With mortgage rates now higher than they have been in the past three years, you may be wondering what you can do as a first-time homebuyer to save money.
You can’t control the impact of changes in the market, but if you start the application process before interest rates rise further, you may be able to get a lower interest rate. You can also take some steps in your personal finances to get a better interest rate on your mortgage loan. Savings strategies include choosing the right interest rate structure, having a good credit profile, saving more money, and buying discount points.
A fixed interest rate.
If you plan to buy a property very quickly, you can lock in your current mortgage interest rate with a borrower for a month or two. To do this, you can choose a mortgage lender that provides the borrower with this option and submit an initial mortgage loan application. Typically, the loan offer will include information about the interest rate lock, which can result in fees.
In general, the longer the rate lock, the more expensive this option is. Also, keep in mind that none of the rate locks reduce the rate. This means that locking in interest rates is most advantageous during a time of rising interest rates.
Choosing variable-rate mortgages
Fixed-rate mortgages are very popular because you can count on the same mortgage rate over the life of the loan. This makes it easier for homeowners to budget for a mortgage. However, if you choose a variable-rate mortgage, interest rates can fall or rise depending on the market. This means that your mortgage payment will change at some point in time.
This option may be one that requires a smaller payment during the first year of the loan, but when the borrower adjusts the interest rate, he or she may be at a disadvantage if the interest rate is higher. There are options such as refinancing later, but keep in mind that refinancing comes with some costs.
Improve your credit situation
You can get a lower interest rate on a mortgage with a good credit score than with a low credit score. So you can improve your score by checking your bad credit report through the Credit Bureau to modify and pay off debts such as credit cards. An added benefit is that reducing your total debt also improves your overall repayment ratio, which borrowers use to assess the adequacy of their mortgages.
Higher down payment contributions
Down payment requirements are different for each option, such as existing loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. However, you can often get better rates by paying more than the minimum down payment required, and by doing so you can save money in other ways.
For example, for an existing loan, a 20% reduction in the purchase price can help you avoid personal mortgage insurance (PMI). This allows you to get a much lower monthly mortgage. Also, borrowing less can help you afford a 15-year mortgage term and save more interest.
Consider Buying Discount Points
If you don’t mind paying upfront, you can purchase discount points from your lender to lower your mortgage interest rate. You can purchase points in full or partial points, where each point is 1% of the mortgage loan amount. For example, buying two mortgage points on a $200,000 mortgage would cost $4,000 compared to $2,000 for one point.
The more points you buy, the lower the interest rate on your mortgage. Mortgage lenders can give you specific costs and savings so you can make a decision.
Keep in mind that point payments are added to your closing costs. This means you need more money earned to buy a home. If you don’t plan on taking out a mortgage for a long time, like someone who moves often, the deal is also not good. In that case, you may do better without income and high interest rates.