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How Do I Shop for the Best Mortgage Rates?

Oct 13, 2007
For many consumers who are looking for the best mortgage rates the first step should be to find out exactly where they are in the credit world. Nothing can be more disappointing than spending hours shopping for the best prime interest rates only to discover that you do not or will not qualify for those loans. To avoid disappointment, start with learning about your own credit and then move on from there.

The first step to learning more about your own credit is to order a copy of your credit record from three reporting agencies. Take a good look at each report and if there are mistakes or omissions on any of them notify the reporting agency and ask that your record be corrected. If your reports are accurate, get your current credit score.

Once you know what your credit score is and how your credit report reads in general, you can begin to shop for the best mortgage rates that you can qualify for. The Internet allows you to do this quickly and easily, but you can also investigate offline banks and mortgage lenders as well.

In order to know if the interest rates and types of home loans that you qualify for are good or not, you need to first know what a prime borrower would receive. You can find this out by visiting a few online lenders and seeing what rates they offer their best customers. Once you know what the best rate is, you will have some idea of how well the rates you will be offered stack up.

When you are shopping for the best mortgage rates, do keep in mind that you also need to stay aware of any fees or service charges that a lender might want to add to the contract. Most reputable lenders will be happy to show you all of the fees that they charge and explain them to you. Fees are often a normal part of a real estate transaction, and you should not be put off by them as a whole. However, if you find yourself with a lender who is adding on strange fees or reluctant to explain them to you or who tries to hide them from you, be warned and be careful. It is a sad state but there are many predatory lenders out there who are eager to cheat you and one way they do that is by tacking on fees and service charges. At times, these fees can be incredibly high.

On a brighter note, there are many online calculators that you can use for free to help you learn more about the cost and payments of a particular mortgage rate. These calculators are fairly easy to use once you have some idea of the input data that you need. The input data will include such things as the interest rate, the length of the loan that you are thinking about, the amount of the down payment, and other important criteria. Once you have your input data, you can use the calculator to get a good sense of how much your monthly payments will be. These are great tools for figuring out the best mortgage rates for individuals and families.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Cheap Mortgages and Secured Personal Loans
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