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Savvy Techniques for Finding the Cheapest Mortgage Loans

As the real estate market continues to suffer from the effects of the bust, the number of incentives to encourage buyers to make the move toward purchasing is increasing. At the national level, home prices have dropped by more than 30% in the last three years, providing little before seen values for home buyers. The tax credit for qualified first time home buyers, amounting to $8,000, is yet one more incentive for home buyers to go ahead and make a purchase. The mortgage market provides even more encouragement as mortgage rates drop to the lowest levels ever. Even so, if you are considering shopping for a mortgage now and purchasing a home, home buyers may still have some questions about how to find the best possible deals. Read on to make sure you are prepared to sort through all of the possibilities and locate the cheapest mortgage loans available.

First, it can always be helpful to make sure that you understand the trends of the mortgage market. Mortgages rarely remain static. Even within a few weeks, mortgage rates can vacillate quite a bit. Never assume that just because mortgage rates were at a particular percent a month ago that this trend will remain the same or continue. Take the time to find out exactly what mortgage rates are when you are planning to buy as well as how they are predicted to perform in the coming months.

Locking in your mortgage rate can make a lot of sense in certain situations, particularly if you are fairly certain you are going to buy a home in the immediate future, your employment prospects are good and you think you are going to live in the property for at least the next three years. If that is the case, locking in the low rates of today rather than sitting back and hoping they will drop even lower, could be your best bet.

It is always important to get familiar with the criteria for qualifying for a home mortgage. There is no doubt that lending standards have tightened across the board as a result of the increasing number of delinquencies. Despite the attractive mortgage rates that are currently floating about, you will only be able to qualify if you are able to meet the higher credit profiles. For the most part, this means that you should have a FICO score of at least 720 and be able to provide a minimum down payment of 3.5%. Furthermore, you must be able to provide documentation of your income verification.

If you are not able to currently meet these requirements, there is no need to panic, but you do need to perform some work in order to improve your credit profile. The first step that should be taken is to work at reducing your debt load. Pay down your credit cards and student loans if you have them. Face the reality that you will probably need to put off purchasing a home for at least a couple months. This is also a good time to save up for your down payment. Review your credit reports from all three credit reporting bureaus and make sure there are no mistakes. You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus once every twelve months.

Never underestimate the power of shopping around, even for a mortgage. Rates and fees can and do vary and you will have the best chance of getting the cheapest mortgage possible if you do take the time to do some research.

Finally, make sure that you are patient and prepared. Many lenders have been absolutely inundated with applications following the sudden drop in mortgage rates. As a result, you need to be prepared for the fact that it is going to take some time for lenders to make their way through those applications, especially if they are short handed. The one thing that you can do to speed along the process is to have all of your paperwork gathered before you even speak with a lender, this will help you to avoid delays and smooth the process when you do get your turn.

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Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans Inc. is the nationís largest online retail mortgage lender and among the five largest overall retail home lenders in the United States. The company closed a record $30 billion in retail home loan volume across all states in 2011. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage originators in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011.

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