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Loan Rates

The Lowdown On Rates

The interest rate on your loan can impact the amount of money that you pay each month and over the life of your loan, so naturally, you want to get a highly competitive rate. After all, even a percentage of a point off can put thousands of dollars back into your pockets. This is why comparing interest rates is such an important part of the mortgage process.

Is The Lowest Rate Really The Lowest?

The “lowest” interest rate is really the rate that fits your unique situation. Your finances, credit score, and even the type of loan you need all play a part in determining your interest rate.

If you hear an advertisement promising the “lowest rates,” know that it is impossible for any lender to claim the lowest rates. It’s important to take a close look at the various factors unique to your situation. For example, the interest rate for a homebuyer with an 800 credit score, a sizable down payment, and the ability to pay points at closing may be quite different from other borrowers.

You are an individual with a unique financial history, and there may be many loan programs available to fit your personal goals. These factors are what will determine the true rate that you qualify for, no matter what promotion you see on the Internet.

What Drives Interest Rates

Mortgage rates are affected by numerous factors

  • Inflation

    Mortgage rates are very sensitive to inflation. When inflation rates go higher, interest rates often rise as well.

  • Economy

    When GDP and employment rise, it’s a sign of a growing economy, meaning greater demand for real estate. When demand rises, so do interest rates as there is more demand than money to lend. Read more how surprise factors play a role.

  • Investors

    Bonds are typically a safe investment so when the economic outlook is poor, they flood to the bond market. When there are more investors in bonds, the bond yield rises, and mortgage rates tend to rise as well.

  • Federal Reserve

    When the Fed raises or lowers the federal fund's rates (the rate lenders charge each other), it creates a ripple effect and typically results in an impact to mortgage rates.

Download the FULL infographic explaining all aspects of what drives interest rates

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