As I'm answering emails, this ad from Lending Tree pops up:
Note the date on the bottom - February 26th.
First thing consumers need to know is that Lending Tree is NOT A LENDER! Lending Tree is an ADVERTISER. What they do is push ads like the one above, making you it appear that 3.18% is a normal rate. IF you can actually get 3.18%, you will pay a lot of money up front to "buy down" that rate. You will not get a 3.18% loan today for a 15 year mortgage without paying points.
Lending Tree advertises ridiculously low (fake?) interest rates so that you will click on the link, give them your information and then they will give your information to 4 or so different lenders. Then the lenders try to be the first to reply and get you talking so that you will use them for your loan. They will get your information and say, "Oh I'm sorry Mr. Smith, you don't qualify for this rate because of XYZ, but you do qualify for this...."
It's important to know this because legitimate lenders will tell you what your options are and explain how the loans work and what interest rates they can get you at that time based on your work history, income, and credit score.
Interest rates are up about 1% higher than they were, say 6 weeks ago or so. Most of my FHA/VA buyers are being quoted just under 5%. If you have a lower credit score or any other issues that make you a higher risk, you might have a 5.5% interest rate. If you are doing a conventional loan, have an 800 credit score and have the cash to pay 3% in points to buy down the loan, you might see a 3 in the front. **
We are not lenders obviously but can refer you to several good ones that are local, real people that you can sit down in front of and ask questions rather than some 800 number where you're talking with a random person. Your loan rate cannot be locked in until you have a ratified contract so if you are at the point where you are choosing lenders and comparing rates, call each lender the SAME DAY so you are comparing apples to apples.
And don't call Lending Tree unless you want a bunch of random people calling you trying to sell you. You're much better off working with a referral that your Realtor or someone you know has used successfully.
** We are not lenders and are not trying to quote any type of rates. Please check rates with your licensed mortgage originator or broker.