Don’t Listen To What Anyone Else Tells You: The Lowest APR Is Almost Always Never The Best Deal When It Comes To A Mortgage

The Lowest APR is NOT Always Going to Be The Best Mortgage Deal


One of the first thing a buyer does is shop for the best mortgage and interest rates when looking to purchase a home. This is great news, because you’re on the right track. This is something you definitely should do initially before beginning your house search. However, lenders give borrowers all sorts of loan options.

It can be very difficult to choose one, when you’ve got several different lenders offering you several different rates. It is absolutely overwhelming. Know that this is a trap, and that there is always a “catch” to every transaction or “favor” in life. Do not make the mistake of just going with the lowest APR, or, “annual percentage rate.” Read on: Five Tips for Picking the Right Mortgage Lender.

The APR is not the same thing as an interest rate. Know this beforehand, and you’re already one step ahead! An interest rate is a percentage of the loan that you will need to pay the lender to actually take out the loan. The APR on the other hand, is interest plus any other fees by the lender that they want to add initially, and/or over the terms of the loan. Here is a little more information about annual percentage rates:

Further information regarding APRs:

1. Absolutely no standard exists regarding what the fees that the lender can and can’t include in the APR. When you buy a house, you’ll have to pay closing fees, and those vary depending on what lender you choose for a loan, as well as the loan terms. An APR on its own, cannot tell you what costs are negotiable, and what costs are non-negotiable. See: FORBES How to Choose a Mortgage Lender.

2. The annual percentage rate is calculated by looking at the entire life of the loan. If you don’t plan to stay in the home for more than a few years, you won’t choose the 30 year loan term. Due to this, you’re going to pay a much higher APR than you would if you planned to stay longer as your monthly mortgage payment is spread out when the loan term is longer.

3. The economy is unpredictable, and as such, APR’s cannot adjust to whether or not you’ll refinance your house at some point, move before the mortgage loan term is up, or whether or not you pay your mortgage off before it is due. Also, there are some types of loans other than traditional, that will require you to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance). APR cannot predict when you will stop paying this. Read on: How to Choose the Right Mortgage Company.

4. You cannot compare one type of loan to another. APR’s work in different ways. Because of this, you cannot follow the myth that the APR is the best option. APR’s can be very confusing, and this is a common question among homebuyers. You should instead compare mortgage rate, as well as the lender fees when deciding on a lender, and a mortgage term. You can also choose to compare mortgage rates without closing costs. Sometimes, a seller will cover these costs for you in the contract.

If you take nothing else away from this article, take away the fact that you should absolutely not choose a loan just because it has the lowest APR out of the lending options. Here is a great video to help you distinguish between an APR and the interest rate:

4 thoughts on “Don’t Listen To What Anyone Else Tells You: The Lowest APR Is Almost Always Never The Best Deal When It Comes To A Mortgage

  • January 4, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Hi..I’m trying to get a loan to buy a house right now…does anyone have any experience with FHA loans? if so, how much did you have to put down? My credit score is not too great, but I’m sick of renting and feel like I’m ready to purchase. I had to file bankruptcy 5 years ago and have been working since then to get it up, but its not quite there yet.

  • January 4, 2016 at 7:22 am

    The nice thing about FHA loans is that you can put down as much as you want. The advantage of the FHA loan is that you can put down as little as 3.5%. Also, if years down the road you want to transfer the mortgage to someone else, instead of selling the house, someone else can assume the mortgage (obviously they need to qualify).

    Some people today take out FHA loans because they are easier to qualify for then conventional mortgages. They are much more lenient with regard to credit scores. I’m sure you can find some more useful information online, but personally, I put down the 3.5% only because I had it, and it made my payments lower.

  • January 4, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Has anyone ever used Wells Fargo?

  • January 4, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews with Wells Fargo. However, I had a great experience. My loan officer communicated with me constantly over phone calls and e mail. After closing they called me and e-mailed me to thank me and to see how closing went and to say they hoped I enjoyed my new home.


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