The lowest interest rates in decades sound enticing enough, but they are often out of borrowers’ reach.
Mortgage lenders adjust their rates based on perceptions of risk, so unless you can show you’re a low-risk borrower, you are unlikely to qualify for a rate that matches those seen in all the advertisements or headlines.
The rates quoted by Freddie Mac and others are averages drawn from a variety of financial institutions, and lenders use varied approaches to set them. As its base line, for instance, the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union uses rates posted on the Credit Union National Association Web site for New York, according to Daniel Alejandro González, the credit union’s director of lending. Others, like Chase Mortgage, use markers like Treasury yields and agency mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae.
Consumers who want to try for the lowest rates available need to consider these basic factors.
Shopping For the Best Rates