Best Mortgage Rates

Looking for the best mortgage rates need not be complicated or difficult. To make it less difficult, first identify the type of loan you are looking and qualify for, then find out what companies or organizations service these types of loans. For example, if you are seeking affordable housing solutions and have a low to medium income, you may even qualify for a zero percent forgivable mortgage through programs such as Community Frameworks. Similar programs exist nationwide, but are subject to resource and application limitations.

For mortgage borrowers who only qualify for non-subsidized mortgages, good rates can still be found. The most recent edition of a national newspaper’s business section should have basic average mortgage rates such as 30 year, 15 year and Adjustable Mortgage Rates. Sites like can help you look for and compare the best  average mortgage rates by region, loan type, loan amount and credit.  However, this does not mean you can’t get a lower rate than the national average. This is because other factors can influence what your actual mortgage rate will be.

• Regional differences

Different regions of the country may be experiencing different economic conditions which can also influence mortgage rates. For example, Nevada, California and Florida all experienced large home price depreciation and foreclosures in the years following the housing bubble burst in 2007-2008. These conditions may make mortgage rates in these areas lower than in other areas of the country. For example, on October 22, 2010, several of the 30 year fixed rate mortgages on were quoted at rates as much as 50 basis points or half a percent lower than the national average of 4.24 percent.

• Selecting a financial institution

When looking to get the best mortgage rates, another thing to consider is the financial institution or mortgage lender. If you are purchasing a home directly from an owner via a rent to own type situation, the rate may be privately negotiable as the lending formula is probably not the same as a mortgage bank. Mortgage banks and banks that offer mortgage loans may differ due to competition. For this reason where you look for mortgage rates in your area could yield several different rates.

• Type of mortgage loan

The type of mortgage product can also influence what you find in places that offer mortgage loan products. For example, the rate and terms of a 203(K) FHA mortgage rehab loan can differ from an REO mortgage on government owned property. Each loan may be subject to different housing regulations and therefore varying interest rate allowances, benchmarks and restrictions. This is especially the case with government and non-profit mortgage loans.

• Mortgage rate variables

The best mortgage rates are dependent on a few financial variables that are ideally factored into the equation when looking for them. A mortgage loan officer should be able to inform you about some of these factors when applying for a mortgage. A basic rule of thumb is the less risk there is to the bank, the lower the rate will be. Risk is calculated using debt to income ratio, credit score, down payment amount, asset worth etc.

• Lowering mortgage rates

After having looked for the best mortgage rates and found some ballpark estimates you then have a mortgage rate with which to improve upon. For example, if you are looking for a 15 year refinance for under $100,000.00 what can you do to lower the rate from the existing quote you are given by a broker, online rate quote, or mortgage lender?  For example, you may be able to purchase ‘points’, which is essentially an extra upfront cost that is entered into your good faith estimate and lowers your mortgage rate.

Sources: (Date of record, October 22, 2010)

1. (
2. (Community Frameworks)
3. (
4. (HUD)
5. (Fannie Mae)