Here are some ideas for best practices to keep in mind when it comes toshopping for ratesand nailing down an offer:
Contact at least 3 lenders on the same day
Rates fluctuate on a daily basis. By contacting three lenders on the same day, you can ensure you’re comparing apples to apples and be better informed about your decision.
Give each lender the same information
Providing consistent information allows lenders to accurately provide quotes — and for you to compare them equally. Make sure that you’ve collected your documentation before getting in touch with lenders, including pay stubs and bank statements. You’ll also need to provide the amount that you’re looking to borrow, the type of loan you want and the sales price of the home you’re considering.
Add up all the lender fees to confirm the costs
You won’t get the full picture of your total costs until you take into account all of the lender’s fees. Adding in each lender’s fees will also further help you compare lenders’ offerings and determine what’s truly the best offer. Fees can include origination, credit report, application fees and tax service.
Know when to lock in the rate
You can’t shop forever. At some point, you have to know when a rate is going to work for your individual financial picture — and at that point, it’s time tolock in the rate. This allows you to secure a certain rate for a set period of time, typically between 30 to 60 days.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.