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Hold On A Second!

Are you surfing from web site to web site to compare interest rates?
This isn't really how you're looking for your next mortgage, is it?

Do you think that all of those sites you were just on were publishing their highest interest rates? We don't think so! We're sure they're not dumb. When people are shopping for a loan, that's probably the number one thing they want to know, so the lenders are going to publish their lowest rates. Now, do you know if the loan they offer this great rate on is available on the type of loan you need? Did you check on what the closing costs were (i.e., lower rate, higher closing costs)? We think it's time for a little education.

If you truly are surfing from site to site or calling different lenders to compare rates, you need to keep a few other things in mind. Are you comparing apples to apples? Any lender can give you a low interest rate by making you "buy down" the rate up front. Ever hear of something they call points? Do you understand what points are? Basically all it means is that you're paying a chunk of interest up front and therefore they can give you a better rate for the term of the loan. The other thing that you want to analyze very carefully is the closing costs. Someone may be advertising very low rates but you have to pay "closing costs" that amount to thousands of dollars. They may or may not call these costs points. Let's face it; lenders don't make you a loan just because they're all nice guys with a bunch of money to give out. They are in business to make a profit. Either the profit is made up front or over the term of the loan. For some people it may make sense to have large closing costs and a lower rate. For other people it may make more sense to have very low closing costs and pay a little higher interest rate. We just want you to be sure that you know what THE WHOLE PACKAGE will cost you when you are comparing rates. This is why the Truth-in-Lending law requires that all advertisements for home loan credit terms include the APR. It allows consumers to be able to truly compare apples to apples, as long as they really know what they are looking at.

There are also other things that can affect the interest rate that the lender ultimately offers you including: your credit history, how much money you're borrowing, what you are borrowing it on (owner occupied investment), etc. So when you are shopping for a new mortgage, make sure you know that the rates you are comparing have taken all of these things into consideration.

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