Comparing mortgage rates is one of the easiest ways to save
People who compare mortgage rates save an average of $300 per year and thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their home loan, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Our friends at GuideToLenders offer a mortgage comparison calculator—try it now and search rates from up to 170 different lenders. That saves you all the manual research.
How the mortgage comparison calculator works
Instant mortgage preapproval, so you can make offers right away
To put an offer on a home, you’ll need a mortgage or home loan preapproval letter. This verifies that you have lending up to a certain amount and tells sellers you’re a qualified buyer. You’ll usually get your official preapproval letter within days.
Mortgage rates locked in
Some home lenders in this program will lock your home loan rate for 30-60 days. After you purchase a home, you’ll still have to go through the formal home loan request. If rates go down during that timeframe, you can always restart the process and search for a better rate.
Your lender will contact you and can guide you through the process. They can even explain the finer points on the different mortgage types and what’s best for you.
FAQs for home loans and mortgages
Our friends at GuideToLenders get lots of questions regarding home loans and mortgages. Here are some commonly-asked questions, along with their answers:
What’s the difference between interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR)?
The interest rate is the cost you will pay each year to borrow the money. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan. Interest rates are important, but you should also consider APR when comparing home loans. APR factors in both the interest rate and any fees, so it’s a more accurate number for what you’ll actually pay. Comparing APR only makes sense for the same types of loans. You can’t compare APRs for a 30-year mortgage vs. a 15-year.
Can my mortgage rate change over time?
If you get a fixed mortgage (usually a 30- or 15-year), then your mortgage rate doesn’t change. These are typically the most common types. But, many home lenders in this program offer an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). These rates are usually lower when you start, but will increase after a certain time period (anywhere from 3 months to 10 years).
What percentage of my mortgage payment goes to interest?
The exact amount of each payment that goes to your loan amount (called principal) or to interest depends on how much you borrow, the length of your mortgage, the interest rate, etc. Your lender will provide the exact details and payment schedule.
Can I add my property taxes and insurance in my mortgage?
Yes. This process is called “escrow,” and it’s very common. You can lump everything into one monthly payment. Learn more about putting home insurance in escrow.
Is there a penalty for prepaying or paying extra each month?
Not in this program. Some people pay extra each month to pay off their mortgage early.