Today's Rates In Louisiana
September 22 2021
September 22 2021
September 22 2021
Louisiana mortgage lenders offer a lot of options for borrowers who are looking to buy a home, refinance a mortgage or take out a home equity loan. Finding the right one for you isn't hard, but it does require learning a bit about home loans and how to find the best Louisiana mortgage loans.
There's a lot of information and tools on MortgageLoan.com to help you get up to speed – an extensive archive of consumer articles on home loans and real estate, mortgage calculators to help you run the numbers, a glossary of mortgage and financial terms, and more. You can also use our rate request form, at the top of the page, to request free, personalized quotes for Louisiana mortgage rates tailored just for you, whether you're buying a home, refinancing or seeking a home equity loan.
You can explore the site for detailed information – just follow the links at the top and bottom of this page for the topics you're interested in. Meanwhile, here's a rundown of some of the most important things to know about home loans and how to find the best Louisiana mortgage rates.
About mortgage rates
Mortgage rates are different from most consumer products in that they're personalized. That is, the rate you pay depends a lot on you, the borrower. You can check the listings of current Louisiana mortgage rates to get an idea of what you can expect to pay at any given time, but remember that those are averages. The rate you pay can be affected by your credit score, down payment, the fees charged by the lender you choose and more.
Rates also vary depending on the type of home loan you get. An FHA loan in Louisiana may give you a different rate than you'd get on a conventional mortgage or on a VA loan. Home equity loans have higher rates than a mortgage used for to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage.
When shopping for home loans in Louisiana, don't just look at the mortgage rates. The rates are only part of the story. You need to look at both rates and fees – the closing costs charged by the lender. Closing costs range from 2-6 percent of the loan amount – so they definitely have an impact on the overall cost of the loan. Some lenders may charge high fees to offset a low rate – so be wary.
In particular, be aware of discount points. Discount points are a way of buying a lower mortgage rate. Each point you buy costs 1 percent of the loan amount and lowers your rate by a certain amount – generally an eighth to a quarter of a percentage point. Buying discount points can save you a lot of money on mortgage interest over the life of a loan, but they can also be used to hide the true cost of a loan in mortgage advertisements and offers. If you see an advertisement or get an offer for an unusually low rate that includes two or more points, be careful. Discount points have to be disclosed in advertisements or offers of a mortgage rate, so look for them.
Using APR to Find the Best Mortgage rates
So how do you find the best Louisiana mortgage rates and deals? The easiest way is to check the APR, or annual percentage rate. The APR reflects the total cost of the loan, both the interest rate and fees, as a single number. The higher the number, the greater the overall cost of the loan.
The APR is the interest rate that, applied to the loan amount, would give you the same monthly payment you'd be making if you rolled your fees into the mortgage as well – that is, if you included them as part of the loan rather than paying them separately. It's a way of showing the fees as part of the borrowing cost of the loan.
APR provides a very good way of comparing offers for fixed-rate loans. However, it's not as good for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) because the rate can change on those. And even with fixed rates, the calculation can be thrown off if you sell the home or refinance before the mortgage is paid off – APR assumes you'll pay the loan off over its full term.
In those cases, you may want to use a mortgage calculator to run the numbers yourself to see which lender's offer of a rate and fees is the best for you, or to see if you'd benefit from paying for discount points.
Louisiana FHA Loans and other mortgages
For first-time homebuyers, FHA loans are often the preferred choice. FHA loan requirements allow low down payments and fairly relaxed credit requirements, which makes them attractive to buyers with limited financial resources who are just beginning to establish their credit. Louisiana FHA lenders often offer better mortgage rates to borrowers with lower credit scores than they can get on conventional loans as well, so borrowers with a blemish or two on the credit scores may turn to them as well.
For more established borrowers with solid credit scores, a conventional mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is usually the preferred option. These are the most popular type of home loans in Louisiana and the U.S. in general, offering their lowest rates to borrowers who combine good credit scores with a substantial down payment. Borrowers can qualify with credit scores as low as 620 and those with good credit can make a down payment as small as 3 percent of the loan amount, but expect to pay higher mortgage rates in these situations. Some borrowers may find an FHA loan is more suitable in those situations.
Both FHA loans and conventional loans may be used for either a home purchase or to refinance an existing loan.
VA loans are an option for qualified veterans and current servicemembers, and have the advantage of requiring no down payment up to fairly generous lending limits. However, don't assume a VA loan is your best option just because you qualify. Look carefully at rates and fees, and shop around to multiple lenders and compare against conventional and FHA loans to make sure you're getting your best deal.