homebuyers can qualify different programs that offer more affordable rates.
Save for a Higher Down Payment
If you will be securing a traditional loan, make sure to save up for a higher down payment. The more money you are able to put down on a home, the less you will have to finance. However, the higher down payment may also award you a lower rate.
If you want to secure a loan with the lowest mortgage rate possible at the time, focus on your credit, different loan programs, and your down payment.