LendingTree CEO Shares Top 5 Tips on How to Find Those Rock-Bottom Mortgage Rates

With widening mortgage spreads, borrowers need to know what to do to qualify for low rates

Oct 12, 2011, 15:51 ET from LendingTree

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Average and lowest mortgage rates have ticked up slightly week-over-week according to the LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse, which tracks the lowest and average mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network.

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On October 11, average home loan rates offered by LendingTree network lenders were 4.53% (4.69% APR) for 30-year fixed mortgages, 3.92% (4.17% APR) for 15-year fixed mortgages and 3.48% (3.64% APR) for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), showing about a 30 percent increase across the board.

On the same day, the lowest mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network were 3.875 percent (4.00% APR) for a 30-year fixed mortgage, 3.25 percent (3.47% APR) for a 15-year fixed mortgage and 2.50 percent (3.03% APR) for a 5/1 ARM.

"Sub-4% 30-year mortgage rates are making headlines, but borrowers need to know what to do to actually get those rates – or even approved for the loan at all," says Doug Lebda, Chairman and CEO of LendingTree.com. "When there's a rush of refinancers, lenders become flooded with volume and can adjust rates to slow their pipelines and widen their margins.  Since mortgage lending is such a highly-regulated industry, lenders are tightly boxed-in with 'yes' or 'no' decisions for funding a mortgage.  Specifically, the debt-to-income ratio, loan-to-value ratio and credit score. But there are a few guidelines homeowners can follow to increase their chances of being approved for the loan and for snagging the most desirable rate:

  1. Have at least two years income documentation on hand, including paystubs and W2 forms
  2. Research comparable home sales in your area to get a good idea of your home's value
  3. Know your credit score before entering the loan process
  4. Avoid taking on new debt before or during the home loan process as this can increase your credit score and act as a red flag to lenders
  5. Try to maintain a steady employment history and avoid changing jobs right before or during the mortgage process"

Below is a snapshot of the lowest mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan offered by lenders on the LendingTree network, as well as average loan-to-value ratios and negative equity by state.


STATE-BY-STATE MORTGAGE DATA 10/11/11

*Updated Quarterly

   STATE   

LOWEST

   MORTGAGE RATE   

LOAN-TO-

   VALUE RATIO*   

   NEGATIVE   

EQUITY*

US Average

3.50% (3.62% APR)

69.8%

33.5%

Alabama

3.63% (3.75% APR)

68.0%

29.5%

Alaska

3.63% (3.75% APR)

65.8%

19.5%

Arizona

3.63% (3.75% APR)

93.1%

38.9%

Arkansas

3.75% (3.86% APR)

72.3%

43.0%

California

3.75% (3.88% APR)

70.0%

34.4%

Colorado

3.75% (3.88% APR)

72.3%

22.9%

Connecticut

3.63% (3.75% APR)

60.2%

43.4%

Delaware

3.75% (3.85% APR)

67.3%

38.8%

   District of Columbia   

3.63% (3.75% APR)

58.6%

26.8%

Florida

3.63% (3.75% APR)

87.8%

38.9%

Georgia

3.75% (3.88% APR)

80.9%

26.5%

Hawaii

3.75% (3.88% APR)

53.9%

27.0%

Idaho

3.75% (3.88% APR)

71.7%

30.3%

Illinois

3.75% (3.87% APR)

72.4%

32.3%

Indiana

3.50% (3.60% APR)

69.4%

28.4%

Iowa

3.75% (3.88% APR)

67.3%

44.2%

Kansas

3.75% (3.87% APR)

70.3%

32.2%

Kentucky

3.63% (3.75% APR)

67.9%

52.7%

Louisiana

3.75% (3.88% APR)

75.2%

82.4%

Maine

3.75% (3.86% APR)

58.3%

30.7%

Maryland

3.63% (3.75% APR)

70.3%

25.9%

Massachusetts

3.75% (3.88% APR)

61.9%

47.0%

Michigan

3.63% (3.75% APR)

84.0%

33.4%

Minnesota

3.75% (3.88% APR)

66.8%

22.7%

Mississippi

3.75% (3.87% APR)

78.2%

29.2%

Missouri

3.63% (3.75% APR)

71.9%

32.4%

Montana

3.75% (3.88% APR)

60.3%

33.9%

Nebraska

3.75% (3.88% APR)

73.4%

44.7%

Nevada

3.63% (3.75% APR)

112.7%

53.7%

New Hampshire

3.75% (3.86% APR)

70.3%

26.2%

New Jersey

3.75% (3.87% APR)

62.8%  

29.9%

New Mexico

3.75% (3.88% APR)

67.9%  

45.9%

New York

3.75% (3.85% APR)

48.7%

36.0%

North Carolina

3.50% (3.62% APR)

71.6%

32.4%

North Dakota

3.75% (3.88% APR)

61.1%

36.3%

Ohio

3.63% (3.75% APR)

75.8%

27.5%

Oklahoma

3.75% (3.86% APR)

71.8%

50.6%

Oregon

3.75% (3.91% APR)

69.8%

19.9%

Pennsylvania

3.63% (3.75% APR)

61.1%

42.0%

Rhode Island

3.75% (3.87% APR)

63.7%

38.7%

South Carolina

3.63% (3.75% APR)

71.5%

28.9%

South Dakota

3.75% (3.86% APR)

N/A

N/A

Tennessee

3.63% (3.75% APR)

71.6%

29.9%

Texas

3.63% (3.75% APR)

68.1%

31.6%

Utah

3.75% (3.87% APR)

72.9%

22.8%

Vermont

3.75% (3.88% APR)

N/A

N/A

Virginia

3.75% (3.85% APR)

71.7%

25.1%

Washington

3.75% (3.88% APR)

68.3%

21.7%

West Virginia

3.75% (3.85% APR)

66.8%

50.6%

Wisconsin

3.75% (3.85% APR)

69.1%

36.0%

Wyoming

3.75% (3.88% APR)

63.1%

24.2%




For more information on current mortgage rates or for state specific mortgage rates, please visit http://www.lendingtree.com/mortgage-loans/rates/..

The LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse is published every Wednesday. Home loan rates above are reflective of actual rates offered to borrowers by lenders on the LendingTree network. Lowest rates shown reflect the payment of one discount point. Rates will vary based on the borrower's loan details and credit profile. Visit www.lendingtree.com to learn more.

About LendingTree, LLC

LendingTree, LLC is the nation's leading online lender exchange and personal finance resource, helping consumers take charge of all their financial decisions, from budgeting to money management to mortgages to credit cards and more. LendingTree provides a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools to aid consumers in their financial decisions. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 28 million loan requests and $214 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to lenders offering mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of Tree.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE). For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE , join our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mona Marimow (704)943-8030 Mona@tree.com

SOURCE LendingTree



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