How To Compare Home Loans
Written by: Tony Lorenzo
Finding a home loan lender, or mortgage lender, is the easy
part. Deciding which lender to use isn't. Since your home is
probably the single largest purchase you will make, it only
makes since to shop around for the lowest cost home loan.
There are many costs of getting a home loan. When many people
think of the cost of a home loan, they think of the interest
rate, which is one cost, but many other costs are involved.
Although various lenders may have different names for some fees,
be on the lookout for these types of fees and compare what
different lenders may be charging you.
The interest rate can be fixed or variable. A fixed rate is just
that, fixed for the life of the loan. Variable, or adjustable,
means the rate will be fixed for a certain time and then adjust
up or down with a certain index. Your lender should be able to
provide you the name of the index they use. The period that a
variable rate loan is fixed varies from 1 month to a number of
years. Read the fine print to see how much your payment could
jump after the fixed rate period is over. Remember that when the
interest rate climbs, the payment of your home loan will also.
The APR is sometimes different than the interest rate quoted for
the loan. This is the annual percentage rate after all costs are
financed. Compare the APR from various lenders.
Lock-in fees are what some lenders charge you to "lock in" the
interest rate you were quoted. This is usually for a set amount
of time. If the time expires before your home loan goes through,
you may not be able to get the same interest rate.
Application fees may be charged by lenders or brokers. These are
usually a set amount. You may have to pay this fee before they
even process your home loan, which could be several hundred
dollars in some cases, so ask if any part of it is refundable if
the home loan doesn't go through. This fee may also include the
cost of running your credit reports. You may not get charged an
application fee, but get hit with an origination fee, or
visa-versa, or a combination of both. So shop around.
Origination fees or broker fees could be a flat amount or they
may charge you points as a fee, which are actually a percentage
of the home loan amount. One point is usually 1% of the loan
amount. (Could also be called "discount points" in which they
will lower the interest rate of your 30 yr loan by ¼% for each
point you pay.) Some brokers don't charge points because they
are paid directly by the lender.
Processing or underwriting fees are usually charged by the
lender to cover the costs of actually processing the home loan.
These may vary greatly from lender to lender and should be
If you don't have 20% equity in the property, by putting up a
large down payment, you may be required to pay PMI on your home
loan, which is private mortgage insurance.
There are other fees that will be charged like appraisal and
surveyor fees, title insurance, homeowners insurance, inspection
fees, escrow fees and taxes. You may also be required to pre-pay
a certain amount of interest on your home loan.
There certainly are a lot of costs involved when applying for a
home loan, but do your homework and compare the costs from
different lenders and I think you will walk away with an
experience that will be personally satisfying for a long time.
About the author:
Tony Lorenzo has written several articles on various subjects.
This article on How To Compare Home Loans, compliments his
website on various home loans which
helps people to find the best home loan for
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