- October 4, 2017
- Posted by: steve
- Category: mortgage news
Finding the best 30 year fixed rate loan can be difficult if you don’t have any help!
Are you thinking about buying a new home? If so, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions as you prepare to take that next step.
While it’s certainly an exciting time, it can be a little overwhelming as well. Between figuring out moving details to fixing up your new place, finding time to balance the financial aspect of everything can be a challenge.
Yet, it pays to do your research before you sign on the dotted line.
Thinking about going for a 30-year fixed rate loan? You’re not alone.
Experts reveal most home buyers opt for this option, given that it’s often one of the most affordable, stable, and flexible financing choices.
Today, we’re breaking down a few ways you can make sure the rate you’re given is competitive, and one you’re prepared to make payments on.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
Understand Your 30-Year Fixed Rate Loan
A fixed rate loan is one of the most common mortgage options for a reason. It’s straightforward and easy to understand, taking the guesswork out of how much you’ll pay each month.
While your principal-to-interest ratio might change over the course of your contract, the amount you owe will not. At closing time, you’ll “lock” your rate in, meaning you’ll agree to pay at those terms for the duration of the mortgage.
Fixed rate loans are usually offered in 10-year, 15-year, and 30-year plans.
The latter terms are usually preferred as they space the payments out over a longer period of time. This makes your monthly payments easier to digest, though cumulative interest payments will be higher in the long run.
While it might take you a little longer to build up substantial equity in your home if you opt for longer payment terms, the benefits to a 30-year fixed rate loan far outweigh any drawbacks.
One of the best parts? You’ll avoid interest rate fluctuations when you lock in your rate, allowing you to more easily plan your budget.
Start Comparison Shopping
As the buyer, you’re wielding more power than you might realize. In the driver’s seat, you have the ability to weigh your options and check around before committing to terms on a fixed rate loan.
To that end, start shopping!
While your real estate agent might provide you with the contact information of lenders that he or she has worked with in the past, don’t feel obligated to limit yourself to these options.
Rather, use the tools at your disposal to discern who’s offering the best rates, and how you can lock them in.
If you prefer to take the journey on foot or by car, that’s always an option. Feel free to stop into your local banks or credit unions and ask what their current 30-year fixed rate loan rates are.
You can also hop online and shop rates from the comfort of your own home. There are scores of mortgage rate comparison sites that do the legwork for you, allowing you to compare both local and big-name options in a flash.
The Internet is also a great place to look up customer satisfaction feedback on lenders, especially those who offer online support. Look for client testimonials that stress reliability, affordability, and professionalism.
One great place to start? The J.D. Morgan Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study, which measures how satisfied home buyers are with major lenders.
Ask Around and Listen Up
Chances are, you know plenty of people who have gone through the same process you’re currently going through.
If this is the case, simply ask around to your family and friends to discern who had a great lender experience, who would never go back to theirs, and who are still trying to find the best fit (like you!).
This step is especially helpful if you’re leaning toward a local lender, as their online space might not be as established as some of the bigger names. Without that web presence, it can be hard to find reviews about them online, so asking around is key.
Apart from the fixed rate loan rate they were quoted, you can also ask about:
- How courteous and friendly the lender was
- How well they explained the home buying process
- How prompt the lender was in responding to questions and concerns
Prioritize Legitimacy and Transparency
Are you finding it difficult to get information out of your potential lender? When you ask a question about your fixed rate loan, do you receive a vague response, multiple call transfers, or information that isn’t grounded in fact?
If so, it’s probably best to stick with your gut and keep looking around.
Deciding to enter into a fixed rate loan mortgage is one of the biggest investments of your life. It should also be one of the most special and exciting ones as well.
Take the extra time to research a lender that will not only provide you the best rates but will also make the entire experience pleasant and rewarding.
Ultimately, you should feel confident making monthly payments to the lender you choose, and you shouldn’t have to worry if they’re managing your funds properly. If you have any hesitation, try to address it immediately or move on to the next option on your list.
Up Your Odds of Finding a Good Fit
When you’re looking for the best mortgage rate for your 30-year fixed rate loan, it helps to be in solid financial shape yourself.
There are a few simple steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a lower, more competitive rate.
Strengthen Your Credit Score
When determining whether you qualify for a loan, your lenders will take many aspects into consideration. One of the main ones is your credit score.
Put simply, the better your credit score, the better your shot at qualifying for low-interest rates on your loan.
A recent study analyzed the interest rates provided on 170,000, 30-year, fixed rate loan mortgages.
Buyers with higher credit scores (with “high” defined here as falling between 300 and 850) received lower rates than those with less-than-stellar scores.
The good news is that even if your score isn’t the best, you don’t have to put all your credit cards in the freezer to start changing your circumstances.
In fact, the study revealed that even bumping your score by around 25 points is a great way to increase your odds of landing that lower fixed rate loan rate you need.
Put More Money Down
The math here is simple: The higher your down payment, the less you’ll owe on the remaining fixed rate loan mortgage.
While cutting a check for that much money can feel like a huge investment, it’s one of the smartest ones you can make.
For one, you’ll help avoid mortgage insurance charges that often follow when your down payment is minimal or less than the recommended 20%. Lenders charge this fee to help take some of the risk off their shoulders in the event that you’re unable to stick to your payment terms.
In addition, you’ll also score lower interest rates as well when your overall payments are less.
When you pay 20% or more of your down payment, lenders see it as a reduced risk to them. In finance-speak, this is known as a lower loan-to-value ratio.
Another benefit to putting more money down at the onset?
In the event that you ever have to sell your home, you’ll help reduce your odds of becoming “upside down” on your mortgage. This happens when you owe more on your home than it’s worth, and can make it difficult to sell your home in a competitive market.
Determine What You Can Afford
When looking for a home, it’s exciting to dream about all the bells and whistles. It’s also easy to get swept away, thanks to the myriad home design shows and social media accounts showcasing gorgeous interiors and exteriors.
As you search around for the best fixed rate loan rate, it’s helpful to ask yourself if the mortgage you’re considering is the most realistic for you and your family. If you end up biting off more than you can chew, it won’t matter what your interest rate is — you’ll end up over your head.
Not sure how much you can afford? Try an online home purchase qualifier.
You’ll answer questions such as your credit score, the price of the home, your planned down payment, your household income, employment status and more.
Be sure to answer all the questions as honestly and accurately as possible to get the best picture of how much house you can get for your current situation — and what you can expect to pay for it.
The Best Mortgage for Your Fixed Rate Loan? It’s Here!
We know you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to financing your new home. We also know you’re busy and don’t have time to waste with lenders that can’t give you the straightforward answers you need.
That’s why we’d love to help you cut through the clutter and find the mortgage that fits your needs.
Whether you’re planning to purchase or refinance your home, our handy online tools make it easier than ever before.
Check us out today and let us know if you have any questions. Our client-focused team will make you feel right at home!