December 2017

How credit scores impact interest rates

As you probably know, your credit score is critically important for determining your mortgage interest rate.

The higher your score, the more confident a lender will be that you'll make payments on time. That may help you qualify for lower mortgage interest rates and fees, which in turn could save you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. You may also be able to enjoy a lower monthly payment.

The following Better Money Habits® infographic provides an example illustration of just how big a difference a high credit score can make.

 

HOW MUCH INTEREST COULD YOU
SAVE ON A $200,000 MORTGAGE?

A high credit score can save you thousands in interest. Credit score 620-639 APR* 5.171% Monthly payment $1,095 Interest paid $194,071. Credit score 760-850 APR* 3.582% Monthly payment $907 Interest paid $126,617.

*APRs are based on national averages and do not reflect Bank of America's rates. Source: myFICO.com, November 2017.
This example is provided for comparison and does not constitute a commitment to lend nor is intended to guarantee that you currently qualify for the example APRs above.

 

The importance of tracking credit scores
It's a good idea to stay on top of your credit, because clearing up any issues with fraudulent accounts or inaccurate information can be time-consuming. Plus if your score is low, you can start working to build up or repair your credit before you apply for a mortgage.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months, available through AnnualCreditReport.com. However, you need to know that your report does not include your credit score, which is available for a fee through myfico.com.

If you're a Bank of America credit card customer, you can enroll for credit monitoring through Online or Mobile Banking. This will allow you to get and track your FICO scores every month — for free — without negatively impacting your credit.

Affordable home buying options
Of course, a credit score is just one part of the big home buying picture. Even with a good score, you may still feel you can't afford a large down payment on a new home. The Bank of America Down Payment Resource Center is a good place to start searching for cost savings and down payment assistance programs in your area.

You may also want to check out the Bank of America Affordable Loan Solution® mortgage. Offering a competitive rate with a down payment as low as 3% and no mortgage insurance required, it could help make purchasing a home more affordable for qualified modest-income buyers.Footnote 1

For more information on current interest rates and Bank of America mortgage options, please contact me.

 

Sources:

"Get my free credit report," FTC.gov
"How credit affects your interest rate," BetterMoneyHabits.com
"How credit scores affect interest rates." BetterMoneyHabits.com

1Available for fixed-rate purchase loans with terms of 25 or 30 years and on primary residences only. Certain property types are ineligible. Borrower(s) must not have an individual or joint ownership interest in any other residential property at time of closing. Maximum purchase loan-to-value is 97% and maximum combined purchase loan-to-value is 103%. For loan-to-values >95%, any secondary financing must be from an approved Community Second Program; ask for details. Homebuyer education may be required. Restrictions apply regarding co-borrowers. Maximum income and loan amount limits apply.

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