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How To Find The Best Mortgage Rates — 3 Tools You Need

Certified Mortgage Advisor
NMLS 1701021
November 28, 2021

3 Tools you need to find the best mortgage rates

You can use it to estimate your interest rate before you apply for a mortgage. So you can have peace of mind knowing that you got the best possible interest rate instead of getting ripped off or that feeling of getting ripped off. When you don't really know if the interest rate you got is good.

What affects your interest rate?

Mortgage rates can be pretty secretive. Lenders usually don't show you their daily rates, and when you do see rates online, there are too good to be true. There are a ton of companies that dangle low rates to entice you, and then you apply and you find out that's not true at all. And it makes sense why lenders don't often show the rates upfront because more mortgage interest rates depend on a bunch of different factors based on your situation.

External factors

For instance, you have some external factors. So you have things like what's happening currently in the market. So what's happening with stocks, what's happening with bonds.

What's happening just in the economy in general, what's happening with inflation. So as inflation increases, so do mortgage interest. Then also the lender that you apply with each lender is going to have a different structure of what their rates look like. So you might apply with one lender who has lower rates than another lender who might have slightly higher rates.

Credit score

Also, based on your situation, things like your credit score, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate, you're going to get the higher your credit score. You have the lower interest rate, you're going to get.

Your loan to value ratio

So these are things like how much money you put down that can change your interest rate.

Loan Term

The type of loan is a conventional, FHA, VA at USDA, the loan term, is it a 15-year loan? Is it a 30-year loan?

The occupancy

So you're going to live in the home or it's going to be an investment or a second home.

Fixed vs. Adjustable rate

Then if it's a fixed versus an adjustable-rate. So there are all these different things that impact your mortgage interest rate, which makes sense.

Why lenders normally, aren't going to show those. The problem is since mortgage rates are tailored to you and lenders don't show you them often, it's difficult to estimate. Okay, what would my interest rate be? What's a good interest rate because otherwise you get a rate from somebody and you're like, I don't even know if this is good.

Am I getting ripped off as this is what I should be getting?

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey

So I want to introduce you to a couple of tools to help clarify this a little bit. These are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage interest rates, survey and so what they do is they serve.

Lenders to see what the average rates are on conforming conventional loans. The only issue with this is it's done as a survey. So it's basically self-reported by lenders and it tends to lag behind because it's usually done once a week. And so the issue here is it's not always super accurate. However, these are most of the time, the rates that you're going to see in the news, when they're talking about interest rates in the news, they usually use this Freddie Mac survey so we can see right now it's 3.05. For 15 years, 2.3 and for a five, one arm it's 2.37. So this is an okay indicator.

Win the House You Love - Rates

But a better one for you. I have one on my website. If you go to WTHYL - Rates this will show you the rates, not just for conventional loans, but for other different types of loans as well.

What's nice about Win the House You Love - Rates

What I like about this tool and the reason why I've used this kind of data is that it doesn't pull just based on the survey once a week, it's actually updating based on actual mortgage rate locks that are happening, that are actually being given to clients from a variety of lenders. And then you can see how all of this is being put together on my website.

What you will see on my website

But we can see, that this is quite a bit different. 3.05 versus 3.3, four, or 5%. And what I've found is pulling this data tends to be more accurate than just the Freddie Mac numbers.

Rates for other loan programs

You also have jumbo loans in here, FHA VA, USDA, and conforming for a 15-year as well.

Chart for FICO

Here you also have a chart for with the interest rate will look like depending on your FICO score and how much you're putting down.


LTV is just a loan to value. It's the opposite of your down payment? So 5% down is a 95% LTV, 10% down is a 90% LTV. And then it also shows the trend of rates as well. And you can see these with the different types of loans, and we can look at a bigger scale. If we want to. So this is going to be a really good tool here to get an estimate if I'm getting a, let's say 30-year conventional loan, which for most people, that's going to be true. You're going to be expecting around 3.34 at the moment.


Now, if we want to dig a little bit deeper, we can go into the CFPB - Rate Checker tool. What I really like about this is it allows you to put in your state and your unique situation, and it's going to show you on average, what other people are seeing in your area for interest rates.

First, we choose our credit score range. So let's say we're at a 740 to 759, and let's say, we will go to let's say California for our home price. Let's put in a $600,000 for now. And let's say we're doing 5% down and we'll choose just a general county here. Let's say we're doing 5% down. So $30,000 down fixed rate 30 years, we'll do the conforming jumbo loan.

And so shows us that in California, most lenders in our data are offering rates at or below 3.25%. So then this is a really good estimate that you can use in online calculators to see what your payment might be. But then also, if you do apply for a mortgage and you're seeing maybe you have this exact situation, but you're getting a quote for 3.625. This might be interesting to give you a note of, okay. Maybe I need to shop with a couple more lenders to see if I can get somewhere closer to this 3.25% that most people. Or I can ask my loan officer, could you help me understand why is this higher than maybe what the average would be for people in this unique situation?

You always have an option

And when you do talk to your loan officer, keep in mind that the rate that. Isn't the only race that you have the option of usually loan officers are going to show you one rate, but there are actually rate charts on the back and you can actually choose your interest rate.

Rate chart example

So this is how this works. Let's run through a quick example, let's say we're buying a $500,000 home with $25,000 down. So for $475,000, and if this isn't your situation, that's perfectly fine. This will still apply to you. When I was talking about interest rates, it's not just one number that you get.

You actually have a rate chart. So there are various different rates and they all have either a point cost or a credit. And so think of points like prepaid interest. It doesn't work exactly like that. But think of it very similarly, where you can get a lower interest rate and pay money or you can get a higher interest rate and potentially get credit towards your closing costs.

So for instance, in this scenario, what most loan officers would do is they would see, okay, 3.2% interest rate is the closest to $0 in points, $0 in extra costs. This is usually what a loan officer might show to a client and say, we're going to offer you 3.2%.

You could get a rate of 3.15% for $1,500, or you can get a rate of 3% for $4,200. So see, you're, we're paying down the interest rate with what are called points. So everything read here is. And then here in the green, these are credits. These would actually offset your closing costs. So in the same way, if a loan officer says your interest rate is 3.2%, if you want some extra credit, you could talk to that loan officer and say, actually, could we look at a higher interest rate so we could get credit towards our closing costs?

So 3.5% might give us 5,000, 50, $200 in credit. So if our total cash is to close the money that we need for closing, let's say it's $40,000. We could reduce that down to $3,500. If we increase the rate and receive a credit. Now, this is all going to depend on what you want to do, and how long you're in the home.

And you probably want to talk with a loan officer to get a cost analysis. Long-term to see what these differences look like, but especially with. From 3% to 3.5% is a difference of $130 per month in the principal and interest payment. So something, when we want to keep in mind, if we're going to increase the rate, it's also going to increase the payment that we have as well.

And then something interesting to notice that. PMI when you do have it on loan is going to stay consistent no matter what the rate is. So the PMI isn't based on the interest rate, it's always going to be the same.

Keep this in mind

So when you are looking at this, when you're applying for loans, keep all these things in mind, and use a CFPB rate checker. Look at average rates to see, is this a good deal? Is this on par with what you should be expecting? And if not, that's when you want to talk to a loan officer, Hey, can you help me understand why this is. And then also ask your loan officer, can you show me a sample of a couple of different rates, some of the points, some of the credit that you way you can see which one's going to work best for you.

Email me → kyle@winthehouseyoulove.com
Kyle Andrew Seagraves is Federal Mortgage Loan Originator (NMLS 1701021) licensed in all 50 states with the Dan Frio Team at Allied First Bank (NMLS 203463), an Equal Housing Lender. Separately, Kyle owns Win The House You Love LLC, an education company. Win The House You Love LLC is not a lender, does not issue loan qualifications, and does not extend credit of any kind. This website is only for educational usage. All calculations should be verified independently. This website is not an offer to lend and should not directly be used to make decisions on home offers, purchasing decisions, nor loan selections. Not guaranteed to provide accurate results, imply lending terms, qualification amounts, nor real estate advice. Seek counsel from a licensed real estate agent, loan originator, financial planner, accountant, and/or attorney for real estate, legal, and/or financial advice.

Allied First Bank is not affiliated with the VA, FHA or any other government agency. This site has not been approved by any government agency.
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