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You’ll Never Get Those Popular Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates

By Dan Green

The most popular mortgage rates in the U.S. aren’t actually real; today’s mortgage rates and the 5-day trend; and, pre-approvals matters but pre-qualifications do not.

Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates Aren’t Really Real

Freddie Mac Mortgage Rate Survey - Growella
Freddie Mac Mortgage Rate Survey – 5-Year ARM

Consumers can’t actually lock those weekly Freddie Mac mortgage rates.

Each week, government-backed Freddie Mac publishes its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), an update on interest rates available to U.S. home buyers and refinancing households.

Surveys are compiled using data from more than one hundred U.S. lenders, and the most recent results show mortgage rates down from recent weeks.

These rates aren’t available for locking, though, because they’re not actual mortgage rates. The Freddie Mac rates are composites based on a narrow borrower segment that likely does not include you.

Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates assume the borrower has top-tier credit, is financing with a conventional mortgage loan, and is buying a standalone, one-unit home to live in as a primary residence.

It also assumes the borrower is making a down payment of twenty percent, at least, and is paying discount points plus mortgage closing costs to the lender as part of the transaction.

The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey Criteria
Borrower is Purchasing a HomeCredit Score of 740 or Higher
Home is 1-Unit, Detached HomeHome is Primary Residence
Verifiable Income and AssetsBorrower Using Conventional Mortgage
Borrower Not Using "Special" LoanBorrower Making 20% Down Payment
Borrower Paying Discount PointsBorrower Paying Full Closing Costs
Borrower Not Using Down Payment AssistanceLoan Size Not "High-Balance"

Few people meet the Freddie Mac criteria. And, for those who do fit the loan traits of the survey, the rates are still not applicable because they’re an average of the lender responses from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Mortgage rates aren’t nationally-averaged. They’re locally-priced. The rates you get from your lender, therefore, can’t possibly appear in Freddie Mac’s survey.

The weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey helps economists and makers of public policy, but do little to help buyers and refinancing households.

For accurate mortgage rates you can rely on, skip the surveys and go straight to a lender. Rates change multiple times daily and remember to shop around.

Today’s Mortgage Rates & Interest Rate Trends

Current Mortgage Rates for July 13, 2018 - Growella
Current Mortgage Rates for July 13, 2018

Mortgage rates are lower today.

For all loan types, pricing is improved. FHA mortgage rates are down, and VA mortgage rates are, too. Same for conventional, USDA, and jumbo loans.

It’s less expensive to finance a house as compared to earlier in the week.

Today’s pricing looks like this:

Mortgage rates change multiple times daily, and rate quotes are individualized. They’re based on more than a dozen traits including [Glossary term = “Credit Score”]credit score[/Glossary], loan size, and state of residence.

Rates are also affected by how you pay your closing costs.

Lenders quote zero-closing cost mortgages slightly above typical rates, and quote loans with discount points slightly below. There are situations when it’s smart to go [Glossary term = “Zero-Closing Cost Mortgage”]zero-cost[/Glossary], and there are situations when it makes sense to pay full fees.

Talk with two or more mortgage lenders to compare today’s rates and shop for your preferred combination of rates, fees, and service.

Get Today’s Mortgage Rates Now

Click For Rates!

The Most Important Line In Your Mortgage Pre-Approval

Mortgage Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification - Growella
Mortgage Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

The first step toward buying a house is getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

A mortgage pre-approval is a sample approval, based on your income, your assets, and your credit score.

[Glossary term = “Pre-Approval”]Pre-approvals[/Glossary] are the closest you can get to an actual mortgage approval, which is why sellers require that pre-approvals accompany all legitimate offers for a home.

And, getting a pre-approval is basic.

First, connect with a reputable mortgage lender. It doesn’t have to be your “final” mortgage lender or even a lender in your immediate area. You’re just looking for a person to verify you and your goals, and to generate a letter of pre-approval.

Any lender will do it.

After you’ve connected with a lender, give a legitimate mortgage application. Share your job history and bank account information; and, give the lender permission to order a credit report on your behalf.

Mortgage applications are generally conducted online and are sometimes self-service. Methodical people should set 15 minutes aside to complete the form; speedier people often finish in fewer than ten minutes.

Once you complete the application —  either online or via telephone — your lender will likely want to talk by phone to learn more about you, your goals, and your wish list.

You can skip this step, but probably shouldn’t.

Yes, your mortgage lender is trying to sell you. It’s also trying to help, however. There are hundreds of ways to structure your loan. Lenders want to help you choose the best, most suitable options so that you’re happy and safe, which is good for everyone.

Your lender will “test” your mortgage application using your real information. After you pass, you’ll get your letter of pre-approval.

Pre-approvals verify three things for a seller:

Mortgage pre-approvals have meaning. And, they should never be confused with mortgage pre-qualifications.

A mortgage pre-qualification is a mortgage pre-approval, but without any of the verifications. Pre-qualifications are claims, with no facts to back them up. They’re guesses and estimates.

And, that’s why sellers don’t accept pre-qualifications from buyers. Pre-qualifications are worthless.

So, start your home search with a bona fide pre-approval. Find out for how much home you can be approved. Then, use your pre-approval letter to strengthen your offer on a house.

Click here to get pre-approved from any mortgage lender.

Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a personal finance expert and the founder of Growella. His expertise has been cited by The Wall Street, NPR, and CNBC; and, his advice has helped millions of people make better choices with their money. Dan hosts the mortgage news show "The Mortgage Minute-and-a-Half" three times weekly on YouTube.

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