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Understanding Mortgage Interest Rates  

Understanding Mortgage Interest Rates  

Buying a home is likely to be one of the largest purchases that you make in your lifetime. If you are like most people, you will need to take out a mortgage to purchase a home rather than paying for it fully in cash. A mortgage is a long-term loan that is designed to help you purchase a home and is paid off over a long period of time. Over that time, you will end up paying interest on your mortgage loan. Small changes in your mortgage interest rate can have a big impact on exactly how much you are paying in interest rate, so it’s important to understand what mortgage interest rates are and how they work.

We’ve highlighted some of the key details surrounding mortgage interest rates to help equip you with as much knowledge as possible, so you can start your home-buying journey with confidence!

Couple researching mortgage interest rates

What is a Mortgage Interest Rate?

The first thing to do is ensure that you have a good understanding of what exactly a mortgage interest rate is. A mortgage interest rate is a percentage of the total balance of your loan and is paid on a monthly basis until your loan is paid off. It’s important to remember that your mortgage interest rate isn’t part of your loan but is paid in addition to the total amount that you owe. Essentially your mortgage interest rate is a lender’s way of ensuring that you pay back the money they have loaned you Your mortgage interest rate has an impact on the size of your mortgage payment, with higher interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments.

Young woman holding house keys

What Can Affect Mortgage Interest Rates?

There are several different things that can impact mortgage interest rates, including the stock market, inflation, and unemployment. While mortgage interest rates don’t directly impact the prices of homes on the market, they can have an impact on housing supply, which can play a role in home prices. When mortgage rates increase, homeowners will typically be less inclined to sell their current home, whereas low interest rates typically entice more homeowners to list their properties, which gives buyers more options and negotiating power.

Mother pushing son around new home in moving box

How to Get a Good Mortgage Interest Rate

Mortgage rates differ based on the lender, so it’s always important to speak with a few different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best rate before settling on one. There are several different things that can affect your mortgage interest rate, the biggest being your current financial situation. A mortgage lender will look at:

  • Your credit score
  • Repayment history
  • Current income and employment history
  • Your level of existing debt
  • Your cash reserves and assets
  • Size of your down payment
  • Property location
  • Loan type, amount, and term

The more money you borrow, and the riskier you are as a borrower, the higher your rate will be. Don’t forget to compare the full loan estimate, including closing costs, so you can accurately see which lender’s pricing is more affordable.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or already have experience with buying or selling, understanding mortgage interest rates is essential to ensuring that you get the best rate possible for your next home purchase.



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