Today's Mortgage Rates
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Looking to buy a home in South Carolina? Own one and thinking about refinancing your mortgage? Or perhaps you're interested in a home equity loan or line of credit?
Regardless of what kind of home loan you're looking for, mortgage lenders in South Carolina give you a lot of options to choose from. Current mortgage rates in SC for some of the most popular types of home loans are listed above, but to get the best rates for yourself, you're going to have to do some looking around.
To get the best rates on a SC mortgage or home equity loan, follow these steps:
- Learn your options.
- Check SC mortgage rates.
- Understand how fees affect your rate
- Collect quotes.
- Compare your offers.
To help you in your quest, MortgageLoan.com has assembled a toolbox of informative content and useful tools to help you find out what you need to know and make good decisions when choosing a home loan. Browse our collection of consumer-focused mortgage and real estate articles, crunch numbers with our mortgage directors and obtain free personalized rate quotes from mortgage brokers and lenders serving South Carolina by using our rate request form at the top of this page, whether you're buying, refinancing or seeking a home equity loan.
SC mortgage rates
Before you go shopping for any kind of home loan, it helps to understand a few things about mortgage rates. First, that the loan with the lowest rate is not necessarily the best deal. The mortgage rate is only part of what determines what you'll pay for a home loan. The closing costs are also a factor – these can range from 2-6 percent of the amount borrowed, and so have a big impact on what you pay overall.
What's important to remember is that higher fees can offset lower rates. One lender might offer a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent that's actually a worse deal than another lender's rate of 4.75 because of higher fees. That's especially true if the first loan includes discount points, which are a way of buying a lower mortgage rate. Each point you purchase costs 1 percent of the loan amount and reduces your rate by a certain amount, often one-eighth of a percentage point.
Discount points can save you money over the long term, but they can also be used to disguise an artificially low rate. Fortunately, there's an easy way to compare the true cost of loans – the annual percentage rate, or APR. The APR represents the total cost of a mortgage or other loan, rates and fees include, in the form of an annual rate – the higher the rate, the more expensive the loan. Federal law requires APR to be listed along with any advertised mortgage rates or offers for a mortgage rate, so it's easy to make the comparison. Points have to be listed up front as well, so you can see if a lender is adding a lot of points to a loan.
SC Mortgages - Conforming
Conforming mortgages, also known as conventional mortgages, are the most common type of home loan, available from nearly all mortgage companies in South Carolina. These loans meet the criteria set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which makes them attractive to mortgage investors and helps keep their rates low. These criteria include such things as credit scores, loan pricing and the maximum loan amount.
You can borrow up to $484,350 for a single-family home in South Carolina with a conforming mortgage (2019 limits), with higher amounts allowed for 2-4 unit homes. The minimum credit score allowed is 620, though borrowers with higher scores will receive better rates. Down payments can be as little as 3 percent for borrowers with excellent credit, though again better rates are available to those who put down more. Borrowers who put down less than 20 percent must pay a monthly fee called PMI (private mortgage insurance) until they reach at least 20 percent home equity on the loan.
FHA loan – SC
FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and have somewhat more flexible requirements than conforming loans do. Many mortgage companies in South Carolina will approve borrowers for an FHA loan with credit scores below the 620 cutoff for conforming loans and SC borrowers with lower credit scores can often get better mortgage rates with an FHA loan than they can on a conforming loan.
The loan limits on SC FHA loans are lower than those for conventional loans, with a cap of $314,827 for single-family homes in most counties, but up to $388,700 in areas with high real estate values (2019 limits).
Both FHA loans and conforming mortgages can be used to refinance an existing mortgage, as well as to purchase a home. When refinancing, the home equity accumulated replaces the down payment made for a home purchase, otherwise a purchase and refinance loan are largely the same.
Home equity loans
Home equity loans, sometimes referred to as second mortgages, provide a way to borrow money using the value of your home as collateral. You're actually borrowing against your home equity – the portion of your home that's paid off – so you can use your home as collateral even if you still haven't fully paid off your mortgage.
South Carolina home equity loans come in two types – a regular home equity loan and a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. With a regular home equity loan, you borrow a sum of money and pay it back – it's pretty straightforward. With a HELOC, you get a line of credit you can draw against as you wish, up to a set limit. You also don't have to begin repaying the loan principle immediately, which gives you financial flexibility. It's like a revolving credit card that way.
Interest rates on South Carolina home equity loans run a bit higher than mortgage rates on a home purchase loan or refinance, but they're generally quite a bit lower than you'd get on an unsecured loan like a credit card. Standard home equity loans usually have fixed rates, while HELOCs are adjustable-rate as long as the line of credit is active.
Comparing SC Mortgage Rates
Early research and comparison of South Carolina mortgages will make your mortgage search more productive and efficient. In addition to the loan types described above, you have options like fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), 15-year mortgages, 30-year, interest-only loans and more. Knowing what these involve can help you narrow your choices to a few that seem right for you. You can find the background information you need with Mortgageloan.com's informative articles and run the numbers through our mortgage calculators.
When it comes to comparison shopping, you can contact mortgage lenders in South Carolina individually or you can obtain rate quotes tailored to you personally from several lenders at once by using our no-obligation rate quote service at the top of the page. Regardless if you're looking to purchase, refinance or get a home equity loan, the process is fast, easy – and free. Give it a try!