Mortgage Shopping 101
Make Accurate Comparisons and Good Decisions
When shopping for a home loan, it is important to make an apples-to-apples comparison with same-day, similar rates for identical types of mortgages. (For example, if you are shopping mortgage rates and have a quote for a 30-year fixed at 5.25%, only compare it to other same-day 30-year fixed quotes at 5.25%.)
That being said, it is important to look at more than just the interest rate. A low interest rate is important, but the lowest rate does not always mean the best loan option. There are other things to consider, including lender fees, discount points, the amount of down payment you have, available loan product options, and the lender’s experience and commitment to close on time.
Your FICO credit score is very important when obtaining a home loan because it impacts your interest rate and loan options – the higher your score, the better! Your VITEK mortgage loan originator can pull a preliminary credit report and walk you through your loan options.
Once you are confident all of your best loan options have been explained, and you have decided to move forward with an application, you will receive a Loan Estimate (LE) from the lender. To ensure the lender’s quote is reliable, confirm they are prepared to lock the rate with the terms on the LE.
It’s important to note, if you are putting less than a minimum 20% down payment on your new home, you will likely be required to pay a monthly mortgage insurance premium. VITEK has loan product options, though, where we can pay for your mortgage insurance premium in a lump sum upfront, offset by a slightly higher interest rate.
In summary, the best mortgage rate may not always be the best loan. There are very important considerations beyond rates and fees when shopping for a mortgage. Most important is to feel confident in the lender you have chosen. Take time to interview the actual person who will be handling your loan. A little time spent upfront, can make a big difference in the end. Customer service, lender experience, and a company's track record all contribute to your satisfaction in obtaining your loan. You want to work with a lender who is committed to you and can deliver on their promises. Look for a lender willing to back their promises in writing. Remember, price is what you pay, but value is what you get.