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Looking for the best mortgage rates? You’re in good company. If you’ve been doing your research on how to find the best mortgage interest rates, you know that even a single percentage point in your mortgage rate can mean savings of tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. More than a single percentage point and you could be talking about a savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But just because you understand how important it is to get the best rate possible doesn’t mean you know where to look for those rates. Here are the top three places to look:
The absolute number one way to find the best rates today is by conducting a search online. LoanLove features an easy-to-use “compare rates” feature that allows you to, well, compare rates to help you find the lowest rates from lenders across the country. Just be aware that once you find a low rate, you still need to do some homework – researching (again online) customer reviews and learning about any “fine print” that may reveal certain fees or costs associated with the loan.
If you have an established relationship with a local bank or a credit union, you may be on the insider track to some good deals. Local banks are often willing to provide discounts for customers with multiple accounts and credit unions frequently have special rates for members. Don’t belong to a credit union? Look around – online, through your job, through professional affiliations or alumni associations – and find out which ones you’re eligible to join. While credit unions used to be few and far between, today there are many to choose from, and chances are, you qualify for at least one.
Don’t limit yourself to family and friends – your coworkers, mail carrier, bus driver, minister or rabbi – in short, anyone who knows you and with whom you can strike up a conversation can be a good candidate for information about good deals. Of course, just because you know and even trust a source doesn’t mean you should take their recommendation; consider these endorsements as new possibilities that need to be researched as thoroughly as you would research any other financial product.
It used to be a large regional paper was the only way to find a great mortgage rate; today, the Sunday finance section has been replaced by the 24/7 availability of the worldwide web. But because regional papers often feature time-sensitive deals only available locally, it can still be worth the $1 or $2 investment to see what’s being offered.