Rates are still low, but you’ll have to jump through a few hoops to qualify.

Is This a Good Time to Get a Mortgage?

Absolutely. In early June, the national average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate conforming loan (under $417,000) was 4.9%, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage-tracking firm. The initial rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (featuring a fixed rate for five years, followed by annual adjustments) was 4.2%. “These are the best rates we’ll see for a decade,” says Guy Cecala, publisher of the newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance. “Don’t count on them getting better.” Business is slow right now, so lenders may even bid for your business if you have good credit.

The thing is, you do need to know what your credit is…. for those with bad credit, it is still hard, and possibliy harder than ever to get a loan now.

That has alot to do with the mortgage crisis and the mortgage meltdown…

But, hey, who’s counting?

Lending standards remain tight, and lenders have been picky even with the best-qualified borrowers. If you’re buying or refinancing the mortgage on your primary home, you’ll need a minimum down payment of 5% to 10% for a conforming loan or 10% to 15% for a conforming jumbo loan. With 20% or more down, you avoid private mortgage insurance, which typically costs 0.5% to 1.5% of your loan amount per year. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which set the standards for mortgages they buy from lenders, require a minimum credit score of 620; you’ll get the best rate if your score exceeds 720. The Federal Housing Administration requires a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify with a down payment of 3.5%, but FHA lenders often impose a higher minimum score of 670. (If you apply with a spouse, lenders will probably base your rate on the lower of your scores.)

If you don’t really need a loan right now, maybe better to paydown debt and improve your debt to equity ratio.

And, if you have bad credit, then may be better to just focus on getting a much better credit score…

did you know that by improving your credit score by a few hundred points can mean the difference between saving hundreds of dollars in interest payments? Think about that….

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