Even before you go hunting for the best mortgage deal for your dream house, you need to have a clear understanding of mortgage interest rates. Mortgage interest rate is one of the biggest factors (though not the only factor) in deciding what mortgage deal is best for you. Also, mortgage interest rate is one of the most important things that you use to measure how good a mortgage lender is. So lets get started with gaining some basic understanding of mortgage interest rates.
The mortgage lenders keep floating new mortgage plans all the time. However, all these plans are based on just 2 types of mortgage interest rates i.e. fixed mortgage interest rate and adjustable mortgage interest rate. While the fixed mortgage interest rate is fixed for the entire term of the loan, the adjustable mortgage interest rate adjusts itself after short intervals of time and is based on a pre-determined financial index (like treasury security). The adjustable mortgage interest rate could adjust itself on monthly, annually, 3-yearly, 5-yearly or as agreed with the mortgage lender. So the mortgage interest rate remains fixed till the next cycle of mortgage interest rate adjustment when it adjusts to the prevailing mortgage interest rate which is based on the financial index.
Moreover, you might have a cap (a limitation) on the amount/percentage by which the monthly-payment/ mortgage-rate can adjust at each adjustment cycle. Further, the mortgage interest rates are different for different loan durations e.g. the fixed mortgage interest rate for a 15 year loan is lesser than the fixed mortgage interest rate for 30 year loan tenure. Besides that there are mortgage plans that offer you the option of changing from adjustable mortgage interest rate to a fixed mortgage interest rate. Such mortgage plans become very handy when you are on an adjustable mortgage interest rate that is expected to rise in the near future. Moreover, such an option can save you the hassle of going for a refinancing option.
Another factor affecting the mortgage interest rate is the points i.e. the percentage of total mortgage amount that you pay upfront towards interest. One point is equal to 1% of the total loan amount. Paying points entitles you to a lower mortgage interest rate (for the mortgage lender, its like an instant return on their investment). Generally, mortgage lenders float various combinations of points and mortgage interest rates for various offers. The points system is more effective in high interest regime since in low interest regime the rates are already so low that incentive to further lower the interest rates is not so attractive.
So, those were some basic facts about mortgage interest rates which everyone should be aware of.
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