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How We Get Paid

We want this to be a “win-win” situation. So, we only want to get paid if we bring you value in the form of finding a mortgage lender that works for you. After you review and select a lender participating on our platform, with your permission, we will transmit the information you shared with us to your lender, enabling you to complete a mortgage application with them. Upon transmission, your selected lender will compensate us for obtaining your information. Generally, our lenders pay us and incorporate the cost of our services as part of the final interest rate on your loan, or in your loan amount. You don’t pay anything to Credible if your loan does not close. This is common practice in mortgage transactions where you find your lender through a lender-review platform like ours, also known as a “lead generator.”

MORTGAGE

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HOW IT WORKS

Easy to start, easy to finish

1

Fill out a quick form

It takes about 3 minutes to tell us a little bit about you and your dream home.

2

Choose a prequalified rate

Compare transparent, prequalified mortgage rates from top lenders.

3

Finish up with the lender

Verify your information with the lender to close your loan.

How we’re different

A modern approach to mortgages

  • Rates personalized for you

    No bias, no bait-and-switch. We show you transparent, prequalified rates so you can make an informed decision.

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    Fill out a simple form, choose a rate, then complete your mortgage online with the lender you choose.

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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 Feb 26, 2024. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary.

MORTGAGE CALCULATOR

Calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Total finance charges may be higher over the life of the loan • We arrange loans with third party providers.

Financial education

Need more info about getting a mortgage?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage

Getting preapproved for a mortgage is a great first step in the homebuying process. Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for a pre-approval and the benefits of getting one.

7 min read

Learn more

How to buy a house - a step by step guide

There are a lot more steps in the homebuying process than you might think. Review our checklist of steps to buying a house so you don’t forget anything along the way.

6 min read

Learn more

Tips for first-time home buyers

From not saving enough for a down payment to skipping pre-approval, don’t fall victim to these first-time homebuyer mistakes. Here’s how you can avoid them.

6 min read

Learn more

How to qualify for the best mortgage rate

You really have to do your research if you want to get the best mortgage rate. Here’s how to find the best rate for your situation.

5 min read

Learn more
For education purposes only

The information in this section is provided for general education purposes only to allow you to shop for the best loan more effectively and does not necessarily reflect Credible services. For homebuyers, we will not display rates, loan options, take a mortgage application, or negotiate loan terms. We will provide advertisements of lenders you can select from based on a description of factors our lenders work with best.

Mortgage FAQ’s

Still have questions?
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By Daria Uhlig

Daria Uhlig has more than a decade of experience writing and editing for personal finance, specializing in real estate and mortgage content. Her bylines have appeared on The Motley Fool, USA Today, MSN Money, CNBC, and Yahoo! Finance.

Edited by Reina Marszalek

Reina Marszalek is Credible's senior mortgage editor and is an experienced multimedia content creator. She previously served as a managing editor at Policy Genius, where she covered the insurance and home verticals.

Reviewed by Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt is Credible's senior manager of mortgage operations and is a licensed mortgage loan originator in 50 states. Mike has spent 18 years in the industry, working at various financial institutions. He has expertise in all mortgage products, including conventional, FHA, and VA loans.

A mortgage is a home loan secured by the home you’re financing. It is essentially a contract between a borrower and a lender for the lender to finance the purchase and the borrower to repay the loan. The home serves as collateral for the loan, so in the event the buyer stops making payments, the lender has the right to repossess the home through a process called foreclosure.
Mortgages typically consist of two documents: the promissory note, which contains the borrower’s promise to repay the loan and meet other obligations, and the mortgage itself, which secures the loan.
Some states use a different kind of document, usually called a trust deed, in place of a mortgage.
Whereas a mortgage prequalification relies on your answers to questions the lender asks about your credit, income, and debt, a pre-approval is a deeper dive into your credit and finances. That means you’ll need to provide documentation to prove you have strong credit.
The specific documents needed vary by lender. For some, pre-approval is a very preliminary step in the mortgage process. Others provide fully underwritten pre-approvals, so they examine your finances more thoroughly.
Here's how to get pre-approved for a mortgage — and how to find a mortgage lender:
  1. Gather the documents you’ll need for your application. It’s a good idea to have digital copies of the following:
    • Most recent two years’ tax returns
    • Your two or three most recent pay stubs
    • Two or three most recent bank statements and statements from investment accounts
    • A list of your current debts and how much you owe
  2. Research loans and lenders, and request rate quotes from several that advertise competitive rates.
  3. Select the best two or three quotes so you can compare rates, discount points, and other loan features.
  4. Go to the websites of the lenders you’re interested in and fill out their pre-approval applications. Alternatively, you can call the lenders and have a loan officer take your application. Follow the lenders’ instructions for submitting your documents.
You should have your pre-approval before you make an offer on a home, so it’s important not to wait too long to get it. Some lenders can pre-approve you the same day you apply, but others might need a couple of days.
The minimum credit score to get a home loan depends on the lender, the type and size of the loan, and other factors, such as the down payment amount. The following are minimum scores for various loan types — your lender might have more stringent requirements:
  • Conventional loan: 620
  • Jumbo loan: 660
  • VA loan: No minimum imposed by VA; lenders typically require 620 or higher
  • FHA loan: 500 with 10% down; otherwise, 580
  • USDA loan: No minimum imposed by USDA; 550 to 640 typically required by lenders
Prospective homebuyers have several different types of mortgage loans to choose from:
  • Conventional mortgage: A conventional mortgage  is not backed by a government entity. Conventional loans are the most common type of mortgage.
    • conforming conventional mortgage  is one that meets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements for loans they purchase from lenders. The requirements include lending limits and minimum borrower qualifications. The conforming loan limit for 2023 is $726,200 for a single-unit home throughout most of the U.S.
    • A non-conforming conventional mortgage does not conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards. Jumbo loans are an example. True to their name, jumbo loans exceed the conforming loan limit.
  • VA mortgageVA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They allow eligible veterans, active-duty military, and their families to purchase a home with no money down.
  • FHA mortgageFHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans are easier to qualify for than conventional loans. They allow borrowers to purchase with as little as 3.5% down, which makes them a popular choice among first-time homebuyers.
  • USDA mortgageUSDA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Low- and moderate-income borrowers can finance 100% of a home purchase with a USDA loan, provided the home is located in an area designated “rural” by the USDA.
Whereas USDA mortgage loans always have fixed rates, conventional, VA, and FHA loans can have either fixed or adjustable rates.
A fixed rate remains the same for the entire loan term, so the borrower pays the same amount each month until the loan is paid off. An overwhelming majority of mortgage loans have fixed rates.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), on the other hand, have rates that change periodically. They start with a fixed rate that’s typically lower than that of a fixed-rate loan. Depending on the loan, the rate adjusts for the first time after a set period of one to 10 years. After that, it adjusts according to a specific schedule, typically once a year.
ARMs have a cap on how much the rate can change each year and over the life of the loan.
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage loans are the most popular, but terms of 10, 15, 20, and 25 years are also available.
While 15-year ARMs are available, most are 30-year loans. Their terms are expressed differently as compared to fixed-rate loans. The first part of that expression is the fixed-rate period, which can be anywhere from six months to 10 years. The second part is how frequently the rate resets. For example, a 5/1 ARM — which Freddie Mac notes is the most common ARM — has a fixed rate for five years, and the rate resets every year. Other common ARM terms include 3/1 and 10/1.
Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a useful tool for determining how much house you can afford when you’re ready to buy. Your DTI is your total monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. For example, if your debt payments are $1,000 per month and your income is $4,000, your DTI is 25%.
The maximum DTI you can have  varies by loan and lender, but keeping it at or under 43%, including your house payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowners association dues), is best. A good rule of thumb is your house payment should be no more than 28% of that.
A DTI most likely to get you approved for a conventional loan is no more than 33% to 36%. However, 45% is acceptable in some circumstances.
Although other loan types might allow higher DTIs, it’s risky to have that much of your income going to debt payments.

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