How Important Are Current Mortgage Rates in Utah?

Your mortgage rate determines how much you pay for your home loan. Interest rates change over time, but should you base your decision to buy a home on the current mortgage rates in Utah? The mortgage lenders at Integrity First Lending explain how much weight you should give to current mortgage rates when deciding to buy a home in Utah.

current mortgage rates in Utah

What Is a Mortgage Rate?

A mortgage rate is the percentage of interest you pay on your home loan. When you take out a home loan in Utah, you pay mostly toward your interest for the first years you have your mortgage, then you pay more on the principal toward the end.

Because home prices have been high for a while, most homeowners today have 30-year mortgages. For a $300,000 home bought at 4.5% interest, the homeowner would pay about $250,000 in interest over the life of the loan. However, if they opted for a 15-year loan at 4%, they would pay only $100,000.

The difference is that mortgage payments on a 15-year-loan are much higher than on a 30-year loan.

What Mortgage Rate Will I Get?

Mortgage rates fluctuate, but not usually by very much each day. When you check the current mortgage rate, the numbers are expressed out two decimal places, such as 3.16. That way, it’s easy to see even small changes.

A mortgage rate is based mostly on current interest rates, but other factors can influence your rate. For instance, your credit score is a factor. The higher your credit score is, the better chance you have at getting a lower rate. That’s because rates are based, in part, on the level of risk a bank takes on in lending you money. If your credit score is poor, you are a higher risk and will pay higher interest — if you can get approved for a loan at all.

Sometimes applicants’ credit scores are too low to qualify for a home loan. However, over a period of a few years, you may be able to improve this score enough to qualify for home loan.

Factors to Take into Account

Other factors that influence your mortgage rate include your mortgage term, debt-to-income ratio and the value of the home you want to purchase in relation to is price.

Mortgage rates are usually lower for shorter-term loans, because the lender gets their money back faster.

Your debt-to-income ratio refers to how much you make and how much you owe. You might earn a salary upwards of $100,000, but if you’re struggling with debt, you may not qualify for a mortgage.

Lenders sometimes reject applications for home loans because they have determined the property is not worth the purchase price. If a lender has to foreclose on a $400,000 home and can only sell it for $300,000, this financial decision will have cost them a lot of money.

The Importance of Current Mortgage Rates in Utah

The bottom line is, current mortgage rates are important, but they don’t usually fluctuate wildly in a short period of time. What is more important in determining your mortgage rate is your financial health.

Come talk to the team at Integrity First Lending, the best mortgage lenders in Utah, to find out what mortgage rate you might qualify for. We can give you advice about changes you can make that can improve your credit score, your financial health, and eventually, your mortgage rate.

Perks for First-Time Home Buyers in Utah

If you’re thinking of buying your first home, Integrity First Lending can help! We’re the mortgage company in Utah that’s known for helping first-time home buyers realize their dream of homeownership. We can show you the steps you need to take to own your own home.

first-time home buyer in Utah

What Is a First-Time Home Buyer?

You would think this would be a simple question to answer, but the truth is more people qualify as first-time home buyers in Utah than you might think.

For instance, if you have not owned a home in three years, you may qualify as a first-time home buyer. Ditto if you have previously owned a home but your new spouse has not. You also may qualify if you’re divorced or a single parent who owned a home with your spouse but never on your own. There are a few more special circumstances as well — contact our Utah mortgage lenders to see if you qualify as a first-time home buyer.

Perks for First-Time Home Buyers in Utah

The reason first-time home buyer programs exist is because the government wants to help U.S. residents improve their financial health. While there are lots of ways to do this, one of the best ways is to purchase a home. Real estate is almost always a good investment, and paying your mortgage each month is a much better use of your money than paying rent to another person who owns the property you live on.

In an effort to help prospective homeowners qualify for a mortgage, some first-time home buyer programs in Utah offer applicants assistance with down payments and closing costs.

If you don’t have 20% of the purchase price of your home, you will be required to pay personal mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity. Average housing prices in Utah are about $300,000-$400,000, which translates to a $60,000-$80,000 down payment — a stretch for most anyone.

Closing costs can be another 3%-6%, or $9,000-$24,000 — another hefty sum. First-time home buyer programs can help you get a second mortgage to pay off these costs over time.

First-Time Home Buyer Requirements in Utah

Because first-time home buyer programs are designed to help those who may not otherwise be able to afford a home, eligibility is limited to those under a certain income threshold. Also, limits might be placed on the price of the home you are allowed to buy.

Get Help from a Mortgage Lender in Utah

Getting a home loan can be complicated, so you want knowledgeable professionals in your corner. Moreover, if you’re a first-time home buyer in Utah, you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the perks available to this special group.

Trust the team at Integrity First Lending. We’re the mortgage company in Utah that can help you through the process of becoming a first-time home buyer. Contact us for more information, or apply online today.

Why You Should Use a Home Loan Calculator in Utah

Many factors come into play when computing your mortgage. However, some of these elements, such as PMI, can easily be overlooked if you don’t make a conscious effort to keep track of them. Good thing there are now home loan or mortgage calculators in Utah available online, such as the one on the Integrity First Lending website. Now, you can quickly get a close estimate of how much your monthly payments will be, no matter which stage of the financing process you are in.

Computing your monthly payments beforehand allows you to get a better grasp of what your current financial capacity is and what the different terms and rates available to you are. Using a mortgage calculator will also enable you to make a better-informed decision on which payment arrangement will benefit you more and determine which ones you can afford.

Home Loan Calculator

What Is the Purpose of a Mortgage Calculator in Utah?

This tool takes the guesswork out of computing your future home loan payments. It can be used by those looking to refinance their loans, first-time homebuyers or those considering a reverse mortgage, as it allows you to check and compare your options quickly and easily.

All you have to do is provide the figures and information it asks for, and it does all the calculations for you. However, remember that its accuracy is dependent on the data you feed into it.

Are Home Loan Calculators in Utah Accurate?

Yes. But you have to be selective about which one to use. Integrity First Lending’s mortgage calculator gives you an accurate estimate of your estimated home loan payments. To get a correct assessment, you need to know how much the down payment, purchase price, interest rate and term are.

Down payments may vary, depending on the terms and conditions you have agreed upon with our loan officers. Or, if you haven’t talked to your lender yet, you can input your estimated amount. You can enter the cost of the property you are looking to buy and how much you can afford for the purchase price

Get in touch with us for updated interest rates. This should also help you decide on the term that will best fit your needs. If you already have a specific period in mind, you may input that information into the calculator.

For expert help on home loans, Integrity First Lending has got you covered. We have a team of highly trained and honest mortgage professionals in Utah who always have your best interests in mind. They are committed to helping you figure out the best plan for you so you can get closer to owning your dream home.

Should I Get a Loan from a Bank or a Mortgage Lender in Utah?

When it comes to obtaining financing for your home, you may be wondering if you should use Utah mortgage lenders like Integrity First Lending or big banks.

While banks are everywhere, it can be challenging to get a home loan from these institutions, especially for first-time home buyers, because they employ a more rigid lending process. Lending or mortgage companies, on the other hand, are more lenient, with some even allowing those who do not have good credit to get a loan.

Getting a Loan from a Mortgage Lender

Advantages of Going to Mortgage Companies

Home lending companies are focused on mortgage loans. Thus, the application process tends to be more straightforward and approval is faster. But there are more benefits to getting a loan from such organizations.

  • More choices: Most representatives of these companies are certified and trained in home financing courses to educate their customers better and help them make informed decisions.
  • More options: They offer more flexible payment schemes to suit the needs and budgets of those in the market for a home.
  • Faster closing: If you are in a hurry to settle, going through lenders will be faster than going through banks.
  • Convenience: Most lenders have set up an application form on their website, so you can easily sign up wherever you are. At Integrity First Lending, our three-step process is available online and all you need to do is follow the simple steps to apply.

What Should I Look for When Comparing Mortgage Lenders in Utah?

Finding the right lender ultimately depends on your needs. To make sure you don’t miss out on any details when shopping around for one, here are a few things you can consider:

Interest rate: See that the lender offers an interest rate that suits your financial situation and your ability to pay off the loan over time.

Fees and points: Apart from interest rates, consider the other expenses you will have to pay, such as underwriting fees and mortgage points (the fees paid to the lender should there be any reduction in interest rate).

Down payment: Different lenders have different down payment requirements. The amount can change depending on the terms of your loan. Talk to a trusted representative to be sure of the numbers.

Closing costs: Lenders typically charge for this, so be sure to ask the representative you are talking to in order to avoid any surprises.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This serves as added protection for the lender when the borrower can afford only a low down payment.

Need more convincing? Get an accurate estimate of what your monthly payments will be with this home loan calculator in Utah from Integrity First Lending.

Buying a House in Utah With No Down Payment: Is It Possible?

Buying a house is a dream for many, but not everyone can afford to finance it. Fortunately, there is a way for you to buy a house in Salt Lake City with no down payment. How? You have to work with the best mortgage lenders in Utah.

Integrity First Lending empowers aspiring homeowners by providing them flexible financing options to purchase their dream property.

Buying a House in Utah With No Down Payment Is It Possible

How Can I Buy a House if I Don’t Have the Down Payment?

The standard for down payments is at least 20% of the purchase price. But if you can’t afford this, you can still buy a home, as long as you meet the requirements.

VA Loans require no down payment. They are available to war veterans, spouses of deceased war veterans and active-duty service members or National Guard members. The Department of Veterans Affairs regulates this type of loan, and instead of paying for mortgage insurance, you may opt to pay a VA funding fee equivalent to 2.15% of your loan value.

To qualify for a VA loan, you must have actively served in the military for at least 90 consecutive days during wartime and 181 consecutive days during peacetime. If you’re a member of the National Guard or a reservist, you must have served for a minimum of six years.

If you’re a spouse of a deceased service member, in order for you to qualify, they must have died while performing their duty or due to a related injury. Also, your credit score must be at least 640. Applying for this type of loan will take about 30-45 days and is commitment-free.

Another type of loan that will allow you to acquire a home with little to no down payment required is an FHA loan. You may have to make a small down payment, but only 3.5% — significantly less than the standard 20% for most residential properties.

Getting the Best Mortgage Rate in Utah

Integrity First Lending offers FHA loans as well as a no-cost refinancing program that allows you to modify your current mortgage terms without having to pay settlement fees or adding to the cost of the loan. You just have to pay a little more interest instead, which ends up being more manageable in the long run.

If you are interested in what other home financing options you might have, give us a call. Our trained representatives will help you any way they can. We have a three-step process that enables you to get the best mortgage rate in Utah and close your home on or before your commitment date.

The Best Characteristics to Look for in a Lending Company

Teaming up with a reliable and experienced lending company is critical to your homebuying journey. A good working relationship with your lender will improve productivity, performance, and ease. Integrity First Lending welcomes new ideas and responds to conflict accordingly throughout your mortgage process in Utah.

The Best Characteristics to Look for in a Lending Company

Core Values

Core values might be the most fundamental aspect of a professional client-to-lender relationship. Values represent the principles that a company strives for. Possessing qualities such as trust, respect and integrity can bring you closer to your loan officers.

Keep in mind that an excellent company culture involves showing transparency, coming up with strategic decisions and sticking by the promises a company makes. By sticking to these core values, you will be able to establish trust and confidence in your chosen mortgage lender in Utah.

Open Communication

Clients must also take care to notice if their chosen lending company establishes open communication with them. There has to be an effective dialog between clients and lenders when exchanging ideas and providing mutual support. Building a safe space for communication enables ideas to flow and for problems to be addressed head-on. More importantly, you will feel a stronger sense of connection to the company as a whole.

Clear Goals

Homebuying success is easier when everyone in the company understands the goals and how to achieve them. A clearly defined plan allows your chosen mortgage team to work on tasks smoothly and move through schedules without any problem. When loan officers know what needs to be done, it becomes much easier for them to improve productivity, and to manage tasks proactively, rather than waste their time on unnecessary issues.

Experience and Credibility

This may be the last, but the most important characteristic you’ll look at when finding a lender for any home loans in Utah. You have to team up with a lender who’s been in the lending industry for a long time, and who’s established a good reputation locally, and if possible, nationally.

A credible lender is someone you can trust to provide complete information about the homebuying process, as well as the loan experience. Find time to seek reviews online from previous clients they might have worked with. Also, keep in mind that experience is usually established by the amount of time any lender has been in business.

Company culture and values can impact your homebuying process. Team up with the best mortgage company in Utah: Integrity First Lending.

Helpful Tips to Cope with a Bad Credit Score

Lenders use your credit score to identify the possible risks to offering you a loan. Based on your payment history, your credit score can either be poor or good. Remember that several factors, such as defaults, penalties brought about by late payments and the amount of money you owe, all play a crucial role in your credit score.

Aside from that, the length of time you’re in debt also affects your credit score. However, the expert team at Integrity First Lending has some advice for you for getting a low-interest rate for a home loan in Utah.

Helpful Tips to Cope with a Bad Credit Score

Reach Out to Your Current Lender

Staying in touch with your current lender is one thing you can try before looking for other companies to handle your mortgage needs. With your current lender, you can easily explain your financial situation, because they already have your financial background and other requirements needed to qualify for a home loan.

Discussing loan programs with your current lender will also help widen your options even with a bad credit rating. Additionally, don’t hesitate to consult other mortgage companies in Salt Lake City and find out other loan offers they have, specifically for clients with bad credit. Different mortgage teams have various kinds of offers, and there might be one that suits you best.

Check Out FHA Streamline Refinance

For your Utah mortgage, you may also opt to select FHA Streamline Refinance. An existing FHA mortgage is the foremost requirement to qualify for this type of loan. There are two types of loans that you can choose from when checking out the FHA Streamline Refinance — credit-qualifying and non-credit-qualifying. One of these options may fit your needs.

To qualify for this loan, you have to show proof of six consecutive mortgage payments. Nonetheless, all your fees must be paid on time and in full. It follows a strict procedure, but it results in lower monthly payments.

Explore the VA Refinance Loan

If you got your current mortgage in Utah from the Department of Veterans Affairs, refinancing with the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan is a good option for you. This loan is one that doesn’t need a good credit score or a new appraisal. There’s no need for an annual fee to guarantee the loan, either. With the VA Refinance Loan, you can promptly refinance up to 100% of your home’s value. However, you need to go through a mortgage company, bank or a credit union.

Boost Your Credit Score

Like exam scores, bad credit is a thing you can improve on. If refinancing isn’t an option for you now, you can focus on increasing your credit score instead to qualify for the best home loans in Utah.

Keep in mind that there are many ways you can improve your poor credit score to qualify for the best mortgage rates in Utah. Create a healthier financial situation for yourself by discussing your options with Integrity First Lending today.

Top Three Benefits of Getting a VA Loan

The Veteran’s Administration (VA) home loan program is one of the most popular benefits offered to veterans. This home loan program is intended to offer ease to the socioeconomic dilemmas of the post-war readjustments of those who relentlessly provided services in the US military. This home loan partially guarantees mortgages and refinancing made via private lenders like banks and mortgage companies. This loan type offers borrowers more favorable terms compared to other loans in the mortgage industry. If you’re on the lookout for dependable mortgage loans in Utah, ponder on the following advantages of a VA home loan which might just suit you or your family members.

Top Three Benefits of Getting a VA Loan

  1. Zero down payment-This is the program’s signature benefit. Qualified borrowers can avail of any home loan limit without releasing any down payment. The terms under this favorable loan feature may change annually. Also, it’s important to note that most mortgage loans in Salt Lake City require buyers to make at least a minimal down payment. Clients who avail several other loans usually shell out a minimum down payment requirements of 5 % and 3.5 %, respectively for conventional and FHA loans. For example, on a $500,000 mortgage, that’s a $25,000 down payment for conventional and a $17,500 down payment for FHA.
  2. Pocket-friendly Closing Costs– One of the most salient and best features of a VA home loan is it limits the closing costs lenders can charge to the loan applicants. Moreover, borrowers can even convey and haggle with the seller to pay all of their loan-related closing costs and up to 4 % in concessions, which can entail factors like insurance and taxes among others. Although there is no assurance that lenders will agree during the negotiations, veterans can still definitely explain their side and humbly negotiate with their mortgage brokers in Salt Lake City along the process.
  3. Flexible Funding Fees– VA loans require a “funding fee”, an upfront cost in reference to your eligibility, loan amount, and other factors. Although these required payments don’t need to be paid right away. This can be financed together with the loan, hence nothing is due at closing. We say it’s flexible because these fees can also be waived for unmarried surviving spouses of veterans who passed away in service or as a result of a service-connected debilitating circumstance, and for veterans who got a VA disability compensation. Make sure to discuss this with your chosen Utah mortgage lenders for more details.

Begin your Home-buying Journey with Us

Whether you’re looking for a home equity loan in Utah, or just want to know more details on the advantages and processes of availing home loans, the first step is to get rate quotes. By reaching out to our team, we can then discuss topics like debt to income ratios, qualifications, and other questions you have in mind. Allow us to guide you with your home buying journey by discussing how these perks apply to you. You can get started online today by contacting us. Feel free!

3 Money Habits that are Making it Harder to Save for a Down Payment

If you are thinking about buying a home in 2021, one of the first things you need to do is save enough money for a down payment. That’s not an easy task, and if you’re having trouble saving money, it might be time to examine your current spending habits. Here are three common habits that can make it much harder to save that 5% to 20% for your down payment.

Are you participating in these bad spending habits that make it harder to save for a down payment on a home?

Habit 1: Not paying attention to your monthly expenses.

It’s easy to lose track of where your money is going every month. In fact, there might be a lot of things that you’re spending money on without even thinking about it. For example, if you still have that gym membership and haven’t been to the gym in more than a year—not counting any forced absence because of COVID-19—it’s time to cancel it and save $20 to $100 a month. Other things you may be wasting money on include:

  • Cable or satellite bill
  • Streaming services you never watch or listen to
  • Expensive cell phone bills and/or data plans (seriously, WiFi is everywhere these days)
  • Monthly subscription boxes (i.e., FabFitFun, StitchFix, BarkBox, Loot Crate)
  • Digital or print newspaper/magazine subscriptions

Apps like PocketGuard or Mint can help identify monthly recurring expenses so you can get rid of them.

Habit 2: Eating (and drinking) out a lot.

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it bears repeating: eating out, especially if you are buying alcohol, is a lot more expensive than eating at home. We’re not saying you should never eat out, but make it a special occasion only. Packing a lunch when you head out for work or skipping the takeout in favor of a home-cooked meal is a great way to cut your food budget. If planning meals is hard, you can look at options like Freshly, which send you pre-packaged meals that you can heat up and cost as little as $8.50 a meal—a lot less than many restaurant meals. Other great options include buying a slow cooker or Instant Pot. With these kitchen gadgets you can dump a bunch of raw ingredients in at the beginning or end of the day and within a few hours (slow cooker) or a few minutes (Instant Pot) you have an entire meal, plus leftovers for lunch tomorrow that even a novice chef can handle.

Habit 3: Spending more on anything than you need to spend.

That’s pretty broad, so here’s the breakdown: if you don’t need to spend the extra money, don’t do it. Buy generic brands instead of brand names. Turn down your thermostat one or two degrees in the winter, and turn it up one or two in the summer to save money on utility bills every month. Don’t buy those app add-ons. Unsubscribe retail store emails that tempt you to buy something you definitely don’t need just because it’s 30% off today only. You’d be surprised at how much you can actually save by shaving just a little here and there from the margins.

Once you master your spending habits, make sure you put that money away in a savings account so you can buy that dream home. When it’s time to do that, Integrity First Lending is here to help you get a mortgage.

Ready to Set Home Ownership Goals for the New Year?

One of the most common rituals for the new year is the habit of setting goals. Often these goals revolve around personal improvement, or finding ways to make a better life in the coming year. For those who have been renting, now is the perfect time to set a goal for achieving home ownership in 2021. After a difficult year in 2020, here are some of the steps you can take to achieve that goal in the new year.

Set some goals for the New Year that will help you get closer to your dream of owning a home.

Step 1: Set the goal

Okay, this one might seem a little too obvious, but simply having the goal—preferably in writing so you’re a little more committed—is often the first step to achieving home ownership. It makes the far-off dream of having your own home feel a little more like a reality. Bonus points if you set a specific date (or a range like “fall 2021” or “spring 2022”) for your goal.

Step 2: Get your finances in order

The hardest part about owning a home is making sure that your financial life is in order. Some of the most important steps you can take to help put you in a position to get a mortgage loan include:

  • Paying down or paying off debt
  • Putting money away in a savings account to pay for the down payment
  • Paying all your current bills on time to keep your credit score high
  • Avoiding taking on unnecessary new debt, such as new credit cards or new car loans
  • Create a budget to keep your spending on track and your home ownership goals in reach

Step 3: Understand what you can afford to borrow

Before you apply for a mortgage or start shopping for a new home, figure out how much you can afford to borrow based on how much you want to pay each month. You can use online mortgage calculators and either put in the price of the house to see the monthly payment, or put in a specific monthly payment to see what size loan would have that payment. When setting your house payment budget, don’t forget that your monthly payments will include property taxes and homeowners insurance in addition to the principal and interest on the loan.

Step 4: Talk to a mortgage lender about available loans

Another important step toward owning a home is figuring out what type of home loan you will get. There are several options available, depending on your income, credit score, where you live, and whether you qualify for things like the VA loans (for active duty or retired military). Knowing your options can help you pinpoint how much money you need for a down payment, and what credit score you need to get approved.

If owning a home is on your wish list, make it more of a reality by setting specific goals this New Year to get there. Talk to Integrity First Lending to find out more about home loans available and how you can achieve your dream.