Today’s Mortgage Rates
Fortunately, today's mortgage rates are trending downward and getting closer to a state of normalcy.
How Interest Rates Affect Buyers
Eventually, you will reach a "tipping point" where more money is going to the principal than the interest. This is how you build equity in your home. The more of the principal that you pay down, the more equity you have.
What Impacts Interest and the Monthly Mortgage Payment?
Your credit score may have the biggest impact on just the interest rate that you can obtain. A credit score is indicative of your ability to pay off debt such as credit cards, auto loans, previous mortgage loans, and student loans. When mortgage lenders receive your loan application, they will check your credit score to see how likely you are to pay back the loan amount. The higher your score, the more likely you are to receive lower interest rate offers, resulting in a lower total cost for your mortgage loan and more affordable monthly payments.
The real estate market, both on a macro level and in your particular home location, will play a role in the mortgage interest rates that are available. High-cost markets in urban settings may experience different interest rates than those in an isolated rural area. Additionally, market factors like inflation, the stock market, and government borrowings can also affect the average interest rate across the country. Recently, severe inflation led to rising interest rates that made it difficult for buyers to get good deals on home loans from multiple lenders.
The down payment that you pay for the home price will affect your mortgage rate as well. If you pay a lower down payment, then you will likely see a higher interest rate, and therefore, higher mortgage payments. Lenders evaluate the risk for each loan that they give out, and a larger down payment amount signals to these entities that you are a lower-risk borrower, so they can offer better mortgage rates without sacrificing profits. To lower your interest payment as much as possible, make a larger down payment on the home loan.
The size of the down payment also determines whether or not you will have to pay private mortgage insurance premiums. Typically, a 20% down payment on conventional fixed rate mortgages will prevent a monthly mortgage insurance premium, while any percentage below that will signal to the lender that there is enough risk involved for them to require mortgage insurance.
Interest Type (30-year fixed-rate mortgage vs adjustable-rate mortgage)
The type of loan agreement that you sign will also impact your estimated monthly payment and the interest rate of your loan. For example, you can lock in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that will ensure you only pay a fixed rate of interest for the duration of the loan. Adjustable rate mortgages may include an initial fixed rate period, but then the initially lower interest rate can change depending on market conditions, resulting in fluctuating monthly mortgage payments.
The loan type you desire or qualify for will also impact the APR and interest rate of your mortgage. Aside from conventional loans, there are VA loans, FHA loans, and jumbo loans. A VA loan is for active-duty service members, veterans, and surviving spouses. An FHA loan is available to lower-income buyers. A jumbo loan is a higher financing option that is not backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, making it risker for lenders. Additionally, things like property taxes, debt-to-income ratio, closing costs, lender fees, and mortgage points can affect your mortgage loan amount and interest rate.