How To Compare Home Loans
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 compared.
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.
Tony Lorenzo has written several articles on a variety of subjects. This article on How To Compare Home Loans, Compliments his web site on various home loans [http://www.home-loans-express.info] which helps people find the best home loan [http://www.home-loans-express.info] for their situation.
Home Loan Refinance: Back To The Basics
By Cyrus Zahabian
Basics of Home Loans
Three fundamental pieces of knowledge for obtaining and maintaining a home loan include the application, rates, and repayment habits.
Home Loan Application Process - Filling out home loan applications can be time consuming, and overly detailed. Before beginning, get yourself organized by finding all of the paperwork you will need to complete your application. Once you have everything located and in front of you, you'll find the application process to go very smoothly.
Rates Change - Keep an eye on home loan rates for major changes, particularly changes of the downward version. Refinancing is inexpensive in comparison to the amount of money you can save if you obtain the right low interest home loan. Developing a good relationship with your mortgage broker may result in him or her calling you when the rates drop!
On Time Payments - There is nothing that can hurt or help your credit rating more than your payment habits on your home loan. Make payments on time and your credit score will raise quickly. Alternatively, pay late and you'll do long term damage that is difficult to repair.
Quick Home Mortgages Online - Safe
Why should you shop for home mortgages online?
1) Obtain mortgage quotes from a reputable lender and your information will be secure. Don't check with every no-name mortgage company online, stick with names you can trust, as their online security will be top notch.
2) Fast Processing - Mortgage companies who operate online aren't bound by the same home loan processes as large local banks, and can process applications faster.
3) Low Rates - With so many lenders from which to choose from, online mortgage brokers and home loan specialists are bound to find a program that's right for your budget and home loan needs.
How to Compare Various Home Loans
You've heard the saying "You can't compare apples to oranges", right? When you're shopping for a home loan, you need to make comparisons among the same types of loans. When you compare a 30 year fixed home loan with 7% interest to an adjustable rate mortgage with 3.2% interest, you're comparing apples to oranges- unless you know the specifics to each type of loan.
1)Loan Term - The term of a loan is the length of time you will be repaying on the loan Many mortgages are 30 year terms, but some are shorter, 10, 15, and 20 year terms are common. The longer the term of your loan, the lower you pay each month, but the higher you'll pay in interest!
2)Interest Rate - An adjustable interest rate is one that can change from time to time, while a fixed rate interest means it remains the same for the entire term of your loan. To compare a fixed rate with an ARM loan, use an online mortgage calculator (they're free!) to compare your future payments as well as current payments.
3) Closing Costs - There are many things that are factored into closing costs, including lenders, closing agents and attorneys. Choose a lender with the fewest junk fees or a lender that pays for your closing costs out of their revenues.
Home Mortgage Prepayment
It's not often that people stay in their home for thirty years. A thirty year mortgage probably seems like forever to most borrowers! Since no one would want to pay a mortgage forever, there are a few tricks that can save you a lot of money:
1)Make use of free home mortgage calculators online to see how much of a difference one or two extra payments on your mortgage will make on your amortization schedule. Sometimes, as little as $20 extra on each payment can reduce the term of your loan a year or more! Many people never actually take advantage of paying one additional payment per year in order to shorten their 30 year mortgage term by up to ten years- because they have not educated themselves on prepayment.
2) You can shorten your mortgage term by up to 20 years if you're able to make double payments. While it may seem that you should only be able to reduce your mortgage payment in half by doubling your payments, the fact is the extra payment goes towards the principal and saves you interest, so it reduces the amount owed much faster than if you only send the minimum payment each month.
Consolidating Home Loans to Save Money
If you have a refinance loan and your original home loan, you may want to consolidate them into a single loan. This may sound complicated, but should be a painless process for you.
Find all of your current home loan information, including account numbers, bank name, initial loan amount, date of the loan, and any other documents you've obtained through the loan processes. Find out how much equity you have in your home, to determine whether or not refinancing and consolidating your second mortgage is feasible. Finally, go to your mortgage specialist to get a more specific and accurate portrayal of the options that are available to you.
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