best mortgage rateFinding the Best Mortgage Rate will involve some investigation and negotiation on your part. Different lenders will quote you different prices, so round up several quotes to make sure you’re getting the best mortgage rate available. A mortgage calculator will give you a better idea of how your loan is amortized.

Your mortgage rate will depend greatly on your credit, so if you’re planning to borrow in the immediate future (six months out), check your score and see what you can do to improve it. If you’ve missed payments on credit cards and utilities, make sure that you make timely payments for the next six months. And take that time to clear up any mistakes or outstanding issues on your credit report.

Always ask whether a broker is involved. Brokers are usually paid a fee for their services that may be separate from and in addition to the lender’s origination or other fees.

A broker’s compensation may be in the form of “points” paid at closing or as an add-on to your interest rate, or both. You should ask each broker you work with how he or she will be compensated so that you can compare the different fees. Be prepared to negotiate with the brokers as well as the lenders.

Negotiate with at least four lenders. Make the lenders and brokers compete for your business by letting them know that you’re shopping for the best deal. Ask each lender to lower the points, fees or the interest rate. And ask each to meet — or beat — the terms of the other lenders.

Financial contracts can be very confusing. Once you’ve found your best mortgage rate, have an attorney familiar with financing and taxes, examine and explain the details (where the Devil is). A good tax attorney can save you many times his fee over the years, not to mention possible legal problems.

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