Today's Rates In Oklahoma
Looking to buy or refinance a home in Oklahoma? Maybe thinking about a home improvement loan to take care of some projects you've been meaning to do? Then you'll want to familiarize yourself with Oklahoma mortgage rates and your options for the various types of home loans that are available to you.
Home loans in Oklahoma break down into three main types:
- Home purchase mortgages
- Mortgage refinancing
- Home equity loans
The same types of loans are used to buy a home and to refinance a mortgage, though there are some differences. A refinance doesn't involve the property changing hands. When refinancing, your home equity plays the same role that a down payment does in a home purchase. Mortgage interest rates for an Oklahoma borrower are pretty much the same whether they're buying a home or refinancing. Other factors have much more impact.
Oklahoma home equity loans come in two main types: traditional home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). The traditional type is a simple loan; a HELOC gives you a line of credit you can borrow against as you wish. Home equity loan rates run higher than those on a purchase or a refinance loan, with traditional home equity loans usually having fixed rates, while Oklahoma HELOC rates are always adjustable.
Finding the Best Oklahoma Mortgage Rates
There are many factors that go into determining Oklahoma mortgage interest rates. Current rates vary from day to day, depending on market conditions. Mortgage rates also vary from lender to lender and from borrower to borrower – factors like your credit score and the size of your down payment can have an effect.
The type of loan you get will also be a factor – some borrowers may get their best deal on a conforming loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, while Oklahoma residents may get their best rates on an FHA loan. A home purchase or mortgage refinance will have different rates than a home equity loan. Adjustable rates will differ from fixed rates. And so forth.
A crucial thing to remember is that the fees you pay will also affect the mortgage rate you get. Closing costs on a home purchase or refinance range from 2-6 percent of the loan amount. That's a big chunk. Sometimes lenders will charge higher fees to offset a lower rate – so you need to take both into account.
Instead of focusing on the mortgage interest rate, check the APR on a loan offer instead. The APR, or annual percentage rate, reflects the total cost of a home loan, both the rate and fees. It's basically the rate that would be needed to pay for the fees through a higher interest rate rather than paying the fees separately up front. It's a useful way of making approximate comparisons of different loan offers without using a mortgage calculator.
Types of Home Loans in Oklahoma
For buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage, there are four main types of home loans in Oklahoma:
These are loans that conform to the standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and are offered by nearly all Oklahoma mortgage lenders. They're the main type of mortgage used for home purchases and refinancing in this country.
These loans require a minimum credit score of 620 and have other guidelines for down payments, borrower debt-to-income ratios, rate structures and maximum loan amounts. Loans meeting these standards are attractive to investors, which helps keep their rates low and allows for attractive terms like 30-year fixed-rates.
Oklahoma first-time homebuyers often look to these, as FHA loan requirements allow lower credit scores while still permitting down payments of as little as 3.5 percent. Borrowers with lower scores and/or small down payments can often get better mortgage rates on FHA loans as well, which makes them a good option for Oklahoma borrowers with imperfect credit or limited finances. Lending limits are lower than on conforming loans, but still are adequate to cover the purchase of most residential properties.
For qualified military veterans and active duty personnel in Oklahoma, the big attraction of VA loans is that they allow no-down payment purchases up to generous lending limits, and with no mortgage insurance requirements as well (unlike conforming and FHA loans with less than 20 percent down).
These are loans that exceed the lending limits on conforming mortgages, which vary from year to year and also from county to county in some states, depending on local housing prices. Jumbo loans typically charge higher rates and have more stringent credit and down payment requirements than conforming loans do, but also have a certain flexibility since they do not have to follow Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines. So a borrower with a low credit score might still be able to qualify for a jumbo loan by paying a higher rate and making a larger down payment, for instance.
Oklahoma Home Equity Loans
As mentioned above, Oklahoma home equity loans fall into two main categories: traditional and home equity line of credit (HELOC). Both are secured by the equity in your home, meaning you have to have equity to qualify. A general rule of thumb is that you should have at least 20 percent home equity remaining after you take out the loan; lenders may allow you to go lower, but expect higher costs if you do.
Money obtained through a home equity loan or line of credit can generally be used any way you wish – in most cases you don't have to show how you plan to use the money or justify your reasons for doing so. But some of the more common uses are as a home improvement loan, for educational or medical expenses, and to invest in a small business.
Just like a primary mortgage, you can lose your home to foreclosure if you don't keep up your payments on a home equity loan. If that happens, the primary loan gets completely paid off before the home equity loan receives a cent – that's why they're called second liens or second mortgages, because they get paid second in a default – which is also why their rates are higher than on primary mortgages.
Comparing Loan Options
Once you know the type of loan you're looking for and how much you want to borrow, it's time to start shopping. Check loan offers from various lenders and see what works best for you – an conforming mortgage vs. FHA loan, traditional home equity vs. HELOC, etc.
Check into your various options – how might a larger down payment affect your rate and monthly payments? Paying more up front means you can pay less each month. Might an adjustable rate make sense for you rather than a long-term fixed rate? Borrowers who plan to move again in a few years might benefit from a 5/1 or 7/1 ARM where the rate is fixed for a few years before it starts to adjust. What about buying discount points? Those can significantly reduce your long-term interest costs, though you pay more up front.
This is where a mortgage calculator comes in handy. Check the links at the top and bottom of this page – we've got scores of mortgage and financial calculators to address a wide variety of situations.
Once you know what kind of home loan you want to get, request personalized rate quotes from several different lenders. Remember, the rate you pay will depend in part on information like your credit score and down payment. You can contact individual lenders directly, but you can also use a form like the one at the top of this page to request quotes from multiple lenders simultaneously. It's a free service and there's no obligation.
Once you've got your quotes, compare them using the APR and a mortgage calculator to see which one works best for you. Then, make your choice and start your application. You're on your way.