Qualifying for a mortgage is an important first step in making a home or business purchase. In fact, your ability to qualify for a loan (and the terms for which you are eligible) will decide how much house you can afford. Issues such as your interest rate and whether you can become prequalified for a mortgage loan are extremely important matters, especially for first-time buyers. Determining whether you can afford a mortgage involves a calculation which takes into account your earnings, expenses, employment (and employability), and credit history. Lenders take your credit score in particular very seriously. While it may seem complicated and unnecessary, it's very important to know what you can afford before you even start shopping for a home.
Understanding Interest Rates, Points, and Fees
A combination of interest rates, mortgage points, and fees will largely determine the overall cost and monthly payments of a mortgage. By preapplying for a mortgage and thus learning about your eligibility, you will get a better handle on what you can afford before you start shopping for homes. Below is a brief description of each of these factors:
Choosing Between Mortgage Points and a Higher Interest Rate
If you want to lock in a lower interest rate and have the means to pay additional cash upfront, you might want to consider purchasing what are called mortgage points. One mortgage point generally equals 1 percent of the total mortage amount. If you are applying for a $100,000 mortgage, for instance, you can lower your mortgage by $1,000 if you purchase one point. What you decide will depend on your unique situation, means, and needs. Questions to ask yourself include the following:
The Risks of Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) were very popular in the years immediately prior to the 2008 financial crisis, as loans were easy to get but often had risky terms. ARM loans fell out of favor after the financial crisis, but remain an option for many. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, make sure you understand the substantial risks involved:
Qualifying for a mortgage is essential for the majority of individuals shopping for a home. Click on a link below for additional details.