10 Ways To Get a Lower Mortgage Rate

Buying a home is often the most important financial decision a person will make in their lifetime. For many, a mortgage is much more than a loan; it’s a financial tool that allows homeowners to build wealth over time. However, the mortgage rate a borrower secures can significantly impact the benefits of this financial move. 

In the world of mortgages, even a fraction of a percentage can profoundly impact a borrower's financial situation. This is why it is crucial for homebuyers to understand which factors influence mortgage rates and how to get lower mortgage rates.

Securing a lower mortgage rate is not just about saving money on monthly payments — it's about achieving financial freedom, building home equity, and securing a more stable financial future. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner considering refinancing, you need valuable insights to help you navigate the mortgage market more confidently and effectively.

Let’s explore the complexities of the mortgage market as well as practical tips on how you can secure a lower mortgage rate. 

Why Is Securing a Lower Mortgage Rate Important?

Beyond reducing your monthly mortgage payment, securing a lower mortgage rate has a long-term financial impact that can significantly influence your financial freedom and stability.

Understanding the importance of a lower mortgage rate begins with understanding that a mortgage is a long-term commitment. With loan terms typically ranging from 15 to 30 years, even a slight difference in the interest rate can translate into a significant difference in the total amount paid over the life of the loan.

Lower mortgage rates also mean homeowners can build equity in their homes faster. Home equity refers to the portion of the home you truly own, which increases as you pay down your loan balance. With a lower interest rate, a larger portion of your monthly payment goes toward the principal rather than the interest, allowing you to build home equity more quickly.

Moreover, a lower mortgage rate can provide more financial flexibility. Lower monthly payments free up funds for other financial goals, such as retirement savings, education expenses, or even home improvements that could increase the value of your home.

Lastly, in a fluctuating economy, a lower mortgage rate can provide a sense of financial security. Lower rates make home ownership more affordable and reduce the risk of default in case of financial hardship.

What Factors Influence Your Mortgage Rate?

Several factors can influence the mortgage rate that a lender offers. Understanding these factors can help borrowers take steps to secure a lower mortgage rate.

Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most common factors lenders consider when determining your mortgage rate. A higher credit score indicates a lower risk to the lender, which can translate into a lower interest rate for the borrower. Lenders typically offer the best mortgage rates to borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher.

Down Payment

The size of your down payment can also affect your mortgage rate. A larger down payment reduces the lender's risk because it decreases the loan-to-value ratio, which is the amount of the loan compared to the value of the property. Borrowers who can make a down payment of 20% or more often secure lower mortgage rates.

Loan Amount

The amount you borrow can impact your mortgage rate as well. Larger loans often come with higher interest rates because they represent a greater risk to the lender. However, some lenders offer jumbo loans at lower rates to attract high-value borrowers.

Loan Term

The length of time you choose to repay your loan can also influence your mortgage rate. Shorter loan terms, such as a 15-year mortgage, typically have lower interest rates than longer loan terms, like a 30-year mortgage. However, shorter loan terms also result in higher monthly payments.

Type of Loan

The type of mortgage loan you choose can affect your mortgage rate. Fixed-rate mortgages offer a set interest rate for the entire life of the loan, providing stability and predictability. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest rates that can change over time, typically starting lower than fixed-rate mortgages but potentially increasing later.

Government-backed loans, such as FHA loans and VA loans, often offer lower rates than conventional loans but have specific eligibility requirements.

Market Conditions

Economic factors and market trends play a significant role in shaping mortgage rates. During periods of economic strength, interest rates typically increase to mitigate inflationary pressures. Conversely, during economic downturns, rates often decrease to incentivize borrowing and bolster economic activity.


Depending on the loan program, different lenders can offer different mortgage rates. Some may have more competitive rates because of their size or the variety of loan programs they offer, while others might offer lower rates as a promotional strategy. Shop around and compare rates from different lenders to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Your DTI is the percentage of your monthly income that goes toward paying your debts. Mortgage lenders use this ratio to assess your ability to manage your monthly loan payments. A lower DTI can result in a lower mortgage rate.

10 Ways To Get a Lower Mortgage Rate

Understanding the factors above can help borrowers take proactive steps to improve their chances of securing a lower mortgage rate. With that knowledge, you can take one or several strategic steps to secure a more affordable home loan.

1. Improve Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score signals to lenders that you're a reliable borrower, increasing your chances of securing a lower mortgage rate. Take action by consistently paying bills on time, maintaining low credit card balances, being mindful of new inquiries to your credit, and monitoring your credit report for inaccuracies. These steps demonstrate financial responsibility and improve your creditworthiness in the eyes of lenders.

2. Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Lowering your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) improves your chances of securing a lower mortgage rate. Lenders see lower DTIs as a positive sign, indicating a balanced financial situation and capacity for a new mortgage payment to be added into your expenses. Aim for a DTI below 36%, a commonly favored threshold by lenders. To achieve this goal, focus on paying down debts and exploring ways to increase your income.

3. Save for a Larger Down Payment

A larger down payment can help you secure a lower mortgage rate because it reduces the lender's risk. It also reduces your loan-to-value ratio, another factor that lenders consider when setting mortgage rates.

4. Consider a Shorter Loan Term

Shorter loan terms often come with lower interest rates. While a 15-year mortgage will have higher monthly payments than a 30-year loan, the total interest paid over the life of the loan can be significantly less.

5. Lock In Your Rate at the Right Time

Mortgage rates fluctuate based on market conditions. If rates are low or expected to rise, consider locking in your rate. A rate lock guarantees your mortgage interest rate for a specific period, protecting you from potential rate increases.

6. Consider Buying Points

In a rate buydown program, you use mortgage points, or discount points, fees you pay to the lender at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate. In essence, you are paying more upfront in exchange for a rate reduction.

This could be a good strategy if you plan to stay in the home for a long time, as the savings you gain from a lower interest rate could eventually outweigh the upfront cost.

7. Choose the Right Type of Mortgage

The type of mortgage you choose can affect your rate. Fixed-rate mortgages offer stability, while adjustable-rate mortgages may offer lower initial rates. Government-backed loans, like FHA or VA loans, can also offer attractive rates.

8. Maintain a Stable Employment History

Lenders prefer borrowers with a stable employment history. Changing jobs frequently or going long periods without a job can be red flags. If you're considering a job change, you might want to secure your mortgage first.

9. Add a Second Signer 

Adding a second signer to a mortgage is another way individuals frequently receive better mortgage rates. By agreeing to cosign the mortgage documents, this second party essentially takes on responsibility for any portion of the mortgage payment that is not paid by the primary borrower, lowering the risk of default for private lenders and potentially tapping into better rates as a result. 

10. Consult With a Mortgage Professional To Find the Best Rates

A mortgage professional, such as a mortgage broker, can help you navigate the mortgage process and advise you on strategies to secure a lower rate. They can also help you understand the terms of your loan and negotiate with lenders on your behalf.

Don't settle for the first mortgage rate you're offered. Rates can vary from lender to lender, so it pays to shop around for the lowest rate. Be sure to compare not only the interest rates but also the terms, fees, and premiums associated with each loan. If you choose the right broker, they can do the work for you. 

Securing a lower mortgage rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. By understanding the factors that influence mortgage rates and taking steps to make yourself a more attractive borrower, you can increase your chances of securing the best possible rate.

When Should You Consider Refinancing? 

Refinancing your mortgage means replacing your existing loan with a new one. This new loan typically comes with a lower interest rate or a more suitable loan term.

Refinancing can be an effective strategy for reducing your monthly mortgage payments, lowering the overall cost of your loan, or even tapping into the equity of your home. However, it's important to understand when the right time to consider refinancing is.

One of the primary reasons homeowners choose to refinance is due to lower interest rates in the market. If there's been a significant drop in rates since you first took out your mortgage, refinancing could be a smart financial move.

Even a slight reduction in your interest rate, say by 1%, can lead to substantial savings over the life of your loan. However, you may want to use a mortgage calculator to get an idea of potential savings and compare it with the cost of refinancing to ensure it's a cost-effective decision.

Another reason to consider refinancing is if your credit score has improved significantly since you first secured your mortgage. Lenders tend to reserve their best rates for those with excellent credit. An improved credit score could qualify you for a lower interest rate, leading to more savings in the long run.

Changes in your financial situation can also signal that it's time to consider refinancing. For instance, if your income has increased considerably or you’ve substantially reduced your debt, you may now be in a position to afford higher monthly payments.

In this case, refinancing to a shorter loan term could be beneficial. It would allow you to pay off your mortgage faster and save on the total interest payments over the life of the loan.

How Can a Mortgage Broker Help You Secure the Right Mortgage for You?

In your search for a lower mortgage rate, you may want to reach out to a mortgage broker. When it comes to securing financing for a home, every buyer's needs are unique. 

Recognizing this, Vaster offers a robust suite of conventional and Non-Qualified Mortgage (Non-QM) loan options that are tailored to meet the diverse needs of borrowers. Vaster stands ready to meet these needs with a personalized approach and a deep understanding of the financing nuances required by both local and global clients.

We focus on offering conventional and Non-QM loans that are precisely aligned with our clients' individual circumstances and investment goals. Whether you’re purchasing a primary residence, a vacation home, or an investment property, Vaster’s loan solutions are designed to be as adaptable as the lives of the homeowners we serve.

Our extensive local network of lenders gives our clients access to the best rates available for their home or investment purchases. Additionally, thanks to our combined decades of expertise, you’ll know you’re in good hands. 

The Bottom Line

Securing a lower mortgage rate is a strategic move that can lead to substantial savings over the life of your loan, faster equity build-up, increased financial flexibility, and a more secure financial future. Understanding the factors that influence mortgage rates and implementing strategies to make yourself a more attractive borrower can significantly increase your chances of securing a lower mortgage rate.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor looking to refinance, Vaster can be a valuable partner in your search to secure a lower mortgage rate. Contact one of our loan specialists today to get started.


What is a credit score? | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

How does inflation affect mortgages in light of rising interest rates? | Economics Observatory

Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio | Wells Fargo

How to Improve Your Credit Score: Tips & Tricks | Debt.org

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