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Scoring a Low Mortgage Rate

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Today’s mortgage rates are at historically low levels. So, scoring a low mortgage rate when compared to other decades in recent history is not hard. The trouble comes in when you are trying to get the average low mortgage rate and your credit or finances keep lenders from offering you the going rate. Or, it could be that despite the going rate, you want something even lower. These are all reasonable scenarios and there are ways to work towards the mortgage rate that you envision.

Prepare Before You Apply

If you know that your credit is shaky, don’t bother to apply for a mortgage loan without first checking into your credit score. You can get your credit reports for free; however, you will have to pay to see your credit scores. You can use some of that payment to procure the services of a credit counseling agency that can recommend some strategies to help you fix your credit in preparation for applying for a home loan. Just be sure to check out the reputation of the counseling agency, as there are some agencies that are fraudulent.

There are also community services offered by state and local governmental agencies that can teach you how to start shaping up your finances to qualify for a good rate. They may have programs where you can even buy a house for less than 20% down payment and even some way to subsidize the mortgage rate, if you qualify based on income levels or special conditions. Check the website of the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to see about the many different programs from FHA to VA and more.

Pay Down With Points

If you want a mortgage rate that is even lower than the one offered (and it’s pretty good as it is), you can still ask if you pay points to lower the rate. Points are 1% of the total value of the loan and paying more points can lower your rate on the life of the loan. Of course, this increases the money you need up front, but if you are shopping for a low mortgage rate, then this is a definite strategy.

Look at Unconventional Loans

This is where people in the housing bust got in trouble, but adjustable rate mortgages are still out there. Currently, the low mortgage rate offered by an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) for a period of time is what influences people to get these types of mortgages. However, they do adjust and then the sticker shock can be substantial. So, when trying to get a low mortgage rate, make sure you understand whether it is for the life of the loan or a temporary period.





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