The following article is a guest post from Adam Gibson, who is a VA mortgage expert at VAMortgageCenter.com.
You Can Save Money on Your Mortgage
Purchasing a home remains one of the greatest investments for the long run – if you are responsible throughout the process of your mortgage application and home purchase. It is always important, but especially with this economy, to save wherever you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean coupon-clipping and discount stores – you can save big even with your mortgage. However, you must be smart about it.
Many times people become so enthralled with the idea of purchasing a home that they rush the process to get into one as quickly as possible. Yes, being able to purchase a home is a huge achievement and quite exciting, but you should take the time to make sure everything is done right. You may spend more time than you anticipated, but it will be worth it in the end. This way your happiness will remain after all is said and done, and you will be left feeling confident when faced with those always punctual monthly mortgage payments.
Here are some tips on how to save money on your mortgage:
First and foremost, know your credit.
The interest rate you get on your mortgage will depend greatly on your credit score. It is important to go over your credit report as closely as possible – many times there are errors which remain unnoticed and can end up costing you more money in the long run. Even though some lenders, like VA mortgage lenders, are typically more lenient when it comes to credit – it still pays to keep an eye on your credit score.
If you have a history of poor credit, lenders are more hesitant to dish out the loan for a home. And if you are issued a loan when you have a lower credit score, the lender has the power to increase your interest rate to a percentage that you probably won’t like. In this case, you may want to spend some time repairing your credit before you apply for a loan.
How long are you prepared to pay on the loan?
It’s a good idea to get the shortest mortgage term that you can afford. However, make sure you think about this for a while. It will only hurt you if you are pretty sure you can make the larger payments – this could lead to a bad situation, such as defaulting on the loan. Once you’re confident with the amount you can afford monthly, search for that shorter loan term. For at least the first 10 years, you will be paying on interest only before you even touch the principal amount. So get comfortable with the commitment you’re making before you take the next step.
Be sure your lender is one you can trust.
While this may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised how many people still encounter problems with their lender, even when it seems like closing on the home is just around the corner. Not only should your loan officer try to find you a good rate, he or she should be sure that you are comfortable with your decisions and that you aren’t about to enter into something for which you’re just not quite ready (which you may not even realize until it’s pointed out).
Your lender should also explain all of your loan options and help you find the best fit for your family and financial plan. It’s easy to get confused when you hear terms such as 80-10-10, existing mortgage, assumable mortgage, VA Home Loan, FHA Home Loan, etc., because no one knows exactly what they mean – except, of course, your loan officer. Use them for what they’re there for; ask questions until you feel comfortable and satisfied. After all, this is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, so why not save a little money in the process?