Looking for a mortgage

Comparing prices for mortgages or home loans will help you find more favorable financing terms. A mortgage – whether for a home purchase, a refinance, or a home equity loan – is a product equal to a car, and therefore the price and terms can be negotiable. You’ll want to compare the total cost of obtaining a mortgage, since negotiating and comparing prices could save you thousands of dollars.

Get information from various credit sources

Various types of financial institutions make home loans – Savings and Loans, Commercial Banks, Mortgage Companies, and Credit Unions. Since each can quote you different prices, it is important that you contact several companies to ensure that you get the most favorable price. A loan broker can also get you a home loan as they take care of all the necessary arrangements instead of lending you money directly. In other words, they can find an institution to grant you the loan. Since the broker has access to several financial institutions, you will be able to choose from a greater variety of financial products and terms. The broker usually submits your application to various credit institutions,

but you are not obligated to find the most advantageous loan for you, unless you have hired him as your personal agent. Therefore, you may want to consider contacting more than one loan broker, just as you would with banks and savings and loan associations.

It is not always clear whether you are dealing with a credit institution or a broker, as certain financial institutions operate both as a lender and as a broker. Also, most brokers do not use the word “broker” in their advertisements. Therefore, it is important that you ask if you are dealing with a broker. This information is important as brokers generally charge fees for their services which could be separate and in addition to the fees charged for origination of the loan and other related costs.

The broker could receive his remuneration in the form of “points” that are paid when closing the deal or as an addition to the interest rate, or both. You need to ask each broker you deal with how they will be paid in order to properly compare the different charges. Be willing to negotiate with both brokers and financial institutions. 

Get all the important information about costs

It is important to obtain information about mortgages from various lenders or brokers. Know how much you can afford as a down payment and find out all the costs of the loan. It is not enough to be aware of the monthly payment or the interest rate alone. Request information on the same loan amount, its term, and the type of debt so you can

compare the numbers. It is important to obtain the following information from each credit institution or broker:


  • Request a list of current interest rates at each financial institution and broker, and ask if the rates they have quoted you are the lowest for the week or day.
  • Ask if the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates go up on an adjustable loan, the monthly payment generally goes up as well.
  • If you are quoted a variable credit rate, ask how both the rate and the monthly payments will vary and also if the amount of the monthly payment decreases as
    • interest rates fall.
    • Ask about the annual interest rate (APR), which not only includes the interest rate, but also includes points, broker costs, and certain additional mandatory credit charges, expressed as a rate. annual.


    Points are charges paid to the lender or broker for the loan and are often connected to the interest rate. Generally, the more points are paid, the lower the interest rate.

    • Look for information in your local newspaper about the rates and points that are being offered in the market at that time
    • Request a quote for your points in dollars — and not just the number of points — so you really know how much you will have to pay.


A mortgage loan often contains many fees, such as fees to initiate or place the loan, broker fees, operational and settlement costs, and closing fees. Every credit institution or broker should give you an estimate of your charges. Many of these charges are negotiable. Some are paid when the credit application is submitted (as in the case of application and appraisal fees) and some are paid when the deal is closed. In certain cases, you can borrow the amount necessary to pay these fees, although this increases the amount of the loan you will receive and as a consequence, the total costs. Sometimes “no fee” loans can be found, but generally these have higher interest rates.

  • Ask what is included in each charge, since one could include several concepts.
    • Ask for an explanation of any charges you do not understand. Some of the most common closing costs for home loans are listed in the Home Loan Worksheet in this brochure.

Down payment and private mortgage insurance

Certain lenders require a down payment of 20 percent of the home purchase price. However, many institutions now offer loans that require less than 20 percent – sometimes as little as 5 percent for conventional loans. When a 20 percent down payment is not made, the financial institution generally requires the buyer to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the institution in the event that the buyer is unable to pay. When government assistance programs are available, such as the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), VA (Veterans Administration), or Rural Development Services, the down payment may be considerably less.

Ask about the credit institution’s requirements for the down payment, including what you have to do to verify

  • that the funds for the down payment are available.
  • Ask the financial institution if it offers special assistance programs.

If your loan requires PMI, 

  • Ask what the total cost of the insurance will be.
  • Ask how much the monthly payment will be including the PMI premium.
  • Ask how long you will have to pay the PMI.

Get the most favorable deal

When you know what each financial institution offers you, negotiate the most favorable deal for you. Agents and financial institutions can offer different prices for the same loan terms to different consumers on the same day, even if they have the same credit ratings. The likely reason for this price

difference is that bank officers and credit brokers are often allowed to withhold all or part of this difference as additional compensation. Generally, the difference between the lowest possible price for a credit product and the highest price the borrower is willing to pay is known as the excess. When the excess occurs, it is incorporated into the price that is quoted to the consumer. It can occur in both variable and fixed loans in the form of points, fees, or interest rate. The price of any loan can include excesses, even if it is quoted by a bank official or a broker.

Ask the lender or broker to write down all the costs associated with the loan, and then ask them to cancel or reduce one or more of the fees, lower your interest rate, or charge you fewer points. But be careful that you are not reducing one charge and raising another, or

that lowering the interest rate increases your points. There is no harm in asking the lender or broker if they can improve on the original terms they offer you or those offered elsewhere.

When you’re satisfied with the terms you’ve negotiated, ask the lender or broker for a written, unchangeable interest rate commitment that includes the agreed-upon rate, the length of the commitment, and the number of points you’ll need to pay. If you charge a fee to lock in the loan’s interest rate, it can be repaid at closing. In this way you protect yourself from increases in interest rates during the credit approval period. However, if rates go down, you may end up with a less favorable rate. In that case, try to negotiate the price with the lender or broker.

Remember: Compare, Check and Negotiate

When buying a home, remember to shop around, check costs and terms, and negotiate the best possible deal. Some good places to start looking for loans are your local newspaper and the Internet. Generally, you can find information about interest rates and points offered by various lenders there. Since points and rates can change daily, check the newspaper often when shopping for a home loan. However, you won’t find the costs there; This is how you should ask each lender about it.

Equitable loans are required by law

The  Equal Credit  Act prohibits lenders from discriminating against an applicant in any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of race, skin color, religion, country of origin, sex, marital status, age, if all or part of the applicant’s income comes from a public assistance program or if the applicant has exercised any right in good faith under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

The  Fair Housing  Act prohibits discrimination in residential real estate transactions based on your race, skin color, religion, sex, handicap, family status, or country of origin.

Under these laws,  a consumer cannot be  refused a loan based on these characteristics, nor can they be charged more  for a loan or  offer less favorable terms .

Credit problems? You can still compare, verify and negotiate

Don’t assume that minor problems or credit difficulties stemming from unique circumstances such as illness or temporary loss of income limit your credit options to high-cost loans only.

If your credit report contains negative information, even if it is accurate, but there are good reasons to trust that you will repay the loan according to the agreed terms, be sure to explain your situation to the lender or broker. If you cannot adequately explain your credit problems, you will probably pay more than a borrower with good credit. But don’t assume that the only way to get credit is by paying a high price. Ask how your credit history affects the price of the loan and what

you need to do to get a better price. Take the time to shop around and negotiate the best deal you can.

Whether you have credit problems or not, it is always a good idea to check your credit report to verify that it is correct and complete before applying for a loan.


The  charges for initiation of the loan  are charged by the lender for processing the loan and are generally expressed as a percentage of the amount of the loan.

The  operating costs, liquidation or closure  may include application fees, research writings, abstract writings, insurance scriptures charges surveying property, fees for preparing deeds, mortgages , and settlement documents, fees, charges registry and notary, valuation and credit report. Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), upon or within three days after submitting your application, the debtor must receive a good faith estimate that contains the likely closing costs represented by an amount or scale of each.

Excess  is the difference between the lowest price available and any higher price the buyer agrees to pay for the loan. Often times, the bank officer or loan broker is allowed to retain some or all of this difference as additional compensation.

The  mortgage  is the document that the borrower signs when originating a home loan and that gives the lender the right to take possession of the property if the debtor does not pay off the loan.

Savings and loan institution  is the general term for financial savings institutions and savings and loan associations.

Escrow  is the retention of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing the deal. It may also be an account held by the lender (or servicing institution) to which the owner pays an amount for taxes

and insurance.

Conventional loans  are home loans that are not insured or guaranteed by government entities such as the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), VA (Veterans Administration), or Rural Development Services (formerly Farmers’ Housing Administration or FmHA).

Adjustable rate loans , also known as variable rate loans, are generally offered with a lower initial interest rate than fixed rate loans. The interest rate fluctuates over the term of the loan based on market conditions, but the loan agreement generally sets minimum and maximum rates. When interest rates go up, monthly payments generally go up as well. And when interest rates go down, payments may go down.

The  loans fixed rate  generally have repayment periods of 15, 20 or 30 years. Both the interest rate and the monthly payment of principal and interest remain fixed for the life of the loan.

The  points  are fees paid to the lender for the loan. One point equals one percent of the loan amount. Generally, they are paid in cash at the closing of the deal and in certain cases the amount of the points can be included in the loan, although this increases the loan amount and the total cost.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)  protects the lender against losses due to delinquency on the part of the debtor. Generally, it is required when the down payment is less than 20 percent of the sale price, or when the refinance amount is greater than 80 percent of the appraised value.

The  interest rate  is the cost of the loan expressed as a percentage rate. Interest rates may change based on market conditions.

Annual interest rate (APR)  is the cost of credit expressed as an annual percentage rate. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker costs, and other credit charges that the debtor must pay.

Unchangeable interest rate  refers to the agreement that guarantees the buyer a specific interest rate on the mortgage loan as long as the buyer closes the deal within a set period, for example, 60 or 90 days. Generally, this agreement also specifies the amount of points to be paid upon closing the deal.

Previously, this article was called  Finding the Best Mortgage.

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