Every family dreams of purchasing a house for them. But they need to secure a mortgage in order to fulfill that ambition. There are several mortgage rates available in the market, but one has to do their own research to get the best ones.

The following are the steps to obtaining the best mortgage rates.

Prepare Early. If we want to achieve something, start early. Same thing with mortgage rates. Mortgage is considerably the most significant use of credit score. Traditional lenders, at least most of them, will look for borrowers with at least 700 credit score. Although FHA loans offer more lenient standards, an individual still needs an outstanding credit. Then, save money. The more money you can allocate for a down payment, the lower the mortgage payment, and the lower interest rate you will pay through time. A higher down payment translates to lower interest rate. So if a person can come up with a 30% down payment, they can reduce the rate for more than 5%.

Look Around. Banks will battle for the business of eligible buyers. There are lots of websites which will help you gather quotes from lenders. You will see a lot of wildly different quotes. Picking the cheapest rate is not always the best option. Look for other facets of the deal.

Do not Look at Rates Alone. Sure, there are many rates in the market. But do not look at the rate alone. There are other important factors beneath the rate, so look around and compare. Ask if there is a prepayment penalty if you decide to refinance, the total closing costs, and if any, origination points or offering discount points. Normally, closing costs amount to 2% to 5% of the house’s price.

Get to Know PMI. There may be a higher risk if the downpayment is less than 20%, for instance. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) reduces the risk for the lender, but one has to pay for that, which ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the entire loan every year. So if you are thinking of avoiding this fee, allocate enough money for a 20% down payment, at least. However, if you end up paying the PMI, ensure it stops the moment you have gained sufficient equity in your home through your mortgage payments in order to qualify.

Forget not the Lock Period. Regardless whether the mortgage deal is good or not, the interest rate and other conditions are locked in for a fixed time period. Therefore, close within the period or you may face the risk of losing the deal. And most importantly, do not procrastinate.