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Your Mortgage Price: The Determining Factors

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This article originally posted on Better.com

What You’ll Learn

There’s no one biggest factor in determining mortgage price. There are many factors that help lenders set interest rates. Some of the factors are within your control.

There are a lot of different factors that decide the price of your mortgage. Some factors depend on you, the homeowner. Some depend on the particular property you have in mind. Some factors depend on the state of the economy. There isn’t one big factor that decides the mortgage price, but many important considerations that help a lender set the interest on a particular loan. Let’s take a look and see what those are:

Market interest rates

Mortgage rates are tied to the general level of interest rates across financial markets. Because of changes in the economy and monetary policy set by the government, interest rates go up and down over time. When interest rates move higher, mortgage rates will follow, and vice versa.

Term

You have a few options when it comes to your mortgage term, which is the number of years you have to pay back the loan. Most mortgages are either 15, 20, or 30 years in length. Interest rates on mortgages with longer terms will generally be higher because there is inherently more risk in lending money to someone for a longer period of time. However, a longer loan term will result in lower monthly payments because the payments are spread out over a longer period of time.

Fixed or adjustable-rate

The most common type of mortgage is a fixed-rate mortgage, where the interest rate on the loan is constant for the entire life of the loan. Your required monthly payment will not change. A less frequent type of mortgage loan is known as an ARM or an adjustable-rate-mortgage. In this scenario, the loan will have a fixed interest rate for an initial period of time (typically 5 or 10 years), after which the mortgage rate will reset and fluctuate based on a broadly followed market rate, called an index. This type of mortgage may be attractive to some homebuyers because the initial fixed-rate period is typically a lower interest rate than if the borrower were to pay a fixed rate for the entire life of the loan.

LTV (loan-to-value) ratio

The ratio of the amount borrowed for a mortgage loan versus your future home’s appraised value is called the LTV ratio. A mortgage with a lower LTV ratio is viewed as safer and therefore usually carries a lower interest rate.

FICO Score

Your FICO score is a standardized measurement of creditworthiness. Higher FICO scores indicate better credit and a greater likelihood that the borrower will not default on their mortgage loan. Therefore, a homeowner with a higher FICO score will generally receive a lower interest rate on their loan.

DTI (Debt-to-Income) Ratio

The ratio of your total monthly debt requirement versus your total monthly income is called the DTI ratio. A homeowner with a low DTI ratio is viewed as less risky and therefore usually receives a lower mortgage interest rate. As you can see, there’s a lot for both you and your lender to take into account, but luckily there are places like Better Mortgage that simplify the process to help you get the lowest rate possible.

Michael Zeus Collins has been a writer for Tokenbread.com for 5 years, writing about debt consolidation and personal finance. He is 49 years old and the father of two children. His father was a mechanic, so Michael grew up around cars and loves to fix them. In his spare time, he enjoys riding horses and ranching.

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Proper Funding Reviews Debt Consolidation Loans Vs. Balance Transfer: Which One Is Right For You?

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Consolidating your unsecured debt with Proper Funding is only the beginning. Then there’s the lower interest rate and then the peace of mind comes next.

Proper Funding offers predictable monthly payments and no more collector calls. Proper Funding wants you to have a happy ending… with 0 debt.

There are a few things to consider when you’re trying to pay down high-interest credit card debt. Your credit score is one factor, and finding an inexpensive way to consolidate your debt is another.

There are many methods available to help pay down debt and save money. Some popular methods include balance transfer credit cards and debt consolidation loans. Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer debt from other sources and often have a low introductory interest rate. Debt consolidation loans are unsecured personal loans that you can use to pay off your other debts, often at a lower interest rate.

6 factors to consider when consolidating your debt

There are a few things to consider when you’re trying to consolidate your debt. You need to make sure you’re choosing the right option for your situation, and that you’re committed to a strategy that will keep you from falling back into debt. Depending on your circumstances, some options could save you thousands of dollars or make the process much easier.

When it comes to deciding between a balance transfer credit card consolidation loan and a debt consolidation loan, it’s important to consider the amount of debt you have and how each option might work. Here are six factors to keep in mind when making your decision.

1. Interest rates

When it comes to credit cards and debt consolidation loans, the first thing you should look at is the interest rate. Balance transfer credit cards offer an introductory period with no interest, but the rates after that period are often higher than personal loan interests, especially for those with good credit scores. This is according to credit expert John Ulzheimer.

There’s no such thing as an interest-free personal loan. You may be able to find a personal loan with a low-interest rate, but it is unlikely that you will find one with a 0 percent APR. As of July 20, 2022, the average interest rate for a personal loan is about 10.60 percent, while the average credit card interest rate is hovering above 18 percent.

The length of the 0 percent interest period is an important factor to consider when choosing a balance transfer credit card. Ask yourself whether you will be able to pay off your debt within the interest-free period. For example, with $5,000 of credit card debt and 0 percent APR for 18 months, could you afford to make monthly payments of $278 to become debt-free?

Debt can be a major burden, but there are ways to manage it. One option is a balance transfer card, which can help you pay off your debt before interest kicks in.

Why it’s important: Your monthly loan payment is primarily determined by its interest rate. A lower interest rate will mean smaller payments and a better chance of paying off your debt. Choose wisely to save yourself money and stress down the road.

 2. Fees

There are a few things to consider before deciding whether a personal loan or balance transfer is right for you. One important factor is fees. Balance transfer offers often include a one-time fee, which can add up to 3-5% of the total amount of debt you transfer. For example, transferring $5,000 to a new card with 0% interest for 12 months may come with a fee of $150-$250. Although this is still cheaper than taking out a 12-month personal loan with an 11% interest rate, which would result in paying $302.90 in interest.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some personal loans charge a loan origination fee- a one-time charge taken out of the total amount you receive. However, banks and credit unions typically do not charge an origination fee on personal loans. Origination fees can be as high as 8% of the loan amount in some cases.

Why it’s important: There are a lot of fees that we don’t like paying, but sometimes it’s worth it to pay certain fees to get a lower interest rate or more favorable terms. Make sure you’re aware of all the potential fees before making any decisions.

3. Fixed rates and payment schedule

Personal loans can be helpful for debt consolidation because the interest rate is fixed and the loan has a set payoff date. With predictable payments, a debt consolidation loan can make budgeting easier. However, Steve Repak, a North Carolina-based certified financial planner and author of “6 Week Money Challenge,” favors balance transfers because they are more flexible than personal loans.

“What happens if you lose your job or have some other financial emergency that prevents you from making the payment?” Repak says. “A 0 percent transfer might give you some flexibility even though it might cost you more in the long run. With a personal loan, you’re stuck with that payment.”

Debt consolidation can be a great way to save money and simplify your finances. But with so many options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide.

Why it’s important: Paying off your debt is all about finding the right repayment strategy for you. It’s important to consider whether you’d prefer the certainty of fixed monthly payments with a personal loan, or the flexibility of a balance transfer credit card.

4. Credit score impacts

When you open a new credit card and transfer all your balances from other cards, your credit utilization on the new card will be close to 100%. This can lower your credit score. Also, revolving debt is viewed negatively by credit-scoring models, so continually transferring debt from one card to another can further lower your score.

One way to consolidate debt and improve your score is to take out a personal loan. This will lower your utilization rate to 0% and may help your score. Although you are not getting out of debt, the credit-scoring models see it this way and your score could rise as long as you make timely payments on the loan.

Why it’s important: One of the most important factors in maintaining a good credit score is keeping a low credit utilization ratio. This means using only a small portion of the credit available to you. This can improve your credit score and help you get better interest rates on future loans.

5. Credit requirements

Debt consolidation loans and balance transfer credit cards are both great options for people with good or excellent credit. Both offer the best rates and terms to those with a high FICO score, usually 740 or above. However, people with good credit (FICO scores from 670 to 739) may also be able to qualify depending on the lender.

For those with a lower credit score, it is unlikely that you will find a balance transfer credit card you can qualify for. There are some secured credit cards with balance transfer offers, but these do not come with 0 percent APR for a limited period. You will also have to put down a cash deposit as collateral.

It is still possible to get a debt consolidation loan with bad credit, but the interest rates will be higher. However, this could still help you save money in the long run by having lower monthly payments.

Why it’s important: It’s important to understand your credit score and how it can affect the interest rates and terms offered on loans. A good credit score means better rates and terms, so it’s worth taking the time to improve your credit profile.

6. Types of debt

There are a few things to consider when comparing debt consolidation loans and balance transfer credit cards. One is the type of debt you have. In general, debt consolidation loans are a good choice for consolidating multiple types of debts. This is because you receive a lump sum of money upfront with a loan, which you can use to pay off outstanding medical bills, credit card balances, payday loans, or other debts.

There are several options available to consumers who are struggling with credit card debt. One option is to transfer the balance of one or more credit cards to a balance transfer credit card. This can be a good option for consolidating debt and reducing the interest payments you make each month. Another option is to pay down small amounts of high-interest credit card debt with a balance transfer credit card that has a relatively short introductory period.

Why it’s important: Having a variety of different types of debt can help improve your credit score. This is because part of what is factored into a credit score is something called credit mix.

Should I get a personal loan or a balance transfer credit card?

Debt consolidation loans and balance transfer credit cards can both help pay off high-interest debt. However, they tend to work best in different situations and for different types of consumers.

When debt consolidation loans tend to work best

  • People who need to pay down debts over a long period, or up to 10 years.
  • Anyone who wants the security of a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payment.
  • People need to stop using credit cards due to the temptation of overspending.

When balance transfer credit cards tend to work best

  • Anyone who has a small amount of debt that they can completely pay off during their card’s 0 percent APR introductory period, which will likely last 12 to 21 months.
  • People who have the discipline to stop using credit cards even after signing up for a new one.

The bottom line

No matter which debt consolidation option you choose, it is important to have the plan to get out of debt. A debt consolidation loan or balance transfer credit card can help you get out of debt, but you need to be disciplined about spending to succeed. Learning to live on less will be the key to your success.

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