Homeowners who have made these home mortgage mistakes wish they could back up and start over, but sometimes it’s too late.
Instead of having regrets later, heed these warnings before you apply for a home mortgage loan.
Mistake #1: Thinking that bigger is always better.
When it comes to obtaining a mortgage loan, that big-name bank might be the absolutely wrong choice. A small local bank or a mortgage broker with access to programs from multiple banks might be the best choice.
While it’s true that we no longer live in towns with a local banker who knows our family, knows our reputation, and can make decisions based on his or her own judgement, locals do have knowledge that can be helpful to us. They might also have more flexibility and more ability to actually consider each circumstance and find a program to suit your needs.
In addition, your local banker or mortgage broker might be far more interested in helping you, if for no other reason than to promote his or her own business and reputation.
Mistake #2: Taking too long to make decisions.
If you’re making comparisons between two or more lenders, make it a priority to decide. If you’ve got a house in mind that you want to buy, you need to move quickly. If you don’t already have that house under contract, it could already be sold to someone who made faster decisions.
If you do have the house under contract, do not delay over choosing a lender and locking a loan rate.
Sit down with the paperwork as soon as you have it and make your comparisons. Don’t wait until morning – or until after dinner. Rates can and do change drastically, sometimes not just overnight but from morning to afternoon.
Mistake #3: Not fiercely protecting your credit rating.
Just one missed payment on a credit card can drop your FICO credit score up to 110 points! And in case you didn’t know it, reducing your score by that much will make a profound difference in the mortgage interest rate you’ll be offered. Even worse news is that the missed payment will remain on your credit report for 7 years.
So – just don’t miss a payment. Pay every bill on time, every time. Some accounts do have grace periods, but don’t get into the habit of using them. If you do, you could fall prey to “time creep” and suddenly realize that a payment was due yesterday.
Mistake #4: Becoming complacent.
You purchased your house a few years ago and got a rate that you could comfortably pay. In the years since, your income has increased, so the payment is even less of a burden. As a result, you just make the payment each month and don’t think much about it.
That could be costing you a bundle! Even now that rates have gone up, it could pay to take a look at the rate you’re paying and the rate you could be paying. It’s true that a refinance does usually come with fees, but it could still be worth the time to do the calculations.
Here’s a for-instance: If you’ve been paying 10% and could now refinance at 7%, your savings on each $100,000 that you owe would be $212 per month.
Mistake #5: Paying only the minimum.
Whether it’s a credit card or a home loan, paying a bit more than required can pay off handsomely.
Remember that the interest you pay is calculated on the balance owing each month. So when you make extra payments toward the principal of your loan, you pay less interest and more of each payment goes to the principal. A few cents less interest becomes a few dollars less interest – and over time can mean paying off your mortgage years sooner.
Some people make a whole extra payment each year. Some make bi-monthly payments. Some make a large lump sum payment when they get a tax refund or a bonus at work.
But it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. I know someone who rounded a car payment up from $271.65 to $275 per month. The result was that the car was paid off 3 months early.
So think about it. Even adding an extra $20 to your payment each month will save you money in the long run.
If you’d like to see where you stand…
Contact us at Homewood Mortgage, the Mike Clover Group. We’ll be glad to talk with you, determine which loan program would be most beneficial to you, and provide you with a loan estimate that you can use in comparing us to other lenders.
We do have a reputation for fast, friendly service, with some of the lowest rates and best terms available anywhere in Texas.
Call us today at 800-223-7409