Average interest rate by credit score, year



The average interest rate for the most popular 30-year fixed mortgage is 2.98%, according to data from S&P Global.

Mortgage interest rates are constantly changing, and there are many factors that can influence your interest rate. While some of these are personal factors over which you have control and others are not, it’s important to know what your interest rate might look like when you begin the process of getting a home loan. .

Although mortgage rates fluctuate daily, 2020 was a record low year for mortgage and refinancing rates in the United States. They started to increase in early 2021, but remain relatively low overall.

While low average mortgage and refinance rates are a good sign for a more affordable loan, remember that they never guarantee the rate a lender will offer you. Mortgage rates vary depending on the borrower, depending on factors such as your credit, the type of loan, and the down payment. To get the best rate for you, you will need to collect rates from several lenders.

There are several types of mortgages available, and they usually differ in the length of the loan in years and whether the interest rate is fixed or adjustable. There are three main types:

  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage: The most popular type of mortgage, this mortgage reduces monthly payments by spreading the amount over 30 years.
  • 15-year fixed rate mortgage: Interest rates and payments will not change on this type of loan, but it has higher monthly payments since the payments are spread over 15 years.
  • 5/1 year adjustable rate mortgage: Also known as ARM 5/1, this mortgage has fixed rates for five years and then an adjustable rate thereafter.

Here’s how these three types of mortgage interest rates stack up:

Find out more and get offers from several lenders »

National rates aren’t the only thing that can influence your mortgage rates – personal information like your credit history can also affect the price you’ll pay to borrow.

Your credit score is a number calculated based on your borrowing, credit usage, and repayment history, and the score you receive between 300 and 850 acts as a cumulative grade point average of how you use credit. . You can check your credit score online for free. The higher your score, the less you will pay to borrow money. Typically, 620 is the minimum credit score required to buy a home, with a few exceptions for government guaranteed loans.

Data from credit scoring company FICO shows that the lower your credit score, the more you will pay for credit. Here is the average interest rate by credit level:

Check Your Rates Now and Get Offers From Refinance Lenders »

According to FICO, only people with a credit score above 660 will truly see interest rates at the national average.

Mortgage rates are constantly changing, largely influenced by what happens in the economy in general. Typically, mortgage interest rates move independently and ahead of the federal funds rate or the amount banks pay to borrow. Things like inflation, the bond market, and general housing market conditions can affect the rate you’ll see.

Here’s how the average mortgage interest rate has evolved over time, according to data from the Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis:

Throughout 2020, the average mortgage rate has dropped significantly due to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. Rates throughout 2020 and through 2021 were lower than rates in the depths of the Great

Recession
. Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates hit a low of 3.31% in November 2012, according to data from the

Federal Reserve
of Saint-Louis.

The condition in which you buy your home could influence your interest rate. Here is the average interest rate by type of loan in each state according to data from S&P Global.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a type of secured loan provided by a financial institution to cover the cost of buying a home if you don’t have enough money to pay it upfront. You repay the lender over an agreed period of time, including an additional interest payment, which you can think of as the price of a loan.

Because a mortgage is a secured loan, it means that you are putting your property as collateral. If you fail to make your payments over time, the lender can foreclose or repossess your property. Learn more about how a mortgage works here.

How Much Can I Borrow for a Mortgage?

The amount you can borrow for a mortgage varies from person to person and depends on your financial situation: your credit, your income, and how much money you have available for a down payment. The general rule of thumb for a compliant mortgage (the type most people get, backed by a private company instead of the government) is a 20% down payment. On a $ 400,000 house, that would mean you need $ 80,000 up front.

Note that this calculation may be different if you qualify for another type of mortgage, such as an FHA or VA loan, which requires smaller down payments, or if you are looking for a “jumbo loan” of over $ 548,250 in the area. Most areas of the United States in 2021 (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

You don’t have to go to the first bank to offer you a mortgage. Like anything else, different services have different fees, closing costs, and products, so you’ll want to get some estimates before deciding where to get your mortgage.

What is a mortgage rate?

A mortgage rate, also called an interest rate, is the fee your lender charges for lending you money. Your principal (payments on the amount you borrowed) and interest are consolidated into one payment each month.

What is the difference between the APR and the interest rate?

The mortgage APR is the interest rate plus the costs of things like discount points and fees. This number is higher than the interest rate and is a more accurate representation of what you will actually pay on your mortgage each year.

Why is it important to understand the difference between the interest rate and the APR? When looking for lenders, you might find that one of them charges a lower interest rate, so you think this company is the obvious choice. But you might actually find that the APR is higher than what you can get with another lender because they charge high fees. In reality, it might not be the best deal.

What is a good mortgage interest rate?

In general, you can think of a good mortgage rate as the average rate in your state or lower. This will vary depending on your credit rating – better ratings tend to get better mortgage rates. Overall, a good mortgage rate will vary from person to person, depending on their financial situation. In 2020, the United States saw record mortgage rates across the board, and they are expected to remain low through 2021.

What is a point of call?

A discount point is a commission that you can choose to pay at closing for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. A point of discount typically costs 1% of your mortgage and reduces your rate by 0.25%. So if your rate on a $ 200,000 mortgage is 3.5% and you pay $ 4,000 for two discount points, your new interest rate is 3%.

How do I get a mortgage?

Getting your finances in order starts with getting a mortgage. Having a strong financial profile will a) increase your chances of being approved for a loan and b) help you get a lower interest rate. Here are some steps you can take to strengthen your finances:

  • Calculate how much house you can afford. The general rule is that your monthly household expenses should be 28% or less of your gross monthly income.
  • Find out what credit rating you need. Each type of mortgage loan requires a different credit score, and the requirements may vary by lender. You will likely need a score of at least 620 for a conventional mortgage. You can increase your score by making payments on time, paying off debt, and letting your credit age.
  • Save for a down payment. Depending on the type of mortgage you get, you may need a down payment of up to 20%. Putting even more could earn you a better interest rate.
  • Check your debt to income ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay for your debts each month divided by your gross monthly income. Many lenders want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less, but it depends on the type of mortgage you get. To lower your ratio, pay off debt or consider ways to increase your income.

Then it’s time to shop around and get quotes from several lenders before deciding which one to use.

How do you compare current mortgage rates?

Since mortgage rates are so individual to the borrower, the best way to find available rates is to get quotes from multiple lenders. If you are early in the home buying process, apply for prequalification and / or pre-approval from multiple lenders to compare and contrast what they are offering.

If you want a broader idea without speaking directly to lenders, you can use the tool below to get a general idea of ​​the rates you might be offered.



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Best Mortgage Lender In Your State? Good luck, it’s Quicken



In the state-by-state ranking of most active mortgage lenders, it’s Quicken and everyone.

Quicken Loans was the largest mortgage lender in 30 states in 2020. Quicken’s dominance is no surprise – it is the nation’s largest mortgage lender, having made more than one million home loans nationwide. national in 2020.

Underlining its leadership position in the market, Quicken Loans was the second largest mortgage lender in 12 other states.

But here’s a twist: No other mortgage lender had pole position in more than one state last year. Each of the 20 states where Quicken was not # 1 had a different # 1 lender.

These rankings are based on a bank rate analysis of preliminary Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, with assistance from ComplianceTech’s LendingPatterns.com.

States where Quicken leads the pack

Quicken was the primary lender in the five most populous states – California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. And Quicken was the largest mortgage originator in major states such as George, North Carolina, Michigan (Quicken’s Territory), New Jersey, and Virginia.

Quicken clearly focuses on the states with the most borrowers. The company made the most loans in 14 of the 16 largest states.

States where Quicken is not # 1

Despite its dominance, there are two major states where Quicken does not hold the top spot. In Illinois, the first place was occupied by the guaranteed rate.

Reflecting its efforts in marketing to consumers, Guaranteed Rate owns the naming rights to the approximate stage of the Chicago White Sox. Chase ranked # 2 in Illinois for the number of loans issued in 2020, while Quicken ranked third.

And in Ohio, Columbus-based Huntington National Bank was the state’s primary mortgage originator in 2020. Quicken was # 2 in the state.

In states where Quicken is not # 1, the top spot is often held by a local player. Bangor Savings Bank is Maine’s biggest initiator, Glacier Bank is # 1 in Montana, and Summit Credit Union # 1 in Wisconsin.

Here are the top lenders in each state based on mortgage origins in 2020:

Top lenders by state for 2020
state Top lender Origins Lender n ° 2
Alabama Accelerate 12,463 Regions
Alaska Residential mortgage 4,509 Alaska United States
Arizona Accelerate 43,867 United shore
Arkansas Arvest 11 773 Accelerate
California Accelerate 220,416 United shore
Colorado Accelerate 31,299 United shore
Connecticut Accelerate 9,315 Citizens
Delaware Accelerate 5,073 Freedom
District of Colombia First savings 2 165 Accelerate
Florida Accelerate 74 110 United shore
Georgia Accelerate 43 686 Freedom
Hawaii Bank of Hawaii 5 845 First Hawaiian
Idaho Idaho Central 16,214 Accelerate
Illinois Guaranteed rate 30 230 chase away
Indiana Ruoff mortgage 19,099 Accelerate
Iowa Greenstate Credit Union 16 922 Iowa Bankers
Kansas Accelerate 6,044 Fairway
Kentucky Accelerate 9 649 American Bank
Louisiana GMFS 12,052 Accelerate
Maine Bangor Savings Bank 6,125 Accelerate
Maryland Accelerate 25,868 Freedom
Massachusetts Accelerate 20 727 Citizens
Michigan Accelerate 56,323 United shore
Minnesota Accelerate 16 834 American Bank
Mississippi Turstmark 6,805 BancorpSouth
Missouri Accelerate 11 647 Flat branch
Montana Glacier Bank 5 228 Stockman Bank
Nebraska First National Bank of Omaha 6 646 Accelerate
Nevada Accelerate 16,464 Guild Mortgage
New Hampshire Accelerate 6,197 CMG
New Jersey Accelerate 31 547 Wells fargo
New Mexico Accelerate 6 599 Water stone
new York Accelerate 31,209 chase away
North Carolina Accelerate 40,474 State employees
North Dakota Gate City Bank 3 498 First international bank
Ohio Huntington National Bank 41 084 Accelerate
Oklahoma Accelerate 6,846 First United Bank
Oregon Accelerate 16,144 Guild Mortgage
Pennsylvania Accelerate 29,928 Citizens
Rhode Island Citizens Bank 4,075 Accelerate
Caroline from the south Accelerate 18,094 Freedom
South Dakota Plains Commercial Bank 4 831 First First
Tennessee Accelerate 20 818 Mortgage investors
Texas Accelerate 62 677 Freedom
Utah United shore 26 831 Accelerate
Vermont New England Federal CU 4,518 Accelerate
Virginia Accelerate 38 123 Freedom
Washington Accelerate 36,844 Caliber home loans
West Virginia Accelerate 4,076 National Bank of the City
Wisconsin CU Summit 16,616 University of Wisconsin CU
Wyoming First interstate bank 3 052 Accelerate

What you can do to get a better mortgage rate

Should you go with the largest lender in your state for a refinance or purchase mortgage? It depends.

Before committing to a lender, do your research. To get the best mortgage rate, follow these steps:

  • Compare offers. Get offers from at least three lenders. If you live in an area where competition among local banks is limited, this may require you to shop online. The good news: Comparison shopping can save you thousands of dollars. The bank rate tables are a great place to start your research.
  • Look beyond physical lenders. The bank or credit union where you keep your money may offer the best deal on a home loan, but be sure to shop for comparisons. The rates and closing costs can vary widely depending on the lender.
  • Improve Your Credit Score. This is the best way to lower your rate, and more effective than increasing your down payment or improving your debt ratio.

Learn more:

Correction: The original version of this story ranked the University of Wisconsin Credit Union as the # 1 lender in Wisconsin and Summit Credit Union as # 2. However, these numbers omitted origins via pre-approvals, an active channel for Summit Credit Union.



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LoanSnap Raises $ 30 Million for Consumer-Focused Mortgage Platform



Serial entrepreneur Karl Jacob has attempted to tackle many industries during his career, from social media to cybersecurity. So when a friend asked Facebook’s founder and former strategic advisor if he could help him with his mortgage company, he replied “of course.” He didn’t know what he was walking in. After spending time at the company’s call center, he realized how bad the system was. Jacob saw reps repeatedly asking clients for financial information that reps could easily access on their own, only to then suggest loans that would generate the most profit, even if they weren’t the best choice. for the consumer. Jacob quickly understood what his next business would be.

“What if we try to modernize, not only the tech stack, but the mortgage process as well?” Jacob remembers thinking. “How do we find out more about this person we’re about to lend money to, so that we can guide them as much as possible?” The resulting company is LoanSnap. Launched in 2018, the mortgage platform aims to issue loans that improve the financial future of the underlying consumer. The startup, which has seen strong demand, has just raised a new round of funding, as originally reported in the Midas Touch newsletter.

True Ventures led LoanSnap’s $ 30 million Series B, with participation from venture capitalists such as Baseline Ventures, The Virgin Group and Mantis VC, among others, and people such as the former quarterback. NFL Joe Montana, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. This new influx, which brings the startup’s funding to a total of $ 64 million, will be used to expand its services into other areas. “There are tons of other financial products that we are looking at,” he adds. “Especially those who tend to take advantage of consumers where they shouldn’t.”

LoanSnap isn’t the only startup trying to tackle the mortgage industry. But Jacob says his business is different. LoanSnap isn’t just looking to move the process online or make it faster – although the software seeks to close loans within 15 days – it hopes to leave the consumer in a better financial position than where it started. Users provide LoanSnap with basic information, like the last four digits of their social security number, and its AI system scans their financial information and shows users where they are losing money, like interest on loans. student or credit card debt then recommends a “smart” loan that consolidates all of those payments to give users a way to improve their financial health by paying their monthly mortgage payment. “Our approach aims to show [consumers] very precisely how much they’re losing each month, and then using an AI machine that has one goal, to optimize that person’s financial system, ”says Jacob.

The startup’s services are currently available in 21 states. LoanSnap originates the loans itself, rather than being a middleman or market for other underwriters. Jacob says keeping the entire process within the company allows for faster approval times. The company currently issues mortgages, refinances and home equity lines of credit. Jacob says LoanSnap was able to save its users $ 35 million last year by shifting their payments to a single smart loan, and $ 16 million so far in 2021. The company expects to be profitable from here the end of this year.

The startup is looking to tap into the housing market at a time when business is booming. National Association of Realtors shows home sales in March 2021 increased another 12% year-over-year after months of steady growth, creating a wave of activity in the mortgage industry . Despite the recent growth spurt, the mortgage industry remains fragmented. Quicken Loans holds the largest market share with just 5% market share in 2019, leaving the door wide open for players like LoanSnap to profit from the breakup.



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Montana Withdraws Federal Unemployment Benefits, Creates $ 1,200 Incentive | 406 Politics



Economist Bryce Ward said on Tuesday the state has about 40% more job openings than it normally would at this time of year, a mind-boggling statistic all the more remarkable as it happens in an economy which six weeks ago had only 5,600 below-pandemic-level jobs.

The demand for workers is high, Ward said, because there is a lot of money flowing into the state’s economy. Total labor incomes increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 2019, even though employment was down, and people received stimulus checks.

“People are spending this money and businesses expect more and more people to get vaccinated, they will spend even more of this money,” Ward said.

Because of this, Ward said, goods sector employment in Montana has already fully recovered and has even increased.

This means that the demand is high relative to the supply of workers. And the service sector, such as tourism, accommodation, food services, arts, entertainment and recreation, is just trying to grow.

“They all do it at the same time,” Ward said.

Another factor is the low unemployment rate. Ward said in a report released next week that he expects the state to be at pre-pandemic levels.

Montana’s unemployment rate is 3.8%, almost as low as it was before the pandemic began. This has left many employers in the state struggling to hire workers. And as rental and home prices have skyrocketed in Montana, employees are struggling to make ends meet.



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Loan program helps Montanais with disabilities afford assistive technology | Spotlight on the community



People with disabilities face a number of obstacles in obtaining the equipment they need in everyday life. A program in Montana is helping to change that.

The Montana Assistive Technology Loan program offers low-interest, interest-free loans for devices such as hearing aids, screen readers, and even wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which are typically not covered by insurance. private or Medicare and can be expensive.

Julie Williams, the program’s outreach coordinator, said assistive technology is vital to people’s lives.

“It can cover a variety of different types of technology,” Williams said. “But all of them allow people to live their best lives, to participate in society in ways that they might not otherwise be able to.”

The program is a partnership between the nonprofit financial association Rural Dynamics and the Rural Institute of the University of Montana’s assistive technology program MonTECH. It was able to grow thanks to a federal grant last fall.

According to the World Health Organization, around one billion people worldwide benefit from assistive technology, but only one in ten have access to it.

Ann-Margaret Periman, the Disability Resource Coordinator for Rural Dynamics, said people with disabilities often find it difficult to get loans from traditional banks for these types of technologies.

“People feel stuck in the fact that some of this equipment and some of their needs are very expensive, and they have no way of getting it,” Periman said. “Usually people get social security, social security disability and their income is limited.”

Williams said Rural Dynamics also has a financial wellness program.

A quadriplegic client applied for a loan of $ 50,000 for a wheelchair accessible van, but it was refused. Over the course of a year, Williams said the organization helped the client get their finances in order to get a loan approved.

“We also helped him cut the loan amount he had to take out in half to get the vehicle that met his needs,” Williams said.

She said the program had helped her find a van in the range of $ 20,000.



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PCMA expands its private customer credit activities in Montana



Non-bank lender PCMA has expanded its private client services to meet the needs of affluent borrowers in the state of Montana.

A press release explained that the company’s launch in Montana is in line with its strategy to expand its footprint nationwide and the explosive growth of the Montana housing market. According to data from the Federal Housing Finance Authority, house prices in the state have risen 10% per year, making it the fifth highest in the country. According to PCMA, condos and townhouses are the most popular among its customers.

“Montana’s crystal-clear lakes and majestic mountains provide the ultimate sanctuary for the private client community,” said John Lynch, CEO and Founder of PCMA. “We are seeing private clients diversifying their assets, buying several small luxury homes instead of mega-mansions, and they are moving into more advantageous markets in terms of prices and taxes. Montana hits the mark on all of these fronts and more.

Read more: PCMA launches an advertising campaign highlighting its organized credit offers

Since the start of the year, PCMA says it has seen unprecedented growth in new loan creation and increased loan amounts for high-value areas. The company also continued its nationwide expansion with plans to launch online in Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina over the next three months.

“Our continued growth is evidence of pent-up demand for access to capital from private clients – like OMEGA and ZENITH – who will meet the needs of complex and sophisticated fields,” said Lynch. “Our market-leading products will be a great fit for the home customer community, and we’re excited to serve the affluent needs of the state of Montana.”



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Evictions are on the rise in these states, despite the ban on evictions. What can tenants do



Tenants in Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee may not be protected from eviction.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs or suffered income cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. We have been grappling with the economic effects of the virus for over a year now, and even those who could have handled a short-term financial crisis have not been able to cope.

For homeowners behind on payments, forbearance was available, allowing them to pause mortgage payments for up to 18 months. Meanwhile, the moratoriums on evictions have protected some tenants who have fallen behind with rent.

Individual states have put in place their own programs to suspend evictions, and the CARES law, passed in March 2020, established a national moratorium on evictions last March. After it expired, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched another ban that has prevented landlords from evicting some tenants for non-payment. This ban has been extended several times and will now expire at the end of June.

It is difficult to know exactly how many tenants are currently struggling. Data on mortgage payments is collected and published on a regular basis, but we have to rely on estimates of the number of people behind on rent payments. A household pulse survey conducted in March by the US Census Bureau showed that more than 7 million households are currently behind on their rent payments.

This has a ripple effect, so the owners also face difficult times. Many mom and family owners cannot meet their own bills and maintenance costs. As a result, several housing groups have challenged the eviction ban in court.

Judges in Texas, Ohio and Tennessee have spoken out against deportation ban

In Texas, U.S. District Judge John Campbell Barker has ruled the CDC’s ban unconstitutional. The emergency order issued by the Texas Supreme Court to ensure that judges follow CDC instructions expired on March 31. Campaigners say tens of thousands of Texans are now at risk of becoming homeless.

In Ohio, your eviction protection depends on where you live. District Judge J. Philip Calabrese of the Northern Ohio District Court ruled that the CDC had “gone beyond its authority.” Even so, the Cleveland Housing Court says it will follow the CDC order. In contrast, Akron City Court will allow homeowners whose cases have been dismissed due to CDC’s ban to pass on for free.

Tennessee District Judge Mark Norris has ruled the ban unenforceable, leaving tenants in Memphis, Shelby County and western Tennessee in danger of eviction.

Lawsuits are ongoing in other states, but so far judges in Georgia and Louisiana have ruled in favor of the CDC.

What about the $ 50 billion tenant aid?

The last two stimulus packages together committed $ 46.5 billion in housing assistance for tenants in difficulty. This money will help tenants catch up on the rent they owe.

However, the money is distributed to the states, which has been a problem in some places. Some states have not agreed on how to allocate the money. For example, according to Pew Charitable Trusts, Montana paid only $ 17 million of the $ 200 million received.

With the current CDC moratorium at the end of June, there is a danger that tenants across the country will be evicted before they can access financial assistance.

What can tenants do?

If you’ve fallen behind on your rent, take immediate action to fix the problem, no matter what state you live in.

  • Apply for financial assistance. Look at government agencies, local charities, and other nonprofits to see who might be able to help. What about that rental aid we talked about? Find out how your state distributes it, who is eligible, and how to get your name listed. Keep an eye out for local news. The sooner you apply for a new assistance program, the more likely you are to qualify.
  • Talk to your landlord. Dealing with financial difficulties can be stressful. It may help to remember that your landlord has their own bills to pay and may be facing some difficulties as well. Talk to your landlord about your situation and what you can realistically afford. If you can work out a payment plan, it will make it easier on all sides. Legal proceedings are expensive, so it is in everyone’s best interests to avoid this. Also check to see if your landlord has received a forbearance from the mortgage. If this is the case, you are entitled to additional protection against eviction for non-payment.
  • Know your rights. Each state has different eviction procedures, and there is a patchwork of state and local protections. Your state may have introduced additional protections for tenants. Make sure you understand the process in your area so you know what could happen and what steps could delay these procedures. And don’t ignore any letter or email.
  • Find out if you are protected by the CDC’s deportation ban. You must meet certain criteria, such as trying to make payments and requesting government assistance. You must be earning less than $ 99,000 per year and have suffered loss of income from COVID-19.
  • Get professional advice. If you are facing an eviction, contact your local legal aid office for free or low cost assistance. Having a lawyer by your side can make all the difference.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have fallen behind in their rent payments this year. If you are facing an eviction, don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s not an easy process, but you don’t have to go through it alone.



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Today’s Mortgage and Refinance Rate: April 13, 2021



If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Mortgage and refinancing rates have been falling since last Tuesday. With the exception of the 7/1 ARM rates, all rates have increased since that time last month.

If you are ready to buy a home or refinance, you may want to go with a fixed rate mortgage instead of an adjustable rate. Fixed rates start much lower than adjustable rates, and you’ll get a low rate for the life of your loan. With an ARM, you risk increasing your rate later.

Prices will likely stay low for a while, so you may not need to rush to buy to take advantage of low prices. But if you know you want to buy soon, you might want to start the process of applying for pre-approval and rate locking. More than half of homes in the United States sell in two weeks or less right now, according to a Redfin study. So you’ll want to act quickly once you’re ready to buy.

Money.com Pricing

Learn more and receive offers from several lenders. “

You can lock in a 15-year fixed mortgage rate below 3% and a 30-year fixed rate below 4% today.

We provide the national average rates for conventional mortgages, what you might think of “normal mortgages”. You could get a lower rate on a government guaranteed mortgage through the FHA, VA, or USDA.

Money.com Pricing

Click here to compare the offers of refinance lenders »

Refinance rates tend to be a bit higher than buy rates, but you can still get a 15-year fixed mortgage rate of less than 3%.

Rates generally remain low and have declined from this point last week. You may prefer to lock in a low mortgage rate while you can, especially if you’re ready to buy soon.

But there is no need to rush to get a low rate if you are not ready. Rates will likely stay low for a while, so you still have time to improve your financial situation. Here are some steps you can take to get the lowest possible rate:

  • Increase your credit score by making timely payments, paying off debt, or letting your credit age. You may want to request and review a copy of your credit report to look for errors that could lower your score.
  • Save more for a down payment. The minimum amount required for your down payment will depend on the type of mortgage you want. You have an increased likelihood of getting a better interest rate from your lender with a larger down payment.
  • Lower your debt ratio. Your DTI ratio is the amount you pay for debt each month divided by your gross monthly income. Many lenders want to see a DTI ratio of 36% or less. To improve your ratio, pay off your debts or look for opportunities to increase your income.
  • Choose one government guaranteed mortgage. If you are eligible, you may want to think about a USDA loan (designed for low to moderate income borrowers buying in a rural area), a VA loan (intended for military and veterans), or a loan. FHA (not designated for a particular group). Government guaranteed mortgages often have better interest rates than conventional mortgages. As an added bonus, down payments are not required for USDA or VA loans.

You can lock in a low rate now if your finances are looking good, but you don’t have to rush to get a mortgage or refinance if you’re not ready.

Mortgage rate trends

Mortgage rates have been falling since last Tuesday. Rates have increased since that time last month, with the exception of the 7/1 ARM rates.

Evolution of refinancing rates

Mortgage refinancing rates have declined since this time last week, and two in four have increased since last month.

If you get a 15-year fixed mortgage, it will take you a decade and a half to pay off your mortgage, and your interest rate will remain constant all the time.

You’ll spend more per month with a 15-year term than a 30-year term, because you’re paying off the same mortgage principal in half the time.

However, a 15-year fixed mortgage will cost less overall than a 30-year fixed mortgage. It will take you fewer years to pay off your mortgage, and you’ll get a lower interest rate to get started.

A 30-year fixed rate mortgage is similar to a 15-year mortgage, except that you will pay off the mortgage over 30 years.

You will pay a higher interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage than on a 15-year mortgage. For a long time, you would also pay a higher rate on a 30-year fixed loan than on an ARM. But for now, 30-year fixed rates are the best deal.

Monthly payments are lower for 30-year terms than for shorter terms because you are spreading the payments over a longer period.

You will pay more long term interest with a 30 year term than you would with a shorter term because a) the rate is higher and b) you will pay interest for longer.

A fixed rate mortgage secures your rate for the life of your loan. But with an adjustable rate mortgage, you’ll pay a fixed rate for the introductory period, and then that rate will change periodically. A 7/1 arm keeps your rate the same for seven years. Then your rate will vary each year.

Although ARM rates are relatively low now, you can still prefer a fixed rate mortgage. 30-year fixed rates are equal to or lower than ARM rates, so this could be a great opportunity to get a low rate with a fixed mortgage. This way, you won’t risk a future price increase with an ARM.

If you are thinking about getting an ARM, ask your lender what your rates would be if you chose a fixed rate mortgage over a variable rate mortgage.

You can lock in a low rate today, but make sure you are financially ready before you act.

Mortgage and refinancing rates by state

Check the latest rates in your state at the links below.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
new York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Caroline from the south
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington DC
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Laura Grace Tarpley is a writer at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts and bank reviews. She is also a certified personal finance educator (CEPF). In her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively on how to save, invest, and find loans.

Ryan Wangman is a Review Officer at Personal Finance Insider, which reports on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. As part of his past personal finance writing experience, he has written on credit scores, financial literacy and property.



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Here’s what you can get for $ 1.3 million in Billings, MT



With so many people working from home and now able to live wherever they want, real estate in Montana is set to make some big changes.

The state’s largest city, Billings, has a lot to offer a potential buyer. Known as the “Star of Big Sky Country,” Billings sits on the Yellowstone River in southern Montana.

Billings is known for its stunning scenery and outdoor recreation, thanks to the city’s extensive trail system, parks that encompass hundreds of acres, and the sandstone cliffs known as Rimrocks that surround the city.

The city’s history as a railroad town has made it a regional trading center dating back to the days of the Old West, and it remains so today. Major industries in the region include agriculture, with a large Western Sugar Cooperative, and energy, with three oil refineries in the region, according to the Billings Chamber of Commerce. And companies like First Interstate Bank and Kampgrounds of America are headquartered in Billings.

Billings is known for its stunning scenery and outdoor recreation, thanks to the city’s extensive trail system, parks that encompass hundreds of acres, and the sandstone cliffs known as Rimrocks that surround the city. (iStock)

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Earlier this year, Bankrate.com ranked Montana as the second hottest real estate market in the United States, thanks to factors such as its low tax burden and strong home appreciation.

In the Billings area, the median selling price of a single-family home increased about 6.7% in 2020 to $ 271,000, according to the Montana Association of Realtors.

Meanwhile, Billings homes only spent an average of 38 days on the market in 2020, up from 55 days in 2019, according to the Realtors Group.

With so much to offer a home buyer, here’s a look at what you can get on a budget of $ 1.3 million in Billings, MT:

Pryor Mountain View Drive – $ 1.295 million

This Billings house is listed for $ 1.295 million. (BHHS)

This estate offers panoramic mountain views and plenty of space for entertaining.

The 4,996-square-foot home has five bedrooms and six bathrooms, as listed by Robin Hanel of Berkshire Hathaway HS Floberg.

This Billings house is listed for $ 1.295 million. (BHHS)

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The house has rustic touches like river stone masonry, stone fireplaces, wood finishes and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams.

There are several living areas, terraces and patios perfect for entertaining guests. The lower level walk-in features a wet bar and indoor hot tub.

This Billings house is listed for $ 1.295 million. (BHHS)

The owner’s suite has a heated floor, a fireplace and a bathroom with a large shower and a bench. Two other suites have skylights.

There is also a heated garage and a large shop with an apartment on the property.

Flagstone Drive – $ 1.195 million

This house is on the market for $ 1.195 million in billing. (RE / MAX)

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This house built in 2014 is located in a pedestrian area with several parks nearby.

The 4,744-square-foot home features five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a half-bath, as listed with Rochelle Houghton of RE / MAX of Billings.

This house is on the market for $ 1.195 million in billing. (RE / MAX)

Located in the Castlewood subdivision, the home was custom built and features contemporary finishes.

The kitchen has double ovens, an oversized refrigerator, granite counters, and a large island with seating. It is open to the dining room and living room, which has a gas fireplace.

This house is on the market for $ 1.195 million in billing. (RE / MAX)

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The owner’s suite includes a private café-bar and access to the terrace. Its bathroom has a free-standing bathtub and heated floors.

Outside there is a hot tub and a covered outdoor kitchen with a built-in barbecue and bar seating.

High Trail Road – $ 1.095 million

This Billings house is asking for $ 1.095 million. (BHHS)

This log home sits on over 31 acres, offering a private retreat overlooking four mountain ranges.

The 3,680-square-foot home has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, as listed with Robin Hanel of Berkshire Hathaway HS Floberg.

This Billings house is asking for $ 1.095 million. (BHHS)

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A wraparound deck, grill area, and outdoor entertainment area provide plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors.

Inside, the Great Room features high vaulted ceilings and a two-sided stone fireplace. There is also an open kitchen with double ovens and several entertaining areas.

This Billings house is asking for $ 1.095 million. (BHHS)

The owner’s suite includes a private retreat with a reading nook, a gas fireplace, and access to a private deck and hot tub.

The sprawling property also has a barn and four pastures ideal for horses. There are hills and grassy meadows and lots of wildlife.



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Local Eats: Kalamazoo Town Center Sandwich Place Brings High Quality Ingredients to Your Lunch Break


KALAMAZOO, MI – While many restaurants in Kalamazoo and across the state were forced to temporarily close in March due to the coronavirus, a downtown Kalamazoo sandwich shop stayed the course.

Artisan Sandwich Co., located at 348 S. Kalamazoo Mall in downtown Kalamazoo, “never really” closed, store owner Ryan Schmidt said.

As Michigan’s stay-at-home order on March 16 stifled downtown walking traffic and led to a decline in business in March, Schmidt, 30, said his store’s food orders had in fact increased due to the pandemic.

After losing all of his staff, Schmidt kept his restaurant open and operated the store himself, offering take-out service, until the stay-at-home order was lifted in June. It has since added new and returning workers and currently has five employees, Schmidt said.

Since opening in August 2017, Artisan has been serving hot and cold deli-style sandwiches that emphasize fresh, homemade ingredients. Schmidt says his restaurant’s philosophy stems from two ideas: eat well and live better.

Related: Artisan Sandwich Co. opens in downtown Kalamazoo

Popular specialty sandwiches include: the Kalamazoo Club, with bacon, ham and turkey; the albacore tuna salad sandwich, with fresh albacore tuna prepared daily in small quantities; a turkey and avocado BLT, with fresh avocado sliced ​​to order and hickory-smoked bacon; and the Veggie, which offers a spread of hummus, cheese and vegetables.

After working odd jobs after graduating from Western Michigan University, Schmidt said he decided it was time to take a risk.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do after I sort of tried to figure out life, I said, ‘I’m an entrepreneur and I just have to do it,'” Schmidt said.

After laying the groundwork and assessing the feasibility of making his idea a reality, Schmidt said, he was able to secure a loan from the bank and has since made Artisan Sandwich Co. his passion.

“We really scratched it together, but we got there and in a way that looks mature and professional,” Schmidt said.

Inside the 980 square foot space, guests will notice a modern yet rustic feel. Schmidt said that one of the main influences behind the design of his store was the name “Artisan” itself.

“If you look up Artisan in the dictionary it means handcrafted, specialized made, in smaller batches, so that’s the idea when I built the space, I said, ‘I’m going to handcraft everything ”and literally put the brick on the wall, built the counter myself, painted the ceilings on my birthday in 2017.”

Related: 12 restaurants opened in 2017 in the Kalamazoo district

All of the store’s sandwiches come wrapped in packaging designed to look like an old-school newspaper – which has been a somewhat unexpected hit with customers, Schmidt said.

You can find Schmidt, the new father of a four-month-old son, inside the Artisan Sandwich Shop on most days the Artisan doors are open.

“At first I said, ‘OK, I’m going to be here and let each of my clients know how special they are,’ because customer service is such a huge thing,” Schmidt said. “I remember when we first opened I had a customer ask me, ‘Why are you so nice? And that’s just who I am, but you realize nobody does it like us.

Those wishing to place an order in advance can contact Artisan Sandwich Co. at 269-220-5665.

Also on MLive:

Local Eats: Food Dance in Kalamazoo Adapts to Coronavirus Restrictions with Outdoor Seating and Cocktails to Go

Local Eats: Black-owned restaurants feature community favorites in Kalamazoo

Local Eats: Blue Dolphin owner grateful for support from Kalamazoo community during pandemic