How to Find the Lowest Rate Possible
You have to start somewhere. Define “low”? Let’s not lick our index fingers, and poke them in the wind to see what direction the storm is heading. If you want the lowest rate possible, you need to know what the market is doing right now, where it’s been historically, and what it might be doing over the short term long-haul (say over the next 3 to 6 months.)
a) Fortunately for you, there are TONS of resources available on the internet to do easy market research. Our website provides a Rate-Watch, for example, updated throughout the day, complete with graphs, charts, and specs on fixed rates, ARMS, Jumbo’s, and everything in between. But we aren’t the only site out there that provides free resources. Just go to your favorite search engine, and you’ll find a gazillion sites that would love to give you free market information.
b) What I suggest you do is primarily focus on the 30 year fixed rate, and find a graph demonstrating the TREND over the last 6 to 12 months. A picture is worth a thousand words. Also, check out the current fixed rate, and maybe even poke your eye at the APR for an adjustable rate mortgage, and perhaps check out two or three different resources online. Most of them should be extremely similar. This will encourage your confidence in your own growing knowledge about what’s going on out there.
c) What’s the news got to say about it? Our site provides a free Financial News watch for mortgages, auto loans, and breaking business stories, updated throughout the day. It’s no secret, of course, that news is abundant on the internet, and we aren’t the only free resource to provide this information. Go wherever you desire, but read an article or two, even if it’s just the first few paragraphs. What’s going on with the rates? What are the Feds doing? Any pundits out there talking about how things look, and what may be happening with interest rates? I swear, if you spend 5 minutes doing this, you’ll be as informed as the best of them, in terms of having a gestalt view on rates. You will know, with a high level of certainty, what “low” means, in the current world of mortgages and loans.
So take 20 minutes, and derive some benchmarks for yourself. Then, and only then, will you be in a position to gauge what the lowest possible rate truly is, and fully prepared to move forward with your important shopping trip.
Every loan is different. Every lender is unique. Every borrower has his/her own, special, unique set of circumstances. In addition, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of lenders. The information is out there, but what you need is to focus on efficiency.
a) So the best way to sift through the deluge of thousands of lenders, with rates changing daily, and terms that may or may not be posted for all to see, is to use one of the many online services that provide this technology to you (for free.)
b) I won’t go into naming my favorites, or listing recommendations, or pointing out the ones that are the oldest, or the newest, or the fastest. That’s not the point of this article, and I believe in your ability to make good choices. What I will say, is that I believe in these services.
c) By providing very simple, brief, and concise information on a short form application, you will almost instantly be provided with 3 to 4 loan offers that match your needs and circumstances, from the thousands of lenders, rates, and offers that are collated and organized in the databases of these various loan search providers. I give that an A for efficiency, allowing you to spend your hard-earned time and resources on other more productive things.
d) Once provided with these loan offers, the process naturally, is to compare them. Compare them to the market. Compare them to each other. Compare them to different kinds of lending institutions. Compare their terms. Compare their locations. Compare their histories. And of course, compare their rates, and points, and Origination Fees, and everything else in between. Compare, Compare, Compare.