Compare Mortgage Rates
Anyone considering refinancing a home mortgage should compare mortgage rates because there is a wide variation between financial institutions. Homeowners can contact individual financial institutions or use mortgage brokers who will do it on their behalf. There are also a number of online sites that will give you comparative data instantly.
When comparing mortgage rates, keep in mind that you need to be sure that the mortgage terms are the same: length of term, interest rate, number of points. Get an estimate of closing costs because they do vary from lender to lender.
One decision a homeowner faces is whether to go for a 30 year or a 15 year fixed mortgage. Usually the 15 year fixed mortgage rate is lower than the 30 year fixed mortgage rate.
For the 15 year mortgage, the monthly payments are higher, but you pay off the loan in half the time, saving greatly on interest costs. With a 15 year fixed mortgage, the homeowner will build equity faster and will own the home outright sooner. This has benefits for homeowners who have substantial savings, but if making the higher payments is a strain, it is better to go with a 30 year fixed mortgage.
One advantage of 30 year fixed mortgages is even though the interest rate is a little higher the monthly payment is lower. This keeps costs down, allowing the homeowner to pay smaller payments or making a more expensive house affordable.
One way to reap some of the benefits of a 15 year mortgage without the financial commitment is to get a 30 year fixed mortgage and make a 13th payment every year. Tell the lender that you want this payment applied to principal, and you can cut several years off your loan.