How to Calculate Your Mortgage Rate

How to Calculate Your Mortgage Rate

You should shop around for the greatest mortgage available when purchasing a home. This entails not only locating a lender you can trust and a loan that is tailored to your individual requirements, but also getting accepted for the lowest mortgage rate imaginable.

However, it may be challenging for you to discover the finest one if you are unaware of the variables that are taken into account when determining your personal mortgage rate. And if you don't, you could end up paying thousands more over the length of your home's repayment.

Let's look at the criteria your lender will use to set the mortgage rate it offers you and what you can do to make sure you get the best deal.

Why Mortgage Rates Are Important

The closing fees, the monthly payment, and the rate are likely to be the three mortgage aspects that worry you the most, if you're like the majority of homebuyers.

The less you pay for your property as you repay your loan, the lower your mortgage rate will be. On a mortgage of $250,000, a rate reduction of just 0.25 percent might result in a savings of about $13,000. If you can reduce that rate by a half of one percent, your home will cost you less than $25,500.
It is clear from these figures why your mortgage rate counts.

But how can you influence the interest rates that lenders offer you?

In general, there are two types of factors that affect your mortgage rate: the state of the market and the level of risk you as a borrower present. There are some of these things you can directly affect, even though some of them are outside of your control. You'll be able to make significant financial savings by doing this.

The Elements Beyond Your Control

Let's start by discussing the elements over which you have no control. You may find some comfort in the knowledge that everyone around you is in the same situation, even though they will unavoidably affect your mortgage rates.

Trends in Federal Interest Rates

Although it doesn't officially set mortgage interest rates, the Federal Reserve does set the federal funds rate. Many other interest-based products offered by banks across the nation, including mortgages, are compared to this rate as a benchmark.

Mortgage rates (generally) tend to follow changes in the federal funds rate made by the Fed. But what if their rate increases? Mortgage trends should follow this one.


You might not be aware of it, but mortgage rates and inflation are cyclically correlated. Mortgage rates rise along with inflation. The inflation rate is further impacted by rising mortgage rates.

Although it is an undesirable feedback cycle, you have no control over it.


To be fair, you do have some influence over the neighborhood where you are purchasing. But while buying in the nearby city or county is simple, moving to a different state is a very different ballgame.

Due to factors like population disparities and foreclosure regulations, mortgage lenders may provide slightly varying rates from state to state. You're stuck coping with the effects if your capacity (or desire) to transfer to another state is restricted by factors like your career, family, etc.

The Controllable Factors

Now let's move on to the matters that you can influence. Mortgage lenders take into account each of these elements when evaluating your new loan and figuring out the interest rate you are eligible for.

The mortgage rate you're offered may change significantly if you improve any or all of them.

Credit Rating

Better creditworthiness is linked to a high credit score. Creditworthy customers can qualify for reduced mortgage interest rates because they are seen as a smaller risk by lenders.

You can significantly lower the rates you're likely to be offered by raising your credit score in the years before you apply for a mortgage.

DTI (Debt-to-Income) Ratio

A borrower with a debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, of 36 percent or below is often desired by mortgage lenders. You can be sure that a high DTI will signal risk to banks, which translates to a higher mortgage rate, even though your particular lenders may have their own preferences.

Additionally, a DTI over 43% will almost certainly result in the refusal of a home loan.

Home Value

Homes that cost more than the FHA conforming loan restrictions are frequently in need of jumbo mortgage loans. The minimum income requirement for this loan varies by region, but it is now $484,350 for most of the nation.
A jumbo loan frequently entails higher mortgage rates and bigger down payments.

Your Home's Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratio

LTV, or loan-to-value, refers to the ratio between the value of your home and the total amount of your loan. This can be decreased by making a larger down payment or purchasing a home at a discount from its market value.

The greater the ratio, the greater the risk your lender is willing to assume. Additionally, your mortgage rate is probably going to be greater in return the more risk you ask them to accept.

Term of Mortgage Loan

Last but not least, depending on the loan terms you select, banks may likely offer various interest rates. For instance, rates on variable interest rate loans are typically lower than those on fixed, predictable interest rate loans, and rates on 15-year mortgages are typically lower than those on 30-year mortgages.

Final Reflections

When looking around for a new home, you have no absolute control over the mortgage rates that are shown to you. The market, your state, and even the value of the US dollar are all highly volatile.

There are, however, a lot of variables that you can influence. You may frequently reduce your mortgage rate by a significant amount by trying to improve factors like your credit score and debt burden before looking for a new house, or by selecting the down payment and loan terms that your lender likes.
Over time, you can save tens of thousands of dollars by reducing your rate by even a quarter of one percent. It is simple to understand why trying to reduce your mortgage rate is worthwhile.

This article was contributed on Jul 31 2022