Interest rates are always changing. This is even truer for mortgage rates. There are a number of things that can have an effect on mortgage rates over time, including unemployment rates, stock market prices, and more. It’s important to remember how the interest rates in your area will likely change, since this can have an impact on your payments as well. Here are a few tips to use when you’re looking at new interest rates:

The first thing you should do if you want to keep your mortgage cost down is to get started shopping around. Check with banks and online mortgage companies to see who has the best deal out there for you. If you currently have a fixed-rate mortgage, or a mortgage that comes with a prepayment penalty attached, you may want to consider refinancing instead of settling for a low introductory interest rate. With a refinance or new mortgage you can save money over time.

Another option you have if you’d like to keep your mortgage costs down is to choose variable mortgage rates over the going rate on a fixed mortgage rates calculator. You can often save money on variable mortgage rates if you know ahead of time what rates are expected to be. The problem is that most people don’t have this kind of information before they sign on the dotted line. This is why you should take your time to shop around for variable mortgage rates and compare them side-by-side. Use a website that offers free mortgage rates quotes, or ask a broker for some advice.

A lot of people are comfortable with their current interest rate but may be concerned about how much they’ll pay in the future. Mortgage lenders require a certain minimum amount of debt-to-income ratio, which is the amount of debt you must own compared to how much income you have to support yourself. Lenders also look at your debt-to-income ratio in conjunction with your current interest rate. When considering a variable mortgage you can change the payment amount up or down without making a corresponding change in your debt-to-income ratio.

How does your debt-to-income ratio affect your mortgage payments? The mortgage calculator will show you the monthly payments you would be making if you were refinancing your mortgage at the current interest rate, the lowest you could qualify for, the time period in which you’d apply for a mortgage and the type of mortgage you’re looking for. All of these factors can be adjusted in the mortgage calculator to show you a more accurate picture of your monthly payments.

If you’re currently shopping for a mortgage you should know there are advantages and disadvantages to both a fixed rate mortgage and a variable rate mortgage. Fixed mortgage rates provide stability and long-term security for buyers who plan on paying their mortgage for a long time. In contrast, a variable rate mortgage fluctuates according to current interest rates and market conditions. While a fixed mortgage rate may be safer, a variable rate mortgage is often more risky since it’s more susceptible to sudden market changes.

One advantage to a variable-rate mortgage is that you can choose a lower payment amount and make extra payments if interest rates fall. You can make extra payments until your 30-year refinance loan term is reached and you’ll then be eligible for a low fixed interest rate. However, if the market swings and interest rates begin to climb again, you’ll end up paying more than if you’d simply refinance when interest rates were lower. Fixed-rate mortgages are usually recommended for buyers who aren’t planning to stay in their home for a long time. On the other hand, variable-rate mortgages are better suited for people who think they may want to buy another home in the future. A variable-rate mortgage allows you to choose a lower payment and then bet that the market will improve enough in the future to allow you to make the extra payments needed to lower your mortgage payments.

When deciding between fixed mortgage rates and variable mortgage payments, be sure to check your credit report. If you have poor credit, you may need to pay a higher down payment or offer a larger initial cash outlay before the mortgage lenders will approve a fixed-rate mortgage. The terms of your loan will determine the best type of mortgage payment structure for you. Shopping around with a mortgage broker can help you find competitive mortgage offers from different mortgage lenders. Although bad credit may keep you from getting the best mortgage payment options, it also makes good financial sense to keep your credit in good standing in order to qualify for the lowest mortgage payments possible.