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How To Compare Fixed Rate Mortgage Quotes

When you compare fixed rate mortgage quotes from different banks, you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
You need to be sure to use the same loan amount, down payment and time frame in order for the quotes to be comparable.

A fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the rate does not change during the entire length of the loan. The rate is a bit higher than variable rate mortgages, but if you expect mortgage rates to rise, then a fixed rate can work out to be cheaper during the length of the loan.

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Of course, quotes for fixed rate mortgages can vary between lenders. If you want to shop around for the best rate, you'll need to make sure you compare using the same data and consider all associated fees.

Sometimes, you can buy cheaper mortgage rates buy paying more points. Points are fees that you pay up front which equal 1% of the loan amount. If you are only considering the fixed rate mortgage for a short term (less than 4 years) then you should probably pay the least amount of points. On the other hand, if you are thinking that you will keep the mortgage for the long term, it may be in your best interest to pay as many points as you can afford in order to buy down your fixed rate.

In any event, when you compare fixed rates for mortgages, you need to consider the points in your comparison. Other fees including origination and filing fees should be considered but probably don't make a huge difference over the life of the mortgage. However, if all other things are equal, the fees could be the deciding factor!

Of course, rates can vary daily so you will want to be sure that you do your comparison on the same day (or at least make sure the rate hasn't fluctuated since you got the first point of data). Also, for practical purposes you want to consider the lock in period. This is the time that the quotes rate is good for. Typically, the longer the lock in period that more costly the loan. You need to make sure the lock in period is long enough for you to actually close on the house or you may lose your quoted rate. When comparing mortgage rates, you'll need to make sure you compare ones with the same lock in period.

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