Home Mortgage Rate Comparison Calculator
As the Federal Reserve lifts short term interest rates that also impacts other rates across the economy. This calculator is a quick way to say "what if" and determine how further rate adjustments might impact your monthly mortgage payments by quickly displaying the principal & interest costs associated with a home loan for five separate fixed interest rates. First enter the price of a home you want to buy along with your downpayment amount and the loan term in years. Then provide a starting interest rate and an incremental percentage between interest rates.
Press CALCULATE and a side-by-side breakdown will appear across five separate interest rates. You’ll see differences in monthly payments, total principal amounts, total interest costs, and total cumulative payments. Click on “Printer Friendly Report” and a new browser window will open with a printable report.
Explore Great Mortgage Options
This table helps homebuyers explore their mortgage options. You can click on the refinance button to switch away from purchase loans to refinancing options & other loan features are included in the filter section which let you change the loan amount, the home's location, the downpayment on the home, the loan term & more.
How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to refinance, the amount you pay in the interest rate is crucial to how much you pay overall during the life of the loan. Even a quarter of a percent can add thousands of extra dollars paid on a 30-year mortgage. That is why it is important to know how to shop for the best mortgage rates.
Preparation Prior to an Application
There are several factors to take into consideration before shopping for a mortgage. Your personal credit, the amount you can afford to put down on the loan, and how much you can realistically afford according to your debt-to-income ratio are just a few.
Your personal credit is important information to know before you complete an application. Derogatory and inaccurate statements on your credit report will prevent you from getting the best rate and can even result in not being approved for a loan.
Your credit score will determine where you fall in the risk category for the banks and mortgage companies. Someone with a credit score of 850 will receive a better interest rate than an individual with a credit score of 650.
Having a high credit score is important, so if you find that yours is low, there are several ways you can work to improve your score. Pay down any credit card debt to the point where it is at least under 50 percent of the credit line. Make payments on time and do not apply for new credit within six months of applying for a mortgage, if possible.
If you have an inaccurate or derogatory statement on your credit report, there are important steps you should take to correct them. If you are trying to correct an item, keep all associated paperwork in a safe place in case there are questions by a mortgage company once you are ready to apply for a loan.
It is also important to know how much debt you can afford before applying for a loan. There are many online calculators that can help you figure your debt-to-income ratio. To get the best mortgage rates possible, you don't want to ask for more than you can afford. For new purchases, you should put down 20 percent of the purchase price to avoid higher interest and mortgage insurance.
Knowing What Is Best for You When Comparing Rates
A general Internet search will help you determine average interest rates available for your type of loan. Interest rates will be less if you can borrow money for 15 years in lieu of the standard 30-year term. You will find that adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) look good at first glance, but they may not be a good option if you plan on keeping your property for longer than the term that the interest rate is fixed. What type of loan is best for you can only be determined by your individual circumstance. Talk to a tax attorney or financial advisor for more information regarding your best choice.
Once you have figured out a ballpark range regarding what you can expect to pay for an interest rate, you can now begin comparing mortgage rates.
Shopping for Rates
Here are a few items to take into consideration when shopping for the best rate.
- If you are shopping for your first mortgage, your realtor will probably suggest a few lenders. These lenders often have personal relationships with the realtor and may be great companies to work with, but they may not offer the best rate.
- Gather a list of as many trustworthy lenders as you can through a variety of sources. Internet research can help you either eliminate them as a potential mortgage company or prepare you better on what to expect if you decide to apply for a mortgage through their lending institution.
- Every time you apply for a mortgage loan it is reported to the credit bureau, and it remains on your credit record for several months even if you do not borrow money from the company. For this reason, do not apply until you are serious and then make all applications within a 14-day window. Avoiding excessive applications over a long period of time will keep your credit score higher to allow you a better rate.
- Each lender should offer a good-faith estimate once you have been pre-approved for a loan. You can compare underlying fees such as application fees, points, attorney fees, title fees, and other common fees associated with mortgages. Comparing common fees gives you a better idea of who has the better rate overall. A low rate with two points is much more expensive than a quarter percent higher rate with fewer fees, especially if you will not own the property for more than 10 years.
- Explore other avenues for a mortgage. Most people think about banks and mortgage companies when they are buying or refinancing a home. Credit unions can also accommodate both types of loans and often have better interest rates than a traditional bank.
Looking for Special Programs for Which You May Qualify
There are many special programs available that offer lower interest rates to some when compared to the traditional mortgage. Some of the more popular loans are VA loans, FHA loans, and USDA loans. Talk to a lender to see if you may qualify for one of these loans.
Also, available to some first-time homebuyers is the government-assisted program. You can find more information regarding this program on the HUD website.
Preparation Is Key in Saving on Mortgage Rates
With so many mortgage programs and hidden fees in loans, shopping for a mortgage can be frightening. Arming yourself with basic information is your best course of action.
Understand the basics, and take the time to prepare by speaking to a financial professional and gathering all financial documentation before applying. If your credit score is low, take steps to try to raise it. Adhering to this advice will put you in a great position for the best interest rate possible.