If you’re a potential homebuyer, rising mortgage rates are cause for concern. Will higher mortgage costs put your dream home out of reach?
The answer is more hopeful than you might think. With the right circumstances, you can often negotiate lower interest rates on your mortgage.
Here, in fact, are six paths to a lower rate, suggested by Realtor.com:
Raise your credit score and lower your debt
Lenders will be more willing to negotiate with those who appear to be responsible borrowers. They look for high credit scores, indicating the borrower has a history of making credit payments on time. They also appreciate low debt, as it means a borrower will “have more money available to put toward [his/her] mortgage payments,” notes Realtor.com.
Make a big down payment
The more money you put down, the less lenders are likely to see you as a risk and negotiate a rate. Aim to put down 20% of the cost of the home.
Buy mortgage points
If you have extra cash, consider buying points to drop your mortgage rate. Points are sold in small increments (.25%) and generally cost around 1% of the mortgage amount. This can pay off if you plan to stay in your home for a considerable amount of time.
Buy new builds
“New builders are much more willing to cut a deal,” notes Reator.com, “and that includes buying down the mortgage rates of buyers and offering rate locks.”
As mortgage rates rise, lenders are seeing a drop in borrowers and are often hungry for business. By talking to more than one lender, you can play them against each other to land the best rate.
Consider different types of loans
Government loans or government-backed loans sometimes offer lower mortgage rates. Veterans and U.S. Armed Forces members can apply to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for mortgages. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Federal Housing Administration loans often give borrowers good rates, depending on their credit history, etc.