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Low Mortgage Rates Can Be Had

Aug 17, 2007
Buying a house is a very big investment in your future. The more money you can put into your home, the more you're likely to get out of it. But, unless you get a low mortgage rate, you'll find a whole lot of your monthly payments actually end up going to the bank on interest charges than into your actual home.

The better you are at locking in a low mortgage rate, the quicker you'll build equity in your home. Getting a low mortgage rate, however, isn't always easy and it requires some time and patience for many people to earn the type of credit scores that justify a bank giving you a low rate.

The best way to ensure low mortgage rates are offered to you by banks, credit unions or even mortgage companies is to plan ahead for getting a mortgage. This means taking actions months and even years in advance to make yourself and any co-borrowers look like attractive customers for lenders.

But what do banks think is attractive? People with good credit scores, reasonable income and a decent savings for a down payment.

To look the best for a bank to consider low mortgage rates, you'll want to:

* Keep your credit as clean as possible. This means making payments on loans, credit cards and even utilities on time all the time (or as much as possible). It also means ensuring that you have a good mix of credit - revolving loans, regular loans, such as auto loans, and so on. In addition to making your payments, it's important not to have too much credit. This means striking a good balance between what you've borrowed or can borrow and how much you earn. If you can go to a store and charge up more than you earn in a few years at one sitting, you might have too much credit.

* Income. You don't have to be a millionaire to get offers of low mortgage rates, but you do need to have adequate income. Don't go after a home that's out of your financial reach and expect to get low mortgage rate offers. Keep your sights realistic and you'll find your chances for low mortgage rates are increased.

* Savings. Even if you put $100 a month away every month for six months, a year, several years, all it takes is a little to show a bank you're serious about saving. The more you can put away for your down payment on a home, the better. But even if it's a small amount, a long-term track record of savings looks good and can help your chances of being offered low mortgage rates. Banks like to see a history of savings to prove a person is disciplined and understands the value of savings.

Getting low mortgage rates isn't impossible - even for people with less than perfect credit. The better you make yourself look to lending agencies, the more likely you are to get these. It might take a few years to establish the kind of credit you'll need for low mortgage rate offers, but it will be well worth the effort in the end. The less you pay in interest, the more money will go directly toward paying off your home.
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