Q: I am struggling to find some of the rates you discussed for refinance. Do you mind passing me a couple of sites?
A: All of the major lenders are now offering similarly great rates, although they jumped up this week. But to get the best information, you’ll need to call several different types of lenders in your local area as well as tap information online.
Call your real estate agent and ask for some referrals to great mortgage brokers. Talk to at least 4 to 5 different types of lenders, including a credit union (if you belong to one or can join one), a big box lender and a small local bank and then compare loans, costs, fees, and interest rates.
If you’re searching the Internet for a great interest rate on a home mortgage, you can take a look at the big box lender sites, along with aggregator or mortgage portal sites like BankRate.com or Zillow or QuickenMortgage. These sites can be a guide for you, but remember that the rates on these sites might be stale by the time you come around to call a local lender, mortgage broker or credit union, or you may not qualify for the best loan programs.
Finally, watch out for lenders that advertise mortgage interest rates that seem way below rates quoted elsewhere, it’s possible that their rates are that low because you pay tons of other fees to get the loan. In effect, you get the lower rate, but you’re paying up front for the privilege of getting that low rate. Make sure you shop, compare and become knowledgeable about the mortgage process.
Homeowners interested in refinancing need to understand that interest rates on home loans can fluctuate from day-to-day, and even several times in a day. On a recent Wednesday, the bond market experienced a massive sell-off and mortgage interest rates jumped more than a quarter of a percent in a single day.
So if you read one of my columns and it mentions an interest rate, that rate may have gone up or down between the time I wrote the column and when you read it.
In general, if you have a great credit history and a high credit score, you’ll get a lower interest rate than if your credit history and credit score are worse. When I quote an interest rate, it’s generally the interest rate for those with the best credit history, sufficient cash and income, and a property with at least 20 percent in equity.