How do you find a good lender? How to find the best mortgage rates? These are some of the common questions that first time home buyers face. This is probably a good time to buy a house or refinance your existing mortgage, because interest rates are low and the home prices are still off their peaks. So let’s take a look at what can you do to find the best mortgage lender and interest rate.
1. Federal Housing Administration Home Loan (FHA Home Loan)
First check to see if you’re qualified for a FHA home loan. If you are, this might be the best loan you can get. FHA offers some of the best terms that include:
- lower down payment
- lower interest rate
- lower closing costs
- easier to qualify, and
- lower chance of foreclosure.
Click here to learn more about FHA home loan and check if you qualify.
2. Check With Your Credit Union
If you are a credit union member, this is probably a good place to look. Often, a credit union will provide you with a more competitive rate than what you can find in the open market. This is what I did for one of my houses, and was able to get a 0.25% lower rate (if I remember correctly).
3. Ask Your Friends and Family
Ask your friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors. If they know someone good, they’ll let you know. They’ll also be able to tell you about mortgage lenders and brokers that you should avoid. Here’s a suggestion from Fiscal Geek:
My best luck has been asking my friends, relatives, etc. and found an excellent broker from them. Personal referrals from people you trust are invaluable. You might also ask around at Church, odds are you have many brokers there. The bottom line is go in with as much information you can.
4. Check with Your Local Banks and Lenders
Also, you could check with your local area banks and mortgage lenders. The advantage of this method is that you get to talk to them face to face and get a feel for how you’ll be treated. Anyway, don’t feel that you have to commit to anything when you walk in, and be ready to walk out if they pressure you too much.
5. Check Online for the Best Rates
Last but not least, you could check online. You can do this easily by consulting our mortgage rates search tool (powered by Bankrate.com). Additionally, there two good web sites that I go to: Quicken Loans and LendingTree.
- Bankrate.com can give you the latest mortgage rate information, as well as list of lenders and rates based on your search criteria. You start with the list and call them up to get more detail.
- On the other hand LendingTree ask you to fill out your information once and lenders will call you with their best rates.
Taking out a home loan is a big commitment, so don’t rush into it. Get a feel of the market rate, but understand that you may not qualify for the best interest rate. Getting the best rate depends on many factors including your debt to income ratio, credit score, and income. If you can’t get the rate and term that you want, you may have to delay your purchase while you improve these factors.
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.