Home Loan Rates

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How to Get a Home Loan

You will likely need to take out a mortgage, or home loan, in order to pay for your home. Every lender has their own requirements. However, it is best for you to strengthen your credit before you look for a mortgage. Your credit score will be checked before you get a mortgage.

It is also a good idea for you to determine what you can afford. You should buy a home that doesn't cost more than 2.5 times more than what you make in a year. For example, if you make $100,000 per year, then your home should not cost more than $250,000.

Furthermore, you will need to build your savings. You will need to make a down payment when you buy a home. You will also have to pay for things like maintenance and property taxes.

It is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The pre-approval process will help you find a lender that will lend to you. It will also tell you how much you can get. Your employment history, earnings and credit will determine whether you will get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Types of Home Loans

  • Conventional Mortgages: A conventional mortgage is a type of home loan that is not insured by the federal government. You will likely be required to get private mortgage insurance. You may also need to make a 20 percent down payment.

  • Jumbo Mortgages: A jumbo mortgage is one where you get a home price that exceeds the federal loan limit. People typically get jumbo mortgages because they want to buy a home in an expensive area. You will likely need to make a down payment of 10 to 20 percent.

  • Government-insured Mortgages: The government is not a single family home loan lender. However, you can get a loan that is backed by the government. The United States Department of Veteran Affairs, Federal Home Administration and United States Department of Agriculture back home loans. FHA loans are a great option for people who do not want to make a large down payment. The minimum down payment is 3.5 percent. The minimum credit score is 580. VA loans are for veterans and active duty military. You won't have to make a down payment. You also won't have to pay private mortgage insurance. Additionally, the closing costs are capped. USDA loans are for low to moderate-income borrowers who live in a rural area. There are income limits that apply. You may be able to get a loan without making a down payment.

  • Fixed-rate Mortgages: If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, then the interest rates will remain the same. Your mortgage payments will also remain the same. Fixed-rate loans typically have 15 to 20 year terms.

  • Adjustable-rate Mortgages: Adjustable-rate mortgages have variable interest rates. The market conditions will determine the interest rate. If you choose an adjustable-rate mortgage, then it is a good idea to look for one that caps the amount of interest that you have to pay.