Take the first step by getting prequalified
After you find the right home, getting the right mortgage is the next important decision you’ll make in the homebuying process. Being prequalified by a mortgage lender lets you know how much you can borrow. To be sure you’re getting the best deal, talk with multiple lenders and compare their mortgage interest rates and loan options.
Learn the difference between the annual percentage rate (APR) and the interest rate.
It’s important to determine how much of a house you can afford when you’re starting the process.
How much home can you afford?
Take the first step and get prequalified.
Here’s how to choose a mortgage lender
Looking at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the best way to compare lenders because it shows you the total cost of a loan. It tells you the interest rate your bank will charge for your loan, but also factors in any additional costs that you’ll need to pay to get that rate—like mortgage (or discount) points or lender origination fees.
You can also ask for a recommendation from your family, friends or real estate agent. Or, you can visit your local bank branch, credit union, savings institution or mortgage company.
Ask yourself these questions to weigh your mortgage lender and loan options:
- Do you currently have a relationship with the lender?
- What level of service does the lender provide?
- How easy will it be to access your accounts, pay your bills and get help?
- Does the lender offer a variety of loan options?
- Which loan program is the best for your needs?
- How much does the lender charge in origination fees?
Find out how much you’re qualified to borrow
Being prequalified or conditionally approved for a mortgage is the best way to know how much you can borrow. A prequalification gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow based on your income, employment, credit and bank account information.