When Shopping for Mortgage Rates, Surprises Await

The interest rates posted online by real-estate websites and mortgage lenders are often not the rates that home buyers get when they apply for a loan.

BY ANYA MARTIN

When shopping for a jumbo loan, what you see isn’t what you get.

A few considerations when checking jumbo rates online:

• Rate bands. Even if borrowers input personal data, some online mortgage calculators on lender websites don’t run full credit checks and base rates on bands of credit score or loan-to-value ratios, rather than precise data

• Points and fees. The interest rate that you are presented with and ultimately get is also a result of the choices made by borrowers—whether you choose to pay a point, pay fees upfront or bury fees into the interest rate or loan amount

• Shop around. Because banks do have more flexibility with base rates with jumbo mortgages since they keep them on their books, borrowers could save money by consulting several lenders.

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