1. How do I get started?
A: Request competing quotes in less than 5 minutes! Getting the best possible deal on your mortgage is important and we want to help. At GuidetoLenders.com will make the process quicker, easier, and stress free for you. Getting free quotes takes less than 5 minutes: First, fill out our short form by answering a few simple questions. Click to submit the form. Let lenders compete to provide you with the best mortgage interest rates.
Instantly see a list of mortgage lenders in your area that will be offering you free loan quotes.
2. Is there a fee to request competing quotes?
A: No! We've served over $16 billion in loan requests since 2005 and are proud to be a valuable, free resource for current and aspiring home owners. On our website, you can receive up to four quotes at a time instead of just one — enabling you to shop around and save more.
3. What are the advantages of comparing multiple mortgage quotes?
A: Multiple Quotes = Bigger Savings. According to a 2012 study* performed for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, comparing multiple quotes can save you big. The study found that someone borrowing $200,000 saves thousands simply by considering 4 mortgage quotes.
4. Is GuidetoLenders.com a broker or a lender?
A: No! We are not a lender or a broker, we are a free service that gives you access to competitive loan quotes from a network of over 150 lenders simply by completing a single online form.
5: What type of information do I need to provide to receive a quote?
A: Shop around for the best interest rates. Our online form makes it easy to shop and choose the best mortgage interest rates from a variety of lenders that serve your area. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your mortgage needs and about you. Examples include, the property location, the approximate property value or purchase price, the type of home (e.g. single family), the approximate existing mortgage balance (if refinancing), and cash-out amount desired (if refinancing), self assessed credit history (excellent, good, fair, poor).
1. Why should you refinance?
A: There are lots of reasons you might want to refinance, but most people fit into one (or more) of five basic categories:
- You want to reduce your monthly payments by refinancing into a new, lower interest rate loan
- Shorten your loan term to own your home free and clear sooner
- You want to consolidate outstanding debt, such as combining your first and second mortgage into one new first mortgage
- You want to tap the equity in your home
- Or, you want to switch mortgage products, such as trading an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) for a fixed rate, for example.
Whatever group you fit with, there are certain considerations that you must factor in to reach your desired financial goal. Making the wrong refinance choice can end up not only costing you time, but more money.
2. Is the 2 percent rule a good rule to follow?
A: Not necessarily. The traditional refinance rule of thumb--that you must get an interest rate at least 2 percent below the interest rate you currently have--is often wrong. Why? Waiting for a 2 percent difference from your rate to show up in the marketplace can actually cost you money.
For some people, as little as 0.50 percent can be enough if all other factors fall into place. In addition, there's almost always some mortgage product available that can give you a 2 percent break, but may not be right for your situation. The only way to determine whether refinancing is for you is to go about it the right way: by analyzing your timeline and the cost factors.
3. How do I estimate what is the best loan term when refinancing?
A: The number of years you have been paying off your current mortgage is another important factor when considering which loan term you will refinance into. In the beginning years of any loan, the majority of your payments go toward interest. As the years go by, your payments shift from covering mostly interest to paying down mostly principal.
Every homeowner wants a smaller monthly payment, but the biggest savings overall come from paying less interest. That’s why every refinancer should at least consider refinancing to a smaller loan term than their current mortgage.
4. What is the interest rate on my loan?
A: The interest rate is important and the lower the better, but it’s the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that allows you to compare loans with different rates and fees and determine which is the best deal. For example, is a 5% mortgage costing $5,000 a better deal than a 5.5% loan that costs $1000? The APR can tell you that. Lenders are required by law to express the loan’s total cost as an interest rate, which is disclosed on a Truth-in-Lending (TIL) form. However, the law doesn’t specify what costs are included in the calculation, so you’ll need to have the lender list those charges. Only then can you accurately compare loans between lenders. It’s also important to remember that APR calculations only work for comparing the same kinds of loans. You can’t use APR to compare a 30 year fixed mortgage and a 5/1 ARM.
5. Can interest rate change over the life of the loan?
A: Make sure you determine if the loan is a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) or an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). ARMs have a "teaser" fixed-rate period of anywhere from 3 months to 10 years and can adjust after this period expires. If you are considering an ARM, understand when your loan will begin adjusting and how much your rate can increase. The lender should disclose the terms of an ARM on a form called an Adjustable Rate Rider.
6. What's your protocol on locking-in the interest rate?
A: A lender may allow you to “lock in” your interest rate for a specific time period (often 30 or 45 days) to protect you from rate increases before your loan closes. Ask when the lock-in rate is effective, and if there are any costs associated with doing so. Also, ask if you will get a lower rate if rates drop after you lock yours in. this is referred to as a "float-down". In most cases, you are not locked in unless you have a rate lock in writing. Generally, the longer the rate lock period, the higher the rate.
7. What might delay my refinance loan?
A: If you are upfront with your lender, you should have no delays. Changes in your marital status, employment, debts or credit may cause delays in your loan approval, or it may even be revoked.
1. What are the differences between the types of loans out there?
A: Today, there’s a wide variety of mortgages available to homeowners – so it’s important to know the differences between each loan before selecting the one that works best for you and your long term financial goals. Some of the more popular mortgage loans are fixed rate mortgages, which is a mortgage where the interest rate remains the same throughout the entire life of the loan. Adjustable rate mortgages or “ARM” is a mortgage loan in which the interest rate changes based on a specific schedule after a “fixed period” at the beginning of the loan. To learn more about these types of loans, go to our Mortgage Glossary.
2. What is Mortgage Insurance?
A: Whether it's called PMI or just plain 'mortgage insurance' (MI), it's an insurance policy which protects the lender in the event that you, the borrower, fail to make your mortgage payments. You pay for a policy as an inducement for the lender to offer you financing.
Don't confuse PMI with credit life insurance. It won't pay your mortgage each month should you become disabled, unemployed or deceased, and pays nothing to you or any of your beneficiaries.
3. How are policy costs determined?
A: How much you'll pay depends upon several factors: how much of a down payment you'll make, the kind of loan you select, term and the type of policy premium structure available. Fixed rate mortgages have the lowest costs; adjustable rate mortgages have the highest, since rising rates might crimp your ability to make payments later on, thus increasing the possibility of default.
Your lender may have choices for varying levels of coverage to reduce risk, and may be able to select less-costly coverage options if you're a particularly creditworthy borrower. For example, he may choose coverage for only 20% of the loan amount rather than 30% -- but if the loan is to be sold, the final purchaser of the mortgage will dictate the coverage level required. You don't get to choose, and your lender may not, either.
4. What will my policy cost be?
A: That depends. As noted above, your premiums are based upon several factors: The amount of your downpayment as a percentage of the value of the home (LTV); your choice of mortgage product (fixed rate or adjustable rate – and how frequent the rate adjustment will be, at that); the length of the term of your mortgage (15, 20, 25, 30 years) and the level of coverage the investor requires for your kind of loan and borrower profile. As you now know, there are also several methods by which premiums can be paid.
5. How do I avoid paying PMI?
A: The easiest way to never have to worry about PMI is with a 20% down payment when you buy your home. However, as home price appreciation frequently outstrips the efforts of even the most frugal household, saving 20% of the purchase price may be unattainable.
A borrower could avoid having to obtain PMI through a novel lending process called a "piggyback" mortgage. Also known as an "80-10-10" or "80-5-15", these arrangements actually leave you with two mortgages rather than one.