When it’s time to buy a house, you will need to arrange affordable financing. When assessing mortgages, many factors are at play and can impact the terms, making them more or less advantageous for the creditor. Future homeowners need to be aware of common concepts that impact the process, such as interest rate, closing costs, and points.
Overview of Loans
There are several residential and commercial loan options for buyers. A fixed mortgage involves payments and interest that will remain the same for a specific number of years, often 15 or 30. At the end of the term, you will have paid back the entire amount borrowed. Adjustable-rate mortgages have interest rates that change at specified times throughout the duration of the loan. This financing option often involves a lower initial rate, but it could go up or down depending on market trends. Another type of financing involves a short-term balloon loan for a fixed period of time. At the end of the term, the balance will be due, or the borrower will need to refinance.
Know Your Credit Score
Before you approach a bank, it’s advantageous to know your credit score. The type of financing you will get partially depends on your credit score. People with better credit usually receive better offers from lenders. The best time to check your own credit score is several months before you plan to approach lenders. This time frame allows you to make adjustments and potentially improve your score before you contact lenders.
If you have a score of at least 720, you should be able to qualify for lower rates. A score of between 780 and 850 is very high, so you should anticipate the best terms available from lenders. Scores between 620 and 720 are not as good, but you should still qualify for a loan. Numbers between 580 and 620 are considered low. A score in this range will probably result in higher interest.
Once you have a firm idea of the types of mortgages available and you know where you stand with your credit, you will be ready to contact lenders to find out what type of financing is available. Different types of lenders exist, including commercial banks, mortgage companies, brokers, credit unions, and thrift institutions. Rates will vary depending the type of lender, so it’s important to shop around. Questions to ask include:
– What are all current interest rates available? Are these the lowest at this time?
– Is the rate fixed or adjustable?
– If adjustable, how will the terms vary?
– What points are you currently offering?
– What fees are associated with the loans?
– What down payment is required?
– Is insurance required? If so, what would be the total cost?
After gathering information from various lenders, you will be ready to compare various options to find the most advantageous terms. Don’t forget the possibility of negotiation to get the best deal.