Below you'll find four tips for getting one of today's lowest mortgage rates possible, like these:
More: Compare current mortgage rates in your area.
1. Look your best as a borrower
You'll score a low rate if you can convince a lender that you're a low risk.
So, check your credit score for free and take steps to raise it, such as paying down your debts to give yourself a lower debt-to-income ratio.
A mortgage company wants to know it will be repaid, and a credit score below 700 often won't cut it. If you can make the lender feel comfortable with you as a borrower, you will get a sweeter deal.
2. Look your best as an earner
It's best not to apply for a mortgage until you've had the same employer for two years or more.
Know that lenders favor borrowers who are employed by businesses, versus people who are self-employed and who freelance. A lender might even require you to have a co-signer on your loan if you're working for yourself.
If you work for yourself but your spouse works for a company, you might get a much better mortgage rate if the loan is taken out only in your spouse's name.
3. Put more money down
Sure, there are mortgages that require just a small down payment or even no down payment at all, especially when you're a first-time homebuyer.
But If you put down at least 20% of the cost of the home, you can generally land a lower interest rate.
Not only that, but you also can evade pesky private mortgage insurance, which lenders tend to require from borrowers who make smaller down payments.
4. Weigh your options
Shop, shop, shop around and compare rates. Don't just grab a loan from the very first company you talk to.
Be aware that interest rates vary across loan types. Adjustable-rate mortgages have lower rates than fixed-rate loans, and shorter-term mortgages beat 30-year loans. (But loans with shorter terms also have higher monthly payments.)
In some cases, government-insured loans, such as FHA mortgages, will offer better rates than conventional loans.
Your mortgage interest rate is a choice that could be with you for years. Make a wise decision for maximum savings over that time.