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Compare Current Mortgage Rates in South Carolina

South Carolina Housing is one of many mortgage assistance programs that a first-time homebuyer can use to get a more affordable interest rate on a South Carolina mortgage.

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    Mortgage rates can fluctuate, which is why first-time homebuyers in South Carolina should understand how interest rates impact the overall cost of buying a home. Both private loans and government-backed mortgage loan rates will vary; even the smallest percentage point variance can save or cost you thousands of dollars.

    Thankfully, there are resources available from the South Carolina government and the federal government to help borrowers secure the lowest mortgage rates possible. 

    WEEKLY TRENDS AND INSIGHTS

    How are mortgage rates determined in South Carolina?

    Compare mortgage rates with your neighbor and you might find that you have similar, but not identical, interest rates. That’s because South Carolina mortgage rates depend on a range of factors that are unique to each borrower. First-time homebuyers who understand what these factors are have a better chance of securing a lower rate.

    Both personal and economic factors impact mortgage rates. Personal factors are those that you control, such as how much of a down payment you save, which loan you choose, and your credit score.

    Economic factors are beyond your control and include buyer demand, housing availability, inflation rates, and the Federal Reserve rate that determines short-term loan rates between banks.

    Borrowers who have high credit scores and large down payments may be able to secure the lowest rates available. However, depending on the housing market and economy, there’s a chance that even the most qualified borrower will receive a higher-than-normal rate. It helps to know what factors are within your control and what you can improve.

    Comparing average rates from multiple lenders is one way to identify which lender may offer you the lowest rates available before you apply for a mortgage.

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    Does South Carolina have a first-time homebuyer program?

    The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority’s Homebuyer Program has loans specifically for first-time homebuyers. The SC Housing program has different qualifications for what it considers targeted and nontargeted counties.

    To qualify for the program in nontargeted counties, you must be a first-time homebuyer or have not owned a home within three years of closing. For targeted counties, you must not own a home or have any interest in a home at closing. 

    You must meet the following requirements to qualify for FHA loans through SC Housing:

    • Minimum credit score of 620
    • A down payment of 3.5%

    Application qualifications for conventional loans through SC Housing are:

    • Minimum credit score of 640
    • A down payment of 3%

    To qualify for VA loans and USDA Rural Housing Service loans, you must meet these requirements:

    • Minimum credit score 640
    • A down payment of 0% 

    COMPARE

    National mortgage rates by loan term

    Mortgage rates drop or rise daily, reacting to changing economic conditions, central bank policy decisions, and investor sentiment. The table below shows recent trends in mortgage rates.

    ProductInterest rateAPR

    Last updated on Jun 17, 2024. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

    How do I get the best mortgage rate in South Carolina?

    To get the best mortgage rate in South Carolina, it’s a good idea to improve your financial picture before you make an offer on a home. The first step is to understand the types of mortgage loans available in South Carolina and identify which ones you think you’ll qualify for. 

    Compare eligibility requirements and follow these suggestions before you start your home search so your borrower profile is as good as it can be when you formally apply for a mortgage:

    • Check your credit report and remove inaccurate information
    • Pay down existing debts to improve your credit score 
    • Anticipate your maximum listing price and save more than a 20% down payment
    • Compare loans from online lenders, credit unions, and traditional banks
    • Negotiate with a lender for better terms or a lower interest rate
    • Get pre-approved for a loan so a seller knows you can secure financing
    • Don’t open new lines of credit or make large purchases when home shopping
    • Add a cosigner if necessary to secure a lower interest rate or higher mortgage amount

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    What type of mortgage can I get in South Carolina?

    First-time homebuyers in the Palmetto State should investigate the SC Housing program. This loan assistance program helps qualified borrowers secure low, fixed interest rates and down payment assistance.

    South Carolina buyers can also look into other loans that are common nationwide, including conventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, and USDA loans.

    Conventional loan

    • Description: Private lenders, banks, and credit unions offer these traditional, non-government-backed loans.
    • Requirements: Lenders set minimum credit score and down payment requirements.
    • Terms: Varies.
    • Pros: As low as 3% down payment requirement, fixed or adjustable interest rates are possible.
    • Cons: Some lenders may require a high credit score or a significant down payment.

    Jumbo loan

    • Description: A special loan for mortgages that exceed $766,550 or more in some counties.
    • Requirements: Loans can’t exceed the government maximum limit or fall below the conventional limit.
    • Terms: Varies.
    • Pros: Helps homebuyers secure a loan for a more expensive home.
    • Cons: Lenders may require a higher down payment and credit score.

    FHA loan

    • Description: A private loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
    • Requirements: Borrowers must meet lender requirements, and lenders must be approved by HUD.
    • Terms: Maximum 30 years.
    • Pros: Easy to qualify for, low closing costs, and low down payments.
    • Cons: Could have additional government fees and strict eligibility requirements.

    VA loan

    • Description: A private loan with a portion of it backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Requirements: Borrowers must be service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.
    • Terms: Varies.
    • Pros: Terms may be better than conventional loans.
    • Cons: Borrower criteria make most non-service personnel ineligible.

    USDA loan

    • Description: Loans specifically for low- and very-low-income buyers in designated rural areas.
    • Requirements: You may qualify if you are unable to secure a loan elsewhere, are without sufficient housing, and agree to live in the home as a primary residence.
    • Terms: 33 years for low-income applicants, 38 years for very low-income applicants.
    • Pros: No down payment required and as low as a 1% fixed interest rate.
    • Cons: Borrower must meet all eligibility requirements, including meeting the adjusted minimum income level in the home’s area.

    Along with the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority program and the USDA Rural Development in South Carolina program, HUD also encourages prospective South Carolina homebuyers to look into the following programs for additional assistance:

    • Housing counseling: You can search for HUD-approved housing counseling on the agency’s website.
    • Local grants: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients may have programs that assist homeowners with repairs on their purchased homes.
    • Habitat for Humanity: The organization builds new houses and improves existing homes for homeowners who meet certain requirements.

    FINANCIAL EDUCATION

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