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Shopping for Rates

When shopping for a good interest rate, your first step is to understand all the related concepts, such as points and lock-ins. To get consistent quotes, you must standardize the number of points you wish to pay up front and the amount of time you want to lock in. Even if the number of points or lock-in period you use to get your quotes isn’t what you eventually settle on, they give the rates a common point of reference so you can make a meaningful comparison.

You’ll also need to ask for all your quotes at approximately the same time. Getting quotes at a variety of different times can lead to a poor comparison, since the market can fluctuate very quickly. This quality makes getting quotes online particularly useful, since you can get a large number of quotes quickly and efficiently on the Internet. Time is of the essence when comparing interest rates to find the best lender.

However, if you choose to call individual lenders to make your comparisons, be careful. Many lenders are honest and trustworthy, but some will give you an unrealistically low quote to get your business when they can tell you are shopping. Obviously, you don’t want to get your mortgage from a lender who would give you a dishonest rate quote.

One way to combat this is to get a recommendation from a family member or friend who already has a mortgage. Even with the recommendation, you will still want to shop around for rates. After your shopping is completed, call the lender that was recommended to you. He | she will let you know if any of the quotes you received from other lenders are unrealistically low. He | she will likely also match any legitimate quote you received from other lenders. Though possibly more time-consuming, by going through this extensive process, you will be more assured of getting a great rate from a lender who you feel confident that you can trust.